Causes of Dizziness in Cats

Dizziness in cats is difficult to detect, as they can’t speak and tell you how they feel. However, a dizzy cat may look confused and can walk in circles or fall down. The causes of dizziness range from low blood pressure to medication side effects. It is important to detect if your cat is dizzy and the underlying cause, so as to be able to treat and offer support.

Low Blood Pressure

A cat with hypotension, or low blood pressure, may suffer from dizziness. Low blood pressure is caused by a low heart rate and may indicate a health issue such as anemia or a cardiac condition.

The underlying condition should be detected and treated. If the cat has low blood pressure and no other medical conditions, this should be no cause for worry.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus in cats is caused by the incapacity of the body to produce enough insulin to assimilate the glucose in the blood. Some of the symptoms of diabetes include dizziness, lethargy, increased thirst and urination and bad breath.

Diabetes can be manageable with insulin shots.

Ear Problems

If the cat has an ear infection or ear mites, he will have several symptoms, including dizziness. The cat will look confused and will lack balance. The cat will also shake his head trying to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling and itchiness in the head, and this will in turn cause more dizziness.

Ear infections can be treated with antibiotics or fungicides and suitable ear drops.


If a cat is suffering from deafness or hearing problems, dizziness will be present, as the cat will shake his head excessively.

Consult your vet and see if the deafness is reversible. If it's not reversible, the cat will be able to adapt to the situation.

Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

When a cat is exposed to sudden changes of temperature, and the temperatures are extreme, he will have a difficult time adjusting to it, because cats only have sweat glands on their pads. The cat may suffer and get hypothermia in low temperatures, or a heat stroke in elevated temperatures. Both these conditions will cause weakness, vomiting, dizziness and possibly even seizures.

Vestibular Balance Disorder

If the cat has balance problems, he will be dizzy. Vestibular balance disorder is a rare disease in felines, and is most probably a genetic disorder. A cat with this disorder will shake his head, roll over and fall down often.

Epilepsy in Cats

An epileptic cat will experience seizures and these can often cause dizziness. Epilepsy is not a curable disease, but can be managed with medication and proper care.

Medication Side Effects

Certain drugs can cause side effects such as dizziness. A good example would be metoclopramide, which is used to prevent vomiting in cats. A cure of metronidazole, which is used to cure giardia in cats, can also have main side effects such as dizziness.

Always read the side effects of the medication your vet prescribes, and consult your vet when additional side effects occur.