Categories: Cat Health

Cat Seizure

Jack was having seizures and died. Photo by espie (Flickr)

I list the reasons for a cat seizure by reference, primarily to the best reference work on cat health.

  1. Advanced liver failure can cause a seizure. Other possible signs are: weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, lost 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. Brain injuries from which the cat recovers can result in permanent behavioral changes including seizures, head tilt, blindness and/or paralysis.
  7. 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.
  8. Brain tumors produce symptoms that are similar to those of a stroke, although they develop more slowly.
  9. 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.
  10. Cat poisoning can cause seizures.
  11. Kidney failure.
  12. Epilepsy. Epilepsy can be caused by injury to the brain or a defect of the brain.
  13. A form of cat seizure is suddenly falling asleep, a condition called, “narcolepsy-cataplexy”.

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

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

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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  • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

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