Can Cats Walk Backwards?

by Jayley
Can Cats Walk Backwards

Cats are well-known in every part of the world as one of the most flexible and body-coordinated animals. They have this kind of instincts when it comes to controlling their body that makes them safe and secure. One example of which is when they accidentally fall from a high place, they know how the placement of their bodies to land safely.

With all these flexible things that they can do, this question might have crossed your mind, “Can cats walk backward?” In this article, we’ll tackle all the interesting reasons why cats do this kind of walking and how you can respond to them.

Do Cats Walk Backward

Do Cats Walk Backward?

Absolutely! Cats can walk backward whenever they want to. But, they do not show this kind of skill all the time because of their nature. If you can notice, all of their necessary parts to survive in the wild are facing forward.

This being said, they need to face what’s in front of them to be cautious and probably avoid getting predator encounters. Cats are very intelligent creatures and they only do things that will be very beneficial to them. Walking backward will only be used when necessary or when they just feel like it.

Why Do Cats Walk Backwards?

So what if you see your cats at home walking backward? Should you be worried? Do they need to be brought to the nearest vet as soon as possible? Well, to answer these questions, below are the reasons why do cats walk backward.

Wearing an E-collar

This e-collar or its more popular name, “Cone of Shame” is a very embarrassing thing to wear for cats. They feel like they are being pranked or staged to do something peculiar. However, it’s an important tool to prevent cats from biting and scratching parts of their bodies.

When they wear this cone of shame, they walk backward trying to get it out. They feel like walking this way will somehow remove the e-collar instantly.

Just Had Anesthesia

When cats have had surgery and they are in a post-anesthesia zone, they will not feel coordinated and might feel dizzy and sleepy. This is the reason why they walk backward. They don’t know what to feel and how to cope with what they are experiencing. What you can do is to let them rest in their crib and sleep the medicines away.

Turning Back From Small Spaces

Cats are known for being too curious and nosy. They will sneak into small spaces without knowing whether they will fit or not. And they miscalculate this kind of thing, they will need to walk backward to be free. Even though cats like tight spaces because of the security they give, they don’t want to stay there for too long.

Something Surprising Pop Out

Don’t you notice your cat walking backward when you suddenly pop out of nowhere or when you walk to them? They also do this whenever they feel like they can’t handle the change of aura in an area they just went to.

Feline Vestibular Disease

The vestibular system of cats is the main reason why they can control their movements from walking to running to jumping from one high place to another. However, when this breaks or when they have the feline vestibular disease, their bodies will be disoriented and will be clueless about the things that they need to do.

Limb Amputation

Walking backward can also be a side effect of limb amputation or when they get surgery on their feet. Your cat needs your attention and care especially when they just had one of their limbs cut off. This being said, you will be seeing them walking backward because they don’t know how to live with one limb amputated.

Animal Instincts

Cats are predators and prey at the same time. Their cousins in the wild have animal instincts that always lead them to safety whenever danger comes in. Your cats at home also have this kind of instinct. All you have to do is to make sure that your cat feels at home and you show your affection to them all the time.

Feline Cognitive Dysfunction

This is a kind of sickness that cats experience when they get old and too domesticated. What does it mean? It means that when you have your furry friend for too long wherein they get to the point of being too old, they will lose their cognitive abilities. They will lose their spatial awareness and sometimes walk backward as one of the side effects.


Last but not least, your cat walking backward may be a cause of poison or toxins. When cats or even humans are poisoned, they will feel dizzy and disoriented. When this happens, they will not know what they are doing and might walk backward because their bodies are also not functioning very well.

Can Kittens Walk Backwards?

Kittens, just like adult cats, can also walk backward. At an early age, these young felines learn from their parents and their surroundings about their mobility, flexibility, and agility. This includes them walking backward from time to time. T

his is not something that you need to worry about but this is a matter that you need to correct when they rely too much on walking backward. Kittens are still a little bit disoriented because of their age so they might do things unexpectedly. But, as they grow older, they will be able to correct their body movements and senses as well.

What Should I Do if My Cats Always Walk Backwards?

After observing for far too long, what should you do when your cats walk backward all the time? Is there any behavior-correcting therapy that they need to undergo or is this just a phase that they will get over with? Below are the things you can do if your cats walk backward.

Bring Them to the Vet

When you think that the behavior they are exhibiting is not normal, you can bring them directly to your trusted veterinary clinic. They will do some tests and see whether your cat has medical conditions causing them to walk backward.

Observe a Little More

However, do not be a panicky owner and spend hundreds of dollars for something that your cat just truly loves doing in their free time. If they do not feel any pain in their bodies, you can just enjoy watching them doing all these kinds of unusual things.

Check the Fur

Lastly, you can see their furs because they might have fleas or pests making them uncomfortable. Bring them regularly to a grooming salon to ensure that they are feeling fresh and wonderful. There are also products that experts recommend so you might consult the vet before using them on your cat.

Read also: Flea Treatment For The Cat: The Most Efficient Way


Can cats walk backwards? Absolutely! Should you be worried about them doing this thing? It depends on the situation. Your furry friend at home loves experimenting and has a well-coordinated body. This being said, you don’t need to worry too much when you see them walking like this every once in a blue moon. But, if you’re worried, you can always ask for a professional’s help to make you feel better.

Read this too: Why Do Cats Lay On Their Backs?

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