Q:

Why can't my kitten walk on its back legs?

A:

Quick Answer

According to petMD, loss of gait of the hind legs in kittens and full grown cats occurs for a variety of reasons that include inner ear disturbances, spinal compression and perinatal infections. Unbalanced gait is referred to as ataxia. Specific conditions are diagnosed with imaging, blood and urine tests.

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Why can't my kitten walk on its back legs?
Credit: Martin Cathrae CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Michigan Avenue Animal Hospital explains that acute paralysis and dragging of the hind legs in kittens can indicate nerve, blood vessel or spinal cord damage. Hind-leg weakness in kittens can also be caused by blood clots that obstruct the blood flow to the rear legs. Early treatment for hind-leg weakness and paralysis improves the kitten's chances of a full recovery.

According to Healthy Cats on WebMD, sudden weakness or paralysis in a kitten's hind legs can be the result of a pelvic fracture or spinal cord injury. It is important for kitten owners to seek immediate veterinary assistance if they suspect a fracture or spinal cord injury to ensure prompt treatment. In most cases, kittens with pelvic fractures experience complete recovery, but spinal cord injuries can result in permanent nerve damage and bladder issues. Spinal injuries are a common complication of cat-tail injuries, as the tail is connected to the vertebrae. Common signs of a cat-tail injury are paralysis of the tail and bladder incontinence.

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