Dear Christopher Cat
Our middle-aged, indoor cat, Maybelle, tore her anterior cruciate ligament. Our regular veterinarian recommended that she lose weight and see an orthopedic surgeon for possible surgery. Can cats live comfortably without the surgery?
Some can and do, particularly if they lose any excess weight.
Compared with dogs, cats much less often tear the knee’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), also called the cranial cruciate ligament.
The ACL may tear if it wears out, a problem more common in older, overweight cats.
The ligament also can tear if the cat falls from a very high place. Generally, several ligaments in the knee are damaged in such accidents.
While some veterinarians feel that conservative treatment is as effective as surgery, others believe that surgical repair provides a faster and more reliable way to regain full function. To determine what’s best for Maybelle, have the orthopedic surgeon examine her and advise you.