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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My 11 year old male cat suddenly cannot jump. My cat can stand

Customer Question

My 11 year old male cat suddenly cannot jump. My cat can stand and walk but has a difficult time on the stairs. I watched him jump down from a chair and it looked like his front leg went out from under him. Does not appear to have pain. Last week he could jump on the kitchen counter. We do not have any idea what has changed.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.

I am so sorry your little one is having trouble

.I would love to help I just have a few questions so I can better assist you.


Is he limping at all or just having trouble jumping?


How is his overall health up until now?


Is he eating and drinking normally?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Eating and drinking fine. Not limping. Good Health. It looks like he has lost strength to jump even to my lap.
This was all very quick just lays on the floor.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.
Does the weakness seem to be more in the front legs or back legs
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The front legs. Today for the first time in a week I noticed he stretched them out. He has been sitting on them or keeping them bent. Usually he reached for items but not now. Still does not display pain. I saw him jump down from a chair, it appeared his front leg went east and west instead of in front of him. Does that make sense?
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.



Thank you for your additional information.


Yes that does make sense. It is very possible that he has an injury to the spine Often a rupture or herniation of a disc in the neck will effect the front legs.This can happen from something as simple as jumping off the counter, slipping on the floor.


IVDD is a common cause of disc injury in cats.

Here is additional information.



There are other underlining health issues common in older cats that will cause weakness in the legs, however, they most commonly effect the hind legs. These possibilities would include Diabetes, kidney Disease and Hyperthyroidism.

I would expect to see some signs of illness if any of these were the problem.


I would suggest having him seen by your vet. X-rays may show compression in a disc, however, often a rupture will no show so your vet may recommend consulting with a veterinary neurologist.


Until you can have him seen try to keep him as quiet and still as possible confining him to a small area would be best. No stairs, no jumping until he sees the vet.


I hope all goes well.

Best Wishes