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Licking feet.

Species: Cat
Breed: American Short-haire
Age: 8-11 years
My cat has suddenly been licking her back paws consistently and thumping them against the floor in a very fast, repeating manner. This started yesterday. She eventually stopped but today she's doing again and is now hiding under the bed. She doesn't want to come out so that I can check on her paws. Not even to eat unless I bring the bowl next to the bed. Yesterday her paws seemed fine. I wanted to take her to the vet but the earliest appointment available is Saturday. Any advice you can give? She recently had a check up and she's apparently in very good shape for her age.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I have to say that these are really odd symptoms. I don't think I have ever had a case where a cat is frantically licking and thumping their back feet.

My first thought would be whether she has stepped in something that is irritating her. Does she go outside? I wonder if she possibly stepped on something hot and has burns on the bottom of her feet? Can you see if there is anything unusual on her feet? I know that will be hard to check if she won't let you examine her.

There really isn't a medical condition that I can think of that would cause these symptoms. There are some arthritis conditions that can cause pain in the back legs but they wouldn't come on so quickly.

It sounds like an exam is really needed. It is important that she continues to eat. So, if she will eat when you bring the bowl to her then you may need to keep doing that. If her appetite decreases or if she is not making any improvement at all I'd phone the vet again and see if they can get you in earlier.

I'd love to hear what the vet says. Please do post back if you get a diagnosis.

Dr. Marie.



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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.