Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs? – When it comes to feline health concerns one of the most common ailments and most widely discussed is that of immobility. This is especially true when noting the most significant health afflictions that affect senior cats.

Primarily hallmarked by general leg weakness, stiffness and changes in posture and gait. So let’s come to the topic and continue this interesting topic. Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

Let’s Begin

Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

The deeper your cat gets into its golden years the more intense these symptoms become, not only from a visual standpoint but from a discomfort standpoint for your cat because felines are so good at masking pain, largely as a natural defence mechanism to protect themselves from predators.

As a loving owner your true realization of the severity of the issue could be delayed for several months or even years in some rare cases.

Why Is My Cat Having Trouble Walking?

While some causes are far more common than others. The most notable reasons for your cat’s inability to walk with a firm foundation or even take a seated position with confidence are often the byproduct of at least one of the following issues.


Some type of fall or significant leg and/or back trauma, falling out of a tree for example. Significant twisting of the leg this cause can impact cats of all life stages not just senior felines.


Infection also impacting cats of all ife stages. Infection can come from a bite, interaction with a snake perhaps, other wildlife potentially an encounter with another feline.

Infection can also be internal. Diabetes can be viewed as a type of infection in some regards.

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Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

It is the most common and impacts your cat’s legs in many of the same ways that arthritis hampers a human. When it comes to joint and muscle health the 3d model you see in the above image should be beneficial as it details various target zones in the rear area.

Key joints as well as the lower spine near the base of the tail are often problem areas.

Muscle is a major concern due to the fact that deterioration is common. As your cat struggles to walk your feline its leg muscles will naturally weaken due to lack of regular use. This will only make basic mobility all the more difficult as time goes on.

Organ Failure

Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

Kidney and liver disease can display symptoms that involve immobility. While it is important as an owner to pay close attention to your cat’s daily habits and routines. Self-diagnosing is not the answer. Although identifying the issue from a visual standpoint is essential.

At the first sign of trouble please take your cat to the vet for a professional evaluation. This is especially true if other symptoms are present. As this could point to an issue much more significant than arthritis for example.

If your otherwise healthy young adult cat suddenly has difficulty walking this is a major red flag of something significant.

What Are The Common Symptoms?

Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

Unless a sudden injury dire infection or blood clot is responsible for your cat’s immobility. The vast majority of leg issues take a long time to develop and for symptoms to appear. Often coinciding with life stages the older your cat gets the more problems and symptoms will arise.

lack Of Activity

Some notable symptoms include lack of activity, the daily slowing down of your cat lack of desire to be active the 1-2 is still there but the body has other plans. If getting around becomes a task your cat will pick and choose its moments.

Attempting to chase that leaf in the yard is no longer a priority because leg discomfort has taken your furry pal out of the game. As noted have been earlier some of these symptoms are not too much unlike the natural ageing process and mobility issues that humans endure.

Change In Bathroom Habits

Is your cat no longer covering its eliminations? This could be due to the pain it takes to enter the litter box and execute the to enter the litter box and execute the covering motion.

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Rather than deal with this issue, some cats will eliminate on the floor next to the box. If this begins to occur just know that your cat is not being a contrarian but likely no longer capable in a pain-free matter of completing the task.

Hesitant To Climb Jump And Run

Most adventures slowly come to an end once your cat reaches senior status. This is common. Taking it easy becomes the norm and keeping all fours on the ground is the new way of life.

If you have noticed that your cat is no longer a big fan of doing some quote traditional cat things such as jumping around and enjoying playtime, the lack of a sturdy foundation could be the reason.

Sitting Discomfort

The normal bottom on the ground and two legs in front can be difficult. Just the movement and motion it takes to assume that position can be painful and thus must be altered.

Odd Sitting Positions

Some cats will take a semi-seated posture because resting their bottom on the ground is too difficult and painful. This leads us to odd sitting positions, anything goes in the quest to reduce pain and discomfort this is why our positioning is a notable symptom. What looks weird and painful could be the new version of comfortable.

The Inability To Stand

Does your cat have difficulty getting its motor running after sleeping or resting for a long period? Is simply standing becoming a task? It is not uncommon for some cats to attempt to stand, sit down and then try again.

The visual of wobbly legs during these times is often what Trump’s an owner to realize the significance of the situation. Legs that appear to collapse while attempting to stand can also become a prime and concerning symptoms.

Stagger Walking Or Drunk Walking

Stagger walking or drunk walking is another common issue. instead of your cat walking from point A to point B with confidence and direction the gait is now becoming staggered and off course and somewhat messy to watch. No longer able to control their steps clumsiness creeps in.

Weaving from side to side is common even in the most simplistic of cats. Getting from A to B is the new challenge rather than looking good in the process.

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Greasy And Clumpy Fur

Is your cat a bit greasy? Is your cat fur a bit clumpy? This is due to the lack of proper grooming.

Do you remember a time when your cat groomed all the time and seemingly turn itself into a pretzel to do so?

Sadly those days all but come to an end when mobility issues take over. many positions require to reach certain areas of the body and are now simply too painful.

How To Prevent And Treat Arthritis?

Why Does My Elder Cat Have Stiff And Wobbly Legs?

Proper Vet Care

Proper vet care is critical, this cannot be understated. Having a professional look after your cat significant health needs is important. Early diagnosis means early treatment. This can improve your cat’s mobility dramatically.


More so weight control, less pressure on the joints. Cats are living longer staying slim and trim can soften the load on your cat’s body once they enter their golden years.

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Allow your cat to walk and perhaps play on a soft surface. Hard floor is only served to make joint pain worse. Cold joints lock up. Try to keep your cat moving if and when possible.


Your vet may prescribe or advise you to purchase supplements to improve your cat’s mobility. These can be quite beneficial in many cases.

The Art Of Massage

During regular petting, sessions don’t be afraid to rub your cat’s joints, most notably the rear legs and lower back because every little bit helps.

Massaging tired weak and stiff joints can reduce your cat’s pain and provide a bit more positive stimulation and comfort.

Soft Bedding

Soft bedding is significant and essential. Always make sure your cat is resting comfortably and not applying pressure to weak leg muscles and joints. Resting on a cloud is the goal.

Soft bedding can allow your cat to sleep peacefully and sleep comfortably following a gruelling day of joint discomfort.  Helping your cat to take a load off is invaluable.

If your cat is unable to rest and recover then one day will build on top of the next in the most literal sense. In the most painfully literal sense.


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