Cat Seizure Symptoms

Cat seizure is a condition that occurs when uncontrolled and impulsive nerve activity begins in the cat’s brain. The severity of the seizure varies in individual pets and some cats may experience several consecutive seizures at a time. Seizures are not conditions by themselves and most seizures occur due to an underlying disease. A seizure that occurs due to no known condition is known as idiopathic epilepsy.

Causes of Cat Seizures Include

  • Head injury
  • Liver problems
  • Thyroid gland dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
  • Poisoning

Symptoms of Cat Seizure

The symptoms and duration of the seizures vary in individual pets. Pet owners should note down the duration of the seizure along with its physical symptoms. Cats that are genetically predisposed may start experiencing seizures when they’re nearly 2 years old. Since the seizures differ in severity, they’re categorized into 3 types to help determine the prognosis. The 3 types are petit mal, grand mal and status epilepticus.

Petit Mal Seizures

Cats that experience a petit mal seizure don’t exhibit many symptoms and the seizure may often go unnoticed. The cat will cry due to discomfort or involuntarily shake one leg. Few pets may also have a fixed gaze for a minute.

Grand Mal Seizures

These seizures are noticeable as the cat exhibits symptoms both before and during the seizure. Cats tend to become restless or aggressive before the seizure. Some pets may even cry or appear distressed before the seizure begins. During a grand mal seizure the cat may collapse on one side and experience involuntary body movements such as twitching or paddling. The cat will experience difficulty breathing and urinate or defecate involuntarily. He will start to foam at the mouth and may also suffer from heart constriction. A grand mal seizure typically lasts for 2 to 3 minutes. If the pet regains consciousness after the seizure, he will seem disorientated and frightened. The cat may have difficulty walking and experience photophobia. He may also prefer to rest or sleep for several hours after the seizure is over. Pet owners should talk reassuringly to pets and offer them food and water.

Status Epilepticus

Cats that experience status epilepticus exhibit all of the symptoms of grand mal seizures repeatedly, without regaining consciousness in between. Status epilepticus seizures can last for hours and cause death. Pets that exhibit symptoms of status epilepticus should be given prompt medical help.

Complete Partial Seizures

In addition to the different types of seizures, some cats experience complete partial seizures. Its intensity lies between a petit mal and grand mal seizure. Cats might suddenly start running around and bumping into objects. The cat will also exhibit facial twitching and drool from the mouth. A partial seizure occurs when there’s an involuntary movement of certain body parts while other parts remain normal.

Home Care

Pet owners should move objects and furniture away from the cat during a seizure. Animals living in the same household should also be kept away from sick pets. It’s necessary to stay calm and speak to cats in a reassuring tone to help them relax after a seizure. Although the cat’s tongue and head engage in involuntary movement, it’s important to avoid putting spoons or objects in the cat’s mouth as this could be dangerous to the pet owner.

Cats that suffer from epilepsy require medical attention. It’s best to keep vet and animal emergency help numbers at hand.