Why Is My British Shorthair Limping?

Health and well-being of a cat are paramount, but there are certain out of the blue situations where your cat falls ill or injures itself.

A cat limping is one of them, because cats are really good at hiding their injuries.

Why is my British Shorthair limping? The most common reasons for limping in a cat range from injury, or in-grown claw. These can be easily resolved, but in some cases, the cat limps due to a dire medical condition; abscesses or bone infection.

How do you know the specific reason for your cat’s limping?

Well, read further and find everything that you need to know about British Shorthair’s limping.

Reasons Why A British Shorthair Limps

A minor injury or something like limping could be terrifying for any pet parent.

I can sympathize with your situation. Your mind can wander into all kinds of possibilities, especially worst-case scenarios. Don’t worry because this article will help you learn about everything that you will need to know in order to help your cat. Before I can talk about how you can help the cat, you need to know what is the reason behind this lameness.

There are a total of five factors that could cause lameness in your cat. Lameness refers to cats with a limp.

  1. Injury
  2. Abscesses
  3. Arthritis
  4. Ingrown Toenails
  5. Fibrotic Myopathy

We’ll discuss these reasons in further detail while moving ahead. For now, let’s talk about some other concerns you may have for cats. For instance, you may notice that the British Shorthair has a limp but doesn’t cry in pain.

Rest assured;

Cats with lameness are not prone to make noises or cries of pain because it doesn’t want predators to know that it’s vulnerable. I know there aren’t any predators in your house, but by nature, your cats inherit instincts of their ancestors who have lived in the wild.

In the remainder of this article, I will share some information on the reasons behind your cat’s limp and how you can solve them.


You might be too busy, and the sneaky little cat uses this opportunity to get out. And, in this attempt, the cat could get into a fight with a street cat. In the aftermath of which, it results in this injury. Aside from this hypothetical situation, how would you know if the cat is really limping because of an injury?

The answer is simple;

Sit down with the cat, and examine it to look for any injuries.

If it does have an injury, you can take it to a vet. At the end of the session, the vet may or may not give you inflammatory medications. Then, over time, the cat will recover.

The only challenge you will face during this time is keeping it off the floor or preventing it from jumping here and there.


A by-product of an injury could be abscesses.

What is an abscess?

It is the result of a cat gnawing at skin irritation or a small injury which results in wounds. To make matters worse, these wounds could get infected. When these wounds get infected, we call them abscesses.

To treat abscesses, you will need to visit the vet and get some antibiotics. The vet may perform a small surgery to clean the wound.


Arthritis is also found in humans. In cats, osteoarthritis usually develops at an older age.

What is Arthritis?

It is a medical condition which refers to pain and inflammation in joints of a cat. Arthritis could also develop due to injury, dislocation, or infection in a joint. Going overweight could also put a strain on the joints and lead to arthritis.

With the help of a vet, you will be able to identify the cause of arthritis in your cat.

My cat has Arthritis, what can I do now?

Aside from the prescriptions, the vet gives you, start small exercise sessions with the cat. Avoid the two extremes; being too lazy, and being too active. The cat needs to rest their joints, and at the same time, get some exercise.

Ingrown Toenails

Aside from the enjoyment, a cat gets from scratching; it also does this to sharpen the nails and remove the old claw sheaths. Claw sheaths refer to the outer layer of a claw that is removed to expose the sharper claw.

Over time, as the cat ages, it becomes less active, and it would avoid scratching your furniture to shreds.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

There is one drawback, which is the claw sheath. As the cat stops scratching, the claw sheath continues to grow, and ultimately the claw sheath, or in other words, ingrown toenail starts hurting the cat. Owners often don’t notice the ingrown toenail because they are hidden in its fluffy paws.

The easy solution is to frequently examine your cat’s toenails, no matter how old it gets with time. Groom it and treat it with care.

Fibrotic Myopathy

It is very rare for a cat to be diagnosed with fibrotic Myopathy. This is a medical condition where the tissues in the semitendinosus are affected.

Semitendinosus is one of the three muscles in the hamstring, which is usually located in our back legs. If your cat does have fibrotic Myopathy, it is most likely to develop in their hind legs.

Due to the medical condition, cats are unable to stretch their legs, and this leads to lameness.

This condition is not painful, but what about the cure?

Fibrotic Myopathy can be tackled with surgery, where the vet will remove the damaged tissue. Your cat will be comfortable and healthy, but it may walk a little funny as a result of the surgery.

Conducting a Check-up at Home

By this point in the article, I know that the only solution is to take the cat to the vet. This would ensure proper treatment for the lameness.


The vet could prescribe some necessary medication for the cat.

But what can you do at home?

You can start routinely checking the cat for any injuries, pain, or discomfort. When you are checking the cat, carefully examine their body. Be firm, but gentle. During this examination, you can look at their claws and toenails for any problems.  Moreover, be on the lookout for any swelling, lumps, or bleeding. All of these could indicate whether the cat is hurt or not.

Here is an extra tip; Notice if your cat has any matted fur or bad odor. This could indicate that the cat isn’t grooming itself, and that means something is wrong with her.

Cats usually take great care of their grooming. If something goes wrong, it can hinder it’s from self-care.

How to Take Care of a British Shorthair Cat without Visiting the Vet

Ideally, it is better to visit the vet because they are trained to take care of your cat’s medical problems.

If you choose to stay at home and take this matter into your own hands, you can keep the following pointers in mind;

  1. Broken nail or Injury

When dealing with an injury to the footpads or broken toenails, start by removing anything that has made the wound (if any).


Clean the wound.

If the cat is bleeding, use a cloth to cover that area and apply little pressure for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  1. Abscess

If the lameness is a result of an abscess, simply use warm compresses.

  1. Others

When there is swelling, bruise or sprain, use ice on the affected area.

When none of the above work and the condition worsens, or if you are dealing with a different medical condition, I would suggest you visit the vet.

Related Questions

What should I do if my cat is limping?

Initially, you should try to get into the tub with her and swirl the water around the limping leg.

In case it is abscessed, apply something warm to the area affected. You could use some Epsom bath salt.

If the abscesses ruptures, take her to the vet, where they will probably clean the wound and prescribe antibiotics.

Why is my cat limping but not in pain?

Cats with a limp are certainly in pain. It just doesn’t show it to appear vulnerable in front of predators.

This lameness is a result of injuries, abscesses, and arthritis. Or, lesser common causes like broken bones and fibrotic Myopathy.

How do you take care of a British Shorthair?

British Shorthairs are a bit difficult to take care of, so you should visit the vet for a regular checkup.

Brush its teeth, change the litter box, and give it a nutritious diet to keep the cat healthy.

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