The Mystery of the Soggy Moggy and the Wobbly Cat – How McTimoney Animal Chiropractic has Helped with the Most Unusual Feline Cases!

By Cat Ferguson MSc PGCert MMAA
McTimoney Animal Chiropractor

The soggy moggy in question – Panda

Panda – Credit Josey Tranter

I was first contacted by Panda’s owner three weeks after a rather unusual incident. Panda, a 16-year old DSH, had appeared in his house soaking wet during a dry day in October 2022. He then had what his owner described as a ‘funny turn’, during which he was reversing for a few steps at a time and looked like he may fall over. He was taken to the emergency vet who confirmed that there were no broken bones or neurological deficits, although no imaging was carried out due to Panda’s age. Since this incident, he presented with an intermittent left hindlimb lameness resembling patella luxation, which would occur several times a day and generally self-corrected after a period of rest.

The first time I saw Panda, he was able to move over a variety of different surfaces and to jump on or off furniture, but showed clear signs stiffness through the left hip and stifle. He also presented with lordosis and muscle tension through his lower back and had a tendency to carry his tail to the left. The gentle yet effective nature of the McTimoney chiropractic technique made it ideal for Panda, taking account of his age and recent trauma. He was given a conservative, light initial treatment to rebalance his musculoskeletal system. He received adjustments to the most prominent misalignments in his spine, pelvis and sacrum, alongside some massage to further reduce muscle tension and discomfort.

Panda was given an initial course of four weekly treatments before moving to a maintenance programme. Treatments had a noticeable effect on his left hindlimb issue. Following the initial consultation, the owner reported that she had not seen Panda limping for four days. He also appeared less guarded with respect to being touched and had been playing more with his toys. Upon assessment, there had been significant improvements through Panda’s cervical spine and sacrum. Some sensitivity to palpation remained around the thoracolumbar junction but Panda was happier to have his pelvis assessed and rebalanced.

Improvements continued between further follow-ups. Panda’s patella remained stable for longer periods, he was able to walk more quickly and freely, and he appeared more engaged in his general demeanour. The discomfort he had been experiencing through his back was also vastly reduced. Panda now only requires treatments every few months, and his owner is very attentive in spotting when he is ready for a session. As with all cats, Panda has his idiosyncrasies (he has his very own therapy room!) and treatment is adapted to what he will tolerate, but he has the most lovely nature and rewards me with a purr when I hit just the right spot! It has been a pleasure enabling him to live a comfortable and active life once again.

Panda – Credit Josey Tranter

Another unusual case, this time closer to home – Rosie

Rosie, a one-year old DMH, has been a particularly fascinating case for me as a therapist, especially as she happens to be my own cat! She and her sister were RSPCA rescues and we had owned them for less than two months when, at the end of March 2023, Rosie appeared one evening with a mild left hindlimb lameness. I assessed her immediately and found nothing of significance aside from a slight reaction to her left stifle being palpated. Within 24 hours of symptoms starting, the hindlimb lameness had progressed to bilateral patella luxation and, within 72 hours (and three vet visits), Rosie had developed a fever and neurological deficits.

This signalled the start of a difficult couple of months, during which Rosie seemed determined to baffle every vet in Hampshire! Her symptoms progressed to ataxia (lack of coordination or balance), paraparesis (neurologic weakness in the hindlimbs) and hypertonicity (increased muscle tone) of the hindlimbs, to the extent that she was able only to pull herself around by her front legs. She was quickly referred to a specialist in veterinary neurology. Despite undergoing a myriad of tests – including MRI, extensive blood tests, urinalysis, and analysis of samples from her spinal cord and lymph nodes – the cause of Rosie’s symptoms has never been found. In mid-April, once it had been established that there were no vertebral malformations or other spinal instability, I was given the go-ahead by the vet to treat Rosie with chiropractic and implement a rehabilitation programme of my own design. This included a great deal of exercises and activities intended to improve proprioception, alongside joint mobilisations and stretches to decrease muscle tension and promote normal motor function.

In early May, Rosie started to show an increase in her mobility and by mid-May, she was taking her first tentative steps once again. Thankfully, it has been onwards and upwards since this point. Rosie has not quite fully recovered – and I suspect she may always be slightly ataxic – but she is able to run, play, and jump on and off furniture completely independently. She receives ad hoc chiropractic adjustments every few days to keep her body as balanced as possible, and as much soft tissue work as she will sit still for! My wonderful colleague Eirlys Green, from Aceso Animal Therapy, also treats Rosie using Class 3B laser once a month to assist with muscle tension release, muscle tone, and general comfort through her hind end. Rosie now happily explores outdoors during the daytime and entertains us with regular zoomies around the house!

Cat Ferguson MSc PGCert MMAA provides McTimoney animal chiropractic therapy and soft tissue massage services to large and small animals throughout Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. Cat is a member of the McTimoney Animal Association.

The McTimoney Animal Association (MAA) is an independent regulatory body. All members hold a PGDip or MSc in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, abide by a code of ethics, and are fully insured to treat animals. For more information on the McTimoney Animal Association, or to find a practitioner near you, go to