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older cat, back legs going out

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My older cat, Skeezex, is headed out I think

She's about 16 now and I've noticed the past week or so that she seems to be losing the use of her hindlegs.
She slips alot on them and walks very very slow. This happened to another cat of mine too about this age, he eventually couldn't use them at all and we had to have him put down because he seemed to be in alot of pain/miserable.
I just noticed some cat urine on the wood floor in the room she sleeps in so I'm worried she's losing function of all her hind parts. My other cat had been given some sort of shot to supposedly help the muscles in that area but it seemed to speed the process along instead of help it so I dont really want to do that again.
I'm going to bring her litter box to a more accessable place for her so she's more comfortable. She doesn't seem very happy right now. She was always running around and hunting and playing and she can't do that now. She was also always very vocal whenever anyone came near her/pet her, and she isn't doing that hardly at all. I don't want her to suffer.. Is getting her put down the best way to go?
post #2 of 19
I would first take her to the vets and get her a full workup- blood panels, x-rays the works. Because of her advanced age she could have anything from arthritis setting in to internal breakdown, but honestly, your vet would be the one to make the determination as to what is wrong with her. If a change in diet and some medication would make her comfortable, isn't it worth the price to pay to find out? She could have a spinal injury or a blood clot, but again a professional should guide your decision. I do not know one vet who when aware of a cat suffering, would not offer gently the option of euthanasia. But get her checked out first and foremost before going further with any actions.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I of course want her to be happy and healthy but i cant afford to get all that done. It's not that im a jerk or cheap its just that i dont have any money. Also this is what happened to my other cat and nothing we did helped.
post #4 of 19
flyte no one would call you a jerk or cheap, especially in the light of the advanced age of your cat. Perhaps a simple blood panel run will hold the answer for you and you can go from there? I know what you are talking about, I had a beautiful cat here who got feline hyperesthisia, unfortunately my vet didn't know anything about it and he over medicated Bacardi as I was trying to convince him to look at the research material I found. Bacardi responded badly to the meds, and had a grand mal seizure and died in my arms. You do what you can within the limits of your means and hope for the best.
post #5 of 19
Cat's with diabeties can do this also. I would take to the vet and see what your vet suggest. I do know from experience, I had a 16 year old kitty and as her time was coming I asked my vet what would be a sure sign and she told me she would loose her bodily functions (laying in her pee)....that's how I found her one day when i went home for lunch....I immediately loaded her up to take to vet to do the ugly but my Missy didn't let me make that choice. One the way, as I was petting her and tell her all was okay (she was steadily purring the whole time) she looked at me and gave a big like sigh and died. I still went on to the vet and she "packaged" her up very nice for me to take home and bury.

I miss her to this day, there will be no other Missy. She was a blue haired persian.

post #6 of 19
I was just going to say the same thing about Diabetes. This same thing happened to my Sister's cat. He was diagnosed with diabetes and had to go on insulin. She also gave hime kelp which you can get at any health food store and sometimes in the big grocery store. This brought down is sugar levels quite a bit. He lived a good 5-7 years after his diagnosis. He did not die of diabetes, but of lung cancer.
post #7 of 19
Hi Nora,

I do have sugar cat....Her name is Cloey and she is my baby now. She will be 12 October 3. I give her two shots a day of insulin and control her diet with special food (only she gets and other cats hate me for this, hehe). I even monitor her blood glucose levels at home myself. This coming January will be 2 years for her being a sugar cat. Here is her picture:
post #8 of 19
Yes, diabetes can and often does cause nerve damage in the paws as it advances ... it is called diabetic neuropathy.

I also had a diabetic cat, in fact, I have had three of them. The last one, a beautiful little Seal Point Siamese named Chloe, was also recently (back in April) diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and sadly, I was forced to euthanise her on July 28.

Diabetes (if this is what is wrong with your Skeezex) IS a treatable illness. I won't lie to you and say that it is easy, nor is it inexpensive. The sad truth is that the leading cause of death among diabetic cats is euthanasia because people don't want to be bothered with sticking to the restrictive schedule, absorbing the expense, and dealing with the host of other health issues often associated.

On a brighter note and of interest to diabetic cat owners, Purina has come out with their new food formulated for diabetic cats - it is called DM for Diabetic Maintenance. A 4 pound bag of the dry food, which my little Chloe loved, costs about $17 here in Virginia - and it was instrumental in lowering her blood glucose levels. We were able to reduce her insulin requirement from just over 3 units twice per day to a little less than 1 unit twice per day.

Please take your Skeezex to the vet and have them do a complete blood panel including organ function as well as urine labs. There are many options besides euthanasia.

If you, or anyone here, needs assistance with a diabetic cat, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck to you and to Skeezex,

Gaye Flagg
post #9 of 19
There are many things that can cause those symptoms...if you have a regular vet perhaps you could call & explain your situation to see if they could work out payment arrangements? Princess Purr posted a helpful link recently for when we're having a tough time financially:

Low potassium levels can also cause hind leg weakness - if your cat is drinking a lot and urinating a lot due to kidney problems or diabetes it can flush too much potassium from her system, causing weakness. This is something that must be determined by a vet, though - the supplement type and dosage must be prescribed for your cat. My cat was on medication for low potassium (due to kidney failure), and one day I saw a diabetic cat with the same back leg weakness my cat had & mentioned the possible potassium link to his owner, who in turn mentioned it to his vet - turned out he had the same problem & medication helped him too - the vet had missed the problem initially.

