Lame Kitten

I’ve had many cats and seen many litters born in my lifetime, but this is the first time I have encountered this.

My cat gave birth to 3 babies almost 4 weeks ago. They are all healthy and doing very well, and they are even up and running around now - except for one.

He tries to stand and walk, but his back legs always give out on him. They stick out from the sides and he can only manage to pull himself around with his front legs.

When you hold a normal kitten in one hand and put your other hand under their back feet, they push against your hand - this kitten doesn’t. His legs seem to collapse under his weight. if you hold him on his back, his legs don’t stick up in the air…they fall back to his sides and hang.

I will be taking him to a vet for an evaluation, but that won’t happen for a few weeks yet, since we have no stationary vet here and the travelling vet only comes every 6 weeks. (There’s a vet 30 minutes from here, but they only deal with emergency situations and I’ve been told that this is not an emergency)

My question is, have any of you seen this before? If so, what was the outcome?

I’m not sure if breed has any bearing, but the mother is Siamese and the father is a Maine Coon.

Answer #1

Second photo taken from the front.

Answer #2

was he maby the runt of the litter? is he the smallest of the litter? maby somthing happened when the mother was giving birth and he was injured. I’m really not sure, I’m just guessing at what is wrong. write when the vet comes and tell us what he says!

Answer #3

Sounds like that kitten has some sort of birth defect. I’ve never heard of anything like that before thats pretty strange, hmm… Do you think his back legs are broke? Hopefully the vet will be able to give you an answer.

Answer #4

When you pinch has back paws, boes he respond? if not it may just be nerve damage that could go away in a couple of weeks, or never. I would check to see if he has feelings. don’t be affraid to pinch the foot, this what the vet will do, to see if cat responds. It could be a birth defect and the humane thing may be to let him go. It could have somthing to do with his back, and it does sound like nerve damage. good luck keep us posted

Answer #5

That’s a beautiful thought dawndalyce.

Here’s the pictures of his legs

First photo from the back

Answer #6

This is odd my daughter’s cat has one like this too. I wish I could get the pictures of it off the phone. It gets around just fine but it’s back feet look backwards

Answer #7

Oh yes…he’s eating very well and he ‘s quite healthy.

I will keep you posted.

Answer #8

They don’t seem to be broken, and he doesn’t appear to be in any pain. He can move them, he just can’t stand on them.

Answer #9

I have a kitten just like that she is rilly good at everything she even learned to walk on her front lages bring to the vet and see whats the problem no one can tell you what it is and you can find a specil home for him he should be live his life still we dont kill kides with problems why cats sow find a good home you no people look for cats like this you just have to no whats rong and can it be fixed or not

Answer #10

I tried what you suggested harleyrider, and he does respond as any normal kitten would be expected to.

His back appears perfectly fine - his spine is straight and he’s quite strong. I was wondering if it could be dislocated hips or something. He’s really a happy little thing and purrs (or “rattles”, as best a kitten can) whenever you hold him or when he plays with his brother and sister.

I’m not sure if he would have to be euthanised, because he’s not in pain and he doesn’t seem to be suffering. He’s the biggest of the three and feeds well. He’s active and tries to run and walk. He can manage to get up on all fours, but he can’t stay up very long - he either falls over, or his back legs give out.

We’re keeping a close eye on him…my hubby is totally in love with him, so he would be absolutely devastated if we had to have him put down (as would I).

When hubby gets home from work, I’ll take his cell and get a picture of the kitten…he’s a darling little thing!

Answer #11

There could be a variety of causes… from malformed hips, or missing ball joints, to a pinched nerve in the spine, or others. The vet can give you a much better idea than I can. But even if he is going to remain “special” all his life, and maybe even need a wheelchair…he might be the perfect pet for a child who is “special” and maybe needs braces or a wheel chair… Especially if he’s loving and purrs… So maybe write to pet therapy organizations or crippeled children’s organizations etc… Sometimes a “special needs” pet, really helps a child understand that even the disabled have value. And taking care of such a pet and loving it, helps them feel lovable.

Answer #12

Is the kitten eating normally and everything? I’ve seen a puppy like this just a bit after it was born and the vet I worked for said that maybe during the birthing process or in development its little body was positioned in an abnormal way. It could also be deformity. Let me know what you find out from the vet..Im curious what they have to say about it.

Answer #13

I just got a kitten who also has trouble standing and walking. She’s got three good legs and one bad one. The vet took several x-rays and thinks she has feline hip dysplasia–you should google it. The University of Missouri Veterinary School has a lot of useful information. I’ve gotten several opinions about the best thing for my kitty, and the general consensus is a surgery called FHO–which you should also google.

Your kitten may not have this, but it sounds an awful lot like what my baby cat’s been going through. I hope this helps, and I hope that you took him to a vet!

Answer #14

I havea 4 week kitten that sounds very similiar to this, so please do post results. I’m reluctant to take her away from her mother for a vet trip so young. She tried to stand on the legs normally, but the back ones don’t work normally.

I observed yesterday that her bone structure around the hips is different from her littermates, as if the hips are further behind the legs than they should be. She is much smaller than the others as well.

But like the kitten above, she is a happy and cuddly little thing, and she pulls herself around too enthusiastically to indicate pain. She falls over a lot in the attempt though.

We’ve helped defend her place at feeding as she isn’t able to compete as effectively as the others. I’ve just started giving them kitten food and I make sure she gets in first.

Answer #15

Mojo is now 8 weeks old and doing very well. Turns out his legs were just weak and with some regular excercise, he can now run and jump like the other kittens.

He was the first born, and the largest of the litter so I wondered if his weight might be part of the problem. There was nothing to indicate that, but what’s important is that he is now growing into the most beautiful Siamese Maine Coon ever, and he’s a very happy little boy!

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