Vets have been trying to explain strange symptoms in 21 cats that arrived in North-East Scotland, between 2001 and 2010. The animals appeared to have a slowly-progressing neurological disease. This paper observes how the cats walk with an odd gait with stiff, extended tails. Dubbed “robotic cats” due to their movements, they presented a veterinary oddity not seen before.
Cats with a slightly different but possibly related condition have been spotted in Sweden and Austria, where it was referred to as “staggering disease.” One of authors suggests “All the cats included in our study, and most of the cats reported with ‘staggering disease’, belong to the rural population accustomed to hunting birds and rodents”. It can be speculated that the agent may be transmitted from these animals to cats. The authors conclude that the late onset age of this disease, its slow progression, peculiar clinical signs and the data from the tests suggest these cats were affected by the same unique, previously unreported condition.