What Causes A Cat’s Back Legs to Suddenly Give Out?

What causes a cats back legs to suddenly give out

Cats rely mainly on their hind legs for ease of mobility. They equally distribute their weight over their four paws and when they pounce, they use their back legs. This makes wobbly, stiff, and weak back legs easy to spot and become problematic. If your cat suffers from this, he will be in total discomfort as well as become more reluctant when moving than usual.

Causes and Solutions to Cat Mobility Loss

As cats age, they might have difficulty walking or slow down, and changes to their mobility can definitely affect their mental and physical health. Cats need their freedom so they can explore the world, both outside the house and inside. Here are some things that every cat owner should know to help their feline friend stay active.

Cat Mobility Issues Symptoms

If you are worried that your feline friend is experiencing mobility problems or in pain, watch for major changes in their lifestyle and behavior. There are lots of factors that can highly contribute to these changes. Thus, it is important that you work closely with a trusted vet if your feline friend is starting to exhibit these signs:

  • Sleeping more often than his normal routine
  • Changes in grooming patterns
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased aggression like scratching and/or biting when touched
  • Change in gait or limping
  • Decreased energy level
  • Slowing or difficulty with taking the stairs
  • Less eager to jump
  • Dilated pupils

Cat Mobility Loss Causes

Feline Arthritis

This is by far one of the most common condition affecting cats. In fact, 30% of cat population over the age of eight deal with pain associated with arthritis and that number dramatically increases in cats over 12 years of age to 90% of cat’s population.

Saddle Thrombus

The moment a blood clot dislodges as well as trapped in the aorta’s pelvic end, there will be a decreased flow of blood to the legs. This is common in cats that suffer from heart disease. Fortunately, this can be treated with the help of your trusted veterinarian through managing the pain of your cat and dissolving the clot. The mobility of your cat will surely return to normal once properly treated.

Diabetes in Cats

Just like in humans, overweight and senior cats can also be prone to developing diabetes. If left untreated, it can even lead to difficulty standing and walking because of diabetic nerve damage.

Feline Kidney Disease

Cats with advanced kidney problem can also experience weakness in their back legs. Usually, the back legs of a cat with kidney disease buckle unexpectedly or appear wobbly.

Spinal and Neurological Conditions

Back injuries like slipped discs are also common in cats and can even affect cats at any age. Other spinal conditions can also occur from the inflammation or the muscle or nerves, infection, or even cancer. If your cat appears unable to stand, begins dragging a leg or unable to move his legs, make sure to consult with your veterinarian right away.


Common Questions About Why A Cat’s Legs Become Weak

What Does It Mean When a Cat Can’t Stand Up?

There are a lot of severe illnesses and conditions that can lead to a cat not being able to walk or too weak to stand up and end up collapsing. Most of these conditions can be life-threatening and painful. Some cause might include injuries and fractures in the neck, head and back. But, most of the time, the cause of mobility loss in cats can be one of the health problems we have listed above.

Why is My Cat Losing His Balance?

Aside from the causes of mobility loss in cats that we have mentioned above, ataxia is also one possible cause of back leg weakness or loss of balance in cats. It is caused by trauma, infection, or disease like cancer. When your cat falls down, wobbles back and forth or begins to stumble, make sure to protect him from any additional harm. You should keep your cat inside your home and away from standing water or stairs.

Can My Cat Recover from Mobility Loss?

Proper care treatment with the help of your veterinarian is the best thing you can give to your cat that’s suffering from mobility loss. Aside from that, here are some things that can help improve their condition:

  • Use Cat Wheelchairs

Cats can experience sudden rear leg weakness or paralysis just like dogs. This is using a cat wheelchair can be the best mobility solution.

  • Rear Cat Wheelchairs

It’s the perfect solution for your feline friend with paralyzed or weak back legs. The rear wheelchair can help support your cat’s hind end, which allows him to easily get around.

  • Full Support Wheelchairs

For cats that need support in both their back and front legs, the full support wheelchair is best for them. With their entire body supported with a quad wheelchair, some cats find it much easier to naturally move around.


Poor balance is not very painful for your cat and certainly, he can live contentedly with just a little aid from you. Keep your feline friend safe by keeping him indoors all the time, offering easy access to water, food, and a litterbox. As always, make sure to provide your cat with lots of affection. It is also very important that you remain patient with your cat. This is because some cats need more time to adjust to a certain treatment or using a wheelchair.

What Causes A Cat’s Back Legs to Suddenly Give Out?

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