"Glass" Bones in a Cat: Signs and Treatment (Based on a Real Story)

How It All Started

Fyrdinand is a beloved pet. And one day he unsuccessfully jumped off the chair and began to limp. The owners did not hesitate and took him to the veterinarian. The veterinarian injected Fyrdinand with pain relievers and said that everything was fine. He added that Fyrdinand just hurt himself. With the help of pain relievers, Fyrdinand stopped limping after a week. But then, two weeks later, Fyrdinand began to limp again and even more. This is where owners thought that the problem is more serious than it seemed at first.

Appearance of Extra Symptoms

After Fyrdinand began to limp twice more than previously, owners of the cat discovered other signs. Fyrdinand generally refused to go to the litter box because he was afraid that he would be hurt. Fyrdinand endured for about two days and then could not stand it and went on the sofa to the toilet. The owners, of course, did not scold the cat for this. In addition, the cat stopped climbing to the floor. Poor Fyrdinand even refused to eat. He ate only if the owners brought the food on the sofa.

Fyrdinand became very afraid when the owners took him in their arms. He did not allow himself to be stroked.

Veterinarian Visits and Treatment Adjustments

The owners went to the vet almost every day. The poor Fyrdinand was injected with painkillers. The vet examined the cat thoroughly during every visit. He inspected and touched the paw on which Fyrdinand was limping. But unfortunately, the veterinarian couldn’t say anything. He said he didn't know what happened to the cat. All he could do is to give the surgeon's contacts. The veterinarian recommended visiting exactly this surgeon.

The owners immediately took the cat to the surgeon. The surgeon took X-rays. With the help of X-rays, it was found that the bones of the cat are less dense than the muscles. Even the slightest movement and contraction of muscles can break a bone—the surgeon prescribed feed with a high content of calcium and microelements for Fyrdinand. After a week, the cat stopped limping. A month later, Fyrdinand was already running around the apartment like a healthy cat.

Main Symptoms of "Glass" Bones

We can conclude from the example with Fyrdinand, "glass" bones are a serious problem for cats. It can lead to really bad consequences. So, if you are an owner of a cat and you discover the following symptoms, you should take your cat immediately to the surgeon. 

· the cat begins to be afraid to jump even from the smallest height 

· the cat prepares for about 2 minutes in order to jump;

· the cat can sometimes refuse to go to the toilet;

· your cat can become very afraid when you want to take him in your arms;

· the cat will not engage in active games; he/she will play only lying down;

· the cat will not allow himself to be stroked;

· sometimes bloating can happen;

· lethargy and lameness;

· severe musculoskeletal pain;

· pathological and spontaneous fractures;

· impaired growth and change of teeth.

If such symptoms appear, do not try to treat a cat by your own efforts. This problem should be solved by a professional surgeon.

Reasons for "Glass" Bones in Cats

In order to keep your pet healthy, you should know why the problem of "glass" bones can appear. The main problem is the improperly formatted diet. A diet based on meat contains significant amounts of phosphorus but is extremely poor in calcium. So, for example, in the liver or hearts, the Ca:P ratio is 1:50, and, for full development, the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the cat's diet should be approximately 1:1. This is where our problem comes from.


A low calcium level in the diet leads to a decrease in the level of calcium in the cat's blood, and this, in turn, leads to increased production of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid gland. Under the influence of this hormone, increased excretion of calcium from the natural depot (i.e., skeletal bones) begins, and its transfer into the bloodstream to maintain a normal blood composition. In this case, the rate of bone destruction is higher than the rate of formation of new bone tissue. Bones become thinner, weak, and fragile. Excess phosphorus in the diet exacerbates the problem even more. It interferes with the normal absorption of calcium in the intestines.

The Reason is in Predisposition

The disease is most often affected by young kittens of Siamese, Scottish, British breeds, as well as Sphinxes. Cats of any breed and outbreed animals can get sick if their diet consists mainly of meat. Sometimes secondary hyperparathyroidism can occur in adults because many cats have an individual ability to absorb and retain calcium when it is low in the diet. Some concomitant conditions also contribute to the development of the disease: thyroid diseases, chronic renal failure, pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, and helminthiasis.

Treatment Methods

The main method is the earliest possible normalization of the animal's diet. The most convenient and effective way is to transfer a cat to a complete industrial food of a super-premium or premium class, which will provide the level of calcium, phosphorus, as well as microelements and vitamins necessary for this type and age of the animal. As an alternative, if it is impossible to transfer to industrial feed, diets specially compiled by a dietitian with the addition of calcium-phosphorus supplements, vitamins, etc., can be used.

During the recovery period, a restriction of mobility is prescribed so that the bones that have not yet become strong do not break from incorrect movements. For this, the cat is placed in a cramped cage, carrier, or box. Also, this is being done to reduce soreness when moving.

We advise you not to postpone going to the vet and surgeon. After all, Fyrdinand received only an injury, but it could all end with complex fractures. Be a responsible cat owner and follow the healthy state of your beloved pet. Stay safe and take care of your pets!

Author Bio:

Stacey Davis is a Fyrdinand’s owner and marketing executive in VeePN Windows VPN company. Stacy told the story of Fyrdinand so that owners who faced the same problem could start treatment on time. Most of all, Stacy wants all the cats to be healthy and happy. The story was written exclusively for Pet Play.

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