Hip Dysplasia in Cats

The fact that many dogs suffer from hip dysplasia is fairly common knowledge, at least among dog lovers. However, did you know that our feline friends can also get this painful affliction? A Lexington, KY vet discusses hip dysplasia in kitties below.


The condition hip dysplasia is generally the same for cats and dogs, though it is more common in dogs. Basically, hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease that affects the ball-and-socket joints in kitties’ hips. As the disease progresses, it becomes very painful, and can have a severe effect on your furry pal’s quality of life. The disease is hereditary. While any feline can be afflicted in either one or both of their hips, it’s most common in bigger ones, such as Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats. Purebred cats are also more commonly affected than mixed breeds. Unsurprisingly, obesity is often a factor.


It’s very likely that many cases of hip dysplasia go undiagnosed in cats. Our feline pals are absolute masters at masking symptoms! With mild cases, you may not see any signs at all. Even moderate cases often go undetected. That said, it’s important to keep an eye out for red flags. Some common ones include limping, lameness, and difficulty jumping. Fluffy may flinch or even hiss if you touch a sore spot, and she may not be as playful as she once was. You may also notice muscle loss or even atrophy in your pet’s rear. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.


While hip dysplasia can’t be cured, there are treatments available. The exact options which will work best for your furry friend will depend her age and on the severity of her condition. Once your vet has examined Fluffy and run some tests, you’ll be able to discuss specific treatment plans. Milder treatments may include nutritional supplements, such as glucosamine or fish oil; medication; and rest. More severe cases may require surgery or even hip replacements. At home, your furball may benefit from having pet stairs, a litterbox with low sides, or even a heated bed. You can also gently give Fluffy a lift if you see her about to jump on or off something. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us if ever we can be of assistance. As your Lexington, KY veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!

Comments are closed.