I noticed yesterday that my kitten's front paws are not straight

Cat forelegs seems short I noticed yesterday that my kitten's front paws are not straight when he's walking in that they seem to have a sort of 'bowed' look at the joint and they seem significantly shorter than his hinds legs to the point where his hind quarter is higher than the front.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Kittens' forelegs are shorter than their hindlimbs but not significantly so. If his front legs are bowed that may mean that one of the bones in his front legs had an early closure of its epiphysis (growth plate). When this happens one bone continues to grow but the one with a closed growth plate does not and the tension from that abnormally short bone will cause bowing and twisting of the leg as the normal bone continues to grow. This is often due to injury to a growth plate but given that it is happening in both front legs there may be a congenital (birth) defect leading to it or it may be from a nutritional deficiency or over -supplementation of calcium or vitamin D.

    Another possibility is dwarfism or a pituitary abnormality. There will be other symptoms with that such as a slower growth rate, poor hair coat and delayed loss of deciduous (baby) teeth. This condition is relatively rare in cats.

    Your kitten would benefit from an examination by his veterinarian and possibly some radiographs of his front legs to determine the cause and possible treatment options before he grows any more.

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