Kitten With Swimmers Legs

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Caroline 11 months ago.

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    My name is Caroline, I am 21 years old, and I live in North/Central FL.

    My story:

    A stray queen in my apartment complex gave birth to a litter of four precious babies about a month ago, or so. Sadly, one of them was born with Swimmers Legs. That means that her back legs are splayed out all funny, so she can’t walk properly and has to scoot around everywhere.

    ** Two of the kittens are male, and two are female. The orange kitten, and Legs (the one with the disorder) are both genetically bob-tailed, just like their diluted tortoiseshell mother!
    They are literally the sweetest things, and have been great regarding socialization with humans and other cats. **

    I am wondering if there is any advice on there about fixing her problem, if fixable?
    We took her to the vet recently, and was basically told that what she had was Swimmers Syndrome and there was nothing we could do. I think that’s crap, considering there is a lot online about doing physiotherapy and taping the legs under her to help her work the muscles so that eventually they will be strong enough to hold her up and be used properly. Honestly, that vet visit was rushed and just a mess, like the vet literally looked at her for maybe 20 seconds before giving us that diagnosis.

    Anyway, we are moving across the state in two weeks, and are taking Legs with us. We found a rescue that will take her other siblings. They’re seriously great and hopefully can find their forever homes. Since Legs has her disability, we believe her euthanasia rate is high and just don’t want to risk it. Once we move, I will be a stay-at-home student and will have all the time in the world to work on rehabilitating Legs.

    My concern is proper techniques and her age. She is currently about 4-5 weeks old, so I don’t want to take her away from her mother just yet, but I am worried that if I wait till we move to start on her legs, then it may be too late.
    Although, I did see a video about a cat named Scooter or something where they tried fixing his legs at a MUCH older age, he just had some other underlying conditions and nerve damage so it didn’t work out, I guess. But it gives me hope that even if I wait a little longer it won’t be too late!

    Here’s a couple pictures of her:
    ~ The pictures are about 10 days old so the kittens are a bit bigger now ~

    Legs' LegsCute Precious Baby Bean



    I’m sorry I don’t have any experience with kittens with splayed legs..but if you Google the information, there seems to be plenty out there. Here is a link to one I found:

    If you are determined to help this kitten, I certainly think it can be done!! Your experience would definitely be valuable to people who visit here–please share your progress! And bless you for caring for this litter of kittens and their mom!



    Just seeing this post and your other one now. What gorgeous wee kittens. I am so glad you managed to find somewhere to take the kittens and that you are taking Legs with you. I sincerely hope you can find a way to help Legs. I think it is so wonderful you want to improve Legs life.



    Oh Caroline,

    All the kits are so precious and I’m glad you rescued them from certain death. I admire you for taking Wee Swimmer with you. I don’t have experience on kits with swimmer legs so I would like to follow your adventures and learn about them.



    @kittyzee: I actually read up on Speedo’s situation, and they kind of got his legs a little better, but I believe he had an underlying condition and probably due to his age they weren’t able to fix it entirely, so sad 🙁
    I’ve joined another forum, though, who did have a couple people with articles and information they could give, so starting tomorrow we are going to attempt physiotherapy and taping of Legs’ back legs and hopefully get her on a road to recovery!
    I am planning on documenting the experience. Since there is little to no information for me, I would love to be a provider for those who may be in my situation in the future. Apparently a lot of kittens get put down because of this condition, even though it seems to be fixable!

    @Moonshadow_NZ: We are going to attempt the physiotherapy and taping-method starting tomorrow, so I hope it will work!
    I am really glad one of the rescues pulled through and offered to take the other wee ones from us. I am going to miss the absolute heck out of them, though.

    @pussigato: Apparently, if everything goes well, we can fix her legs in a couple weeks/months and it will be like she never had it to begin with! I am certainly hoping that this is how it turns out to be. She might end up having some chest complications or something due to having her bottom half constantly on the ground. I hope she ends up healthy.
    I am planning on documenting the experience, so that I can share and spread the information, since there really isn’t much about it.



    That is great news! I want to see her improvements with your loving care.



    I’m glad you have found some people with information to help you! Keep us posted on her progress please!


    Here is the facebook page I set up for her, if you guys want to follow her progress 🙂

    I can post here, too, it might just be easier if I end up forgetting or getting caught up on other social media sites. I am thinking of making a YouTube vlog and documenting this with video, too! Especially the taping and massaging.

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