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Trouble with back legs.

Species: Cat
Breed: american short hair
Age: 8-11 years
I have a 11 yr old, inside only cat, that is a little over weight approx. 15lbs. Something happened about one month ago that made her start to walk strangely only in the rear leg(s). It's not very pronounced but I think it's only in one leg. She does not seem to be in any bad pain, if anything she seems slightly bothered by something. Eats and goes to the bathroom okay. But when she gets up on things like the sofa she claws/climbs her way up, she normally would just jump up. And she uses mostly her front claws to grab her way up. Which makes me think she had some kind of accident and it wasn't an onset of something. There was and is no visible damage to her at all. I clip her front claws when they get hung up and haven't because it seems to be her only way to get up anywhere. Also she will sit funny, abnormally for a cat. She will sit human like, directly on her butt. From all the cats I have had I never saw one sit directly on their butt. When she sits, like when you tell a dog to sit, she'll plant her butt and then backup her front feet a few steps to get into this 'weird for a cat sitting position'. So I don't know if it's something I should go to a vet that can be fixed or if it's just age or accident related.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It definitely sounds like she is uncomfortable, and possibly even painful in her hind end.

There are lots of different possibilities for these symptoms. It could be arthritis pain, or it could be an injury such as a hip or pelvis fracture. It's amazing how cats can get around even though they have a serious injury.

Sometimes if cats have a heart condition it can affect their back legs although usually it is both back legs that are affected. This is a very serious condition.

It's also possible that she has developed a problem called polyneuropathy which causes weakness in the hind legs. This is usually due to diabetes but can be from other causes as well.

I would definitely recommend a vet visit as there may be things that we can do to help her feel more comfortable!

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.