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Can My Cat Walk Around With a Broken Leg?

My Cat Has a Broken Leg, How Can I Help It Heal?

Readers, Bany19 needs our help! Her poor kitty broke his leg, but she can't stop him from moving around. Read more about her dilemma:

Let me start out by saying that I adore this online group. Everyone in this group is very friendly and helpful . . . it is comforting to have a place to go to with questions and concerns.

Anyway, I need some advice about my cat. Hedwig is 11 months old, and two weeks ago he broke one of his hind legs. I rushed him to the emergency vet and they took x-rays (he sustained a transverse fracture of the tibia . . . fibula was not broken). The emergency vet splinted his leg and said that he needed to be re-checked once a week. When we went for the second check-up the vet took off the splint to examine his leg and determined that the fracture was still moving around too much and needed to be casted.

Broken Leg


Hedwig is doing well now and is acting like himself again. My concern is this: the vet told me to keep the cat in a kennel at all times but my cat HATES to be locked up in a kennel . . . he actually gets pretty violent and throws himself up against the walls, bites the wire door (he cut himself) and seriously stresses himself out. As a compromise to Hedwig, I have been keeping him locked up in my small bathroom during the day while I am not at home. When I am at home I have to let him out because as soon as he hears me come in the door he starts to meow a lot and scratch at the door. He is able to hop up on the couch and the bed (which I know he shouldn't be doing and I prevent it if I can catch him doing it in time) and he walks around some with his broken leg trailing behind him.

For the most part, he lays in my lap or on his little cat bed on the floor and does not move around a whole lot, but I am concerned about how much movement is acceptable and what I can do do help his little leg heal. I am wondering if anyone has any feedback about this. Am I doing him a serious disservice by allowing him to move around the apartment? What can I do to make this healing process go by smoothly? We have 3 more weeks to go!!!

Thank you in advance for your help.

Got any advice for helping a pet heal quickly and safely? Please share it in comments! And if you have a pet dilemma you need the community's help with, tell us all about it in the Pet Peeves group in the PetSugar Community.

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Misty14904980 Misty14904980 3 years
I had a very active cat who broke his fibula and tibia. All he wanted to do was sleep and he ate when I brought his food to him. He pottied in the box which was very near to him. He was alert, responsive to attention and he purred. I thought it best to leave him be as he seemed to be well enough and I wasn't sure at that time that his leg was broken. Out of guilt though, I took him to the vet where they performed the xrays and put him in a stiff cast. I followed the vet's advice and kept him in a crate, which he hated. He tried to get out and because his cat box couldn't fit in the crate he would get out to go potty and from there, he tried desperately to escape. If he got loose he simply went to his favorites spots in the house and curled up and went to sleep, sometimes he would even sit outside and he seemed at peace. When he was back in the crate he was miserable. He hated the cast too, and tried many times to chew it off. After a few weeks of this I took him back to the vet to get another x-ray and his bones hadn't healed. The vet said that we needed to be more strict with him and confine him to a smaller crate. Well, I got a second opinion. The second vet removed the cast and told me to let him do as he wanted. Because the whole plan with the cast and the crate was just making him more agitated and ill tempered and wasn't seeming to work anyhow, I tried this new advice. I let Odji take care of himself. He limped around on his own, slept mostly, asked for attention, purred, ate, pottied, all on his own. A week later he was walking and playing. Two weeks later he was running around like normal. The second vet stated that using the leg would stimulate the healing of the bones. I don't know if the bones healed perfectly, he walked with a little twist in his foot, but this never seemed to bother him. I'm not advising that everyone should do this, I'm just saying, this worked for me. I am more likely now to let my cats heal on their own as long as they don't have a fever or are bleeding or demonstrate that they're not themselves, lethargic, vomiting, etc.
Ladygrinningsoul Ladygrinningsoul 6 years
Perhaps try a collarand leash when you are both home. This way, you can follow his inquisitive nature and stop him before he jumps up o the sofa or down off the bed. Both put lots of stress on the leg. When he indicates he is getting ready to jump, help him up or down. Yes, it will take time and patience but save your pet pain and possibly reinjuring the leg.Perhaps a child proof gate borrowed from a friend or a large sheet of plywood can keep him in a cat friendly part of the house with all his need nearby.
Bany19 Bany19 6 years
Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and advice. Hedwig had a check-up at the vet yesterday and everything seems to be fine. You are all right in that cats have minds of their own... He runs the show in our apartment so all I can do is make him comfortable and protect him as much as he will allow me to. I can't wait until he gets this dang cast off!!!!
missy1632 missy1632 6 years
My cat Smokey got hit by a car a few years ago. He broke a hind leg and dislocated the other hind leg. My vet offered me a cage to keep him in, but he just wouldn't have it... carrying on like a pork-chop. I just did the best I could- I had little beds set up for him upstairs and downstairs, with food and water too. When I would come home from work, he would be in a different spot than where I left him… he would even go up the stairs by himself. But I tried my best to make it that if he got comfortable he had everything he needed wherever he was (ie: food and water in his ‘usual places’). With 2 sore back legs, I felt so guilty that I couldn't contain him, but it felt worse locking him up... A few years later (gotta be at least 5 now) and he is fine! In fact we are celebrating his 10th Birthday this Monday! Whoo hoo! So, my advice is to just do the best you can. He is a cat after all and they have their own agendas... and you'd be surprised at just how resilient they can be.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
Aww, so sad. I have no idea how to help. When my dog had his hip replacement we did everything we could to follow the guidelines, and usually failed. However, after three months we were told his hip had healed wonderfully. So, as long as you try your best she should heal, especially since she is young! Good luck!
bluerose462 bluerose462 6 years
Sorry about your Kitty. You should try to get a mild sedative from your vet.Just to keep him on the calm side so he doesn't thrash around while your away. The Calming spray at pet-smart also work on most cats. Kinda makes my cats relax, other times it makes them just be lazy.( I'd test a bit on toy or blanket before leaving it with your cat for long periods of time.)
lauren lauren 6 years
One my grandparents cats had suffered from a broken leg as well. Much like your cat, they couldn't really stop the cat especially since it was predominately an out door cat. They definitely as best as possible to keep the cat off it as much as possible. Hopefully when the cat is the bathroom for the majority of the day, he is mostly off it ie not hoping on the toilet, in the shower, sink, etc. I bet it will heal just fine!
SallySwineford SallySwineford 6 years
You can't make cats do anything unless it is their idea. And you can't fool them into thinking it is their idea. So you are totally screwed. You are going to have to stay home with this cat until the leg heels. HAHA! Just kidding. I think you are doing the right thing for your cat by "compromising". I think you understand your cat. Just to be safe how about get a second opinion for some more ideas and contact another vet or an online vet at ( I've posted questions to "just answer" before and with their response I have felt some relief from the worry.
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