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Common Orthopedic Problems in Cats

MDVSS Orthopedic Problems Cats

Cats can be fast and nimble, but it doesn’t stop them from experiencing some orthopedic issues that might slow them down.

Dogs aren’t the only pets who suffer from common orthopedic problems. Cats are celebrated for being agile and sturdy, but their bodies are prone to issues from genetics, aging, and injury as much as any other. Knowing the common orthopedic problems in cats can help you determine if your cat is at risk and what symptoms you should be looking for.


Elderly cats are prone to degenerative joint disease, known commonly as osteoarthritis. While dogs also suffer from this, they are more likely to show signs of arthritis such as lethargy, lameness, and slow movements. Cats, on the other hand, have a tendency to hide illness and pain which can make it difficult to catch the signs of osteoarthritis. This results in many cases going undiagnosed. Watching for signs of stiffness, or changes in behavior such as a lower rate of jumping can help to indicate the possibility of osteoarthritis in your cat.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip’s ball joint which causes degradation of the cartilage and results in swelling and stiffness as the bones rub together. Similar to arthritis, dogs are more commonly diagnosed with hip dysplasia than cats, which could be a result of cats hiding the symptoms of their illness. The signs to watch for are also similar to arthritis, such as lethargy and partial lameness. Osteoarthritis is a common secondary issue when dealing with hip dysplasia, so watching closely for signs of these degenerative problems could help you catch them before they’re severe.


It’s well-known that cats are the daredevils of the pet world. They like to be in high places and make jumps even the bravest dog wouldn’t consider. While cats are known for their agility and sturdiness, they are prone to fractures due to their thrill-seeking lifestyles. A fracture will be a lot more noticeable than osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia. The symptoms are similar, but they will be more obvious and more severe as a response to traumatic injury rather than the gradual increase of pain and swelling from a long-term problem. If your kitty is suddenly not using one of their legs or is apprehensive to do normal physical activity, please see your veterinarian to rule out any orthopedic problems.

Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health

Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2022 at 3:20 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.