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Lynn, Veterinary Assistant
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2175
Experience:  worked at a vet clinic for 18 yrs, BA in biology, experience with cats for 20+ years
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My 15 yr old cat is constantly shaking his back legs like hes

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My 15 yr old cat is constantly shaking his back legs like he's trying to get something off of them but there seems to be nothing there. He has mostly been an indoor cat but has recently been spending a few hours outside as we now live in a house with a big private back yard. He is still eating and drinking but the leg shaking is worrisome. Could it be arthritis or something more serious?

Do the legs seem to be weak at all?


Any in-coordination, or stumbling?


Have you checked him for fleas?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He doesn't seem to be weak. He jumps up on the bed and tables with no problem and chases around with our 5 yr old cat. I have been using biospot Spot On flea and tick control on both cats and haven't noticed any fleas on the cats or in the house. He scratches a little bit but not a lot. I once lived in house that had fleas and we had to have it bombed so I am familiar with flea problems and haven't noticed anything like that so far.



Leg shaking is not a typical sign of arthritis. (Though I won't say its impossible.) What I have heard of is pets experiencing leg numbness, itchiness, and neurological symptoms from over the counter topical flea products such as biospot. Here is a link to a page with one story:


The ones you can purchase from your veterinarian, such as Revolution, while not 100% safe, are MUCH safer than the other options.


If he should develop any other symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or in-coordination then I would recommend a visit to your veterinarian right away.


If you have further questions let me know. If this answer is helpful please click accept. Thank you.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I just put it on them over the past weekend. So you think I should see if this problem wears off with the biospot and then try some Revolution for next month's flea repellent and then a trip to the vet if this persists?

The fact that you just put it on him makes it even more likely that the Biospot is what's causing the problem. I would recommend bathing him if he will tolerate it. Then as you said above, I would use Revolution for next month's treatment, and visit a vet if this persists.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He won't stand for a bath. Do you think he's in pain from the biospot? I hear that cats mask their pain a lot of the time so you might not realize they are in pain.

I don't know that he's in pain, but you are right there's not really any way to know that for sure because cats hide it. I think its likely causing itchiness or numbness so that the legs feel strange to him, and that's why he's shaking them.



Lynn and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay, I'll probably just get some Revolution for next month and hope this numbness wears off in a few days. I think the bath would be more traumatic for him than the leg shaking, at least at this point. Thanks for your help!

You're welcome! (Sorry for the delay.)