Signs of Leg Fractures in Cats

As a board-certified small animal veterinarian, Dr. Todd L. Prince treats a comprehensive range of illnesses and injuries in both dogs and cats. Dr. Todd Prince has a particular professional interest in veterinary orthopedic surgery.

When a cat breaks its leg, either through a fall or another traumatic injury, it typically makes its injury known via expressions of pain. Cats instinctively try to mask their discomfort, but a broken bone may cause an animal to cry, howl, or growl. Such vocalizations tend to be more intense or frequent when the broken limb is touched.

Cats with broken legs also tend to favor the limb and avoid walking on it. Some may avoid grooming themselves or eating because of the pain. Other cats will display more visible signs of a broken bone, bruising and swelling being the most common.

A compound fracture, the most severe form of broken bone, will present with a portion of bone protruding through the skin. This can cause contamination of the injury site and requires immediate attention. A closed fracture does not break the skin, and a greenstick fracture does not completely sever into different pieces of bone, although these also require veterinary intervention to promote healthy healing.


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