Cat seizures caused by sharp sounds linked to old age

Cat seizures due to sharp sounds

Cat seizures caused by clicking sounds or other sharp sounds appears to be linked to old age which may indicate a change in brain function brought about by old age as the cause. Further, although unlikely, there may also be an underlying condition such as toxoplasmosis which is present in about 45% of all cats but usually asymptomatic (no signs of it). Hearing loss may also be a factor or a cause.

The seizures vary in type from dilated eyes and twitching to lying on the floor with all legs flaying around.

The sounds are sharp. Sometimes they are rustling sounds such as plastic being scrunched up, candy wrappers, ‘kissy’ sounds or tapping on a bowl with a spoon These sounds are can be made in the home in day-to-day activities – all very normal which makes the cat’s response all the more shocking. The fact that sharp sounds are involved indicates that the condition is related to sound frequency. There may be an age-related loss of hearing of high frequency sounds

Deafness may make a cat hypersensitive to sound waves. There are various reasons for deafness on of which is a loss of sensitivity in the cochlea of the inner ear. Although a deaf cat can’t hear or has poor hearing, the sound waves could still be transmitted via the auditory nerves to the brain. Perhaps the cat compensates for deafness by becoming hypersensitive to sound (the sound waves in the air) and this may result in overcompensation leading to an over-stimulation of the brain by the auditory nerve resulting in seizures. Perhaps the part of the brain processing auditory nerve input has degenerated and malfunctions leading to seizures.

My gut feeling is that the cause is due to dementia. The dementia might be mild and not obvious but the brain has changed and degraded which causes it to malfunction – a wild guess. I am saying that this condition is one possible symptom of feline dementia.

I felt a need to readdress this upsetting and strange condition to try and shed some light on the causes. It is rare and it is not referred to in the books that I have (and they are good) and it is hardly mentioned on the internet.

Fortunately, there are currently 25 comments from visitors on the original page about this condition written by a visitor in England (the linked page has many more useful comments from visitors). Running through the comments I noticed that the ages of the cats with the condition were: 18 (this cat also seemed to have dementia), 18, 12+, 17, 18, 17, 13, 19, 18.5, 10.

Most of these ages are advanced. A cat of 18 is very geriatric. On one occasion the elderly cat was given a pain relief injection which appears to have set off the seizures on hearing sharp sounds.

On another occasion an elderly cat lost his cat companion which appears to have been a emotional ‘knock back’ which in turn seemed to have been linked to the onset of seizures due to sharp sounds.

If anyone has experiences of this please add your valuable knowledge to the page in a comment so we can build up a database of information to plug this gap in our knowledge. Thanks in advance.

37 thoughts on “Cat seizures caused by sharp sounds linked to old age”

  1. This is an old post, so perhaps that is why the information isn’t up to date, but it seems there is an answer to this and it was linked above in response to a comment.

    It’s called FARS. From what I can tell, people keep sharing stories, yet someone keeps classifying it as simply brain degeneration due to old age. Is there some link I’m missing to a study or a vet analysis of this? Is the OP a vet?


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