Clicking noises when walking

by Debbie
(Annapolis, MD.)

I have an 11 year old Traditional Siamese. About two months ago he started making a clicking noise while he was walking-didn't matter what the surface was (the bed, carpet, tile floor, wood floor etc.) he constantly made this noise when he walked.

He didn't seem to slow down any in his activity level, even jumping to the top of my 6 foot high bookcases like usual. I took him to the vet and she suggested it was his nails making the clicking noise (which I highly doubted) so she clipped his nails. She did a thorough exam of his legs and joints by feeling them and moving them around (no x-rays or other tests). Soon as we got home the clicking noise continued.

About a week ago the noise seemed to be getting worse and my cat seems to be slowing down a bit. I made an appointment with a different vet for a second opinion. I am very worried. What could this be?

Debbie in MD.

Answer by Kate

Hi Debbie, there are many possible causes for a clicking sound to be emitted from your cats paws or legs and you were right to have a vet check it out.

I can understand why your vet went for the most obvious and easiest possible solution i.e. clipping your cats claws. It is always best to eliminate the most obvious cause first. But yes your right, as a cat owner you would have been aware if your cats claws were over grown and causing the clicking.

Other possible causes are:

Loose tendons, this causes the joints to move around more in their sockets.

Arthritis (see my page for more information)

Cartilage problems

Any one of these problems could be the culprit and causing this strange noise. The only way for these to be diagnosed is via x-rays and further examination by your vet.

All I can say is that you are doing the right thing in taking him for more tests.

I hope it is nothing which can't be sorted out quickly and easily.

Comments for Clicking noises when walking

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Same problem
by: David M

Our cat is declawed and has the same clicking noise, which I imagine is coming from his front paw when he lifts it. I'm not sure.

Cod Liver oil sounds like an easy solution, although I'm not sure if it will fix. I'm thinking our cat is 14 years old and age might be the culprit. I'm not sure how the vet can be of much help... But I will take her nonetheless.

clicking and arthritis in my 16 year old cat
by: jacqueline

vet had given meloxidyl 0.5 for the joints on his back legs as there was a puffy 'bag' on his hind joint - gave it for 3 days and the puffy bag had gone and he became more agile etc; but can only get this product on prescription so looked on internet and found synopet feli-syn which is made from green-lipped mussel and vic c and vit d and blackcurrant extract - so giving that now and works wonders- the first medicine was 'synthetic' and this synopet is solely natural - the clicking has gone and he jumps around like a 16 year old cat does and plays again- so very happy.

They didn't say the cat was declawed.
by: Anonymous

The OP does not say the cat was declawed. It says they trimmed the nails. That's usually done by cutting the sharp tip of the nail off with special nail clippers. Not declawing, which is surgically amputating the digits. Glucosamine helps. Cod (fish) oil is toxic unless it is a special formula for cats. My cat had an old pulled muscle that didn't heal correctly, so in our case we are keeping an eye on that loose tendon. Good luck with your fur baby.

Hip clicking
by: Gizmo

People who declaw there cat should have there finger tips cut off too, so they can also feel how horrible this practices is. As far as the clicking I have a 4 month old kittin that I found living under my trailer, he was so tiny mabey 3 to 4 weeks. It took me forever to get him to come to me, so I set him up with a box and food and kept on trying for 3 days till I could finally grab him. He has had this clicking sound in the joint for 2 months the vet confirmed that it is his hip joint and that we should use cod liver as well as light messages. He has done very well since we started this routine. If it is a joint issue you should be able to feel it, it took maybe 2 weeks till I could notice an improvement. Gizmo is doing much better he has a big brother Bubba taking care of him to lol thanks for reading my post and keep on loving all your furrraimly.

by: Anonymous

Not the claws!!! My cat has her claws and has been limping a bit the last couple of days and sometimes we get the clicking. She also has no problem jumping up and down from things. She has been sleeping more than usual the last couple of days though so I may take her in today just to be on the safe side. I will let you all know what I find out.

Say NO to Cod Liver Oil!
by: Anonymous

Our 9 year old cat started having clicking/snapping issues in his hips. Our vet gave him a few X-Rays to see if there was any physical issues. He had some decalcification in his ankles and additional bone growths around the ankles. The collagen around the hips joints was no longer enough to lubricate his joints. He also took a blood draw to make sure there are no underlying diseases that could be causing this. He recommended that we give him Chondroitin Sulfate for his joint issues. He said an absolute NO to Cod Liver Oil. It is loaded with vitamin A and can cause liver damage. Do not be an armchair vet. Take your cat in and have X-rays done to determine what the actual issue is!

De-clawed cat clicking noises
by: Paul

Some people just don't seem to have the time to read all the comments to get a better sense of what's happening. Pai Mei is totally declawed. I adopted him this way - I didn't do it. Most of you have been very helpful.

I will get the cod liver oil and start today.
How much Glucosamine per day?

I lost my best friend - Buttons after 22 years in 2015 *R.I.P.) and adopted Pai Mei from my sister. I have always adopted abandoned cats and used to trap-spay/neuter-release feral cats. Look into a program near you.

