Sprains Average Cost

From 540 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$300

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What are Sprains?

A vet explains a sprain in a cat as a “soft tissue trauma” that happens in the ligaments of one of the cat’s limbs. The affected limb may be swollen and hot to the touch.

A sprain is usually a minor injury to the ligaments in the limbs of a cat. Sprains are also the most common cause for a cat to begin limping after receiving an injury. When cat owners see their pets refusing to put weight on the injured limb, crying out, or favoring that limb, they should make an appointment with the vet. After doing some diagnostic work, the vet may find that the injury is truly a sprain, or they could find another, more serious cause for the cat’s symptoms.

Symptoms of Sprains in Cats

The cat who has injured one of its limbs will let its owner know that it’s in pain, especially if the pain is significant:

  • Meowing or crying after getting hurt
  • Lack of appetite
  • Favoring the injured limb
  • Inability to use the injured limb
  • Panting
  • Swelling of the injured limb
  • Personality changes (a normally calm cat may hiss or growl when touched, for instance)

Veterinarians grade sprain injuries according to how much joint and ligament damage is present:

  • Grade 1: Parts of the ligament are torn. The cat experiences some swelling and pain.
  • Grade 2: Ligament is partially torn or greatly stretched. The cat experiences swelling and inability to comfortably use the limb.
  • Grade 3: Ligament is completely torn. The affected bones are no longer joined by the ligament. Surgery is required.

Causes of Sprains in Cats

Cats can suffer sprains for several reasons:

  • Overweight cats are at higher risk of spraining a limb
  • Rambunctious animals can be injured after hard play or even mild activity
  • Sprain may develop after a traumatic accident

Diagnosis of Sprains in Cats

A vet may suspect a sprain if they see the cat limping or avoiding use of the limb. To confirm or rule out their tentative diagnosis, the vet will give the cat a full physical exam, focusing the most on the injured limb. If they feel extra warmth around the limb, along with excessive swelling, they will have the cat X-rayed to confirm their diagnosis. The last diagnostic procedure is a joint tap, where joint fluid is aspirated from the joint for evaluation by a pathologist. The joint tap may be completed on the cat so the vet can rule out other suspected causes of its lameness and pain.

Treatment of Sprains in Cats

Once the vet has diagnosed a sprain in the cat, they will prescribe rest as the first course of treatment. If the limb continues to be used, the sprain, swelling and pain will not resolve. As long as the cat is restricted to a cage, where it can rest, its injured limb will begin to heal. Recovery can take a minimum of two weeks as long as the rest regimen is strictly enforced at home. Outdoor cats should not be allowed to go outside and roam, because the injury could be worsened, especially if the cat gets into a fight or has to run across the street to avoid a vehicle.

The vet may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications help to reduce the inflammation in the cat’s injured limb, which helps to speed healing and recovery. These medications also help to reduce the pain the cat experiences.

Depending on the grade of the sprain, additional treatments may be prescribed, such as splinting the injured limb to protect the joint for a grade one sprain. After several weeks, the cat’s limb regains normal function.

A grade two sprain requires the anti-inflammatory medications, splinting and possibly surgery to help stabilize the joint. The cat may regain most of its normal function after surgery.

In a grade three sprain, surgery will be required. The cat’s recovery will take several months. Function in the limb may be limited.

After seeing the vet for treatment, the cat owner should restrict the cat’s movement. A splint, if used, should be kept dry and clean and the owner should make sure the edges of the splint don’t rub the cat’s sensitive skin. Prescribed medications should be given as ordered.

Additional treatments such as natural remedies may be given. These may strengthen joints and muscles in the cat’s body. While the cat is on restricted movement, the vet may recommend supplements, remedies, or medications to promote rest help the cat to stay comfortable and calm during physical therapy.

Recovery of Sprains in Cats

Cats who suffer sprained limbs will recover well from their injuries as long as they were diagnosed correctly and given prompt treatment. The limp will resolve within a few weeks and it usually isn’t necessary for the cat to be seen for a follow-up appointment, except in surgical cases. 

Once the cat has fully recovered, the owner should try to keep the cat indoors if it has been allowed to roam before being injured.

Sprains Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Shadow
Shorthair
11 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain in leg

My cat 11 months is limping he can stand he wasn't eating or moving now he is but he still limping I'm worried have no idea what could happen it doesn't seen like broken bones. And he is not crying anymore unless I touch his legs.what should I do take him to the hospital its price that's what I don't know what to do leave it and see if he gets better or...?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
You should give shadow strict rest and not allow him to move around, if you don’t see any improvement over two days you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Fractures can be incomplete where the bone is only cracked but not all the way through which is painful but wouldn’t feel broken which is why we use x-rays. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Snicker doodal
stray
Year in a half
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat came in limping on his front leg about a week ago and he is still laid up he walks on it very softly not a lot of pressure I cannot afford to go to the vet right now is there anything at home that I can do I've looked at the wound there's no wound there's no cut it just feels like it's a little flame

