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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat seems to be walking hunched and her back legs seem to

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My cat seems to be walking hunched and her back legs seem to go weak at times - she is meowing a lot...more afffectionate than usual, but also hissing here and there. She also seems to me super jumpy/easily startled. She is about 1 year old....
Hello,I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.Each answer is typed individually so please allow me a few minutes after your reply.

Is Sophie spayed?

Is she holding her tail up in the air?

Is she eating and drinking normally?

Does she go outside?

Any chance she has been injured?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is Spayed,


Not sure about the tail.


Eating yes, not sure about drinking,


she does NOT go outside,


she could be injured - she could have jumped or fell when I wasn't around(not sure though)

Thank you for the additional information.

Hunched back and leg weakness is often due to a spinal injury. This can happen from something as simple as falling the wrong way, being stepped on, closed in a door etc. Some cats will hide when they are in pain while others will seek attention wanting you to help them.
This can also be due to stomach or organ pain, however that would not explain the back legs going weak and in most cases would expect to see them not eating.
If she is having some pain this would also explain the jumpiness and the hissing?

Another possibility would be if she got in to something toxic. Some plants and human medications as well as flea medications can cause weakness in the legs and jumpiness. If you have recently applied flea prevention I would wash the area with dish soap to remove any residue left on .

Unfortunately there are no safe over the counter pain medications for cats. What I would try is using either a warm compress or a heating pad on low across the lower back. You can also leave the heating pad out for her to lay on if she will.I would also try to keep her as quiet and still as possible. If you can confine her to a small area with her litter box food and water that would be best so she does not try to jump or run around. A larger dog kennel works great for this if you happen to have one.

If she is still having trouble in the morning she should be seen by a vet for a hands on exam. If this is due to a injury to the spine then you will want to get her started on medication as soon as possible.

I hope this helps and she feel better soon. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for all that - oddly, she is calm now and sleeping next to me on the bed. She seems to have 'moods' off and on. Tonight was worse than usual (I also had a friend over she hissed at a lot)...But she is calm sleeping by me purring now.


Toxic concerns me. I cant see a vet until Tuesday. There has been no vomting. BUt maybe the hunching is a symptom.


No flea stuff- Its not impossible she got into human meds (I have no way of really knowing)


Injury, perhaps. What about stress or anything emotional? Not likely?


If you wouldn't bank on emotional, then her resting by me all night is fine? Otherwise, I will confine her as instructed. Let me know. THANK YOU.


Has she had episodes like this before if so how often?

Was she only hunching her back when hissing
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no, her back was arched while walking.


Yes, she has had smaller episodes of hissing seemingly randomly at people like my mom...but then cuddling up to them min later. Tonight she was more jumpy, 'stressed' ad hyper with the arched back and seeminly weak back legs (yet she had bursts where she could run across the house).


Now is is curled up totally passed out next to me. Worn out I assume

Ok The hunched back is not something we normally see as a result of stress but hissing is and some cats just do not like guests in their space.

As long as she is sleeping you can let her lay with you but I would keep an eye on her. Try to wake her in about 20 minutes and make sure she wakes up and acts normal for you. If she is still walking with a hunched back then I would confine her so she is not jumping up and down while you are sleeping.

If she does ok tomorrow then I would just watch her and makes sure she continues to eat and drink. If she continues to have these spells then I would have her seen by the vet to make sure this is not some form of seizure activity.

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