If you have a pretty clever cat, then you are probably wondering whether she actually has a limp or if she is just “faking” it. Here is everything you need to know!
Can Cats Fake A Limp?
Yes, some cats do fake a limp in front of their owners for particular reasons. Cats are smart animals, and usually, they are very good at hiding their pain from everyone. But if you see her limping, taking her to the vet must be best for you because sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s a fake or real limp!
Well, this is quite a short explanation about this topic — there is much more you need to know.
So, here is some in-depth information! Let’s check em out!
Why Does My Cat Pretend To Limp
There could be numerous different reasons why cats pretend to be limp! Maybe your cat does it to get some extra food, or maybe to skip the outside walk, or maybe to avoid coming down or getting up the stairs, etc. Reasons can be endless, as well as it’s sometimes quite hard to identify what your cat is exactly up to.
These reasons are just possible theories “why cats pretend to be limp” because there has not been any research done on why cats fake limp or what your cat’s true intentions are for faking a limp!
It usually depends on cat behavior, how clever they are and how fast they learn things and use them to their advantage.
For example: Maybe she learned “fake limping” from their true limp! Meaning, she might have had a true limp before, and at that time, she might get some special treatment like better & extra food, more snuggling time, and so on.
And now, to get all that special treatment again, she might be faking a limp. Well, this is just another theory, but yes, it can be possible.
Do Cats Fake Injury Or Illness For Attention
Typically speaking, Yes, cats can fake injury or illness for attention. And some extra clever cats can do that fake injury for a couple of days, even for an entire week, if they realize that it works perfectly to fulfill all their desires!
And not only for attention purposes. But many cat owners also describe that whenever they go out the door, their cat starts meowing loudly and then acts limping, so the owner could stay home the whole day with her instead of going out for anything, even for a job.
Here are two videos that show cats faking a limp to get their owner’s attention.
In this video, the cat fakes a limp so that she can get inside the house and have some food.
And in this video, the clever cat fakes a limp to get sympathy from its owner before hilariously switching paws.
Can Cat Faking Eye Injury
Most Veterinarians said it could be possible for some cats to fake an eye injury, like closing one eye or squinting it as if it is injured. Well, this can only happen if your cat had some sort of irritant in her eye previously, and you reward her with your extra petting and treats.
So, now it is possible whenever you have something tasty or something interesting, she can act injured to beg that thing from you! Because she might have learned that you are too kind when she is injured.
In case she never had an eye injury, but she still squints his eye enormously as well as begging treats from you, don’t consider it as a fake. Maybe her injury is genuine, and you are just wasting her time to get those symptoms worse.
Can Cats Fake A Cough?
Absolutely Yes, cats can fake coughs and act sick when they need attention or anything else from you! Faking a cough is just learned behavior! And cats can associate the cough and sickness with the love and attention that you give them, like random sympathy words, like, “Oh, you poor baby,” or treats and cuddles.
Cats and dogs usually do a lot of weird and silly things to grab their owner’s attention. Because your attention is a powerful reward for them, and they can do anything to get it, and fake limp and cough are some of the things they can also do!
If you didn’t know your cat is faking a cough or not, then don’t take a chance; taking her to the vet and getting them treated must be the best. Sometimes coughing can cause some serious problems in cats like respiratory infection, asthma, heartworm, allergies, or hairball.
Do Cats Fake Puke?
Cats can fake injury sometimes, but puke isn’t something that cats fake for attention or anything else. If your cat is puking just liquid (foamy or not), it is not fake. It clearly happens due to an empty stomach because when stomach juices get too acidic; and there is no food to absorb them, it can create enough discomfort to cause vomiting.
It typically happens in the morning before the first meal because many cats don’t eat throughout the night. And it can happen often, which sometimes looks like that cat faking it to get food.
If this sounds like your cat, try shortening the time frame between meals.
For example: If you feed your cat 2 to 3 times a day, try splitting the same amount of food or (a little bit more) into 4 to 5 feeds a day. Or you can also give your cat a small overnight snack.
If your cat throws up every couple of hours or more, or daily, this could indicate some serious problems like kidney infection or even a blockage. When in doubt, getting medical help from your local vet as soon as possible is best.
Why Do Cats Pretend To Be Dead?
Pretending to be dead is a common trait in many animals, like a possum! But it is not so common in cats; however, sometimes new kittens can pretend to be dead when they don’t want to be handled by their owners because of trust issues. But adult cats don’t act dead usually in their home.
According to experts, fake sleep or pretending to be dead is often seen in shelter cats. Because in shelters, it’s quite common for cats to feel completely stressed, as they have to share their resources with other unknown cats and meet new humans every day.
So to get some sense of peacefulness in a loud environment, they often pretend to be dead or commonly fake sleep.
How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Faking A Limp Or Injury?
There are some common ways to identify whether your cat is faking an injury or not. But for that, make sure you keep an eye on your cats as possible because sometimes it can take maybe a couple of hours or an entire day to identify.
# If your cat starts limping anyhow, check it by touching its paw to see any sign of pain. If she didn't show any sign of pain even if you squeeze his paw warmly, then the chances are great that she is faking it to get some attention.
# If the cat is limping only in your presence, it means she is faking it. To check it, leave your cat alone and peek at them from another room whether she is limping or not. If she is walking and jumping normally in your absence, that means she is faking it only in your presence.
# Another sign that helps you identify whether she is faking a limp or not, that is sudden switching between paws. Meaning if she was limping the right paw first, and then suddenly she started limping the left one within a few seconds. Or maybe suddenly walking just fine like there was never an issue in the first place. This indicates that she is faking it.
If you are still confused about your cat limping, then taking her to the vest is best for you!
How To Stop A Cat From Faking An Injury
The best way to stop your cat from faking an injury is; completely ignore their behavior whenever they fake an injury. Such as:
- Don’t rush to them.
- Don’t ask them what happened!
- Don’t use any sympathy words, like, “Oh, you poor baby.”
- Don’t cuddle them.
- Don’t give any special treatment.
- And especially don’t give them any treats.
As well as make sure you never punish them for faking an injury.
If you don’t do any of these things, they will no longer associate a fake injury with love and attention. Therefore, only give them love and attention when they don’t pretend to be injured so that she knows that she will only get any attention when they are being good.
Do All Animals Fake Injuries?
Faking an injury is quite common in domestic animals (pets) like dogs, cats, some parrot species, etc., because somehow they learned that behavior from our love and attention.
However, wild animals don’t actually fake an injury because an injured animal is easy prey for any predators. So in the wild, animals usually do all the efforts they can, not letting any other predators know that they’re injured or sick or easy prey for them.
But, there is a wild bird species called “Killdeers,” who act injured in order to lure predators away from their young ones. This behavior is typically known as (distraction display) in the wild.