Cat misses her footing and falls(15 Posts)
We adopted a healthy cat aged about 7 last July. She's a keen jumper and likes being on top of the kitchen cupboards.
A few weeks ago I saw her seem to misjudge a short jump. She had to scramble with her back legs to save herself from falling. Recently it's been happening more often, on jumps she used to do easily. She also lay around looking floppy or staring into corners.
Vet couldn't find anything but she fell twice during the consultation, trying to jump onto the table and from there to the sink. Routine bloods were normal. He's sent off an infection screen and given her a shot of steroids, which perked her up a bit.
Does anyone have any ideas? Really worried.
It could be vestibular disease. It seems to be more common in dogs but cats do get it.
This is a really common first sign of arthritis in cats, elbows being the mist common site in cats. As you adopted her she could be older than 7 years old. But you will need to have a wait for a wash out period before you can trial non-steroidal drugs.
My kitten is like this so we got her checked out by the vets eye specialist (at not a small fee )
Her eyes were fine but the vet said sometimes this happens if they’ve had a fall and they lose their confidence.
I would get her checked out to rule out anything else.
She's definitely been a bit better since the steroid injection. She's doing short jumps, for example on to the kitchen table.
I've blocked the window sill to prevent her from trying to launch herself at the top of the kitchen cupboards and we're keeping her in.
Thanks for suggestions. I suspect it's neurological. We're waiting for results of infection screen.
If you need to take her back, ask the vet if they can check for arthritis. I have an oldie who hasn't been herself recently and the vet could tell by physical examination (I didn't need to pay for an xray) that she was stiff in her back legs and hips. We're trying her on a short course of steroids and reviewing in a couple of weeks time. In her case, if she seems better she'll be kept on them longterm.
Your little cat is much younger than mine, so if there's any chance it could be arthritis, it might be worth trying fish oils, a natural supplement to see if this helps as long term use of steroids isn't ideal although obviously if they're in pain it's better they're kept pain free.
Thanks. He did go over her very carefully looking for evidence of arthritis and didn't find any. She has a full painless range of movement in all her joints. I expect we'll get some results this week & can take it from there.
I'll share my experience but I don't want to frighten you. I had gorgeous boy, 12 years old. He started to misjudge jumps and preferred keeping to the edges of rooms when he walked. At first I thought it might be his eyes. Then he spent lots of time 'stuck' in corners and with his head against the wall, and walked round and round. It's difficult to describe but very disturbing to watch. He struggled to go downstairs. The vet was excellent and did all sorts of tests for various infections, arthritis and FIV etc but they all came back clear but as time went on it became more and more obvious that something was wrong. He started to stretch his head back a lot, which we later found out is a form of fit, but didn't know this at the time. One evening, he suffered several big consecutive fits - no shaking, but his head stretched back and legs cycling - whilst I was on the phone to the vet who had been investigating his symptoms. Sadly, the vet advised then that we PTS, which we did within ten minutes of the call. It was heartbreaking, but his symptoms were so severe that he really didn't have any quality of life.
His sister died about a year before that, having had a few stumbles and being off her food. She stayed at the vets on a drop as she was dehydrated, and suffered a massive fit whilst she was there which left her blind. She was a very timid cat and with very small children at the time it wouldn't have been fair to bring her home as she would've been terrified, so we made the heart breaking decision to PTS.
The vet said that in both cases it was neurological.
I really hope that this isn't what your cat is going through, but wanted to share my experience as it flummoxed the vet and seems relatively uncommon. Perhaps take videos of your cat to show the vet. Mention these symptoms and see if that gives them anything to go on. We could've taken him for MRI scans but he hated the two minute journey to the vet so that would've been so traumatic for him, so we monitored him at home. Wishing you and your cat all the best, please feel free if you want to ask any questions
Thanks Dolce, that's helpful, though I'm sorry you had to go through it. The infection screens were all negative. She seemed to have a tender spot on her thoracic spine yesterday but no other signs. Her jumping is better since the steroid injection but we've blocked the bigger jumps she usually does. I think a brain or spinal tumour is only too likely. We're taking her for x-rays in the morning and then will think about a neuro consultation.
How did your visit to the vet go today? Been keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Sorry I missed your message Dolce. Nothing on X-rays so middle ear problem is the most likely culprit. Plan is to keep her indoors and just watch and wait. She seems well in herself at the moment.
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