Thanks for the help. God bless you all and your furry clicking friends.

Clicking joints
by: Simone

The clicking noise is NOT your beloved cats nails!
I have a 16 week old Siamese kitten and his rear leg joints crack ALL of the time.
Pick him uo... Crack.
Walking.... Crack.
Jumping... Crack.
It happens all of the time and it is loud. We are goung to the vets again next week to have him examined again.
More than likely it is athritis or tendon issues.

Not the Nails
by: Anonymous

The last person has not seen your cat, and cannot say it is the nails, for certain. It is generally Arthritis. The vet may give you glucosamine. Ours did. I have a seven and a half year old Siamese. The cod liver oil will also be a good idea, ask your vet. It is More than likely Not the nails.

My Cat
by: Anonymous

My cat is 15. In the last month he has started clicking when he walks. Especially after he has been lying down for a while. He has also started laying in a different position .... on his side with his back legs pointing straight out in front of him. He has always lain curled up before. He seems to be in discomfort when he turns over and can only do it slowly.

He has been on steroids all his life for a skin condition, so I think it is to do with his bones and joints. Unfortunately he cannot have pain relief Metacam as it cannot be given along side steroids. I am going to try the Cod liver Oil tip that has been mentioned.

by: Coleen Andrews

Thanks for sharing this. I am sure there are many people who are faced with the same problems I recently had. I couldn't find I've found some decent tutorials on how to fill MD Form DR 50 out online here

Cod liver oil.
by: Anonymous

Hi again, I originally posted about using cod liver oil on my cat a while back.

We've used it for a while now and her joints no longer 'click'. As I mentioned it's due to the joint and the lubricant missing or wearing thin-hence the clicking. Similar to us humans! We use a rough teaspoon a day, but did start her off wi two teaspoons when we started as she seemed to be in discomfort, along with painkillers (vet prescribed) and the cold liver oil she was a lot better within two or three days. Then we discontinued the painkillers at the vets suggestion but have carried on with the cod liver oil since. The vet was the original one who mentioned it and it's been amazing. Do check with your own vet in case your cat has sensitivity to it for some reason.

Our beauty has just turned 24 years old at the weekend, so she can vouch that it's good stuff!

Hope this helps!

Gemma :)

Snapping sound when walking
by: Anonymous

Our male cat is 16 years old. He has ailments already but bears up well. He's always purring so we think he couldn't be sore. The snapping sound is coming from his left hind leg. It makes the sound all the time now so We think we maybe should take him to the vet. I like the idea of using cod liver oil and am definitely going to try that first.

Cod Liver Oil question
by: Kimberly

I'd like to try the Cod Liver Oil for my cat's clicking noise. How much do you give to the cat? Is there any dosage info you can provide? Thanks!

Comes and goes
by: Lucy

My older cat (12 approx, adopted) could no longer sneak up on me as his joints started clicking. He has now lost some weight and it has stopped.
This morning my other cat (9 approx, adopted) joints started clicking. The temperature dropped today and as a Siamese she is sensitive to the cold, so I'm thinking that may be the cause there.
Don't think clipping nails is ever a good thing especially when they have access to trees and scratching post to keep them in good order.

clicking joints in cats
by: Anonymous

It isn't the nails clicking. It's the joints moving around in the socket. My cat is 12 and she got it at 11 years of age! My vet said it was nails at first but my cat doesn't have any nails. It was s birth defect _ the no nail thing.
Have your cat get an x-Ray to be sure. Also try anti inflammatory medication for arthritis. That helps my cat a lot. Also overweight pets have it too. Hope that helps

by: Kitty owner

The last person who commented on this mysterious clicking sound must not have read the first 15 comments. My cat just turned 10 and the clicking sound started happening about 3 months ago (we have narrowed it down to the back left leg). IT IS NOT HER NAILS! As most people have seen, it clicks when she walks on carpet and the bed and she doesn't seem to be in discomfort. Having arthritis myself in my back, one can develop bone spurs which can click when moving. I don't know what is causing her click either and am going to try the cod liver oil as previously mentioned. But, if anyone does get a sincere answer from a vet, please let us know. It concerns us, just can't afford x-rays right now. Thanks so much! :)

Ccat makes clicking sound when walking.
by: Anonymous

One of my cats suddenly started making this clicking sound when he walks. This is the second cat I have had to make sounds when he walks. It started in both cats after a visit to two different vets who had blood work drawn from their neck area. The first cat had more of a sound like cellophane paper being crinkled up. A specialist said the vet must have hit the trachea . After a long time it settled down. I will be taking Woody in to investigate his clicking very soon. Seems strange both times was after blood drawn from neck area.

clicking joints
by: Anonymous

me too i have a british short hair tabby of 14 who has started this clicking sound as he walks happens all the time and the same on carpet or hard floors. definitley isnt claws as Ive kept them clipped since he was a kitten.

