Why Is My Cat’s Back Legs Failing? Causes, Diagnosis.

Why is my cat’s back legs failing? Weakness or failure in the hind legs of cats is one of the symptoms that most often occurs in old age cats, as in other animals, although they can also present this problem when they are younger for different reasons. It is characterized by being a symptom in which the feline drags its legs, instead of settling down the sole of its paw and staying upright. In addition, the lameness can occur in only one leg or in both.

Why is my cat's back legs failing

If your cat begins to show weakness in its legs, and especially if it shows more symptoms such as losing its appetite to vomit or defecate outside its litter box, it is best that you go to your veterinarian to rule out any complications. However, today at OneHOWTO we bring you the possible causes that answer your question about “Why is my cat’s back legs failing??”.


Why Is My Cat’s Back Legs Failing?

Below we discuss the causes of the cat back legs failing. So, you can go through the entire article for more information.

Chronic constipation,  a common cause of a cat losing its hind legs

This most commonly happens in cats suffering from renal insufficiency resulting in problems chronic constipation, which are reflected both in the digestive system and in the lower back and legs of the animal. When this happens, the feline can present a wobble on the back legs and problems walking, as well as weakness when standing on all fours.

If symptoms such as vomiting, lack of appetite or weight loss occur, it is important to take it into consideration, and take it to a veterinary consultation if they have lasted for several days, since if it is not treated in time, it can cause irreversible damage to the intestines. , kidneys, liver and, over time, throughout the cat’s body due to the excess of toxins caused by the accumulation of feces.

Why my cat's hind legs fail - know the causes - Chronic constipation, common cause of a cat's hind legs failing

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Or as it is also known, the Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy It occurs when there is some thickening in the heart muscle, which generates serious cardiovascular problems.

When his system begins to fail, enough blood stops getting to various parts of the cat’s body, including the hind legs and tail that are furthest from the heart, because blood flow is affected and diminished. This can cause, depending on the severity of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a partial or total paralysis, either progressive or sudden, of said limbs because they do not have the blood required to function properly. If this symptom appears from one moment to the next, it is advisable to take the cat to the veterinarian, but if it is also accompanied by weight loss, motor slowness, lack of appetite or other symptoms, it is necessary to go to a veterinary emergency room.

Diabetes in cats

When diabetes or hyperglycemia in cats (high blood glucose levels) potassium levels drop due to the recurrence with which they come to urinate or urinate. These sudden drops in potassium generate neurological damage and, in many cases, lead to neuropathies that require treatment and exercise. These neurological problems may be the cause of your cat’s hind legs are failing.

In addition to the drop in potassium in its system, the constant changes in its glucose levels can cause damage at the cardiovascular level, such as drops in pressure or very sudden rises, causing the animal’s body to begin to fail.

Hip dysplasia, the main cause of failure in the hind legs of cats

Although it is not as common as in dogs, there are cases with this condition. Hip dysplasia in felines tends to be hereditary and consists of an abnormal development of the hip bones and the femur, which causes displacement and damage to both hip joints or just one depending on each case. This disorder can appear from a very young age and over time it tends to dislocate much more, causing small fractures or damage to the cartilage of the lower part of the cat. However, sometimes it can appear when the cat is older, for reasons that are not usually genetic.

The most common symptoms when it occurs hip dysplasia in cats They are:

  • Limp
  • Hind leg pain
  • Does not jump or run
  • Cracking from the hip

If in addition to weakness it presents these symptoms, it is important to go to the veterinarian.

Why my cat's hind legs fail - know the causes - Hip dysplasia, the main cause of hind leg failure in cats


thrombosis is a blood clot that is located in some part of the body. In the case of cats, a thrombosis may occur in the feline’s back or specifically in the hip or legs, causing the blood does not reach the legs well and the flow is stopped or reduced, when this happens the hind limbs become cold and with very little mobility reaching the point of paralysis.

It is a disease that occurs more frequently in cats with kidney failure, so if your cat suffers from this it is extremely important to keep it under surveillance. Similarly, if you have noticed that mobility is less and less and that his legs are colder than the rest of his body, take this into account and discuss it with the veterinarian.

Other possible causes why your cat’s back legs are failing

The fault in the hind legs of cats they can become an indication that something bad is happening with our friend and just as it can be due to any of the aforementioned conditions, there are other pathologies that, although they rarely present this symptom, they can affect the mobility of the cat’s hind legs.

  • Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • infectious peritonitis

Although for these diseases other symptoms appear before the weakness in the hind legs, it is worth taking it to the veterinarian to rule out any possible anomaly and, if it does occur, treat it as soon as possible and thus avoid any complications. .

Also, other common causes of hind leg lameness in cats are clefts and bone fractures of the legs or the hip.

Why my cat's back legs are failing - know the causes - Other possible causes why your cat's back legs are failing

What to do when the cat’s back legs start to fail?

The hind leg failure It can appear only as a weakness in the lower area or be accompanied by other symptoms. It is essential to go to a veterinarian to rule out any injury or fracture and starting from here carry out the corresponding tests to reach a diagnosis.

This symptom of leg failure can be an indication of many pathologies; there are many cases where spinal cord injuries occur, including herniated discs which can cause complete paralysis in the animal.

Believe it or not, many animals can suffer from diabetes mellitus and, like humans, be involved in an imbalance of the body in general. It is important to note if, together with the weakness of the hind legs, the feline drinks more water than normal and urinates more frequently.

In most felines, cardiovascular or neurological problems affect their extremities, if this is the case, it is important to feel the cat’s legs to assess if they are cold or with a poor pulse, if this happens, you have to go urgently To veterinary.

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