Young cat weak back legs

irisheyzs

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Hi all...I thought I would ask here if anyone has any insight. I know he needs a good work up at the vet but with covid I hate this curbside service that all the vets seem to follow. I want a face to face visit and be able to go in with the cat. We adopted Shadow from the Animal Foundation here in Las Vegas about a year and a half ago. They said he was 4 months old when we got him. He developed a very bad upper respiratory infection a couple days after adopting him but we got through that. He's always been a quirky little guy. Weird head movements when trying to judge jumps, clumsy, and the counter is as high as he can jump. To me there just seems to be something wrong with his back legs. His back legs kinda turn in when he walks...a little like a human that is knock kneed. He seems to have very weak back legs...I've seen him stumble a few times and the muscles just don't feel strong. It doesn't take much of a push to topple his back end over. When he runs the back legs seem to push up at the same time, like a hop. He can run FAST with no issues. He's like lightning when you play with a toy and make him run in circles...just a black furry blur! Another weird thing is the only time his tail raises is when you scratch his back at the base of the tail. Other than that, it just drags along with him always curled to the left. Lots of litter box issues with that part. He has long hair so he's had a few baths already lol. I just think there's something wrong. Neurological? Accident before we got him? We love him and all his quirks to death but I would just like to know what happened or is it something serious. Any ideas?
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Maurey

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What a beatiful kitty! I'm very sorry you're going through this with him :<

I know you're reluctant to go to the vet with the current situation and believe me, I very much understand, but I'm afraid you might not have any choice, considering the situation -- it's very hard to hint at a possible cause without being hands on with the cat, and certain conditions causing such symptoms could need treatment asap.

It's hard to say what it could be, without seeing your kitty move, or in person, but I might be able to make some suggestions (and I'm sure other people will come along with other thoughts, as well). Purely based on your descriptions of him (weak hind end, head tilt, trouble aiming a jump), sounds like it could well be neurological, but it's hard to say for sure. Would you be able to post some videos of him moving around, some good examples of him toppling over or demonstrating back end weakness?

Has his hind end always been weak, since you got him? Other than easily being knocked off balance, does he walk unusually (e.g. does he wobble, often fall over seemingly at random, have trouble keeping balance without interference)? Is his back end painful (e.g. does he let you move his back legs or tail, like moving his legs around, flexing, or moving the hip)? Or perhaps he shows signs of pain after jumping up or down from something -- this is generally very subtle in cats, but if a cat pauses for a little while between jumping and moving onwards, it could be a sign of pain.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Very pretty kitty!! If nothing has progressed since you have had him, and he is healthy in all other aspects, then it would seem likely it is either genetic or the result if an injury before you adopted him. Either way, it sure would seem neurological in nature. If any of his actions are progressing/getting worse, that would warrant more immediate attention.

If you have a good rapport with your vet you could share a video of his movements and ask if this is something that can wait until they allow you in with Shadow - but, that is only if nothing has gotten any worse over the course of the past 1 1/2 years. If the vet thinks he should be looked at, ask about video, or even just audio, conferencing you into the exam. Some vets offer this, others don't.
 
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irisheyzs

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Thanks folks :) I will give the vet a call to make sure it's something that can wait for a bit. I can then get some video of him. He seems very content and happy. Loves to play and run. Never seems to be in any pain. I did read some articles last night about cow hocked back legs in cats and they all looked like him when walking with the back feet pointing outwards when he walks instead of straight. I'm leaning towards more of an orthopedic issue. His built is odd. Very, very long body with short stubby legs. He doesn't actually fall over on his own, I have seen his back leg kinda buckle when walking but he just keeps on going, doesn't even flinch. If I pat him on the side of his back legs like I can with our other guy, he just doesn't seem to have the strength back there to show much resistance. The head tilts when trying to judge a jump doesn't seem to happen much anymore. I think he learned his limits and doesn't stray from that. During the first year I just figured he was one of those clumsy kitties and really didn't pay much mind to it. Now that he's full grown I can see the difference between him and our other kitty. Thanks for the replies!
 

FeebysOwner

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I've read about some orthopedic congenital issues... I think you just might be on the right track with that thought!!! At any rate, he considers himself perfectly normal (and adorable)!!!
 
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irisheyzs

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I've read about some orthopedic congenital issues... I think you just might be on the right track with that thought!!! At any rate, he considers himself perfectly normal (and adorable)!!!
Thanks so much! He is honestly the sweetest most lovable cat we every had.
 
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