Proprioceptive Problems in Cats
Can affect your cat to the point where they literally may not be able to find their feet

Proprioceptive problems in cats can result is very abnormal reactions in your pet and in some cases they may literally act as if they do not know where their feet are located.

The reason for this is that for brief periods of time, they may have absolutely no idea as something is not communicating.

As this condition becomes worse, the time frames will be extended. If can also lead to a partial loss of limb movement and in severe cases, it may lead to paralysis.

Your cat may also experience abnormal levels of conscious, and although none of these threats may be life threatening, the underlying cause usually is.


Proprioceptive problems in cats are a condition where your pet develops mild to severe abnormal body positions and movements do to the lack of normal perception.

A good example of this is very strange leg positions when your cat rests, and very unusual sudden developments of foot-pad deterioration from strange walking habits.

Mean green eyesProprioceptive problems in cats can be hard to spot in the early stages

The actual definition of proprioceptive is the unconscious perception and orientation by your cat from stimuli within their brain.

This perception relates to their position, posture, and their equilibrium, as well as internal conditions.

There are receptors that act as nerve endings in your cats skeletal muscles as well as tendons that provide a constant supply of information.

information, if everything is communicating properly, relays positioning information about your cats limb positions and muscle actions.

This information also provides the muscles action for coordinating the limb movements and how they react.

The awareness of their equilibrium is no different than ours, as it involves gravity.

Gravity, position, as well as orientation are registered by your cat in very small grains called otoliths that move within fluid sacs in their inner ear.

The motion itself is detected by what is called sense hairs.

Rotation is detected by the inertial lag, or the ability to resist acceleration.

This system allows for your cats central nervous system to actually sense rotation in three dimensions, until something goes wrong.

When this function does malfunction, your cat will start to do some very strange things.

But what is even more concerning and much more sinister, is what suddenly caused this system to malfunction on your cat.


The symptoms of proprioceptive problems in cats will start very mildly. If fact, you may not notice them at first or think that your cat is just acting rather odd.

However, it is very important to understand these beginning symptoms as they will lead to situations that are much more serious.

The first set of symptoms will usually start when your cat sets down and crosses their legs in front of them. However, instead of legs crossing over each other, they will be turned under.

This is not your cat acting odd, but rather the start of the communication misfiring.

The next symptom of proprioceptive problems in cats that you will notice is a very unusual wearing down of your cats toe pads.

This is the result of them walking differently as the normal gravity is starting to shift for them.

Soon after this symptom, your cat may show the partial loss of movement of their legs, which may be followed by a complete paralysis of the legs.

While this is occurring, you may also start to see them loss control of their urine which may rapidly develop into full blown incontinence.

However, proprioceptive problems in cats will eventually show you other symptoms that will be much more chilling in nature.

will also start to become very weak, loss their coordination which is referred to as Ataxia, and then start to move back and forth in various levels of consciousness.

By this stage it has become very severe and the actual cause has become life threatening.


The actual causes of proprioceptive problems in cats are not extensive and the severity will depend on the underlying cause.

The list of causes includes disorders of their spinal cord or the brain stem, as well as cerebral brain diseases that can be both devastating as well as life threatening to your cat.

The brain and the spinal cord in your cat operate in complete tandem and they comprise the central nervous system.

The brain is responsible for both integrating as well as interpreting information that is sent everywhere in the body.

The spinal cord is the conducting system that relays this information.

The brain is located at base of the skull, and the spinal cord runs through the neck and back and extends down the middle of your cats tail.

The brain stem is located at the base of the brain and it is connected to both the spinal cord and the cerebrum.

are several potential causes of cerebral brain disease, but the most common are vestibular diseases, infections, tumors, or some type of a trauma.

Peripheral vestibular disease is a condition in your cat that will affect both their brain and the nerves that control their equilibrium.

If this is the underlying cause, it can result in head tilting as well as the loss of their equilibrium.

The actual cause is idiopathic, meaning that it is unknown, but it is theorized to be the result of a parasite infection.


Infections that can cause proprioceptive problems in cats include infectious encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain and is caused by organisms.

Viral infections such as peritonitis virus, rabies, or leukemia may be the cause.

However it could also be the result of parasite infections or fungal infections such as blastomycosis or cryptococcosis.

There are also several different types of brain tumors that may be the cause as well as a severe traumatic accident that your cat has suffered causing proprioceptive problems in cats.

Spinal cord disorders will cause the dysfunction of the limbs that your cat is experiencing and they also have several potential underlying causes.

They include infections, inflammation, nutritional disorders, and toxicity.

However, the most common cause is infectious meningitis which is the inflammation of the meninges of either the brain or the spinal cord.

The most common cause of this infection is from bacterial, fungal, or peritonitis infections.


Proprioceptive problems in cats will start out very mild but will eventually turn into paralysis of their limbs or a complete lack of coordination.

It can also develop into situation where your cat will have absolutely no idea where they are or what they are doing, as they drift in and out of consciousness.

Watching and understanding the symptoms may very well save their lives.

If your cat starts to cross their legs in an unusual manner, take it very seriously.

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