Hip Injuries in Cats

There are a number of ways cats can experience hip injuries. Aside from an obvious injury from an accident or other trauma, cats can experience arthritis and hip dysplasia as well. Cat hip injuries are usually referred to as a coxofemoral hip luxation, and all cats are susceptible to this condition, especially where trauma is involved.

Coxofemoral Hip Luxation

Coxofemoral hip luxation refers to cat hip injuries where the head of the femur is dislocated from the socket in the pelvis. If an injury is sustained, such as after being hit by a car, or from a high fall, the ligaments in the hip can pull away from or become completely detached from the bone. Hip injuries that are caused by trauma can lead to further problems in the future.

Feline Hip Dysplasia

Feline hip dysplasia refers to hip injuries that develop over time. When the hip joint is improperly fitted with the ball structure in the hip socket, this structure may become weakened and lead to hip laxity. Abnormal weight is placed on the hip, causing cartilage to disintegrate and leading to direct contact among the bones of this area. This causes pain and can eventually lead to arthritis. This condition may be difficult to detect, due to the instinctual ability for a cat to hide its pain. Initially, you may notice a cat is unable to jump as high as normal or is less active overall. If the cat is showing outward signs of pain, such as limping or yowling, it's likely the problem is exacerbated and has been present for quite some time.


Hip injuries and hip dysplasia in cats can lead to arthritis. Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints and can bring about significant pain, lameness and unusual behavior. In order to determine the presence of arthritis in cats, it will be necessary to have certain tests run, such as x-rays, orthopedic examinations and other tests to rule out infection or disease.

Treating Hip Injuries

Treatment options for hip injuries in cats will vary, depending upon the circumstances. Other factors will be involved as well, such as the age of the cat and any present disease, infection or illness. If a cat has sustained injuries from an accident, emergency care may be necessary.

Other injuries brought about over time may benefit from a number of treatment methods:

  • Medication - steroids are often given to alleviate pain due to hip injuries in cats. This is an effective method, but may lead to worsening of the condition and significant side effects.
  • Glucosamine - this supplement is often given with meals to reduce the effects of pain caused by joint injuries and potentially to even invoke a healing process.
  • Homeopathy - the use of natural substances to treat the cause, rather than masking the side effects, can be advantageous.
  • Acupuncture - this procedure is becoming more commonplace for treating pain in cats.
  • Dietary changes - providing a low-carbohydrate diet that makes use of natural ingredients, avoids grains and includes essential vitamins and minerals can be of significant benefit.