Discover CatWalk XT

Turn-key system

CatWalk XT is a complete tool for automated gait analysis in rodents. The system consists of:

  • a corridor that directs and limits the freedom of movement of your subjects to a straight line across the walkway that facilitates quick cleaning and access to the walkway;
  • a hardened glass walkway that enables CatWalk XT's Illuminated Footprints technology;
  • a high speed color camera for extremely accurate spatial and temporal resolution;
  • and the CatWalk XT software for the recording and automated analysis of the locomotor ability of your rodents.

Read more about CatWalk XT versus treadmill systems on this page or in this blog post

Advanced gait analysis

Due to the high temporal and spatial resolution of the color camera in combination with the Illuminated Footprints technology, the CatWalk XT software can identify subtle changes within the dimensions, position and timing of each footprint. Numerous parameters are calculated for qualitative and quantitative analysis of individual footfalls and gait.

Examples include:

  • Individual footprints: print area, brake and propulsion phase duration, stand index, Duty cycle, intensity.
  • Distances between footprints: base of support, stride length, distance between ipsilateral prints.
  • Time relationships between footprints: cadence, support formulas, step sequence, phase lags, walking speed. 

Research applications

CatWalk XT can be used to evaluate any kind of experimental model or procedure that has an effect on the locomotor ability of rodents. It does not matter if gait is affected due to genetic, chemical or physical injury to the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, or skeletal or muscle functioning. As long as your animal is able to traverse the CatWalk runway, you can evaluate its gait. Some of the experimental procedure and disease models for which CatWalk XT has been validated are: spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s, Cerebellar ataxia, traumatic brain injury, and peripheral nerve damage.

NeuroPore Therapies (San Diego, California) does important research in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Diana Price, Dr. Asma Khan and Robert Johnson are currently using CatWalk XT to study Parkinson’s disease.

Automated gait analysis with CatWalk XT

Automatic Footprint Classification

The Automatic Footprint Classification Module takes the manual labor of classifying each footprint out of your hands, cutting your experiment time in half, while keeping you in control.   

Interactive Footprint Measurements

The Interactive Footprints Measurements module allows you to look in more detail at each footprint itself. You can measure toe spread, intermediate toe spread,and print lenght in order to calculate the Sciatic Functional Index. Furthermore, you can use it to measure the angle of the pawprint in relation to the body axis of the rodent.

Parameter Charts 

CatWalk XT 10 now offers all users the automatic generation of parameter charts. This will save  you time considering you do no longer need to export your data and to make it suitable for your favorite statistical program. With CatWalk XT 10 it will only take a few minutes to produce charts of every parameter you selected. This will prove a great way of keeping track on how your experiment is proceeding or to view the final results. For your convenience we even have built in the possibility to automatically generate a report (pdf) of all the graphs, saving hours of work. 

CatWalk XT vs. other methods

The table below provides a brief comparison with alternative methods:

Footprint analysis Coding (e.g. BBB) Treadmills Pain instruments
CatWalk XT allows analysis of all four paws and provides temporal information about footfalls and gait. CatWalk XT allows objective assessment of interlimb coordination and is more generic in its application. CatWalk XT allows animals to walk in a non-enforced manner. Moreover, no toe nail clipping and no application of bright lights is required. Similar to treadmills, differences in walking speed can be taken into account. CatWalk XT allows analysis of pain to take place in a clinically more relevant manner. No artificial stimuli are applied to a confined animal

CatWalk timeline

The main developments of CatWalk over time:

  • 2012: CatWalk XT 10
    Parameter Charts
  • 2011: CatWalk XT 9.1
    User profiles
  • 2010: CatWalk XT 9.0
    Interactive Footprint Measurements
  • 2009: CatWalk XT 8.1
    Automatic Footprint Classification
  • 2009: CatWalk XT 8.0
    High speed recording, visible body contour, speed tagging, enhanced data export
  • 2007: CatWalk 7.1
    Improved software usability
  • 2006: CatWalk 7.0
    First CatWalk release from Noldus
  • 1998 - 2005: CatWalk 1.x - 6.x
    CatWalk invented and under ongoing development by Dr. Frank Hamers 

Get to know more!