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
In these cases strict rest is best (in a cat carrier if he jumps around still), other than visiting your Veterinarian there is nothing else I can advise you to do at this time as I am unable to examine his leg. Just make sure he is well rested and has food, water and litter box nearby. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Elliot
Cat
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Just notice my cats leg is swollen. Been gone for 6 hrs and now this happen. Not sure what went wrong when we were gone. Earlier he was fine and playing. I did feed him.just now and he's eating fine.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
A swollen leg may be caused by a variety of different causes which may include trauma, insect bites, lack of lymphatic drainage among other causes; if Elliot is otherwise alright, keep a close eye on him in the meantime and ensure that he is resting (not jumping around the house) and see if there are any improvements. If you see no improvement in the swelling or it gets worse, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Hi there :) My cat just jumped off of the cat tower that we have (4ish feet) and he started limping immediately. He didn’t cry out/get mad and he doesn’t get upset when I lightly palpate both of his legs and feet. What I’m concerned with is whether or not I should take him to the vet immediately? He doesn’t seem to be in pain but his limp is concerning 😞

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yoyo
Mix
17
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

hey! my precious cat is 17 years old. She is healthy for the most part, but today I noticed her limping and part of her leg (where the joints meet) is swollen as though there is a knot. she doesnt hiss or growl at me when it touch it. It only hurts if there is pressure applied similar to walking. should I ice it? I dont have much money to afford a vet bill for them to not do anything for her.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
If Yoyo is limping and has a swelling, you should allow her to rest for a few days; don’t allow her to jump, I find using a cat carrier is the best guarantee that she wont jump. If you are not seeing any improvement after two days you should visit your Veterinarian regardless of cost to see if any specific treatment or pain relief is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Precious
American Shorthair
7 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

walking more slowly

My cat started limping Friday night and I don't know why. She wasn't eating or drinking at first but started to again after 10 hours. She is doing much better 2 days later but still doesn't chase and play as usual. Should I bring her to a vet or see if she heals on her own?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
A simple sprain may be causing pain which would decrease mobility and may also have an effect on appetite; I would keep Precious rested for a few days and monitor for improvement but if you don’t see any improvement after two or three days visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luna
domestic short hair
9 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain when feeling "forearm" area

I came home today and went to grab the kitten in my room. We keep her in my room during the day so she can't get into anything while we are home. When we came home she was limping on her front left leg. She's eating but her gums are white, and it hurts her when i squeeze the "forearm" area of her leg. She's only 9 weeks so she's still playful even though she's limping and wants to do things. Is her leg broken or sprained?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
I cannot say for sure if the limb is sprained or broken but we would generally expect more pain from a break than a sprain; the white gums are concerning and may be indicative of shock, it may be possible that Luna had an accident in your room and she may have some other injuries. I would highly recommend you visit your Veterinarian for a check over to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Gandalf
Part Kurat
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

Metacam

What are the 'additional remedies' you talked about a new article to keep the cat healthy whilst confined? After limping badly for a few days my cat was put in cage rest by the vet, who said I could gradually introduce it to room confinement once the limping stopped. after one week of cage and another of a mix of room & cage, he started limping again ( following a bit of jumping around). This means back to square one. I'm worried that over a month of inactivity will harm his physical health.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
There are a few different therapies which may be employed during cage rest which may include joint supplements, laser therapy or passive movement of limbs; any additional therapy should be directed by your Veterinarian for Gandalf’s specific problem as passive movements are not suitable for all cases and may be harmful depending on the underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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dexter
short hair
1 Year 5 months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat has been limping over the last couple of days it has got slightly lightly better. He has been lifting his leg up when stationary.he can put weight on it and still wants to play he is eating fine and using the litter box ,what do you think is the matter with him

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Some sprains and other injuries may take some time to heal (if you ever sprained your ankle you’ll know); it is a positive sign that you have seen some improvement and I wouldn’t be too concerned if he is improving day by day. It is important to restrict his movement so that he doesn’t cause himself further injury but if there is no further improvement you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Leo
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Hello,

My cat is 1yr 5m. Recently he's been letting out a horrible cry like he's in pain whenever he stands up. We've identified which back leg it is that is causing him pain. He will plop himself down to lay down rather than use his back legs. And he won't jump on anything anymore. We are assuming it is a sprain in his back leg. I'm just wondering if there are any home remedies we can try first.. I've tried heating pack and an ice pack and have placed it on the hurt leg and our cat instantly purrs and won't move for awhile when we do that. So I know he must feel some sort of relief when we do that. Is there anything else we can do?

Thank you,

Tierra

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
In these cases, rest is best; making sure that Leo is comfortable and his movement is restricted is important, if he is walking around too much place him in a cat carrier to prevent movement and let him out frequently under supervision to use the litter box etc… If you see no improvement in his leg over the next few days an examination by your Veterinarian would be best to check for more serious injuries. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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