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Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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My cat will not use its front right leg, he has been like this

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My cat will not use its front right leg, he has been like this for 2 days now. We have checked him out from the paw to the top of the leg, there does not appear to be a break and he does not cry in pain, any ideas

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would like to help you and your cat with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

Could you please hold 2 paws in your hands - the affected leg and another leg.

Is the affected leg a bit colder than the other?

If you look at the nail beds, by pressing the nails in to an extended form, and then looking at skin attaching them to the body, are the nail beds on the affected paw less pink than on the normal paw?

Does Sammy go outside?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Both legs feel the same temperature. The paws both look exactly the same.


Sammy does go outside all the time, using a cat flap - he managed to get through the cat flap this morning but is not using the poor leg at all.


I have felt all up his leg again and the only place that I got a little "meow" from him was at the very top of the leg, The only way I could describe this area is like "the armpit" on a human. It is the front right leg and from checking out the paw there is nothing wrong with this or the nails, he just cannot bear any weight on that leg.

Generally, if an animal bears NO weight on a leg, it makes me suspicous of a fracture (break). If there is a strain or sprain, or a puncture wound, then they usually will put some weight on it but may limp.

If Sammy is holding it right up off the ground, I would be thinking of a fracture. This could be a hairline fracture, such that there was minimal pain and no swelling.

You can read more here:

I also want to mention that there are NO human pain killers or fever reducers that you would have at home that are safe to give a cat. Aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol) and ibuprofen are all very toxic to cats and should never be given! You can read more about them here:

Given that this has been a couple of days now, I would strongly recommend that you take Sammy in to see his family veterinarian to have him examined. He may need to have the leg splinted for a few weeks in order for it to mend.

I hope that this helps you to help this kitty!

If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will be back to provide it.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Best wishes!


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