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Kitty has me stumped...

December 11th, 2009, 09:59 PM
Hello all,

My cat is displaying some strange symptoms and although she's going into the vet first thing tomorrow morning, I thought I could pick a few brains on here in the mean time.

Background - previous healthy 4 year old, spayed, female, very active indoor/outdoor house cat. She's up-to-date on all shots and deworming. She had a check up last spring and got a clean bill of health.

(I don't know if this is any relation but thought I would include it) A couple weeks ago she had a couple days where she barely got off the couch. She was still eating and drinking normally but would just sleep in between. This lasted about three days and then she was back to normal. She's a hunter so I figured she just ate something funky.

Then a few days later we noticed her limping very slightly. She's a bit of a toughie so I thought maybe she got in a bit of a spat (neighbours have barn cats) - I checked her over and as there was no wound/it wasn't broken/etc. and it didn't seem to slow her down, I left her and within a day or two she seemed fine again.

But then tonight (a week or so after the limping episode) she's doing the "lay in the living room except to eat and drink" thing again but this time it looks quite painful to walk. She walks "hunched up" and as if it hurts to step on any paw. When she tries to sit, she's rocked back on her back legs and holds one of her front paws up but she'll only sit for a second and then lie down again. Once she's laying down, she rolls around and purrs and wants her belly rubbed and acts completely normal and happy.

I work at a vet clinic and have rescued many cats so I've seen many injuries and illnesses and can usually hazard a guess (and am usually fairly accurate) but this has got me stumped. The best I can come up with is either something neuro or arthritis (but wouldn't both bother her lying down as well and do cats get arthritis that young?)...?

As I said, she's going into the vets first thing tomorrow and she's eating and drinking normally (and actually sleeping happily on the couch right now) but just wondered if anyone had any guesses as to what it could be!


December 12th, 2009, 01:56 PM
Cats are so good at hiding any pain they are in so I think it would be difficult to self-diagnose.

Glad you took her to the vet. :thumbs up

What was the outcome? .....I hope nothing serious. :fingerscr

December 12th, 2009, 03:18 PM
If it were here in Tick Central, I'd have her checked for the tick-borne trio: Lyme's, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. The symptoms are eerily similar, but I'm not sure if cats are prone to those diseases or not... :o Do you have ticks in your area?

December 13th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I actually don't know if we have ticks where I live - I'm guessing none or very few, though? Are ticks around in the winter? I'll keep that in mind, though.

But she stumped my vet as well! He couldn't find anything obviously wrong with her but she did have a low grade fever. He said we could do a whole bunch of expensive tests but that he didn't think it was necessary at this point. He gave her a shot of antibiotics and sent her home with some special food (basically like Ensure but for cats - everything they need to boost her a little). My mom says she's gobbling that and her other wet food up which my mom is mixing with water to make sure she's getting lots of liquids (she's still drinking as well). She's still sleeping quite a bit but my mom said her eyes look brighter today. Fingers crossed she just had some sort of infection (a vet-tech friend suggested last night that it could be a bladder infection so maybe...?) and that this will clear it up!

December 14th, 2009, 01:09 AM
I hope she is on the road to recovery now. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

December 14th, 2009, 09:35 AM
How is your kitty today?

Normally a bladder infection comes with frequent urination due to the inflammation.

I think it may be a pulled ligament/muscle that would not be obvious to see, but painful to your kitty.

December 26th, 2009, 03:24 PM
love4himies - that's the guess we're working with at the moment!

She was back to the vet just before Christmas as she seemed to improve a little (much brighter and happier, no fever) but was definitely not 100%. We did blood work to make sure her organs were okay/no cancer/etc. and it came back perfect, which is wonderful but frustrating! ;) My vet thinks she must have fallen (she is a rough and tumble outdoor kitty) and either pulled something or internally bruised something that's hard to find that's just taking a while to heal.

She has better days than others but is eating and drinking well and is happy as can be as long as she's laying down (I think she's getting FAR too used to me bringer her soupy-food on the couch ;) ). Yesterday she was starting to move around a bit more but we're trying to keep her as quiet as possible so she can heal! So hopefully with time she'll be as good as new! :)

December 26th, 2009, 03:52 PM
I'm sorry your kitty is still not 100%, Laura! But at least there's been some improvement! :goodvibes:

In answer to your question about ticks, depending on where you live, they might be around in winter--or, she might have been bitten by a tick earlier in the year and is just showing signs now (our dogs usually follow this pattern). But typically, if there's something tick-borne, the blood work would have shown some low platelets or abnormal levels of WBC.

:fingerscr that she heals up quickly from whatever is going on! And Merry Christmas! :D

December 26th, 2009, 10:36 PM
I'm glad your kitty is feeling a bit better. Maybe it is time to keep her in the house full time, as it is safer for kitties inside the house than outside.


January 4th, 2010, 08:52 PM
Thanks Tundra_Queen and hazelrunpack!

hazelrunpack - I think you might have something with the tick-born diseases. After reading up on them all, it sounds like it could be any of them. Would you mind running me through how your dogs react? Are there specific blood tests for the tick diseases or would they have been done when she had her original tests done? It's so hard to know as her blood work did come back normal (but knowing my cats, she would present atypically) and if she does have a severe internal bruise, it could take a while to heal.

She still has good and bad days - one day she's bouncing around with her sister, the next she won't put any weight on a leg (it seems to change legs and can change from the beginning to end of a day). She's still happy and eating and drinking well so although I'm still quite concerned, I'm not panicked. I'll be putting a call into the vet tomorrow to pick his brain about the tick-born diseases!

Thanks again, everyone!

January 4th, 2010, 09:37 PM
I don't know what the symptoms would be in cats, or even if cats can contract the same tick-borne diseases as dogs...but our dogs typically will show some lethargy, not necessarily severe, but definitely 'off', accompanied by lameness that comes and goes and often rotates from limb to limb. There may or may not be fever. Usually the first symptom we see in intolerance to cold.

As the diseases progress, there is sometimes a telltale pattern that shows in the bloodwork--for instance, with anaplasmosis, the WBC and platelets are often low. However, we rely on the 4DX snap test (tests for heartworm, and three tick diseases: Lyme's, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis) or antibody titers for diagnosis. I'm not sure if there's a snap test for cats, as well, but titers would show evidence of infection. (We go with the snap test, though, because it isn't as pricey as titers and the results are seen within minutes.)

I hope the vets come up with something soon! :goodvibes: Seems like this has been dragging on for the both of you for a long while! :grouphug:

March 18th, 2010, 10:47 PM
Hello all,

I know it's been a while since I posted but I just wanted to update on my kitty - we never did find out exactly what was going on with her but she's 100% now! :thumbs up

Since she was eating and drinking and had a normal temperature, my vet and I decided to just give her some time and I guess he was right with the deep tissue injury as time was all she needed. She did loose a bit of weight, but that's probably a good thing as she was a little chubby ;) , but she's now strong, sound, happy, shiny, and oh-so happy to play with her buddies.

Thanks again for the advice and support!

March 18th, 2010, 11:26 PM
Yay! :highfive: Glad to hear it!