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Old cat's walk question...

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  • Old cat's walk question...

    I've had a bunch of old cats in my life but haven't ever seen this. One of my cats is approx. 13-14 years old. In the last year he's started walking funny. I wish I had a better way to explain it but he flings his back feet out at the very end of his stride - just the very ends of his toes. Other than that, it's a normal stride. Well, he might walk more with one foot in front of the other (on the back) than he used to but, other than that, it looks almost like he'd walk if he was trying to flip water off the bottom of his feet.

    He still jumps and goes up and down stairs with no problems. He just has that little flip/fling thing on each back foot with every stride. He still eats well, grooms himself normally, etc. He's always been my house bully and the new kids do not respect his "authoritiii" which befuddles him to no end. No one jumps on him but they returned fire instead of running (like my timid older cats) when he used to start stuff . I don't think anyone has injured him, though.

    So, arthritis? Injury? Something else? He's going for his normal wellness exam in a month or two so I'll ask the vet about it, too.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

  • #2
    Ooh! A cat lameness question. Those rarely come up among the DVMs that work on them. After all, you can't do flexion tests or blocks on a cat and there are very few "performance cat" practices out there.

    It doesn't sound like arthritis to me (and hard working cats do get this). But cat arthritis often has some muscle atrophy that goes with it.

    So does Kitteh look a little "pointier" over his hips than he used to? That happened with my old lady cat who began to pace rather than walk.

    I'll be interested to see what other people say. But if Cathead thinks life and getting around is still good, I'd take his word for it.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by mvp View Post
      So does Kitteh look a little "pointier" over his hips than he used to? That happened with my old lady cat who began to pace rather than walk.

      I'll be interested to see what other people say. But if Cathead thinks life and getting around is still good, I'd take his word for it.
      No, he's still in good weight and his hips aren't pointier. I checked tonight.

      And yeah, he thinks life is just fine but why, oh why won't those youngsters OBEY him??? LOL! It was so funny the first time he growled and jumped on the first one (who was a baby at the time) and said baby turned around and growl/howled and swatted him back. Old man was all, "but, but, but... you're supposed to run! WTF!"
      "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

      Comment


      • #4
        When I hear "cat walking funny" I immediately think of a plantigrade stance which can happen with diabetic cats. However, this doesnt sound at all like that (which is good!).

        Any chance you can get a video?

        Doesnt sound like a lameness (so I wouldnt think arthritis or hip issues),especially if he feels life is grand - maybe he just wants to dance haha!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Yes, I'll try to get him on video. He also lies (lays?) funny - like on his side in the back but crouching upright in front. He's done that for years and years, though, so I haven't thought much about it. It looks uncomfortable to me but I figure if he likes sitting that way...
          "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Oh, and I meant to ask... He had some dental work last fall and had blood work done before the anesthesia since he was older. Would that check normally include blood sugar levels? He does drink a lot of water but he always has.

            I'm off to google "plantigrade stance".
            "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by alabama View Post

              I'm off to google "plantigrade stance".
              Think "dropped fetlocks." The cat is walking on the base of its cannon bone. The paw looks too long.

              Sorry for the bizarre description, but I'm sure you'll get it.

              In my diabetic cat's case, she started to toe out as well. This is more in front than behind and it's assymetrical. She says she still gets around "good enough." I watch her for gimpiness. It's hard to see a head bob in a cat. They have such short necks!
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                I vote for arthritis. One of our elderly cats started doing all sorts of funky/wonky things at the walk, even though she could still sprint & climb with the best of them. It was difficult to tell by appearance exactly where the problem was coming from, which vet said frequently comes from the way the cat compensates for the pain. Vet x-rayed & sure enough - serious arthritis in both hips - one worse than the other. We put her on "Syn-Flex Pet - Beef Flavor" with our vet's blessing, & were absolutely amazed at how her problems diminished in just a couple of weeks. She was wonderfully comfortable for the 3 more years we had her (she had other health problems that eventually did her in).

                We now have our arthritic Walker Coonhound on Syn-Flex, & it's had the same amazing results for her. I highly recommend the product for anyone with pets diagnosed with arthritis. But I definitely advise getting a positive diagnosis for arthritis first, not just adding the supplement & hoping it does the trick.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                  Think "dropped fetlocks." The cat is walking on the base of its cannon bone. The paw looks too long.
                  Thanks! Nope, Cody is still just walking on the pads of his feet like normal - so not that.

                  Thanks, Bacardi1 for the tip. I'll look into that. Wonder if it'd work for my retired gelding? (halfway kidding) He gets injected but I wouldn't mind a supplement.
                  "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

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