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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5764
Experience:  DVM -13 years experience in feline medicine and surgery.
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My cat is staggering and unsteady on her back legs..keeps nearly

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My cat is staggering and unsteady on her back legs..keeps nearly falling over...but eating and cheerful, apparently not in pain
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

Do her eyes seem to be moving back and forth?

Any vomiting?

How long ago did this start?

Is she tilting her head to one side?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Dr Matt, no her eyes are not moving back and forth, no vomiting and her head is not tilted. It started a few days ago.


Thanks for the additional information.

Sorry to hear this about La La. Problems like this can be scary to watch. I am glad to hear that she does not seem to be painful. As long as she does not act uncomfortable that will rule out some of the disorders such as bulging discs in the spine, spinal cord tumors, and blood clots that can get stuck in the arteries that go to the hind legs. IF she would seem painful when you touch her back then I would be more likely to suspect these disorders.

The most common disorders that can cause a cat to be unsteady on the back legs without any pain are:

- Vestibular disease - which is a neurologic or balance disorder similar to vertigo in people. This can be caused by a middle or inner ear infection, a polyp or mass in the middle ear region, trauma to the head, or sometimes due to an unknown cause. Many cats with this disorder when due to the unknown cause will recover naturally in 7-10 days at the longest and have a very good prognosis. The other causes such as infection though need to be treated with antibiotics or surgery depending on the cause.

- Brain tumor - similar to the vestibular disease can put pressure on the brain causing cats to not have complete control over the hind legs and sometimes even the front legs. This is a disease that is harder to diagnose and generally requires an MRI or CT scan unfortunately.

- Toxicity from ingesting something such as a plant or a chemical - less likely though since she is not having any vomiting or other symptoms such as seizures.

At this time, I would always recommend an exam from a vet to make sure that this is not something that would need treatment such as an antibiotic or anti inflammatory medication. If she seems to be doing ok though you could give her a few more days as long as she is eating and drinking well and does not seem painful.

hope this helps -please reply if you have any other questions.
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