Weird legs?

zozma

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Hey I’m not sure if this belongs in health or behavior. I chose behavior for now because I don’t think it is strongly affecting my cat. But I’m very curious.

So I adopted a stray cat from the backyard in March. Or rather, she adopted us. She had come by for food for 2-3 nights, likely following our two strays we care for (Don’t worry. They’re both fixed and taken care of medically but though they’ve been offered a place inside they seem reluctant to do it so for now they are our “outside cats”).

Anyway. I went out to the porch to feed our regulars and she meowed and then walked right into our home like she owned it.
She was sick with a nasty eye infection, coughing, sneezing. She went to the vet and was treated. No fleas or or bugs. We put out signs and walked a couple miles around the neighborhood to find her owners but nobody knew anything and nobody contacted us.
So we decided to keep her.
Now she is fixed and healthy and a VERY happy and affectionate cuddling cat. She’s the best!
The one thing I’m concerned over or at least curious about is this:

her back legs are strange. When she comes down the stairs, she bunny hops. She never lays with her back legs tucked under her, I’ve never seen her do it in all the time she’s been with us. She tends to flop heartily onto her side and splay her back legs out. Even if she’s sitting up, her back legs will be stretched out and splayed.
They don’t appear to be tender or painful. I’ve tried checking and she doesn’t get skittish or angry. She lets me touch them.
The feet seem to face outward when she stands, walks, or runs. It’s very strange. She is my 9th cat (not all at once. We have three inside including her and the two regulars outside currently) and I have never seen this before.
What is it and will it cause problems later on in life? Is there anything to do to lessen possible issues in the future? She’s only about 6-8 months old at this point. Half grown but not quite adult yet. I would love to have answers to get her on the right track.
Or is it nothing and since she’s otherwise healthy as can be, should I just leave it alone and accept it as a quirk of hers?
Sorry about the formatting. I’m writing from my phone.
 

sivyaleah

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Have she seen a vet yet for this? I see you went when you first got her but now that she's had some growing maybe they would be best qualified to say if it's a quirk or something related to her health? Can you upload a video here? Without seeing what you're talking about it's impossible to guess or make a comparison to something someone here may have seen with their own cat.
 
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zozma

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Here are some images. I’m sorry for the double post. I couldn’t find the edit button.
 

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zozma

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Have she seen a vet yet for this? I see you went when you first got her but now that she's had some growing maybe they would be best qualified to say if it's a quirk or something related to her health? Can you upload a video here? Without seeing what you're talking about it's impossible to guess or make a comparison to something someone here may have seen with their own cat.
i Don’t have video yet but once I do I’ll upload it. It’s hard to whip out the phone going down the stairs. But I do plan to see the vet about it. I was just wondering if anybody here might have any clues as to what might be going on.
 

FeebysOwner

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Some vets are very thorough with a physical exam when they first see a cat, so you would like to think the vet didn't see/feel anything abnormal. But, just to err on the cautious side, it would probably be a good idea to talk to the vet about what you are seeing as well as sharing the pics you've taken with them - along with the video when you make one.

It could be a genetic anomaly, something that occurred at birth, or an injury of some other type, but it will be good to get it on record now and then the vet can check for any changes each time you take her in for follow-up visits.
 

Kieka

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The problem is, what you are describing could be nothing or could be something. Without xrays to see what is going on its really hard to make a guess. Some cats just learn to move differently or their development was slightly off giving them a different gait. Which would be a nothing thing. But on the flip side, it could very easily be something. A sign of bones issues, muscles issues or pre warning of something more serious.

In my experience, I'd guess something with joints of the hip from what you are describing. But an xray would be needed still to figure out if it is nothing or something.
 

sivyaleah

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Here are some images. I’m sorry for the double post. I couldn’t find the edit button.
That doesn't look as bad as I imagined from your description.

Glad you have a vet visit lined up though. As everyone said, could be something structural with her hips for example. Cats are good at hiding pain so getting a hands on look over and any diagnostics needed should get you an answer. Curious for the results so keep us posted if you can.
 

iPappy

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I have a cat that was found as a kitten and was incredibly skinny, dehydrated, and sick. She grew up with a rear end that looks more like a rabbit, her legs are odd and her back is very roached. The vet thinks she was sick and didn't get adequate nutrients for a long time during her growth period so her bones grew differently. She bunny hops when she runs, and many times if she's running and doesn't balance herself correctly her rear legs go out to the side and her back end falls onto a hip. She's 8 years old and the only thing I've noticed is some days she seems stiff. Vet recommended some joint support and I can tell it helps. She runs and plays and is 8 years old. She does not jump well (she can't jump over a baby gate) but can manage the couch, recliner, etc. It doesn't slow her down and doesn't seem to let it bother her. And for what her structure doesn't have, she makes up with it because this cat just oozes personality!
I'd definitely get her in to see a vet, preferably one you already know and trust. We see our cats daily and can't always tell when subtle things change, but if they see them twice a year a change would pop out at them.
 

ArtNJ

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I had a kitten that seemed a bit bunnyish, with a big rear and rear legs, that seemed to lope, and not jump much. But she did run around like a kitten. I asked the vet about it and he asked, "well, does she run around normally" and when I said "yes" he shrugged. She still doesn't jump much but is a very normal 3 year old with the gate differences having faded.

Those pictures seem totally normal to me, with the back legs maybe looking a tad big, but I imagine thats just the gangly kitten phase. I'd bet that the kitten is normal.
 

susanm9006

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Bunny hopping down stairs is pretty normal as are the pictures that you showed. But still she could have some former injury or deformity that affects her legs. Vet should be able to tell you.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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I'd definitely recommend going to your vet for both a physical leg exam and getting thorough xrays of both of her back legs. Furthermore, I'd recommend having the *professional radiologist* (not just your regular vet) read the x-rays. Depending on *those* results or findings, if anything is found (whether an injury or some unfolding, development/congenital issue), you might consider consulting with an orthopedic vet surgeon. It could be nothing -- or it could be something serious -- but I am glad you are paying attention at this stage in her growth, and if it IS serious, you are in a good position to try to find a way to help her!
 

Caspers Human

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Our cat, Casper, has a perineal hernia.

As of now, we are simply treating it, symptomatically, by giving him medicine and putting Miralax in his food to make it easier for him to go to the litter box. Someday, we plan to get him an operation to relieve the problem but we can't afford it so we have to just get by until the time comes.

However, Casper sometimes hesitates when he jumps and does that "bunny hop" that you mention when he goes up the stairs. I'm sure it's because he is favoring that hernia on his hind end.

Our vet didn't notice it until we brought him in for another problem and was treating him for that. A backside hernia isn't something that most vets would think to look for, right off the bat.

I'm not saying that this is what your cat's problem is but her symptoms certainly seem familiar to me.

Casper is a rescued cat that lived outdoors before we adopted him. Since your cat is also a rescue, there might be a parallel, there.

If your cat's butt hurts when she moves a certain way, like Casper, she could be favoring her injury.

The solution would be to have your vet look over her hind end to see if there is anything going on.

As I said, this would not be the kind of problem that a vet would think to look for, right out of the gate.

Feel free to mention Casper's problem to your vet and tell them that you were messaging somebody who suggested it.
I'll tell you more details if you think it's pertinent.
 
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zozma

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She’s going to the vet next week so I’ll let you guys know what she says! I agree that it might only be something we could check with X-rays so we may go that route. I just want to make sure it’s not something that will end up troubling her later in life, especially as she’s so young. That’s my biggest concern. She seems normal and healthy otherwise! Better to be safe than sorry though.
 
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