Why are My Cats Front Paws Bent?

An angular limb malformation is a crooked or unusually formed limb caused by excessive bone growth. These abnormalities are most commonly found in the forearm, which is particularly known as radius and ulna but can also be found in the lower leg of the hind leg. Cats’ front limb injuries range from mild and manageable to severe and debilitating. Regardless, if your cat’s forelimbs have been injured in any way, it’s critical that you take them to the hospital for care.

Your cat’s front limb injury might be caused by a variety of different factors. A variety of traumas can cause problems with the forelimb, including a fall, a twist of fate, or even a bad landing after a jump. In the event that you notice a limp or a reluctance to bear weight in your cat’s gait, they’ve likely sustained a forelimb injury.

An angular limb malformation can be caused by trauma to develop bones in the kitten, and by both sidespin this section, it may cause. Those injuries include being hit by a vehicle, trodden on, dropped, or having a limb get stuck in the doorway. The abnormally shaped bones then exert everyday stresses on the joints, which may result in discomfort and arthritis.

Cats Front Paws Bent


Why A Cat Has Its Front Paws Turned Outward

Retractable claws are seen only on cats; they are not found on cheetahs. And like Wolverine (the persona, not the actual animal), cat paws hide these claws until they are needed.

As a result, the claws are able to remain sharp and well-protected as they rest comfortably on the toes. Cats can stalk prey without making a peep thanks to their hidden sheaths, which also prevent claws from slamming against the floor and generating noise. It is important to note that while your cat is moving around, the paw pads release the nails, which are responsible for holding the floor and other surfaces in order to keep your cat from falling or losing her balance.

You can spot an additional “toe” on the front paws of cats if you look closely at them. For a total of 18 digits, there are five digits on each front foot and four on each back foot. Dewclaws, which are like thumbs for kitty paws, are found on each of the front paws and are positioned higher than the other toes.

These “vestigial” or “display” dewclaws can be found on a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Even if you’re merely tossing around a toy mouse in the living room, cats’ dewclaws are still helpful for hunting. The dewclaw, on the other hand, doesn’t wear out as quickly as the alternative claws, so keep it trimmed with the correct equipment.

Symptoms of Deformities in the Angular Limb in Cats

The phrase “angular limb deformities” is used to describe deviations in bone shape from the norm. Cats may be born with angular limb abnormalities, or they may develop them later in life. Congenital anomalies are present at birth, whereas developmental deformities develop over the course of the kitten’s growth spurt, which typically occurs between the ages of 4 and 8 months.

Because of the feline’s maturation, anomalies in the increasing plates responsible for bone formation result in angular limb deformities. Trauma or nutritional studies before the kitten reaches twelve months of life will cause angular limb abnormalities since the growth plates are still fragile and do not fuse until one year of age.

Cats with angular limb deformities have an unusual bone boom that results in their limbs having an uneven shape or being twisted. Cats may be born with angular limb abnormalities, or they may develop at some point during their life span. Long bones of the forelimbs make them the most susceptible to angular limb abnormalities, but the back limbs can also be affected.

Owners of cats have likely noticed a regular inward or outward bending of the legs. Some pussycats with angular limb abnormalities no longer experience difficulties, while others show clinical signs and symptoms of limping, pain, and the inability to complete specific tasks. As we become older, arthritis tends to spread.

Treatment of Cat Front Paws Turned Outward


Depending on the injury, supporting the limb can help your cat. A bandage or splint could keep it immobile. Sometimes it’s just a stopgap measure until a more specific solution is sought. Only a cast or splint wrapped in a bandage can effectively treat positive front leg injuries. This immobility might last from four to six weeks.


In severe front limb injuries, your vet may also advise surgery. They may introduce pins or wires through the skin/bone that protrude from the skin. When the bone heals, those are removed. In other circumstances, nails or screws inserted on or in the bone are stored as long as there are no similar headaches.

Another surgical technique your vet may perform is joint fusion or ‘arthrodesis.’ This method can reduce movement, but even cats with partial arthrodesis can gain function. Some increase or retain lameness.

If a severe injury renders the front limb useless, or if all other methods to repair it have failed, your veterinarian may suggest amputation. This is a drastic option where your vet will examine your cat’s general health to determine if any other treatments are possible and if their remaining limbs can assist them. Most cats live everyday lives after an amputation, and that is occasionally the best decision for them.

Infection Treatment

Anaesthesia may be required if your cat’s front leg is infected due to an animal bite. If an abscess forms, the pus can be evacuated and the incision flushed and cleaned. Antibiotic treatment as soon as the contamination is detected can help prevent abscess growth.


Aside from antibiotics, your veterinarian may prescribe other drugs based on the basic therapies. Medication will help reduce oedema and fevers. Your vet may also prescribe injectable pain meds while your cat is hospitalized. As soon as you get home, continue taking your oral pain medication as directed by your veterinarian.

