How to spot if your feline friend is suffering from a cat fracture and steps to take if they are
Cats are known for their agility and ability to jump from heights with confidence, but they are by no means indestructible – even if they do have nine lives.
Broken bones and fractures are one of the most common health problems that cats can suffer.
Jumping from lower heights, such as a downstairs window is one of the most frequent causes of a cat fracture because your pet does not have time to adjust their body shape to land properly.
How do I recognise a cat fracture?
An injured cat should be quite easy to spot. The most obvious thing to look out for is limping or an apparent restriction in movement.
But bear in mind a fracture might not only relate to legs – there are many other bones an injured cat might have fractured.
With that in mind, keep an eye out for any difficulty breathing, abdominal discomfort or a change in mental state – for example, is your pet a lot more subdued than usual?
What to do if you have an injured cat
If you suspect a cat fracture, take your pet to your vet as soon as possible.
The vet may apply a splint or bandage in the first instance to make sure your cat does not do any more damage.
It might be that a splint – a supportive device usually applied to a limb – is all that is needed, along with some rest.
But your vet may suggest surgery, which could include metallic implants such as plates and screws.
Any recommendation will be made on the type of fracture but will also most likely be made considering the age of the cat, how active he or she is and how much any procedure will cost.
Care at home
If your cat has a splint, bandage or undergoes surgery, you will probably need to continue the care at home afterwards.
The general advice will be to keep an eye on any bandages or dressings – look out for swelling or redness or discharge from any incisions.
Keep the dressings dry and clean to prevent infections and don’t be afraid to go back to your vet if you think something’s not right.