My cat's hind legs seem to have turned to noodles

Question:
My cat, Gidget, is 19 and in relatively good health. She had kidney failure 5 yrs. ago but has had no obvious problems since that time. I'd noticed that her coordination was just a little off at times, but nothing alarming at all, until the other day. Her back legs seem to have turned to noodles. I took her to the Vet and they worked her legs, and she's not in pain and purrs all the time. Gidget seems to have adjusted to her dilema. She still jumps up on the sofa and assumes her usual position on the back of it. She gets around just fine. BUT there's very little coordination. Due to her age, we (Vet & I) decided not to do blood tests as my goal now will be quality of life...no shots, IV's, or pills. Have you ever heard of this before? Thanks!

Answer:
I have heard of an unsteady gait and loss of muscle mass which might lead to your description of "Noodles". Both of these are symptoms of serious illnesses such as diabetis,cancer, brain tumor, thyroid.
Just so you know, a cat who is in pain will purr. Sometimes they purr because they are in pain. Purring is by no means only a sign of contentment!
Please reconsider doing bloodwork. If you want quality of life, then IMO you have to know what illness you are dealing with, then you can decide what to do. I do believe that at her age it is not always kinder to do major treatments. But I would definately at LEAST run a geriatric blood profile and see how she is holding up. Vets are wonderful, but they are not magicians. They cannot know for sure without tests. If you want quality of life, then why not get blood tests to see if the vet's guess is correct and make sure she is not suffering. Anyway, that's what I would do.

Answer:
I agree with at least doing the bloodwork. You might have more of a clue as to what the problem you are dealing with. By doing bloodwork you are not torturing your cat. It could be a simple problem. If it is about the money, ask about payments or care credit. You should at least do the blood work to get the kidneys rechecked. I do bloodwork on my seniors every 6 months and every 4 months on my cat with kidney failure.

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So are you saying a geriatric blood profile will determine if she is in pain? Gidget totally freaks out at the Vet, and the trip there is very traumatic in itself. I do not want her to suffer...she's my baby. She's had a good life and I know I won't start a regiment of anything on her. Your reply was very much appreciated.

Answer:
No problem gidget and I am sorry that your baby is not feeling so well. I know how hard it is to want to do what is best for them. I lost my old girl to cancer about 3 yrs ago and it was the hardest thing in the world for me. The hardest thing was watching her fail but not knowing what was wrong or if she was hurting. In our case, the bloodwork showed nothing. Sometimes that happens too.
I know that it can be traumatic for them to go to the vet. But I also think that it is important to go and have the blood tests to at least have more info so you can make a better decision. See, if it is thyroid, it could be managed by meds and she wouldn't have to die now. If it is cancer, then you know that she may or may not be in pain and can honor her by not letting her suffer. Although to be clear, cancer itself does not show up on bloodwork, but the values indicated might let you know where the trouble might be. Does that make sense?
I think it would be kindest to take her for bloodwork and go from there. Then you have more info. And don't think that because she is 19 that this is definately the end. She may have something manageable for a couple more years. But I totally agree with you that she has had a good life and is quite loved, so it is important to let her go with dignity. If it was my girl, I would just want the bloodwork to make sure one way or the other.

Answer:
Thanks again! I honestly do not believe she is in pain...I've been holding her a ton since this all came about, and I think I would have some indication, but there's none. She eats, although not as much as she was before, and drinks. She meows at my dog, telling him to move for the "princess", (and of course he does). I will call the Vet to discuss blood tests further . She (Vet) did not try to talk me into doing one (of course she suggested it), rather agreed with me about not putting her through any more stress. Gidget actually vomits and/or pees in her box when I take her there. But I will definitely give blood test serious consideration. I do not want her to suffer.

Answer:
If your cat is still eating and drinking, I think that is great sign that she is feeling okay. Usually when cats are very sick and miserable they will stop eating.
If she starts acting weird, like hiding a lot or interacting less, not eating...generally if she stops acting like herself...you might consider having some bloodwork done just to know what's going on, and to know how you should proceed.

