Gait analysis system

CatWalk XT

CatWalk XT is a complete gait analysis system for quantitative assessment of footfalls and motor performance 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

Assess gait and locomotion

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

Watch the video to learn more about CatWalk XT.

Customer success story Neuropore

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.


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 footprints and rat catwalk in the back  

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 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

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.

CatWalk XT hardware 1

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.

mouse catwalk gait analysis woman courtesy

Relevant blogs


Time is of the essence - how you can use it in gait analysis

I have written two blog posts about static gait parameters. Now it’s time to talk about all four paws, and the time based relationships between them. If you ask me, we’ve been saving the best blog post for last!

Parkinson's disease research - Relevant measures in pre-clinical studies

Parkinson’s disease: the neurodegenerative disorder that affects mobility in a life-changing way. Learn more about relevant measures in pre-clinical studies.

Parkinson’s & gait impairment: comparing rats and humans

Gait impairment is one of the most prominent symptoms of Parkinson's disease. For good research you need good models and good tests.
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