Biterbite Profile Image

Hip dysplasia

cat hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the medical term describing abnormal development of the hip joint. Cats with hip dysplasia have poorly aligned hips that are too loose, which leads to discomfort.

The hip joint is made of a ball and socket. The ball is the round-shaped head of the femur bone in the hip and the socket is the cup-shaped depression in the cat’s pelvis. In cats with hip dysplasia the ball does not sit firmly in the socket, which results in a loose joint. This abnormal hip joint leads to pain and reduced function.

Over time this poor connection leads to early arthritis as the body tries to stabilize the joint and compensate for the abnormality, laying down new bone and bone spurs. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease, meaning that it worsens over time. Bony remodeling (where the body removes and builds bone) and arthritis worsens, resulting in greater discomfort and impaired mobility.

Fortunately, hip dysplasia is rarer in cats than in dogs, and many cats with hip dysplasia may never show clinical signs. Researchers suspect this is because cats are better at compensating for hind limb lameness and hiding their pain. It is still important to be aware of the condition, especially if you have a purebred cat. Some purebreds have a higher risk for dysplasia .