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Micki, Expert in cat behavior and health
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3193
Experience:  Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
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my kitten is staggering, listing to his left side, falls down

Customer Question

my kitten is staggering, listing to his left side, falls down when he shakes his head and is not wanting to eat well. What is wrong with him?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Micki replied 7 years ago.

Hello, Gwennth51


How old is he?


When did this start?


Any vomiting?


Any weird eye movement like the eyes darting up and down or side to side?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He is a stray that wandered up, so I am guessing he is maybe 3 months.

This started last night around 9:00PM when he wandered back here.

No vomiting, he has eaten a little bit of his kitty food.

No strange eye movement. When he shakes his head he falls over. His head is tilting to his left side. He is still meowing as usual. He wants to jump up but has trouble doing this and if he makes it when he jumps down he is very off balance. I see nothing coming out of his ears, eyes or mouth except he is doing what I think is a cough of sorts periodically. He doesn't seem to hurt when you touch him but his entire body is shaking at times. His breathing seems to be normal.

Expert:  Micki replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the extra information.


Sounds like he may have an ear infection. His behavior is very typical of that. I would get his ears checked by a vet. An antibiotic will clear it up in no time. Also if he has a slight cough he may also have a URI (kitty cold) and the same antibiotic that would treat an ear infection would also treat a URI.


Cats have a highly developed vestibular system. This is a group of nerves in the inner ear that tells the brain what is up and down in comparison to gravity. When they get an infection of the ear, inflammation puts pressure on these nerves and causes all the symptoms you are seeing from the head tilt, off balance walk, etc.


Because it does make them dizzy, it can therefore make them feel nauseated too. So not eating much is normal and also occasional vomiting is normal too.


So get his ears checked and I am sure he'll be just fine.


Sincerely, Micki


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I took the kitten to the vet and he doesn't have an ear infection...So I do not accept,.