Cat Seizure Medicine

A cat seizure can occur suddenly, and lasts between a few seconds and several minutes. Seizures can signal a neurological problem, but might also be caused by an underlying condition. The treatment depends on the cause.

Causes of Cat Seizures

A cat with epilepsy can often experience seizures. Seizures might also be symptoms of other medical conditions, including:

  • Low glucose levels in the blood
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological problems
  • Infections that affect the nervous system
  • Cranial tumors
  • Poisoning
  • Head trauma
  • Blood vessel disorders in the brain

Signs of Cat Seizures

If your cat is having a seizure, you will notice:

  • Paddling limbs
  • The cat falls down
  • Sudden jaw movement
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Involuntary urination or defecation
  • Confusion

The cat might have a partial seizure, which means that the muscle spasms will only be present in some parts of the body.

Treating Cat Seizures

Diagnosing the cause of the seizures will establish the treatment options.

Cats with epilepsy will be given anti-convulsant drugs. The drugs can manage the seizure, but will not eliminate them for good.

Seizures caused by epilepsy might not need treatment. If the episodes are rare (less than once in 6 months), medication is not recommended due to the side effects.

The following are some of the most common medicines used to treat seizures.

  • Phenobarbital is the best known epilepsy medication. It is highly effective in controlling seizures, however, if the seizures are caused by different medical conditions, this drug may not work.
  • Primidone is also a treatment option for seizures, but has severe side effects, such as liver damage.
  • Diazepam, also known as valium, can be given in emergency situations; it is not recommended for long term use.
  • Phenytoin is also an anti-convulsant, but is not recommended for cats.
  • Potassium bromide can be used as such, or in addition to Phenobarbital.

If the seizures are frequent the cat will need to be supervised. Cats with more than two seizures per day will be given emergency treatment with diazepam, Phenobarbital or propofol. Fluid therapy will also be needed.

Common side effects of anti-convulsants include depression, anemia, fever, confusion, irritability, in some cases hyperactivity and low calcium levels.

Seizure First Aid

In case your cat is having a seizure you need to offer some first aid help to ensure he won’t get hurt. As cats cannot control their movements during a seizure, they may accidentally fall or cut themselves.

Remove knives, sharp objects from the cat’s neighborhood and place some blankets or soft pillows in the area.

Don’t try to hold your cat’s tongue out, as cats are less likely to swallow their tongue during a seizure. The cat cannot control his jaws and may bite you, causing a serious wound and infection.

Dim the lights and turn off any loud music or TV. Try to keep your calm and keep a record of the length of the seizure, so you can tell your vet.