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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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Hello Dr.Dan,Our 8 yr. old cat started favoring her right

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Hello Dr.Dan,

Our 8 yr. old cat started favoring her right back leg 2 days ago. She walks fine through the house, jumps easily from floor to chair and bed, but seems to be having problems climbing the stairs. She puts her right back leg out to the side when she does the stairs and seems to be trying to pull herself up the steps. I've felt her leg and hip and can't detect any swelling, warmth or pain, and she doesn't complainant all when I touch her. My husband thinks it's just a muscle strain, but it's worrying me. She does put weight on the right leg and both hind legs appear straight when she's walking. Does this sound like a muscle strain. She's the only cat in the house so she hasn't been in any altercation with another cat. She's also an indoor cat. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, XXXXX
Hi there,
I'm sorry to hear that Katie's leg is bothering her. In my experience, muscle strains in cats that don't get better after a day or two are pretty unusual. I'd be concerned that she might have injured her knee, or possibly her hip. Is she a bigger cat? Sometimes, in heavy kitties, just bouncing down off the furniture can cause ligament tears in the knee. Cats are really, really good at hiding pain, so it may be that she does ok until she gets to the stairs and then it's just too hard to hide.

For now, I'd recommend continuing to let her rest and watching how she does. If possible, carry her up the stairs and lift her on and off furniture (I know this is a challenge with a cat!) If it is a simple sprain or strain, it should gradually get better day by day. If it is not getting better, it gets worse, or you see any swelling, she should visit the vet and have an x-ray. I'd expect her to be much better within about 5 days of seeing the problem for the first time if this is the case.

While your vet may prescribe pain medication if you take her in, don't give her any over the counter pain meds, as most human pain medications are highly toxic to cats.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Dr. Taus and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about Katie. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She seems to be doing a lot better, thank you. Her leg is much straighter now when she's climbing the stairs, although once in a while she sticks it out to the side. She's running around when playing and doesn't appear to have the limp anymore or favoriting that side when she's walked a bit, so we're making progress.


I'm giving her until the end of the week before I call our vet for an appointment. If she's back to normal, we'll just keep a close eye on her. If I feel she isn't back to normal, we'll have her examined and x-rayed.


Thank you for the follow-up :)


Rosemary Madden

I'm so glad to hear she's feeling better. I hope she continues to do well :).