Gait analysis system

CatWalk XT

CatWalk XT is a complete gait analysis system for quantitative assessment of footfalls and locomotion in rats and mice.

Why use it?

  • Quantification of footprints and gait in unforced moving animals
  • Accurate and objective data, validated in peer-reviewed research
  • Illuminated Footprints: detection of real footprints and body weight distribution

Trusted by researchers around the world


Assess gait and locomotion

CatWalk XT is a highly sensitive tool to assess gait and locomotion. The footprints are captured while the rat or mouse voluntarily traverses a glass plate towards a goal box. CatWalk XT visualizes the prints and calculates statistics related to print dimensions and the time and distance relationships between footfalls.


Who uses it?

CatWalk XT gait analysis has been validated in research and experimental procedures for several (neurological) disorders and lesions. Examples include spinal cord injury and other nerve injuries, neuropathic pain, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s, Cerebellar ataxia, traumatic brain injury,  peripheral nerve damage, and more.

Watch this customer success story to learn more.

Customer success story Neuropore

Customer quote

"Our lab has been using CatWalk XT since 2015, and we have found that it is an invaluable tool for our research and provides a reliable and detailed analysis of gait and how it varies in our disease models."

Pediatric Storage Disorders Laboratory (PSDL)|Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA


CatWalk XT gait analysis system  

Turn-key system

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

  • A walkway that directs the free movement of your subject in a straight line to facilitate learning and improve reproducibility
  • Easy access to the walkway which allowes quick cleaning
  • 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 other gait analysis systems on the benefits page.


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

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.

mouse catwalk gait analysis woman courtesy

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Getting the perfect run

CatWalk™ XT is a gait analysis system based on the voluntary movement of rats or mice across a corridor, over a glass plate. Generally, animals quickly learn to cross in a consistent manner, especially rats. However, familiarizing them with the system before you start your experiment makes your job a lot easier. So how do you familiarize and motivate your rats?

Kristina Ängeby Möller has a lot of experience with pain research and gait analysis in rats, and shares some tips and tricks!


Customer quote

"The present study demonstrates that CatWalk allows an automated, fast, objective and complete analysis of gait related changes after acute pain."

Dr. A.F. Gabriel et al (2007)|In Journal of Neuroscience Methods


How does it work?

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.

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.


screenshot catwalk acquisition

Work remotely

Many CatWalk XT users are currently facing lab closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At Noldus IT we strive to make the transfer to your home office as easy as possible, so that you can continue the analysis of your acquired CatWalk XT runs remotely. Besides, we are also giving the opportunity to refresh and/or acquire new knowledge of CatWalk XT free of charge! Read more about the options that could make the transfer to your home office as easy as possible here.


Relevant blogs


What gait can tell: 3 blogs that will help you understand

The usefulness of gait is well established in research on spinal cord injury, ataxia, and arthritis. But in fact, research on all disorders that influence gait in any way, can benefit from gait and footfall analysis.

Gait research: let your animals walk freely

Researchers use different ways to analyze gait in animals. In what instances would a study benefit from a system that is based on voluntary walking?

Gait recovery and other effects: treatment of cervical myelopathy

At the Dr. Michael Fehlings' lab, they are on a quest to find out what exactly causes the lower success rate of delayed surgery in cervical myelopathy.
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