If your cat has wobbly walking back legs, reduced mobility, or is clearly in pain – it’s important you have them seen to and find out what’s wrong.
There are a number of reasons why cats develop mobility problems, identifying why as soon as possible so you can provide care is essential.
Reasons Why Cats Develop Wobbly Walking Back Legs
The most common reason for a cat to develop wobbly or weak back legs is due to old age.
As cats get older, they may experience pain and stiffness in their joints which can make it difficult for them to move around as they once did.
If your cat is elderly and you notice these changes, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian as there are treatments available that can help improve their quality of life.
Another common reason cats may develop mobility issues is due to arthritis.
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints and can be very painful.
If your cat has arthritis, you may notice them limping or having difficulty getting up from lying down.
Again, consulting with your veterinarian is important so they can prescribe medication to help relieve the pain and inflammation.
There are also a number of other conditions that can lead to mobility problems in cats including:
- Neurological disorders
- Muscle weakness
- Kidney disease
- Feline diabetes
- Heart disease
There really are a number of causes, so it’s hard for me to say why your cat has wobbly, weak, or stiff back legs.
If you notice your cat is having difficulty walking, it’s important to have them seen by a veterinarian so they can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
In some cases, the underlying condition may be treatable and your cat can return to its normal level of activity.
In other cases, the condition may be progressive and your cat may need ongoing care to manage the symptoms.
Related – More about how cats use their legs.
My 20-Year-Old Cat Developed Weak Back Legs – What I Did
My much beloved Yngwie, who we lost a couple of years ago suddenly developed weak back legs when she was 20 years old.
Obviously, 20 is old for a cat – she was much past the average age for a British Shorthair tabby, but it still came as a surprise and really compromised her movement.
The vet diagnosed her with arthritis and prescribed pain medication to help relieve the inflammation and pain.
We also made some changes to her diet and started giving her supplements specifically designed for joint health.
These changes made a big difference and I could tell she was able to enjoy her life with less discomfort.
There is no magic cure, she didn’t suddenly get full motion in her legs and I still had to help her up and down the stairs.
But she was the equivalent of about 96 in human years, so she was probably wondering where her stairlift was!
Why Is My Cat Thin at the Back End?
Yngwie also became very thin on her back end, it looked as if her rear hips and the top of her legs were wasting away.
The vet said this was common in older cats and wasn’t anything to worry about.
As long as she was maintaining her weight and eating well, there was no cause for concern.
At least, not in the way that this was causing her arthritis to worsen or was the result of any other health conditions.
In fact, my vet explained that most cats will naturally lose a bit of muscle mass as they age – just like people!
Helping a Cat With Wobbly or Weak Back Legs
If your cat is experiencing mobility issues, there are a number of things you can do to help them.
The main thing is that you might need to make some changes at home to help your cat get around more easily.
For example, you may need to provide them with a set of pet stairs or ramps so they can access their favorite spots.
We added some pet stairs to the end of our bed and Yngwie took to using them right away.
You may also need to help them up and down the stairs or in and even out of the litter box – low-sided litter boxes might be unsightly, but they are better for older cats.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your cat may need to use their litter box more frequently.
This is because they may not be able to hold it as long as they could when they were younger and healthier.
Make sure to provide them with at least two clean litter boxes that are easily accessible.
You’ll know your cat better than anyone. Anything you can do to help them get to all their favorite places is going to go a long way to improving their standard of life.
It’s not unusual for cats to develop mobility issues as they age, but it’s important to get your cat checked out with your vet if you notice any changes in their ability to walk or move around.
There are a number of conditions that can lead to mobility problems in cats and some of them may be treatable.
Plus, you need to know exactly what the issue is that your cat has that is compromising their movement.
You can then start making some changes to your cat’s diet and environment that will help to make them more comfortable and improve their quality of life.
Image credits – Photo by Josue Aguazia on Unsplash