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DrMelJ
DrMelJ, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine- class of 2007.
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My elderly cat (15 years old) is becoming unsteady on his hind

Customer Question

My elderly cat (15 years old) is becoming unsteady on his hind legs. He wobbles a bit and prefers to sit to eat rather than stand. He really doesn't like to go to the vets, becoming very distressed, and is unlikely to be agree to be seen unless sedated. My questions is: is this something you think that is age related that is untreatable, or difficult to treat, ie arthritis, or something that I should take him to the vets to be seen for immediately. I don't want to distress him any more than is necessary.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.
Hi there. Thanks for the question. Let me see if I can help. Im sorry your cat isnt feeling well. At his age, there are of course many issues that could cause the clinical signs that he has.Does he urinate or drink water excessively? it could be a sign of diabetes. They can get plantigrade neuropathy: http://vetbook.org/wiki/cat/index.php/Diabetic_neuropathy Or if he also has urinary tract symptoms (drinking and peeing a lot)- kidney disease can cause hind end weakness.If either of these sounds like what your cat might be experiencing, then I would encourage you to take him in to the vet...as managing the diabetes or kidney disease can help him quite a bit.If the above does not fit with what you are seeing, then some other possibilities include: a spinal or brain tumor , arthritis of the hind limbs or hip or spine, or a blood clot to the hind end. The blood clot situation would likely cause A LOT of distress and pain so if he does not seem excessively painful- screaming or crying out when moving, then it is likely not that. In the case of a tumor....the extent of what you choose to do it up to. There are treatments/surgeries/chemo available but these are very invasive and may not be what you want to put your cat through. For arthritis issues, it may be worth discussing with your vet or considering taking the cat in to see about getting some pain medications. Unfortunately there are NO safe over the counter medications for cats. If you do not want to take him in, I'd advise altering his environment as neessary to make it easy for him to get to food and water and a comfy place to rest. Limit stairs and jumping on furniture. Ensure he can lift his hind end to get into and out of the litter box or you may need to get a new box that has very low sides. I hope this helps. Best of luck.