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October 23rd 06, 05:53 PM
hi folks,

my cat seems to be faking a sporadic limp ever since she was introduced
to my girlfriend's dog. i am not positive she is faking it, but she
only exhibits the limp very occasionally, and only when the dog is in
close proximity. it is very odd to watch, she will have this
exaggerated limp for just a few steps, and then it just disappears and
she jumps up to a 4 foot high shelf with no problems. the dog and cat
get along fine by the way. there is also the possibility that the dog
has nothing to do with her behavior, but i am baffled none the less.

has anybody ever heard of something like this? should i be concerned
that the limp might be real but only expressed 1% of the time?

best,
alex
--

October 23rd 06, 06:12 PM
In article om>,
wrote:

> should i be concerned that the limp might be real but only expressed
> 1% of the time?

Animals don't "fake" injury. Crocodile tears exist only for humans.
Although behavior can be manipulated through negative and positive
reinforcement, animals do not understand the idea of currying sympathy.
It is simply too complex for them.

If your cat is limping, rest assured that there is some physical cause.
She limps because something hurts or is too weak to support her weight.
She probably limps when the dog isn't around as well; you just haven't
seen it yet. Many problems can cause an intermittent limp. Some of them
can be very serious. Consult a vet.

--
"I wear boots when I play that ol' squeezebox
Stompin' out rhythms
'till the headstones dance on their graves"

mlbriggs
October 23rd 06, 08:01 PM
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 09:53:30 -0700, putt454 wrote:

> hi folks,
>
> my cat seems to be faking a sporadic limp ever since she was introduced
> to my girlfriend's dog. i am not positive she is faking it, but she
> only exhibits the limp very occasionally, and only when the dog is in
> close proximity. it is very odd to watch, she will have this
> exaggerated limp for just a few steps, and then it just disappears and
> she jumps up to a 4 foot high shelf with no problems. the dog and cat
> get along fine by the way. there is also the possibility that the dog
> has nothing to do with her behavior, but i am baffled none the less.
>
> has anybody ever heard of something like this? should i be concerned
> that the limp might be real but only expressed 1% of the time?
>
> best,
> alex


When this happens to some people they say they "have a hitch in their
getalong". Perhaps the cat has arthritis that improves after a
minute of activity. Has the cat ever (to your knowledge) had an injury?
How old is the cat?
MLB

October 23rd 06, 08:27 PM
thanks for the replys. i suspect i should take her into the vet. my cat
is 3.5 years old and in perfect health. she fell from a window during
her first year and dislocated a toe. she fully recovered in about 3
weeks with a cast. perhaps the limp is associated with the dislocation.

anyway, thanks again. i appreciate your time.

best,
alex

jmc
October 23rd 06, 09:31 PM
Suddenly, without warning, exclaimed (24-Oct-06
2:42 AM):
> In article om>,
> wrote:
>
>> should i be concerned that the limp might be real but only expressed
>> 1% of the time?
>
> Animals don't "fake" injury. Crocodile tears exist only for humans.
> Although behavior can be manipulated through negative and positive
> reinforcement, animals do not understand the idea of currying sympathy.
> It is simply too complex for them.
>
>

Actually, they can. Doesn't happen often, but I've seen it, in horses.
Not a 'currying of sympathy', but as a way to get out of work
(learned response, I'd imagine). Not seen it in cats, but I imagine it
is possible, considering that cats are more complex thinkers than horses.

As for the OP's cat, I'd have the vet check, and eliminate any
possibility of a real issue, first.

jmc

jmc
October 23rd 06, 09:39 PM
Suddenly, without warning, exclaimed (24-Oct-06 4:57 AM):
> thanks for the replys. i suspect i should take her into the vet. my cat
> is 3.5 years old and in perfect health. she fell from a window during
> her first year and dislocated a toe. she fully recovered in about 3
> weeks with a cast. perhaps the limp is associated with the dislocation.
>
> anyway, thanks again. i appreciate your time.
>
> best,
> alex
>

Have the vet also check your cat's patellas. I was just thinking, a
temporary limp after getting up is a symptom of my cat's luxating
patellas problem - stifle lock in horses, but translates to slipping
kneecaps. Luxating patellas can cause a limp when displaced, but when
it slips back into place, the limp vanishes.

jmc

October 23rd 06, 10:58 PM
jmc wrote:

> Actually, they can. Doesn't happen often, but I've seen it, in horses.
> Not a 'currying of sympathy', but as a way to get out of work
> (learned response, I'd imagine). Not seen it in cats, but I imagine it
> is possible, considering that cats are more complex thinkers than horses.
>

I've seen it once in a cat. Not limping, but a wobble in the eye. MY
older cat was very interested in some BBQ pork that I had. When I
looked down at her, her eyes were wobbling and shaky. She looked so
frail and and sickly. I gave her some and worried that I need to take
her to the vet. A few minutes later, she was normal. A couple weeks
later, she did it again. I had something tasty, and she was begging
again. I don't know how she learned the trick, but she seemed to know
when to apply it.

But limping doesn't sound like a fake to me. Animals typically try to
avoid any weakness as that would make them a target to other predators.