Because you brought up the issue of putting your cat to sleep, I'd like to share this with you -

If you reach a point where you feel you've done everything you can & are considering having her put to sleep because you wish to spare her suffering, this is a good link to read: http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/euthanasia.htm

I had to make the difficult decision last year for my girl - she had reached a point where there was nothing more the vet could do for her, she was suffering, so I had to put my own pain aside and do what was best for her. I do not regret that decision...she had lived a long, full life, and I did everything I could for her, including giving her a kind end to her suffering. She left this world resting in my arms, listening to my voice, purring softly.

I sincerely hope and pray that your cat will be with you, happy and healthy, for a long time to come. However, if you do reach a point where you need to make the toughest decision, we will be here for you.
post #10 of 19



Can you tell me how much kelp she gave the cat each day and in what form. My cat is in really bad shape.


Thank You

post #11 of 19

@:gusnewt, the post you replied to is from 2003 so they will almost certainly be be long since gone.  Suggest you start a new thread and tell us about your cat and his or her problem.

post #12 of 19
my cat Skeezix (Siamese, male, 13) is going through the same thing. He had some 'accidents' in his sleep a couple months back and sometimes seems to forget what he's doing. I also dont have a lot of money to take him to the vet so I'm in the same boat you weere.
post #13 of 19
I hope you have taken your baby to the vet by now and I hope it is something that can be treated. When I read that her back legs were going out the first thing I thought of was kidney failure. Then when you wrote that she is urinating on the floor that also supported kidney failure. I know this condition all too well, I have lost many cats to kidney failure and although not all of them showed the same symptoms, what you are seeing are two very common signs of this disease. The number one reason that felines pass away is from kidney failure and it is very common, even in younger cats, but a 16 year old cat is even more likely to develop this. When their kidneys go out, they become very weak in the back legs, and generally weak all over, thus urinating and sleeping in it is a common thing I have seen. They are urinating outside of the box to show you that they don't feel good, and/or because they don't have the strength to walk to their box every time. Their appetite decreases, they feel very nauseous, weak, they can't jump, and they urinate outside the box. It may not be too late for your kitty if she can get some IV or SQ fluids, but the sooner you find out exactly what it is, the better chance you and she have of making her feel better and hopefully extending her life. I wish you and her the very best.
post #14 of 19

Your pet certainly needs to be looked at. IT could be anything from kidney disease to Diabetes...to a deficiency of potassium, secondary to kidney disease.

With the back leg weakness and the urinary mishaps it sounds like it MAY be kidney related and this could be at least treatable, not curable and your cat could at least have a better quality of life for awhile.


As far as money for the visit you can also apply for carecredit, it is a healthcare credit card used for veterinary care... www.carecredit.com/vetmed/


You could also ask your vet for a payment plan, usually they are agreeable to this.

post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by meowmeow219 View Post

my cat Skeezix (Siamese, male, 13) is going through the same thing. He had some 'accidents' in his sleep a couple months back and sometimes seems to forget what he's doing. I also dont have a lot of money to take him to the vet so I'm in the same boat you weere.

you can also apply for carecredit, or work with your vet on a payment plan as I am sure your vet would understand .


Even if I could not afford the visit, I would find a way... that is me though. Start with some phone calls , perhaps the Humane society could give you some phone numbers of some charitable organizations, call your vet, explain situation, see if they are willing to work with you, apply for carecredit....


Good luck......

post #16 of 19

just noticed this is an old thread.. so guess suggestions are no longer needed....

post #17 of 19

my daughter's Shadow cat lived to be 19 1/2 but suddenly lost use of hind limbs then continence,   cats are prone to blood vessel clots, nothing you do or pay for will fix it , get the animal in a comfy confined area with easy access clean water, clean  litter .   small portions of the  best food you like to give it and watch for a day or two if it is wetting itself, gently clean and dry keep warm .  limbs will lose function this is an ascending as a clot growing( would make sense), call around to check for best price for euthanasia at your local vets if you do not have a relationship with one.  xrays and blood work are pricey, give to the local shelter in honor of your animal but save 300 or more on this end of life pattern, let the animal know you love it, gently pet and care for it.  this is where most of us live, there are the few that can spend like crazy but you make the choice

post #18 of 19

My 14 y/o cat was fine yesterday when i fed him.  Within a half hour I noticed he was walking funny.  Within an hour he could barely use his back legs.  I took him to emergency where they did a full physical.  I opted not to do  xray as it would not change the course of treatment I would chose.  He did not seem to be in pain which ruled out fractures, he had total bowel and bladder control , was eating and it came on suddenly so we assumed it might be a disc in his back.  Being a physical therapist it made sense.  The vet prescribed prednisolone ( steroids) and in 24 hours he is able to walk.  Total cost $114.00  I was relieved and amazed!


I would definitely ask your vet about anti inflammatories!!! the older cat just like people might have some arthritis in the spine area causing great pain, adn dysfunction!

post #19 of 19
I know this is a very old thread but for anyone searching I just wanted to make a comment. If your cat all the sudden can not use its hind limbs rush it to the nearest ER vet esp if their crying and/or there limbs are cold. Blood clots are horribly painful and they need immediate pain meds and blood thinners.
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