Cat Seizure. Potential causes and suggestions

Seizure definition: uncontrolled and sudden activity that might include foaming at mouth, jerking of legs, chewing and champing (to bite noisily), temporary incontinence, sudden rage, biting.

Some more on possible symptoms:

Focal seizures: Crying loudly as though in pain, aggressive behaviour and legs stop functioning.

Generalised seizures: Loss of consciousness with uncontrollable shaking and twitching, involuntary opening and closing of mouth and accidental urination or defecation.

Cat seizure - crying out and drooling are two possible symptoms
Cat seizure – crying out and drooling are two possible symptoms
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Here are some potential causes of a cat seizure. I am not a vet so the first list was created from research. There is some more information below the list which may also assist. It was also built from extensive internet research.

  1. Advanced liver failure can cause a seizure. Other possible signs are: weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of weight, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking, abdominal pain, headache, stupor.
  2. An anatomical defect called a “portosystemic shunt”. The vein that normally carries nutrients from the intestines to the liver, bypasses the liver and carries the blood to the heart. The processing of the nutrients is not carried out by the liver leading to an ammonia build up causing possible seizures, circling, headache (head pressing against a wall), vomiting, drooling, weight loss, diarrhea.
  3. Low blood sugar levels – hypoglycemia – can cause a cat seizure. It can be caused by an insulin overdose given to a cat with diabetes. Or the cause might be tumors of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Other possible symptoms are: confusion, staggering, disorientated, collapse.
  4. A blood clot of the cerebral artery can cause a cat seizure. Clotting of an artery is called a “thrombosis”.
  5. Disease of the brain can cause seizures. Diseases of the part of the brain called the “cerebrum” – the largest part of the brain composed of two hemispheres – can cause other symptoms such as: blindness, aggression, circling and pacing.
  6. A stoke, which is bleeding in the brain, can cause seizures. Other signs are spasms of  the face and limbs, lack of coordination and blindness.
  7. Brain tumors produce symptoms that are similar to those of a stroke, although they develop more slowly.
  8. A genetically inherited disease that is more commonly found in Siamese cats and which is caused by an autosomal, recessive gene can cause seizures in kittens. It is called “inherited metabolic disease”. The central nervous system degenerates. DNA tests can detect the presence of the gene in a carrier. Other symptoms are: wobbly gait, weakness & paralysis of limbs and blindness. Carriers of the gene should obviously be removed (“culled” – this does not mean killed) from breeding.
  9. Cat poisoning can cause seizures.
  10. Kidney failure.
  11. Epilepsy. Epilepsy can be caused by injury to the brain or a defect of the brain.
  12. A form of cat seizure is suddenly falling asleep, a condition called, “narcolepsy-cataplexy”.

It should go without saying that normallly a seizure requires a proper veterinary diagnosis to ascertain the cause and treatment.

RELATED: Can CBD oil help cats with seizures?

Some more from an internet search:

Seizures in cats are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. These discharges can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stiffening or jerking of the limbs
  • Paddling of the paws
  • Drooling
  • Vocalization

There are many different causes of seizures in cats, and sometimes the cause is unknown. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Intracranial causes: These are problems within the brain itself. They can include:
    • Brain tumors
    • Brain infections
    • Brain trauma
    • Genetic abnormalities
    • Parasites
  • Extracranial causes: These are problems outside of the brain that can affect the brain’s function. They can include:
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver disease
    • Low blood sugar
    • Electrolyte imbalances
    • Toxin exposure
    • Heatstroke
    • High blood pressure
    • Idiopathic epilepsy (meaning the cause is unknown)

If you think your cat is having a seizure, it is important to stay calm and observe the seizure. Here’s what you should do:

  • Clear the area around your cat of any hazards.
  • Time the seizure.
  • Do not try to restrain your cat.
  • Once the seizure is over, gently pet your cat and speak to them in a soothing voice.
  • After the seizure is over, call your veterinarian.

It is important to see a veterinarian after your cat has had a seizure, even if it was a one-time event. Your veterinarian will want to do a physical examination and may recommend some tests to determine the cause of the seizure. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent future seizures and improve your cat’s quality of life.

RELATED: Auditory induced reflex seizures in cats. Genuine or hype?

Some more from different sources:

Seizures in cats can have various causes, both originating inside and outside the brain. Here are some common factors that can trigger seizures in felines:

  1. Head Trauma: Injuries due to falls or being hit by a car can lead to seizures.
  1. Toxin Exposure: Cats can experience seizures if they are exposed to toxins or poisons, including certain human medications.
  1. Brain Tumors: Tumors in the brain can disrupt normal neurological function and cause seizures.
  1. Brain or Spinal Cord Inflammation: Inflammatory conditions affecting the brain or spinal cord may lead to seizures.
  1. Metabolic Diseases: Conditions like heart disease or diabetes can also be associated with seizures in cats.
  1. Epilepsy: Some cats may have primary epilepsy, which is characterized by recurrent seizures without an underlying cause.

It’s essential to recognize the signs of seizures and seek medical attention promptly if you suspect your cat is having a seizure. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help manage seizures and improve your cat’s quality of life. Remember to stay calm during a seizure to keep your cat safe and aid in their recovery. 🐾

5 thoughts on “Cat Seizure. Potential causes and suggestions”

  1. i have a 16 year old cornish rex orange and white has been having seizure like fits i can only describe them as what looks like a horse standing on its hind legs and he’s shaking and drooling and making a loud rawawawawa and grinding his teeth i know its a visual seizure because if i put my hand in front of him he will attack it the polar opposite of him when he comes out of it he lays next to me and meows and is tired but looks no worse for the wear id like to know what it is and hes had them off and on his whole life no adverse affects that i can see accept hes deff now i dont think its from the seizures thx

    Reply
  2. My cats been having a runny eye for a couple weeks but I didn’t think anything of it because she and our other cat had gotten into a scuffle but this morning she had a seizure. I don’t know what to do I don’t have the money to take her to the vet right now, but I can’t let her suffer knowing I could have done something to help her now. Please help me.

    Reply
    • Hi Brandi, I am very sorry to hear that your cat has had a seizure. With great regret, I am unable to help you because I live in England, firstly, and secondly I cannot provide funding to everyone who needs to take their cat to their veterinarian. I wish I could, I really do but I don’t have the resources. I sincerely hope that you are able to find sufficient funding to pay a veterinarian should check your cat out. I wish you the very best of luck.

      Reply

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