Recovery of Cats Front Paws Turned Outward

If your cat suffers a front limb injury, the length of time it will take for him to completely heal will be determined by the severity of the damage.If your cat has been bandaged, it’s vital to look after it properly. Swelling around the bandage or within the feet should be reported immediately to your veterinarian. Also, keep the bandage smooth and dry, and don’t alter the splint in any way. Your vet will show you how to replace the bandages if this is part of the treatment, and you must adhere to a regular schedule.

After any treatment, particularly surgery, your cat must be well rested and restricted in activity. You can limit your cat to a single room, but keep in mind that they can jump from various places, so remove anything that they can bounce on. Your doctor may advise ‘cage rest’, which many owners and pets find challenging. Regardless of your feelings, it’s vital to follow the veterinarian’s orders if they recommend your cat be in a crate for recovery.

Your cat may come with an Elizabethan Collar to keep you from chewing. That is specialized in amputation. After this therapy, your cat’s interest must be restricted until they recuperate. Keep regular check-ups with your vet. They can better examine any dressings, remove stitches, and obtain X-rays to ensure the damage is healed. Front limb injuries in cats can be costly. If you think your cat may suffer a front limb injury, look into pet insurance now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is carpal hyperextension in cats painful?

The presence of soreness and edema in the carpal tunnel is likely if the carpal hyperextension is induced by a traumatic injury. However, not all cats with carpal hyperextension will exhibit painful behavior at this time. Carpal hyperextension is characterized by a considerable bend in the wrist of the cat, which forces the entire limb to perform in an abnormally flattened manner.

How do you treat a carpal hyperextension in cats?

remedy. Fusion of the carpus is the most effective treatment. The placement of a metallic locking plate in the forelimb, spanning the wrist joint, the radius, and the metacarpal bone, is part of this procedure. The traditional length of recovery is 12 weeks.

Why are my kittens front legs bowed?

Kittens’ forelegs are shorter than their hindlimbs, although not by a significant amount. His front legs being bowed may indicate that one of the bones in his front legs experienced an early closure of its epiphysis, which could indicate a fracture (growth plate).

Why do cats curl their paws inward?

Your cat may have a tendency to tuck their paws underneath their stomach, giving them the appearance of a cuddly and charming loaf of bread. In order to feel comfortable and secure, cats will sit in this position. If they’re sitting like this, it’s possible that they believe they won’t need to use their claws anytime soon!

Can cats have double jointed paws?

Cats born with polydactyly (or polydactylism, which is also known as hyperdactyly) have more feet on one or more of their paws than is normal for their breed. Polydactyly is a congenital physical aberration that causes the cat to have more feet on one or more of its paws than the normal breed.

Why is my cat bowlegged?

What could be the cause of this? He has been dropping weight over the previous two weeks, and he is also drinking and urinating in copious amounts. Claudia, cats might experience an abrupt onset of leg weakness (usually in the hind legs) owing to diabetes, a blood clot, epilepsy, or a physical injury every now and then. Arthritis is also a concern, and some breeds are more susceptible to hip dysplasia than others.

What is swimmer syndrome in cats?

When a kitten is born with swimmer syndrome, the legs (often the rear limbs) are forced to splay laterally, which causes the cat to become clumsy and uncomfortable. A frog-like stance may be adopted by the kitten, with the hips protruding out to the side of the body and the feet passing through laterally, rather than being positioned below the body.

Do cats feel love when you kiss them?

Since kissing is something, we usually do with the people we have romantic feelings for, it may appear that kissing our cats is a natural expression of affection. However, while many cats may tolerate being kissed, and some may even enjoy this gesture of affection, others will not tolerate it.

Why does my cat lift her front paws up and down?

According to Jennifer Van de Kieft, cat conduct spokesperson, “when a cat lifts their paw, it is usually owing to the fact that they are in need of something.” It is done to pique your interest or because they require something you own, such as food. Cats require play in order to satisfy their inherent desire to hunt, which is why it is so vital to them.

Why does my cat curl his toes when I pet him?

It’s similar to a “kneading” response that they may have developed naturally. Because of the pleasure you’re providing for them, they have a reaction that reminds them of when they used to express milk on the mother cat. It is often referred to as “baking desserts.” While you are petting her, you may want to pay attention to her purring, which indicates that she is content with the attention you are giving her.

Final Words

One of the most important things you can do to keep your cat’s paws safe is to check on them regularly. Handle your cat’s feet to get them used to your presence. You must often cut your cat’s claws, especially with older cats that are unable to shorten them by themselves.

Keep your cat from chasing or pouncing on any kind of bug, even if it’s only a harmless critter. You may reduce the likelihood of your cat developing major paw issues in the future if you diagnose and treat diseases and injuries as soon as they arise in your cat.

An occasional brushing and petting is often enough to keep your cat’s paws healthy and stop illnesses from spreading. You should, however, send your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible if the issue is serious enough to demand the use of medicines, stitches, or even surgical intervention.

The Vero Beach Veterinary Medical Center is equipped to deal with any injuries or infections that your cat may have suffered. If your cat is suffering from a paw problem or any other disease or harm, please contact with veterinarian immediately.

Angela Young
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