How to Examine Your Cat’s Rear Quarters for Illness

by catfood

The profile of the rear quarters should be robust and stable in a healthy cat. The body will be well-muscled, especially around the haunches, and will taper slightly toward the end.

A tiny belly pouch is typical in cats, though it is more evident in larger cats or obese cats who have lost weight. Strong and equipped for running or jumping are the back legs and haunches. With the probable exception of the very last part of the abdomen, the entire animal’s back is covered in fur. Younger cats’ hind limbs shouldn’t exhibit any signs of stiffness or soreness when walking or moving.


The Organs of the Lower Body

The abdomen and lower half of the cat are home to the reproductive organs, liver, stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, small intestine, and colon (testicles or uterus). These organs are not protected by the skeleton like those in the upper body of the cat, with the exception of a piece of the liver. The following are some of the disorders that impact these organs clinically:

  • Vomiting is a sign of a variety of diseases and conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, acute and chronic renal disease, pancreatitis, and consuming harmful human foods, plants, or other substances. Sometimes diarrhea happens after vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting could be signs of a digestive disorder like IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) or even cancer.
  • Rapid weight loss is always cause for concern, and when it’s accompanied with vomiting, it could be a sign of one of the diseases or disorders mentioned above. Rapid weight loss in overweight cats may lead to the potentially fatal condition hepatic lipidosis (also known as fatty liver disease). Although hepatic lipidosis can be fatal, it is treatable if caught early and treated.
  • Butt-scooting: When a cat drags its butt around the floor, leaving behind a foul-smelling brown substance, an irritated or diseased anal gland is most likely to be to fault. Cats may also spontaneously express their anal glands when frightened or aroused. Veterinarian care is required for damaged or diseased glands. Additionally, scooting may be seen in cats who have intestinal parasites.

In order to ensure a comprehensive inspection, diagnosis, and course of treatment for their cats, owners should take them to the nearest veterinarian clinic as soon as they see any of the aforementioned symptoms.


Horizontal Spine

The spinal column runs the entire length of the body, from its intersection with the head to the base of the tail. The spinal canal, which is another name for the vertebral column, holds the spinal cord and makes up the backbone. The spinal cord controls all organ functions by using nerve endings as the body’s “message center.” Nerve endings can transmit a variety of sensations, including heat, cold, and pain. The spinal cord is one of the body’s most important organs.

Cats’ famed agility is a result of their extraordinarily flexible spinal columns, which are present in healthy cats. A falling cat may adjust itself by twisting its spine to land upright and on its feet. When a cat is standing securely on four legs, its spine will be reasonably straight and parallel to the ground, dipping down slightly from the front shoulders, and then again near the base of the tail.


The cat’s tail conveys its present attitude and acts as a balance mechanism. If there is problem, it is preferable to pay attention to the signal given by a tail that is rapidly lashing.


Never attempt to grab the cat’s tail. You can significantly harm yourself as a result of seriously harming the cat. Tail trauma is an immediate veterinary requirement. Some cats need to have their tails removed due to severe injuries. Some tail wounds can be operated on, but sometimes they can also heal on their own. Fecal and/or urinary incontinence may develop as a result of injuries that paralyze the tail because of damage to the nerve supply to the area.

Manx cats are born without tails. Manx Syndrome, a hereditary condition that causes spinal cord malformation, is a condition that certain Manx kittens are born with. Fecal and urinary incontinence, neurological problems in the rear limbs, and, in rare cases, spina bifida, a more serious spinal cord abnormality, are the effects of this.


Legs and feet in the rear

The back legs, feet, and claws complete the anatomy of the trunk quarters. Strong bones, joints, and muscles in the cat’s back legs offer it great strength for running and jumping, both of which are essential for catching prey in the wild. The hips of the cat are likewise flexible.

In older cats (> 8 years old), slowness or hesitation in movement, especially if the cat has problems leaping up on furniture or using the litter box, may be an indication of arthritis. Being overweight makes other conditions, including arthritis, worse. Your veterinarian will recommend a moderate weight loss strategy for obese cats. Arthritis is more prone to develop in cats with hip dysplasia, which is more common in several breeds (Persian, Siamese, and Maine Coon). In addition, your veterinarian can advise taking medications to relieve sore joints and halt the growth of arthritis. The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, which are widely advised, are present in the medication Cosequin (R).


The back legs, paws, and claws are as important as those in the front. Their strength enables the cat to push forward and quickly reach a high speed for pursuing prey or running from predators. The back claws are powerful for delivering painful “rabbit kicks,” both in play and in self-protection. Although front claws should be clipped routinely, it is not recommended to clip the back again claws of cats that spend time outdoors, because of their use for protection.

The body of a healthy cat is poetry in motion. It is the perfect balance of form and function, with the bonus of beauty and grace. Your charge when you take cats into your home can be to ensure that they receive a wholesome, nutritious diet, an adequate exercise in the form of play, and a planned program of veterinary care, to help ensure that they stay healthy for as long as possible.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and may make the best recommendations for your pet.

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