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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21197
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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A feral cat mother I have been feeding has just today shown

Customer Question

A feral cat mother I have been feeding has just today shown me her four 4-5 week-old kittens. Apparently she has housed them in our garage. One of them has total paralysis of its hind legs. It is a feisty little fellow and can drag itself along using its forelegs, and appears to be suckling lustily. I want to foster the kittens so that they can eventually be adopted into forever homes. What are the chances for this crippled one? My heart goes out to him. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

The poor wee lad!

Now if he has no use and no feeling (you may need to pinch his hind toes to check) in his back legs, then we'd be worried that he has a spinal malformation or has suffered a traumatic injury to his spine. Unfortunately, his long term prognosis without close care is quite guarded.

Our main concern is whether he can control his passage of feces and urine. If he can, then we'd all breathe a sign of relief and he would just be a kitten with some special needs (he could even benefit from a mobility cart or be sling walked be an owner). But if he cannot do so on his own, then there is risk that he will overstretch and damage his bladder leading to urine leaking but also carrying the risk of toxicity (as the urine toxins stewing in the bladder would be able to leak back into the bloodstream) with this unless he is regularly expressed by hand (example). Feces of course would likely pass without control and a diaper may be needed. So, in that case, his prognosis would be poor for the long term and unless an owner wanted to give him regular care all though the day/night, we'd have to consider letting him go to avoid suffering.

Overall, this is a very unfortunate situation for this poor little lad. We'd want to have him checked if possible by his local vet before making any decisions but if he can control what he passes, then that would bode much better for him having a future despite his handicaps.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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