I just signed on and saw your question and wanted to help right away. I have a few questions to help me best know how to answer.
- how old is your cat?
- is she an indoor or outdoor cat?
- which limbs are affected (front or back)?
- does she have any history of a heart murmur or other health problems?
Thank you for the extra information.
Based on what you are describing, I would be most worried about a saddle thrombus, or a clot in the aorta (largest artery in the abdomen) where is splits to supply blood to the hind legs. This is most commonly associated with a type of heart disease in cats called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the thickened heart muscle causes abnormal blood flow, and makes the formation of blood clots more likely. The clot can escape out of the heart, and gets lodged in the artery, which blocks blood flow to the legs. This disease can often be diagnosed with an exam and measurement of Doppler blood flow in the hindlimbs. It is an extremely painful condition in cats, so I strongly recommend taking her to your veterinarian to reach a diagnosis and give her intravenous pain medications to help make her more comfortable if this is the case.
Here is more information on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
My other worries would be muscle or spinal or hindlimb pain from other reasons and kidney or bladder pain. These are non-specific and uncommon signs for these diseases, which is why I put them further down on my list of concerns. After an examination and possibly some bloodwork and/or x-rays, your veterinarian should be able to give you more information about what is causing her inability to use her hindlimbs and how to treat it.
I will be keeping my fingers crossed for your sweet little kitty! I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
could this also be the reason she has been getting so skinny?
Usually heart disease in and of itself will not cause heart disease, however, the type of heart disease I am most worried about (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) is often seen with hyperthyroidism, a disease where the thyroid gland is over-active. Hyperthyroidism absolutely causes weight loss. Other signs are ravenous appetite in the face of weight loss, increased activity, increased thirst and urination, and increased vocalization.
Since you mentioned that your cat has also lost weight, the other thing I would add to my list of concerns for her trouble with her back legs would be diabetes since it can cause both weight loss and hind limb weakness. This is something that can be diagnosed with bloodwork and urinalysis, and is something that is treatable with insulin therapy.
Good luck with your kitty and let me know if I can help in any other way.
Both diabetes and a clot in the aorta (saddle thrombus) can cause cats to act drunk, though more often seen with a saddle thrombus. They seem drunk when they have a saddle thrombus from pain and drunk with diabetes from high blood sugar.
Are her pupils dilated? If so, that is a very common finding in cats with a saddle thrombus due to the severe pain. It can be seen in diabetes, especially if there are cataracts present, but still less common than with a clot.
Thanks for the extra information, and hope your girl is feeling better soon.
Oh my goodness, I am sorry to hear about her (and your) rough morning.
Is your veterinarian able to see her today? I would contact them as soon as possible to get her in as soon as they can see her. If they are not able to see her today, below is a website to help you find a doctor who specializes in emergency & critical care, most of whom work at hospitals that are available to see any emergency at any time. If there is one close to you, and your vet cannot see her today, I would take her to one of those hospitals.
Good luck getting to the bottom of what is going on. I will keep my fingers crossed for everything to be ok.