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Common Orthopedic Problems in Cats

Common Orthopedic Problems in Cats

Our feline companions are just as susceptible to orthopedic problems as humans and dogs. From arthritis to sprains, cats can experience a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. Our Diamond Bar veterinary team sheds light on the most frequently seen orthopedic conditions in cats.

As a loving cat owner, it's important to be knowledgeable about the different orthopedic concerns that may affect your furry companion. From minor discomfort to debilitating pain, these conditions can significantly impact your cat's physical health and overall quality of life. 

To provide your pet with the best care possible, it's crucial to be aware of the most common orthopedic issues and their causes, symptoms, and when surgery may be necessary.

To help you better understand these conditions, here is an overview of some of the most frequent orthopedic problems in cats:


Arthritis is a widespread joint issue affecting felines, particularly those in their golden years. This condition is characterized by joint inflammation, leading to discomfort and rigidity.

Feline arthritis exhibits various symptoms, such as limping, decreased mobility, reduced activity, and struggles with jumping or climbing. A number of factors can contribute to the development of arthritis, including genetics, joint injuries, excessive weight, and the natural aging process.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a debilitating condition that affects the proper hip joint development. This can lead to discomfort, immobility, and difficulty in movement. Unfortunately, larger cat breeds are more susceptible to this condition, which is often hereditary in nature.

Signs of hip dysplasia in felines include: Limping, avoidance of jumping or climbing, struggle when rising from a seated or reclined position. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to rectify the issue.


Feline fractures are a prevalent orthopedic issue in cats. Accidents often result in these types of injuries, with the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle joints being the most susceptible to fracture. 

When a cat experiences a joint fracture, they may exhibit signs of limping, discomfort, and inflammation. To address the issue, a veterinary professional will perform a surgical procedure to secure the affected limb and joint in proper alignment using various surgical implements such as pins, screws, and wires.

This allows for proper healing while maintaining stability.

Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is a debilitating condition that occurs when the kneecap shifts out of its normal place, resulting in discomfort and an unsteady gait.

This ailment is frequently seen in miniature feline breeds and is often hereditary in nature. Some of the telltale signs of luxating patella are a limp, a hop, and difficulties in utilizing the afflicted limb.

In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to reposition the patella and provide relief from the pain.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint disorder that separates cartilage and bone, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

It's a prevalent issue among juvenile cats, with the shoulder and elbow being the most commonly affected areas.

If your feline friend is suffering from OCD, you may notice symptoms such as lameness, puffiness, and rigidity in their movements. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to eliminate the damaged tissue and provide relief from pain.

Orthopedic Concerns in Cats

Orthopedic issues are a prevalent concern in feline health and can lead to pain and discomfort for your furry friend. If you observe any signs of orthopedic difficulties in your cat, it's crucial to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.

Timely detection and intervention can help prevent the condition from deteriorating and enhance your cat's comfort and well-being. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to relieve pain and restore mobility, ensuring that your cat can live a happy and active life.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Suspecting orthopedic issues in your furry feline can be concerning, but don't worry! Our veterinary team at Diamond Bar is here to help. Simply reach out to us as soon as possible to schedule a thorough examination for your cat. We take pride in promoting the well-being of all pets under our care.

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Diamond Bar Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Diamond Bar companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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