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My cat's back legs are wobbly - what could it be?!

(22 Posts)
WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:15

We adopted a Maine Coon cat a couple of years ago and she is ridiculously clumsy. I thought this was owing to her never having been let outside before we got her and having lived in a bungalow and unused to stairs, climbing etc. She is adorable and very amusing as she can lay to waste an entire mantel piece of greeting cards in one transit. However, she seems to be getting more wobbly on her back legs and walks as though she has downed about 14 pints of Stella. She is happy, eating and drinking well. No sign of any discomfort and she certainly has not stopped her usual activities. It has been a gradual thing but more noticeable in recent weeks. Her legs appear straight but she does;t seem to have much strength in them. I am going to take her to the vet but we lost our gorgeous cat, Lola, last week and I am avoiding any further bad news from the vets if I can help it. Thank you

WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:29

Forgot to add, she is 5 yrs old

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 18:03:38

Has she been screened for hip dysplasia? That's a genetic issue for many Maine Coons.

girliefriend Mon 09-Dec-13 18:06:09

I think you need to take to vet asap - could she have been hit by a car?

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 18:06:14

Sorry that there's not a lot of direct info here but there are some links for more reading.

elvisola Mon 09-Dec-13 18:09:44

I have an exotic shorthair with this. Also when she jumps up onto something her back legs give way a bit, meaning that she digs her front claws in really hard ( lovely when it's your foot she's clinging too) and she lays down really strangely too, kind of flops onto the side of her bum first. When she walks, from behind she looks like a swaying Hawaiian dancer!

I have had her into the vets and she has been x rayed, blood tested and looked at by a few different veterinarians and none of them can figure it out. They even went so far as to say she was probably always like this and it's just more noticeable as she's getting older (she's 7)

I am keeping an eye on it, she's in no obvious pain, it's not getting worse, will be interested in replies.

WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:23:15

elvisola that sounds EXACTLY like our Gracie! She kind of walks side to side as though she is incapable of walking in a straight line! When she climbs on a settee/bed etc, she uses her strength in her front legs to haul herself up and then her back legs to make the last push.
girliefriend she has definitely not been hit by a car, She has been like this since we had her but it is getting more noticeable There is no sign of any injury and she is not in pain as she is fine being cuddled, picked up etc. She is otherwise healthy as far as I can ascertain

Toomuch2young Mon 09-Dec-13 18:26:11

Definitely get her checked. Lots of different causes of weakness and wobbly legs. Could be trauma, could be something like low potassium. Hope she's better soon.

Toomuch2young Mon 09-Dec-13 18:28:25

I see you say she's always been clumsy.
Look up feline cerebella hypoplasia, or 'wobbly cat'
It's none progressive tho so wouldn't be worsening.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 18:31:22

50% of Maine coons have hip Dysplasia so that would be my very first thought. Cerebellum hyperplasia normal causes what's called an intention tremor so a little tremor in head and body occurs before they do anything, also unlikely as cats with cerebellum hyperplasia often donor survive to see their first birthday.
Vet check would be the first port of call.

elvisola Mon 09-Dec-13 18:37:30

Actually hip dysplasia is interesting, I see that the Persian breeds are susceptible to it which makes sense. I had a look on you tube and there are only a couple of videos but there is a similarity in the movements.

Toomuch2young Mon 09-Dec-13 19:00:41

Lonecat - cerebellum hyperplasia does not affect life span. I have previously adopted a 'wobbly cat' that was about to be euthanised! It is not degenerative, progressive or fatal and doesn't start as a tremor. They often do present with a tremor, but the wobbly ataxic gait and lack of co ordination is the main thing. Many animals are needlessly euthanised because vets don't know enough about this condition. With a bit of special care these wobbly pets can lead normal lives.

Toomuch2young Mon 09-Dec-13 19:02:30

http://lifewithchcats.com/what-is-cerebellar-hypoplasia/

Sorry for digressing op, but am passionate about spreading the awareness!!

WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 22:07:58

Toomuch2young - thank you I will look at link now x

WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 22:16:08

Toomuch2young - i just looked at the link you posted. That sounds just like Gracie! She doesn't seem in the slightest bit bothered about it! In fact she carries on as normal. I feed the cats on an area of worktop as we hav ea dog too and he would scoff the food if left down low. I pick her up and pop her on the worktop as she won;t get up there herself, however, i have found her on the mantle piece on occasion so she can do it! And she climbs the fence into next doors garden so she is not lame - just pampered maybe grin

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 22:33:25

See what the vet says when you go. We'll all hope for good news for her - after poor Lola you could all do with some, I think.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 22:51:06

Toomuch I am aware some go on and have normal lives. However, more commonly I seem to see the very severely affected kittens who are unable to feed or drink for themselves. Whilst with intensive nursing these kittens can survive their quality of life is really awful. Maybe it is due to us being a very active area for all the parvovirus viruses and regularly seeing deaths from both full blown panleucopaenia and from canine parvovirus too. Maybe this is a quirk of the area I live in.

WTFwasthat Mon 09-Dec-13 23:03:40

lonecats - i hope it is a quirk! My cat is reasonably healthy as far as I know. She does get the occasional skin condition - like a scaly skin which I get her injected for (steroids I think) and that clears it up in a matter of days. She also gets this funny ulcerate lip which again is cleard with a jab. She is not sickly though and does seem to enjoy life to the fullest. She is not a strong cat and was the runt of the litter (according to her previous owner) but we love her so much as she is such character. I'd hate for her to be ill sad

AlfredSchrader Mon 16-Jan-17 20:01:26

Sounds like bran cysts caused by nemotode parasites.

AlfredSchrader Mon 16-Jan-17 20:02:18

"brain cysts"

Secretspillernamechange Mon 16-Jan-17 20:10:49

I've got a cat with cerebral hypoplasia. She's 7 now and her coordination is just as good (bad) as it was when she was 2! AFAIK it would be unusual for it to just affect hindquarters.

squeak10 Sat 11-Feb-17 14:11:34

We rescued a kitten who was going to be pts. She is exactly the same ( walks like she has been nicking my wine) vet reckond that an infection in the womb caused her to be a bit wonky on her back legs. Not in any pain or discomfort, certainly doesn't stop her getting into mischief. She does get a bit miffed when we laugh at her though grin

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