Re: Cat with neurological disorder
Welcome, and I'm sorry your kitty is having such difficulties.
We had a cat with neurological and ataxia problems with his hind legs. We got him, well, he adopted us, when he was about 10mo old in 1999. We always thought he was a 'clumsy' cat, and it wasn't until early fall of 2004 that I *really* noticed a problem. I took him to the vet and when she saw him she immediately thought "diabetes" and was STUNNED when his blood results came back prefectly normal.
Reilly's back legs began with a slight hesitation when he would walk with them. Instead of smoothly going step, step, step, step, his back legs would pause (just for a moment) in the middle of moving them forward, like: st-ep, st-ep, st-ep, st-ep. He never showed any discomfort and would still run and play, though we had to be careful if he ran past us because his back end would sort of sway and bounce back/forth as he ran and he could knock a leg out from under you. This progressed to his back legs interferring with each other, sometimes catching on his hocks and tripping him. Progressing further to only able to take about 10 steps before his spine would sway too far to the side and he'd sit down. Even further to only being able to go 2-3 steps before sitting or falling over. Eventually, he could not walk at all, and could only drag himself with his front paws.
He *could* walk upright and on all fours, IF, I held the end of his tail and 'pulled him up' to keep his back level so his back legs could move, but he couldn't hold his own weight up. By this time, you could definitely tell there was something wrong with his spine. Also, at times he would be laying down and one of his back feet would be flexed/spasming. He never seemed to be aware of what his foot was doing; it would be extended, with his toes flexed and spread apart while his leg quivered like it had a charlie-horse. I would massage his legs when I saw that and they would relax and stop spasming. It was like he didn't know there was a problem.
We could not afford to do expensive testing/treatments, so we treated his symptoms, which really was only helping him to get around and reach food, water and litterbox areas.
Anyhow, whatever it was, progressed enough that it finally began to affect his elimination abilities until he finally would become constipated and the meds stopped working. We knew it was time and took him in. What an awful day. Rei was my husband's buddy in WA state, driving back/forth to work (55mi) with him every day. The vet told us that she had discussed his case with colleagues at a seminar and they all concurred that he probably had some sort of spinal tumor. Not painful, but as it grew, it restricted his abilities more and more. She said there really would have been not much they could have done even if we did have unlimited $ to spend to try to save him. Instead, we gave him a FABULOUS life of love with us for 8 years. We said goodbye to him in the early summer of 2007 when 'he told us' he was ready to go.
Please, if you must make the decision to release your kitty from her failing body, do not burden yourselves with grief. Know instead, that you gave her a life of love, caring and a dignified way out.
I hope the vets will be able to find something to help your kitty, but I learned years ago, I can only spend so much...and I have to have a very, VERY GOOD percentage of probability for success before I will attempt anything.
I'm sorry my story wasn't more encouraging.
Best of luck,