4 year old recently adopted stray cat started limping
by Linda Koeniguer
(Vero Beach, FL)
Isis is a 4 year old American short hair. She came to us 4 weeks ago, and in that time went from a half-starved stray to an apparently healthy indoor-outdoor cat, and for the past week or so has become a fully indoor cat.
Since she's been inside, she has started favoring her left front paw and now she limps - more severely at some times than at others.
Our vet examined her and found nothing wrong - gave me some drops for pain which seem to help, but Isis's condition doesn't seem to have improved much.
When we first found her (or she found us), she moved fluidly and easily. The limp didn't show up until she started living indoors. There's no wound, no infection, no swelling, no disease, and she's had all her shots. I don't know what to do for her, or what's wrong. Can you advise me?
She is so beautiful - it doesn't look as if she were ever a starving outdoor stray! You have been very good to her!
Did your veterinarian take radiographs (x-rays) of your cat's paw and leg and hip? Did he examine her pads and claws very carefully one by one and check all joints, especially her knees for possible luxating kneecaps?
We often see indoor cats that are lame and never find out exactly what the cause is. Most often, it is something traumatic, such as a bad landing when jumping down or a missed landing when jumping up. Most often, these abnormalities in gait go away over time.
Even though her lameness did not show up until she was indoors, it is possible she was injured while outside and some activity once indoors aggravated it. Also, cats can get bitten by other cats or other animals while outside, and it can take 1-2 weeks or more before an abscess fully forms and causes lameness. I imagine, however, that if she had an abscess, your vet would certainly have detected that.
If your kitty is eating well and is not lethargic and appears otherwise healthy, you could probably give it some time. However, if you feel the veterinary exam was not thorough or if x-rays were not taken, you may want to pursue that or even go to another veterinarian for a second opinion.
Best Wishes to you and Isis,