Have you figured out anything new since you posted? My cat is having the exact same problem. He is only 10 months old and he has been healthy until the last week. At first I thought he was just imbalanced because he seemed to be swaying when he walked, he tipped over if I pet him, he tried to jump up on the table, missed, and fell on his back, etc. I thought maybe it was an inner ear problem so I brought him to the vet as soon as I noticed the problem.
The doctors at the clinic were stumped as they could not figure out what was wrong with him. They tested his glucose levels and said he doesn't have diabetes which oftentimes causes a cat's hind legs to be weak. They took x-rays and there were no bony abnormalities. He also did not have a heart murmur, his lungs were fine, and she checked out his ears, nose, and mouth which all looked fine. She said the pieces weren't fitting together and they just didn't know what was wrong with him. She said the next step would be to do a blood workup.
Right when I got home from the vet I placed my cat in his litter box because he'd been gone for a few hours and I figured he'd need to use it. After I put him in the litter box he started eating the kitty litter! He was eating mouthfulls. I pulled him out of there and put him by his food dish and he just went right back to the cat box and started to eat the litter.
The next morning I found out online that clumping cat litter contains something called sodium bentonite, and when ingested it causes cats to be weak and lethargic. For sure I thought this must be what was wrong with him. Then I started to wonder if he's sick because he's eating his cat litter or he's eating his cat litter because he's sick.
I went to the store and got the Cat's Pride brand of litter which states on the container it contains no sodium bentonite and is able to be flushed down the toilet. I read somewhere online that since sodium bentonite clogs pipes, imagine what it does to your kitty's intestines.
As soon as I filled the litter box with the new litter, my cat proceeded to eat the litter again. Since it didn't contain the sodium bentonite I wasn't AS worried, but I decided to go back to the store and get the Feline Pine brand, which is supposed to be completely safe and 100% pine, so it's okay if they ingest it, and it's able to be flushed down the toilet, etc. I haven't put the new litter in the box yet but I plan on doing so tonight.
I've read online that cats might eat their litter because they are lacking something in their diet. One source I found said that cats might eat their cat litter if they are calcium deficient or if they are anemic. I haven't had the blood test done yet so I don't know if it's either of these things. Another thing I read is that being anemic is probably caused by an underlying issue. I'm really hoping there isn't a serious problem with my kitty. I've only had him 6 months and he and my dog are best friends. I would be devastated.
I wasn't able to call the vet today and tell them about him eating his litter because they are closed. I left a message for the vet to call me back so I will be able to talk to her tomorrow.
One more thing I want to add that sounds completely crazy is that when we moved into this house 6 months ago, for some reason there was a small cinder block sitting on the floor in between the washer and dryer and nobody picked it up. I'm not sure why we just left it there but my boyfriend noticed, I'm not sure how long ago it started, that our cat was licking the cinder block. I'm wondering if maybe he does have some sort of deficiency and his eating the litter and licking the cinder block were giving him something he needs. We just threw the block outside recently and soon after is when he got sick. I'm not sure if he just started eating the kitty litter right after we threw the block outside but I've never noticed him doing it in the past. I have no idea if that makes any sense but I don't want to completely throw out that detail in case there's something important about it. I haven't told the vet about this yet because I feel kind of stupid saying I let my cat lick this cinder block for who knows long and didn't bother to throw it out.
Briana, have you ever noticed your cat eating litter? Even though his legs seem weak does he still seem alert and like everything is functioning properly except his legs, or does he appear sick overall?
Sorry this was so long but I wanted to give you as much information as possible. Maybe we can help each other along and let each other know if we find anything else out. Is there anything else you can share about your cat that might be helpful? Any similarities to my story?
Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 08:38 AM.