Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Includes Expert Content
    Cats hind legs giving out
    Taylor_ posted:
    My cat Felix is 1 1/2 years old indoor cat and has a brother that lives and eats etc. the same things and is in great shape. Last week, suddenly, he lost the strength in his hind legs. I first noticed when he pulled himself up into my lap with his front legs, dragging his rear ones. When he tries to walk, he walks on his "hocks" with his feet kind of pointed out at angles. He's only able to take 2 or 3 wobbly steps before having to sit down. Yesterday he defacated outside of the litterbox. I've read on the internet that other cats with similar symptoms have done that too because its easier for the cat on a flat surface.

    He eats regularly Turkey Gerber baby food, Iams "Active" dry cat food, and 'hairball control' and 'shiny coat' treats in the morning and before bed. He has stopped meowing though when he's being petted and laying down he doesnt seem like he's in pain - like when he's trying to move.

    v He tested negative for FIV/FELV

    v The vet examined him and ruled out the thrombosis, blood clot possibility because he thinks he has a strong pulse in his feet.

    v From his x-ray the vet confimed that Felix has no broken bones etc.

    He does thinks the problem is a bacterial infection in his spine because there were two tiny darker areas in the x-ray on his spine that might be the infection. The vet proscribed 1/2 tablet Cephalexin 250mg 2x/day.

    I'm concerned because there are many similar stories from pet owners on the internet to Felix's symptoms, and none of them have to do with a bacterial infection in the animals spine.

    One issue that I havent seen compared to other people is the eating of litter. I did see him lick the inside of the cat box, however.

    I've read that a potassium supplement might help.

    Please, please, will anyone with some expertise provide me with any answers.

    Thank you.
    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
    While it's possible there is an infection in your cat's spine, this would be a very rare cause of his symptoms. It doesn't sound like his legs are actually paralyzed as he can walk a few steps. It sound more like his rear legs are weak. This can occur with diseases such as diabetes, spinal disk disease, trauma, etc. Unless he's much better by now, he needs further diagnosis and treatment. If your veterinarian can't find anything else wrong with him, ask her for a referral to a board certified feline or internal medicine specialist in your area. The sooner the better.

    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
    The Cat Doctor
    Board Certified in Feline Practice
    Taylor_ replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
    Thank you Sir.
    Taylor_ replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
    Three or four days later, all of his legs were giving out. When he fell, even his neck would not let him lift his head. He started having neck spasms and by the time I got him to the vet an hour or so later he had a full seizure. The vet injected him with valium and decided to do a blood test for epilepsy. Soon after Felix had gone blind and had further seizures before the vet euthanized him.

    Helpful Tips

    How to Get Your Cat in a CarrierExpert
    Trying to get your cat in a carrier for a trip to the veterinarians or road trip can be extremely frustrating. Some how a 10# cat that ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    19 of 26 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Learn more about the AVMA

    WebMD Special Sections