Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Simple Reason Your Older Cat Can't Walk


"I think my cats kidneys are shot because she can't walk anymore."

Such was the way Midnight's appointment began.

Midnight is 16 years old, and chronic renal failure in  an elderly cat is certainly a good guess, and very likely affecting every 16 year old cat. To confirm kidney disease blood and urine must be tested.

There are some appointments that are incredibly time consuming, require complex and complete diagnostics, days of treatment options and attempts, AND, then there are the few that just take a few seconds of looking.

It was very obvious why Midnight couldn't walk.

Her very sharp toenails had grown into her soft foot pads, and every step she took was four needles driving into her skin.


Her diagnosis was easy: Overgrown nails.

Her treatment plan: Easy. Trim nails.  (See my Nail Trimming Guide here.)

Her Prognosis: Excellent, (far better than kidney failure), as long as her family keeps them trimmed.

After we trimmed all of Midnight's nails she had multiple open wounds in her foot pads. We sent her family home with foot soaks, antibiotics and a request to change her clumping litter to newspaper. 

I expect she will be walking better shortly.

As cats age their instinct to scratch and shed their nails decreases. Cats should be encouraged to scratch on appropriate surfaces by keeping them accessible and enticing them with fresh organic catnip re-applied weekly. Even with ample opportunities to scratch older cats tend to not shed their nails well. Older cats should have their feet and nails checked weekly, and trim as often as needed. If you are reluctant to trim ask your vet to show you how.

Related Posts;

If you have any pet questions of any sort you can find me, and a whole slew of incredibly smart, very generous, dedicated pet people at

Or, you can bring your kitty (or pup) into the vet clinic for a visit by coming over to see me in person at Jarrettsville Vet.

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