Diagnosing a broken foot in a cat is difficult, as the cat may be limping for another reason. Once you have determined that you pet does indeed have some serious problem and pain, the best course of action is to take them to the vet as soon as possible. If the vet is not an option, there are treatments you may undertake to make your pet comfortable while they heal themselves. Never try to give your cat human painkillers. Cats are very difficult to medicate properly, and you may poison them.
If only one toe in the cat's foot is broken, you may be able to make her comfortable and speed healing by simply bandaging the foot, as the other toes will support and serve as a splint for the broken one. This is similar to how a broken finger would be handled in a person. Begin by wrapping with gauze, then with a stretchy self-elastic bandage to keep the cat from being able to chew off the gauze. Be sure to cover the joints above and below the break.
For a more serious break, but one where the bone does not come through the skin, apply a splint. The spilt should be rigid, long enough to cover the joints above and below the break. Pad the splint well to keep the skin from being abraded as the limb will need to be splinted for weeks. The bandages should be changed frequently to keep sores from forming and infection from setting in. Tape the splint in place and try to keep the cat resting and not running around.
If the break is severe enough to have caused the bone to break through the skin, or there is any open wound associated with the break, you must take the cat to a vet. Dirt and bacteria have entered the wound and will result in an infection that can kill the cat. Do not attempt to treat a compound fracture at home. Place the cat in a box lined with towels, using another to partially immobilize the animal for transport. If cost is an issue for you, remember that most humane societies or rescue operations will have a plan in place for financial aid and would rather work out a payment plan with you than turn away an injured animal.
Injuries and Age in Cats
A broken bone in a young cat may be healed successfully at home with splinting and keeping the animal quiet for as few as five weeks. A senior cat, due to age, may need to have his bones pinned by a vet and will take much longer to recuperate. Keep this in mind as you attempt to treat your cat at home.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.