How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask purr doctor Your Own Question
purr doctor
purr doctor, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1053
Experience:  11yrs in feline-only medicine/surgery.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
purr doctor is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat has suddenly started acting drunk, cant stand or walk

Customer Question

My cat has suddenly started acting drunk, cant stand or walk properly, is disorientated, and looks calm, but is occasional head spasms. She is 4 years old, and has had no history of this worrying behaviour, and can not think of anything unusual it may of consumed. I cant pay much because im only 18 and my parents are away, its 12 at night and i cant get to a vets. Would appreciate urgent help please. Thanks.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  purr doctor replied 7 years ago.


I am very sorry you are going through this and I would be glad to help.


Does your kitty go outdoors and if so, was she out just prior to you noticing this behavior?


How long total has this been going on?


Thanks and I will wait for your reply.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
hi there and thanks for your Quick reply. I am a friend of josh who created this account. AS far as im aware he did not let the cat out. I asked him and he said he was fairly sure he didnt go out. He didnt say if he has a cat flap however so i am uncertain. Ive read that anti-freeze can harm a cat, and it was a bit chilly outside but i didnt notice any ice, however last night it WAS icey, perhaps someone thought ahead. It was strange. i saw her walk in and jump onto my friends lap and she seemed strong and stable. The next thing i know about 15- 30 mins later she jumps off and is having trouble walking. Its almost like she is drunk. We gave her water and milk and food and she ate and drank it well, but seemed very thirsty at first. Then having held her for a while so she did'nt try walk off, she became frustrated and trys to kick and break free. But this isnt violent, she isnt meowing or hissing. there has been no vomiting and she seems generally cheerful. But she has a twitch, when she tries to escape or walk and fall over she starts to twitch and shake for a few seconds, i myself think she is just very scared and doesnt know whats going on. One thing we have noticed that might be a crucial point is that it seems to be only her back legs that are very floppy and she cant control them. She is still very strong and can old herself up on her legs if we hold the front of her body up, she can also kick quite hard. So this makes me think she is just very dizzy and cant control her movements. when she tries to run off she ends up rolling into the floor or slamming into it and twisting around. until she levels herself.

That is all the information i can give at this moment, please if you could lend any help i and my friend would be very thankful as he is quite worried.

Kindest regards, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  purr doctor replied 7 years ago.

Hi Will-

You are certainly a good friend!


I too am concerned about antifreeze. It is lethal and in an average cat, only a few licks can shut down the kidneys. Within an hour of ingestion, they can act drunk, then they seem to get better, then the kidneys are affected and they usually go downhill very rapidly after that. There is a test for antifreeze ingestion but no cure. Sometimes if they only ingest a small amount, several days of hospitalization on IV fluids can help, but they will still have some kidney damage. Unfortunately, all of this would mean a trip to the vet asap and I know you mentioned you don't have a lot of funds available.


Some other things that could cause this behavior would be atypical seizures, a stroke, a very high fever with resulting central nervous system damage, encephalitis, etc. I have also seen very strange behavior with some of the cheap flea treatments that are available.


An injury could also account for these signs and may explain the weakness as well as the behavior changes (head trauma).


Unfortunately, the best thing to do would be to have her seen as soon as possible. There is a company that will give a small loan just for veterinary expenses. Some clinics accept this and you can apply at the clinic or even on line. If approved, the funds are available immediately and then you make payments to the company. Try You can call a 24 hour clinic in your area to see if they accept this.


If there is no way to have her seen, just continue to offer her fluids. Unflavored pedialyte is great at preventing dehydration but it would likely need to be slowly syringed to her as most cats won't willingly drink it. Keep her indoors for the next few days and watch her closely.


You could gently run your fingers through her fur over every single part of her body to check for small scabs or scrapes that might indicate an injury.


You could also check her rectal temp using a digital thermometer. Cats should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees.


Let her eat if she wants but don't force her. Offer her some canned food if you only feed dry. This is the current recommendation for all cats (


Watch very closely for normal urine and stool in the next 24 hours. Sometimes if there is blood in the urine, you can see this by placing some white paper in the bottom of her litter box with only about 1/2 to 1 inches of litter on top. If the blood is significant, you may be able to see pink on the paper.


Do not give her any medications from home as almost all human drugs are extremely toxic in cats.


I hope this helps give you some options. Please let me know if you need anything else.


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician