My 12-13 y/o kitty, Layla, presented staggering and falling behavior this morning around 11:30 AM (just a few hours ago). She was 100% fine last night at 2AM. She was in the other room sleeping on the couch, and came in to the room I was in when she heard me putting out food for her. She was able to leap up on to the counter to get to the bowl, but then started wobbling and staggering. I had to right her a couple of times. She was fully conscious while this was happening, still went to her bowl (and did stumble while at her bowl).
I, of course, was very alarmed by these symptoms and changed all my plans and took her to the vet. $250 later, we're doing a urinalysis (checking to see if an old infection finally cleared up) and blood work. He checked her eyes and rolled her over on to her belly to see if she could right herself (she could) The vet did hear a heart murmur - she's had one in the past and thinks it might be a bit stronger now. He checked her ears and thought it was too soon to say if it was an inner ear infection.
He told me to watch her today, call him if she does it any more (which she has been, so I'll call him this afternoon), and he'll call me tomorrow with the test results. He said I might need to take her to a neurologist.
To me, it's definitely some kind of balance/rear leg issue. I held a treat over her head and she tried to stand up on her hind legs to get it, and she wobbled and couldn't really do it (she normally loves to do that). She seems hesitant to jump now and really just wants to lay down, so I'm just keeping her next to me and will feed/water her in a little bit.
I researched a little bit online and saw something called geriatric vestibular syndrome - could that be what this is? What else could it be? My poor girl.