can a cat broken leg heal by itself

FAQ. What happens to a cat broken leg left untreated? A cat with a very simple fracture and no wounds on the skin could heal quite well even if not treated. However, this will depend on various factors like the nutritional well-being of the cat and its environment.

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If the fracture is clean and the cat has enough time and food to heal, it will naturally mend.

The cat will heal more slowly if it is undernourished, and its ability to find food will be further hampered by the broken bone, potentially resulting in starvation.

During the healing process, if the bone is misaligned or becomes disturbed, the repaired bone may become thick and uneven. It occurs as a result of the cells responsible for growing new bone tissue at the fracture site not knowing magically where the other end of the fracture is waiting to be repaired. Consequently, the cells must grow bone tissue in all directions until they eventually find another bone to grow to or eventually stop growing. Most of the time, this doesn’t bother the cat too much, but if it grows in the way of muscles, nerves, or tendons, it may make movement difficult.

Internal bleeding is a side effect of a complex fracture that many people ignore. When a bone breaks into multiple pieces, the sharp points of each splinter move around and sever blood vessels. In the worst situation, the cat might pass away from anemia’s aftereffects, sepsis, or internal bleeding. (In actuality, soldiers perished from bone fractures even during World War I, in part because of the introduction of new weapons like mortars, which severely fragmented fractures.) ).

Furthermore, the likelihood of a complex and splintered fracture recovering without invasive medical care is minimal to nonexistent (screwing the fragments together until they had a chance to heal) A cat cannot possibly sit, lay down, and then stand up again without making their fracture worse.

The type of fracture will determine how well it heals if left untreated. Numerous elements are involved, such as the leg’s resting position, the stability of the fracture, and the state of the open or closed fracture.

A simple, stable fracture can often heal uneventfully without surgery. Splinting can be helpful in some cases. Pain control and rigorous rest might be all that’s required.

A more complicated fracture that includes multiple bone fragments, an open wound, extreme instability, or—like in your cat’s case—foreign material like bullet fragments in the fracture site—is unlikely to heal on its own. A fracture that has an open wound or exposed bone to the environment is highly prone to infection, which has the potential to be fatal. If the fracture heals naturally over time, the leg will probably experience persistent pain and be more prone to arthritis. Muscle atrophy is a possible outcome also.

I have seen a recent case that seems to be very pertinent to this. In a matter of months, this young cat fell off a third-floor balcony not once, but twice. He was limping after the initial fall, but the owner didn’t take him to the veterinarian because it seemed to go away rather quickly. I saw him a few months later after he had another fall but did not appear to be recovering as quickly. He was brought to me more than a week after the second fall. These were his x-rays:

This cat also had tibia and fibula fractures, just like your cat did. There are two primary fractures on the tibia. When the body tries to heal a fracture, the more distal (lower) fracture exhibits some periosteal proliferation and callus formation. This is the hazy area between the fracture segments. This looks like the original fracture from a few months ago, I think. The more proximal fracture lacks callus formation and appears more recent.

I was unable to move the individual fracture fragments much because, according to his exam, the fracture did appear to be very stable. The cat was partially weight-bearing by this point.

I sought a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon, who suggested delaying surgery for the cat since the fractures were stable and only slightly displaced. Despite the awful x-ray, we are optimistic that this one will heal on its own with rest and pain relief. Time will tell; hopefully, in a few weeks, this cat’s condition will be assessed.

In human medicine, if a broken bone is left untreated, it may heal on its own, albeit more slowly and painfully, or it may never heal at all. In any case, the broken bone will continue to hurt and the limb will never be functional, at least not for as long as it is left untreated. It’s also possible that, even if the patient decides to simply postpone treatment, the delay will do more harm and increase the risk of long-term impairment.

The answer is probably the same for animals, I suppose, and in this case, since you had to amputate the cat’s leg, I’m going to assume the likelihood of it healing on its own was probably pretty low. Given that cats typically heal broken bones quite well, the break must have been quite severe.

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Cats Can Get Into Accidents

Although cats are naturally lively and inquisitive animals, occasionally their curiosity can get them into problems. If you notice that your cat is injured, you might be concerned about whether it’s a serious wound or whether it will heal itself.

Signs & Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg in Cats

If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, it may have an internal injury or a broken leg and require immediate medical attention.

  • Hissing or biting at you
  • Refusal to put weight on the leg
  • Wincing
  • Crying or howling
  • Noticeable bruising or swelling
  • Refusal to groom
  • Decreased appetite
  • Visible deformity or open wound

Take your feline to the veterinarian right away if you think they may have a broken leg. Cats may not express it, but broken bones can cause them great pain. Your veterinarian can precisely identify the issue and administer painkillers to lessen your cat’s discomfort.


How long does it take for a cats broken leg to heal on its own?

Broken bones in cats typically heal in 6-12 weeks depending on the type of fracture, its location, your cat’s age and health, and the treatment rendered. Cats that are older, are overweight or obese, have other medical issues such as diabetes or heart disease, or have complex fractures usually take longer to heal.

Can a cat with a broken leg be saved?

Treatment and care Sometimes, with simple fractures or breaks, they’ll use a splint to stabilize the bone and prevent unwanted movement during the healing period. However, many times, cats with broken bones have to undergo surgery in order to heal properly.

Can cats heal broken bones on their own?

Most limb fractures in cats heal normally once the fracture site is stable, but complicated or severe fractures sometimes result in amputation.

How can I tell if my cat’s leg is broken or sprained?

If you notice your cat is crying out in pain or showing a painful reaction when you touch it, it might be experiencing a broken bone. Bruising and swelling: Broken legs often display bruises or visible swelling. Be alarmed if you notice these because there may be a possibility of fracture.