Pet Planning

What Does Fixing a Cat's Broken Leg Cost?

Four Minutes
Jun 26, 2023

Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t always land perfectly on their feet. When your curious cat’s adventures go awry, they could injure themselves and break a leg.

Caring for a cat with a broken leg can be a distressing experience — for both felines and their owners. It can also take a financial toll, as surgery to treat a cat’s broken leg can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $2,500 or more.1

Read on to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process for a broken leg. We’ll also shed some light on various cost factors.

Factors That Impact the Cost to Treat a Broken Leg

Cat broken leg treatment costs vary based on a number of factors. Ultimately, the treatment — and therefore the cost — depends on your cat’s health, how severe the fracture is, and how urgent the symptoms are.2 Your cat could need anything from a simple splint to extensive surgery. And if your cat has multiple fractures or torn muscles and tendons, surgery costs can rise even higher. Costs also vary based on geographic location and the vet who’s providing care. Individual practices and animal hospitals have different rates for procedures and medical care.

Keep in mind that surgery costs usually don’t include the vet visit, diagnostic tests, pain medications, and rehabilitation. So you’ll have to account for those as well.

Symptoms of Broken Legs in Cats

How do you know if your cat has a broken leg? While there are some symptoms pet parents can watch out for, only a veterinarian should formally diagnose a fracture or broken bone and determine the next steps.

Unless it’s obvious, it can be tricky to tell when your cat is injured — since cats tend to hunker down or hide their pain. Because of this, broken legs may go unnoticed and untreated in cats. Watch your cat’s body language closely for signs of injuries. Some clinical signs your cat may have a broken leg can include:2

  • Crying, howling, or hissing
  • Limping
  • Swelling or bruising in the limb
  • A dangling or out-of-place limb
  • An unnatural angle in the limb
  • Inability to support their weight

If you suspect your cat has a broken leg, schedule a vet examination. The vet will assess your cat and likely take X-rays to determine the damage. From there, your vet will decide if your cat needs surgery.

Accidents Happen, Pet Insurance Can Help

Be Prepared

Treatment Options for Cats With a Broken Leg

There are a few types of fractures: closed, compound, and greenstick.3 Closed fractures are those where the skin is unbroken, while compound fractures result in bones protruding from the body. Greenstick fractures are small cracks in an intact bone. Compound fractures can be more prone to infection, since the bone is exposed to debris.3

Depending on the type of fracture, you may need to see a veterinary surgeon or orthopedic specialist. Although both can be more expensive than a primary care veterinarian, they can give your cat the specialized treatment they need.

Most of the time, a cat with a broken leg will need anesthesia, pain medication, and intravenous fluids as they’re treated. If the fracture is mild and the bone isn’t separated, your veterinarian may recommend crate rest with a splint or cast.

However, surgery is the primary course of treatment for cats with broken legs. The severity of the fracture or break will determine what type of surgery is needed. Your cat may need plates, pins, wires, screws, or other surgical implants to hold the broken bone in place.2

Recovering From a Broken Leg

After your cat’s surgery, they’ll need to avoid putting weight on their leg. This can vary from full crate rest to not letting them run around the house. You can limit your cat’s opportunities to reinjure themself or delay the healing process by keeping them in a small space with a litter box, food, and water within easy reach. Of course, keep a close watch on them as well.

Follow-up appointments are important and will usually include repeat X-rays to check the progress. If your cat’s leg has a splint or cast, the vet will likely replace it at these appointments.2

Broken bones can take 6 – 8 weeks to fully heal, so your little feline can be back on their feet and curious as ever in a couple of months.2

Pet Insurance Can Help!

Cat broken leg surgery costs can be expensive. Still, it’s important to provide proper care for your injured pet, so they can recover with as little pain as possible. Cat insurance can help you protect your wallet if your cat needs surgery. MetLife Pet coverage may include examinations, diagnostic tests, and surgery for your cat.

Take a look at Eli’s story from San Diego. Eli the cat’s broken leg treatment cost his owners just under $2,500. MetLife Pet reimbursed his pet parents $2,000, covering 80% of the vet bill. After his surgery and recovery process, Eli is back to happily bounding around his home.1

You could have coverage like this with a cat insurance policy from MetLife Pet. Get a quote today for peace of mind tomorrow.

Help Protect Your Cat From Pain

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

2 “Bone Fractures (Broken Bones),” Perth Cat Hospital

3 “What You Need To Know About Broken Fractures In Cats,” Hudson Veterinary Hospital

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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