I would take the cat to the vet and see if there is stiffness from the
old injury site. Also, if it is a front leg, it might indicate a
problem with the heart. When my dog was diagnosed with an enlarged
heart (too large for the body, but healthy, she just needed to lose
weight to make more room), the vet checked her legs and found
stiffness. I was thinking she had a rib injury from her previous owner,
but my vet knew it was a heart issue before the xrays because of the
stiffness in the shoulder.

Lesley
October 23rd 06, 11:46 PM
jmc wrote:
>> >
>
> Actually, they can. Doesn't happen often, but I've seen it, in horses.
> Not a 'currying of sympathy', but as a way to get out of work
> (learned response, I'd imagine). Not seen it in cats, but I imagine it
> is possible, considering that cats are more complex thinkers than horses.
>
I have seen a cat do this- many years ago Speedy Joe (RB) fell off a
windowsill and landed awkardly and had a limp on his front left leg for
a day or so during which time we made a big fuss of him

Afterwards if he was after attention he'd limp and when we ignored it
he would try to limp on another leg sometimes trying all four one after
the other! It was as if he associated limping with big fuss but wasn't
quite sure which leg produced the effect!

Lesley

Slave of the Fabulous Furballs

Spot
October 24th 06, 12:37 AM
Now I have to argue you on this one.

I had a cat who at a young age got a very bad cut on his paw. We babied him
and fussed over him and he never forgot it. Later in life when he was
feeling like he was not getting enough attention he would fake limping. The
funny thing was one time it would be the right paw the next the left and ten
seconds later he would be sprinting through the house like a lightening
bolt. There was absolutely nothing wrong he just wanted fussed over is all.

Celeste

> wrote in message
...
> In article om>,
> wrote:
>
>> should i be concerned that the limp might be real but only expressed
>> 1% of the time?
>
> Animals don't "fake" injury. Crocodile tears exist only for humans.
> Although behavior can be manipulated through negative and positive
> reinforcement, animals do not understand the idea of currying sympathy.
> It is simply too complex for them.
>
> If your cat is limping, rest assured that there is some physical cause.
> She limps because something hurts or is too weak to support her weight.
> She probably limps when the dog isn't around as well; you just haven't
> seen it yet. Many problems can cause an intermittent limp. Some of them
> can be very serious. Consult a vet.
>
> --
> "I wear boots when I play that ol' squeezebox
> Stompin' out rhythms
> 'till the headstones dance on their graves"

mlbriggs
October 24th 06, 01:39 AM
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 14:58:25 -0700, wrote:

>
> jmc wrote:
>
>> Actually, they can. Doesn't happen often, but I've seen it, in horses.
>> Not a 'currying of sympathy', but as a way to get out of work
>> (learned response, I'd imagine). Not seen it in cats, but I imagine it
>> is possible, considering that cats are more complex thinkers than horses.
>>
>
> I've seen it once in a cat. Not limping, but a wobble in the eye. MY
> older cat was very interested in some BBQ pork that I had. When I
> looked down at her, her eyes were wobbling and shaky. She looked so
> frail and and sickly. I gave her some and worried that I need to take
> her to the vet. A few minutes later, she was normal. A couple weeks
> later, she did it again. I had something tasty, and she was begging
> again. I don't know how she learned the trick, but she seemed to know
> when to apply it.
>
> But limping doesn't sound like a fake to me. Animals typically try to
> avoid any weakness as that would make them a target to other predators.
>
>
> I would take the cat to the vet and see if there is stiffness from the
> old injury site. Also, if it is a front leg, it might indicate a
> problem with the heart. When my dog was diagnosed with an enlarged
> heart (too large for the body, but healthy, she just needed to lose
> weight to make more room), the vet checked her legs and found
> stiffness. I was thinking she had a rib injury from her previous owner,
> but my vet knew it was a heart issue before the xrays because of the
> stiffness in the shoulder.


An "eye wobble" doesn't sound like it is deliberate. There is an eye
ailment (I believe it is called "strabismus", or something like that) that
causes the eye to quiver. MLB

October 24th 06, 03:13 AM
mlbriggs wrote:

>
> An "eye wobble" doesn't sound like it is deliberate. There is an eye
> ailment (I believe it is called "strabismus", or something like that) that
> causes the eye to quiver. MLB

I had her 18 years, and it only happened a couple times, and only when
begging for a special food that I had.

jmc
October 25th 06, 01:40 PM
Suddenly, without warning, Lesley exclaimed (24-Oct-06 8:16 AM):
> jmc wrote:
>> Actually, they can. Doesn't happen often, but I've seen it, in horses.
>> Not a 'currying of sympathy', but as a way to get out of work
>> (learned response, I'd imagine). Not seen it in cats, but I imagine it
>> is possible, considering that cats are more complex thinkers than horses.
>>
> I have seen a cat do this- many years ago Speedy Joe (RB) fell off a
> windowsill and landed awkardly and had a limp on his front left leg for
> a day or so during which time we made a big fuss of him
>
> Afterwards if he was after attention he'd limp and when we ignored it
> he would try to limp on another leg sometimes trying all four one after
> the other! It was as if he associated limping with big fuss but wasn't
> quite sure which leg produced the effect!
>
> Lesley
>
> Slave of the Fabulous Furballs
>

Too funny. Animals in general I think are much smarter than we give
them credit for, and definitely have a better (though imperfect) grasp
of cause-and-effect then generally thought...

jmc