Doesnt seem to have pain as he jumps up and down but it is an odd sound. I asked the vet who didnt seem just sounds painful.

not nails
by: Anonymous

My cat clicks too, she just started and is 9. I keep her nails short, so that's not the problem. It happens on carpet and hard floors, but she still jumps and plays. I started feeding her cod liver oil, in case of arthritis, and she loves it. It hasn't been long enough to work yet.

Clicking paws
by: Anonymous

Has anyone taken their cat to the vet yet to investigate this? My cat is 22 years old and I will take him if it's serious, but we just spent almost 2 grand on another kitty who just passed away this week and we need a little time to collect cat funds before we investigate the clicking. If anyone has info, please post it for the rest of us. Thanks.

Ref: clicking
by: Anonymous

Hi all - this is usually down to a joint problem, generally occurring in cats 12 years +. It happens similar to adults who are 70+ in age, when the compound around the joints (similar to a joint lubricant) breaks down - resulting in this dry/clicking sounding noise.

The kindest and best proven remedy is to use a pure cod liver oil in your cats evening meal - as it works well in the evening. Places like Holland and barrett (or any health food store) will stock the oil.

I have been using this with my 15 year old cat and noticed a huge improvement within about 2 and a half weeks. The other benefits are that your cats coat will shine and she seems to be more 'bright-eyed' ! So an all 'round winner!

Hope this helps

cat clicking
by: Anonymous

my cat just started making that clicking noise and it is not tthe nails as i first thought. does anyone know the answer to this? any vets out there come across this before?

my cat too
by: kali's mom

my almost 14 year old cat has the same issue on tile or hardwood floors. Took her to the vet and he checked her joints to see if she felt pain but did not. She still plays and jumps up (to get away from her little sister) but I would also like to know what is causing this. When I google the problem this webpage comes up but nothing else. Despite her seeming ok it bugs me that she has this problem. Has anyone done x-rays on this cat to check out that possibility?

Younger cat with same clicking noise
by: Anonymous

My cat is only 5 1/2 years old. I all of a sudden started hearing the clicking while he walks on linoleum but not carpet. I don't believe it is his nails and when I move his legs and joints I don't hear anything. He also still is very lively, however has been a bit grumpier recently. Does anyone have any ideas?

clicking cat
by: karen

My almost 14 year old female has the same problem. Happens on tile and hardwood floors. It is not the nails (they were trimmed). Took her to the vet who said she seems in no pain and can still jump and play (hence he does not believe it is athritis). I would also like to get to the bottom of this

My Cat "Clicks" When Walking
by: CatLove

My baby is going on 14 but has been very healthy and much loved. Just in the last week he has started to click when he walks. I am not unfamiliar with this behavior since my big toe clicks when I walk and really doesn't cause me any discomfort. He doesn't seem to even realize it's happening to him either.

At first I thought it was the nails since he has had one from birth that won't retract fully. But a trim didn't help and it also happens on carpet. Not the bed though, so it seems to have something to do with his weight on a semi-solid surface. It cannot be reproduced and only seems to take place when he's sauntering of his own will (I tried several ways to make him walk in order to figure it out! LOL)

I don't want to waste money, worry and effort on something unimportant, but I care deeply about his well-being and don't want to overlook the possible beginning of a problem. Arthritis? Maybe. Perhaps the age factor? His joints are getting older... I hope it's as benign as my big toe... I'll check back later for updates. Hope this helps others.

clicking noise
by: Anonymous

It is not the nails. This noise occurs when walking on soft surfaces. I can't believe no one knows what is causing this. Sounds like arthritis possibly.

What is causing this??
by: Anonymous

My cat has this same issue!! What is going on here? Has anyone found out yet???

Nope, not nails
by: Anonymous

No, nails are not the problem here. At least not for my cat who also "clicks" when she walks. Would really be interested in getting to the bottom of this. Anyone had any luck finding out the cause?

Declawing cats is a disgusting thing to do.
by: Anonymous

If you want something without claws buy a soft toy.

my cat has this issue too
by: Anonymous

my 10 year old tabby/maine coon mix has the same thing. Did the first lady find out anything at the second vet?

my cat is declawed and this just started a couple weeks ago.

Cat clicking while walking - why??
by: Melanie

My cat has developed the exact problem you described - clicking sound while walking. He will be 16 yrs next month. The problem started about a month ago. He's declawed so I can confirm it's NOT the nails needing cut. Before anoyone passes judgement - I rescued him after he was declawed by previous owner 15 yrs ago.

Does anyone know what could be causing the clicking noise? Is it possible that its a sign of arthritis?

by: Anonymous

I know exactly what it is. Your animals toe nails need to be trimmed. Just like a human's they grow , and need to be maintained. However if this is your first time, i suggest taking your cat to the veterinary clinic , let them show you how. This is very important because if you cut them to short they can bleed to death. if you insist on doing it yourself, take care not to cut the vein. You can see it in the middle of the nail. good luck & most of all have patience. aslo if the claw is slightly grown into the claw already , you can cut it, then pull it out. But be sure to use something so no infection sets in. good luck

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