Muscle Tear Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - 2,000

Average Cost


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What is Muscle Tear?

If your cat is limping, moving slowly, having difficulty getting up and down, or calling out in pain, your cat may have injured its soft muscular tissue. You should make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. In severe cases, visit an emergency veterinary hospital, as your cat may be in a significant amount of pain and your vet will attempt to rule out more serious injuries such as broken bones or wounds that might become infected.

A muscle tear, often called a strained muscle, can occur in a cat when the cat moves too quickly, in an awkward way, or attempts to make a movement that is too strenuous for the strength of that particular animal. When this happens, the muscle may sustain a small tear or multiple small tears in the muscle fibers. This injury can range from slightly uncomfortable for your cat to extremely painful and debilitating depending upon the severity of the injury and the length of time between the injury and when you seek treatment for your cat at a veterinary office or hospital.

Symptoms of Muscle Tear in Cats

The symptoms of a muscle tear in cats are similar to the symptoms in any other animal with a muscle injury, including humans. Since your cat cannot communicate its pain to you in the same way you could communicate it to your doctor, you will need to be intentional about noticing and acting on any changes in your cat’s behavior that serve as signs that your cat has hurt itself. The following symptoms often accompany a muscle tear:

  • Limping
  • Restlessness and trouble getting comfortable
  • Abnormal withdrawal and hiding
  • Unwillingness to be petted or picked up
  • Difficulty positioning for grooming, which may cause matting in fur
  • Refusal to put any weight on one or more limbs
  • Difficulty lying down or getting up
  • Inability to run or jump
  • Muscle spasms
  • Swelling
  • Painful vocalization at the time of injury or when trying to move

Causes of Muscle Tear in Cats

Cats tend to be very athletic animals, which causes muscle injuries to be very common in cats. There are a number of ways these injuries occur in cats just as there are in other animals and humans. In addition, the muscles may weaken as your cat ages, making your cat more susceptible to soft tissue injuries. The following actions, when they go even slightly wrong, can cause a muscle tear.

  • Energetic or rough play
  • Jumping and landing, especially from significant heights 
  • Fighting with other cats or animals
  • Fleeing from another animal or loud noise
  • Blunt injury such as being hit, kicked, pushed, or bumped

Diagnosis of Muscle Tear in Cats

As is typical during any visit to your veterinarian, the vet will likely begin the visit by asking you to describe the symptoms you have observed and by doing a thorough physical examination of your cat. In order to make a diagnosis, the vet may also:

  • Observe the cat’s movements
  • Search for a wound on the cat’s paw or legs
  • Use his or her hands to put light pressure on muscles to locate where the cat is hurt
  • Feel for arthritic swelling at the joints
  • Prescribe seven days of rest to see if the injury resolves itself; if not, this helps the vet diagnose the injury as, perhaps, something more serious
  • Order X-rays to rule out broken bones, torn ligaments, muscle tumors, joint dislocation, and arthritis
  • Order an extensive orthopedic exam to be conducted while your cat is under anesthesia

Treatment of Muscle Tear in Cats

Muscle tears are very common injuries in cats. Treatment for muscle tears are usually quite simple and mirror treatments for humans with the same injury, although with medications designed specifically for cats. These treatments are:

  • Rest
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications by pill or injection
  • Pain medication 

Recovery of Muscle Tear in Cats

If there is not a recurrence of the injury, most muscle tears will heal in one to two weeks, especially with anti-inflammatories, pain management, and rest. During recovery your cat may need to be kept inside and away from other pets and small children, sometimes even in a crate. An overweight cat will be more susceptible to injury than a cat at a healthy weight, so weight management is important to help in the prevention of future injuries. If there is a certain activity that your cat often engages in that is causing repeated injury, the vet will likely encourage you to find a way to help your cat to avoid this activity. After a particular muscle has been injured once, it is not uncommon for a cat to re-injure the same tissue in the future. Your vet will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to check your cat’s progress toward normal painless movement. The majority of cats make a full recovery from even a severe muscle tear.

Muscle Tear Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

7 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms



Yesterday my cat hurt jts back leg while playing with her sister. They are about 7 months old.she now limos,around on three legs, with her back leg hoisted off the ground, so it doesnt make contact.

Today, she is applying the leg to the ground with minimal force, more than yesterday.

We separated her from the other playful kitty, and she still eats, uses litter box, and purs. But mostl just lays down. No meowing or crying.

It looks like a vet run would require an x-ray, followed by either a recommendation for rest (what we are doing already) or an,incredibly expensive surgery. Is there anything I am missing? Any advice given the details of injury and symptoms?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1714 Recommendations
You seem to have hit the nail on the head, you should keep Dany rested for the weekend and look for signs of improvement; if you don’t see any further improvement you should visit your Veterinarian on Monday, if there are signs of improvement just keep an eye on things and ensure that Dany gets plenty of rest. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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American Shorthair
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Muscle Tremors
Wont stand

My 5 month old kitten recently fell from a high shelf. She won't put any pressure on her back legs, but after 4 days now she is sitting up with her front legs and no longer whines when I pick her up. I can put slight pressure on her hind legs and she might move them away but doesn't howl or anything like that. She hasn't walked at all but she does seem to be feeling a little better. I can't afford a vet right now and none near me do payment plans. Any advice for nursing my cat back to health and what the exact cause of her pain might be?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1714 Recommendations
Possible causes are muscle tear, sprains, fractures, nerve injury etc… if you are unable to visit a Veterinarian you should keep Twitch well rested and not allow any movement during this time; however if there is no improvement or improvement plateaus you should visit a Veterinarian (charity clinic or contact a nonprofit to assist with the cost) to see if any other therapy is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Scottish Fold
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

my netered cat has pain in back legs, sleeps more rhen usual and when waiking us cries a few moments out of pain. She is walking difficult and lays diwn after a few steps. The ved run full blood tests and nothing is wrong there. Also the c-rays ( chest, belly, spinal, feet) showed nothing wrong. Any hints on ehat the cause might be? Thank you

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1714 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes, but with clear blood tests and x-rays it narrows down the causes but makes a differential more difficult (surprisingly); polyneuropathy comes to mind and wouldn’t show up on a normal blood test. It is difficult to determine a specific cause but further examination by your Veterinarian or a Specialist would be the next steps. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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3 years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Left hind leg was injured somehow? She is limping for 2 days now. She does
put some weight on this leg. However she cannot jump. She is eating well and appears not to be in any pain. If this is a strained muscle or a tear, will
she recover ok without an x-ray? If this is a dislocated joint, what will be
the diagnosis?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1714 Recommendations
Without examining Zoe, I cannot say what the cause of her limping is; rest for a few days may help improve her condition but an x-ray would be useful to see whether there is a dislocation or other injury. A visit to your Veterinarian would result in not only a diagnosis but the prescribing of some pain relief too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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