Cat suddently acting deaf and unstable on legs

by Jason


Just a few days ago my cat, who is around 17 or 18 years old and lives indoors, came down with a case of crystals, which has plagued her on and off the past few years. She seems to have an attack of this rasty nasty illness about once a year, and has done for the past three years or so now.

Anyway we took her to the vet, where she had the usual treatment, bloodwork done and so on, which meant she spent almost three days at the vet in total. It should be noted at this point that she absolutely hates the vet, and gets very stressed about vet visits and being left there.

We picked her up today, with the usual medications to give her (antibiotics, etc) but upon arriving home she started wandering repeatedly around the house from room to room, over and over for hours, and quite unsteady on her legs. Even worse, she doesn't seem to respond to sound at all, which as we have previously had no indication of hearing loss in her whatsoever (quite the opposite in fact), is very distressing.

We called the vet after a couple of hours, and the only response that we got was that it's "rather curious" and that we could bring her back in if we wanted to. Given just how stressed vet visits make her even at the best of times that's not exactly preferential, however if she needs to go then that's what we'll do.

Despite her age she is usually a very self assured and independant cat with a strong spirit and plenty of energy (considering her age), however since returning she's a completely different cat, very vocal with frequent meowing, and just
generally ill at ease, and again, totally unresponsive to our voices or sound in general, which I believe is causing her even more distress, as it is causing us as well. And I just don't know what to do...

Is this common? Are there any reasons for it? Is it likely permanent or is this possible a temporary thing? Should we return her to the vet immediately or just observe her and see if things get better? Again she had no indications of any deafness prior to the vet visit and now three days later she seems to be deaf as a post all of a sudden.

Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated. Thank you.


Answer by KAte
Hi well your cat is rather old and so unfortunately this trip to the vets may have triggered a sort of stroke etc which would explain her behavior.

It is difficult to say for sure of course and if it were me I would give her a few hours to see if she calms down and if the symptoms subside. however if she remains the same then yes I would take her back. Sadly not many cats I know like the vets but sometimes there is simply no other option.

Keep her quiet and comfortable and cover the basket when you take her to the vets to try and keep her as calm as possible.

i hope it is only a temporary issue but as I say her age is against her at this stage.

I have a page here on the site about older cats and some of the changes that can happen which you may find of further interest here

I wish you all well

best wishes Kate

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