Answer:
That makes sense. I think pets go hide when they are sick or want to die (happned to me with two different cats). Gidget is still very sociable and bossing my dog around...ad he's a Rott! I think I will call the Vet tomorrow and talk some more. I was just there last Tuesday and they think she is a sweetie too and also don't want her to suffer. She's had 19 wonderful years.

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If she is eating, drinking and using her litter box normally, I would not put her through any unnecessary stress. Keep a close eye on her though, and if there is any change, take her to the vet.

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If you decide to take her to the vet, you might try giving her Rescue Remedy before taking her. It might calm her down a bit for the trip. It worked for my cat when he would do the same thing. He was a Persian that would urinate in the crate, making quite the mess by time we got to the vet.
He had the same symptoms, and found out he had FIP, he had gotten from a ferret I had a few years prior. He was having seizures, causing temporary paralysis of his hind legs. Albeit, temporary. We lost him to the FIP. I know kidneys can cause the same symptoms, ear infections, tumors on the vertebrae, any number of things. But, I've also found that atleast knowing what is going on helps. If one moment of stress is worth making him feel better in the long run, it's worth it knowing he is feeling better. Cats will not display weakness, it goes against every instinct they have, because that means another animal can take advantage of that weakness.
On another elderly cat I had, we thought was just getting old, and found out it was a treatable condition and he was his old (no pun intended) self in not time.
Best of luck to you.
Cassie

Answer:
She's still not walking right, but better, for whatever reason. I've talked to so many people about doing the blood work or not doing it and it's about a 50/50 split. When I do decide to take her, I will ask for the Rescue stuff you mentioned. It's been one week today, and she's still eating, drinking, peeing, etc. She's on me all of the time and licking my eye lids in the morning as usual. I've had very ill cats before, including this one (kidney failure in '99), and they've all gone and hid when they didn't feel well. The thing that happened with Gidget is while she was eating the Science Diet K/D dry food since then, she was also losing weight. I barely noticed, as it was such a gradual process that it didn't seem that extreme...attributed it to old age. She's also part Persian so her longish hair masked the weight loss. She went from 9 lbs (her heaviest) to 3.5 lbs. (This was about 4 months ago.) Blood work was done then and she checked out OK. She wouldn't eat the K/D meat. Since then she's been eating SD Sr., and now weights 5.2 lbs. She eats the K/D dry very seldom any more. So, with that said, I'm guessing it is kidney failure. When she had it in '99, she WANTED to die. I promised her then I would never make her go throuh the IV routine again. I've given her a great life, and am keeping a close eye on her every move. If anything changes for the worse, I'll definitely take her in for the blood work. I guess I'm afraid if I did it now, I'd find out something I don't want to know, and would end up putting her to sleep. I guess my "guide" right now is the fact that she's eating, etc., and is still my baby.

Answer:
out of curiousity, when was the last time she was vaccinated?

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She is an indoor cat, and hasn't been vaccinated for several years, due to the stress. The Vet actually seemed to agree with me. As she's 19, I must be doing something right! BUT she's walking so very much better - Still wobbley at times, but sometimes walks almost perfect. Almost a complete turn around from one week ago. She jumped over my sleeping Rott the other day and there was absolutely no reason she couldn't have walked around him, other than he was sleeping so she couldn't give him "the look" to make him clear the way for the Princess to walk through....it cracked me up. I honestly believe she is NOT in pain. I watch her like a hawk, however, for anything out of the norm.
Oh...I've seem to have forgotten to say that she had blood work done about 4 months ago...she looked good for her age, other than she needed to put some weight on, which she has done.

Answer:
She is an indoor cat, and hasn't been vaccinated for several years, due to the stress. The Vet actually seemed to agree with me.
The reason I asked is because I had a foster cat that would have trouble walking for about a week after she got her shots.
I am very cautious about vaccinations and wouldn't vaccinate your cat either

Answer:
What happened? Why did you have to put her to sleep?