Seizures in cats are often characterized as fits or convulsion. It is a sudden attack and occurs when the electrical activity of the brain is not regular. It feels terrifying to your pet having seizures. It’s a matter of concern if you see signs of seizures in cats. It is not an indication of disease but the abnormal functioning of the brain.
Chomping of teeth, shaking, and twitching are some of the symptoms that you will notice in your cat. To protect your cat from this medical emergency, you need to learn about the seizures in cats or epilepsy.
For your convenience, this article will focus on complete details about the seizures in cats. What are some of their different types and symptoms that you can notice? You’ll get to know what you can do in such a situation and what are some of its treatments. There is much more that you will learn after reading this article.
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What Will I Learn?
- 1 Seizures Or Epilepsy In Cats
- 2 2 Main Kinds Of Seizures In Cats
- 3 3 Major Phases Phases & Patterns Of Seizures In Cats
- 4 Causes Of Seizures In Cats
- 5 Symptoms Of Seizures In Cats
- 6 What Can You Do If Your Cat Has A Seizure?
- 7 Diagnosis Of Seizures In Cats
- 8 2 Main Treatments Of Seizures In Cats
- 9 Seizures In Cats Even After Medication
- 10 Management & Recovery
- 11 Prevention Of Seizures In Cats
- 12 Trouble For Cat During Seizure
- 13 Duration Of Seizures in Cats
- 14 Status Epilepticus
- 15 Cat Seizures And Nutrition
- 16 Prognosis
- 17 Conclusion
Seizures Or Epilepsy In Cats
Seizures in cats is a condition in which your cat’s brain starts working abnormally. As a result, your cat can have a sudden attack or fits. This condition is also characterized by tremors, twitching, convulsion, or shaking. These can also occur due to some disease of the brain.
Epilepsy is the repeated occurrence of seizures. The main difference between seizures and epilepsy is that seizure is a single occurrence of the sudden attack. On the other hand, epilepsy is a repeated process of different seizures.
2 Main Kinds Of Seizures In Cats
There are mainly two types of seizures in cats. Seizure or epilepsy is more common in dogs as compared to dogs. Following are the two main types of seizures:
1. Generalized Seizures:
You can easily recognize this condition of your cat by noticing some symptoms and signs. These symptoms include defecation, loss of awareness, salivation, twitching, urination, or a sudden collapse. Your cat can have one seizure or one after another.
Your cat may also be recovered in between or can have another attack without recovery. Symptoms may differ this time from the previous seizures. Sometimes it can take just a few seconds in the rescue of your cat, while it can also continue to hours. During these sudden attacks, it may feel that your cat is wobbly, blind, or disorientated.
2. Partial Seizures:
Cats usually have these kinds of seizures, and this condition is complicated to identify. It may affect a specific part of your body, and your cat shows symptoms such as twitching of the face or eyelids, etc. The signs also include growling, abnormal movement of limbs, neck, and head, drooling, and excessive vocalization.
A partial seizure may lead to a generalized seizure, and it can occur many times in a day. If you are unable to identify this situation, try making a video of it. You can show this video to your vet so he can better investigate the problem.
3 Major Phases Phases & Patterns Of Seizures In Cats
There are different phases of seizure that you can have a look at for better understanding your cat’s condition. These include:
1. Pre-seizure phase:
This phase is usually known as “aura.” It occurs just before the actual seizure begins. You may feel that your cat is not comfortable; it may salivate or demand your attention. However, the situation can ultimately be the opposite as well. It may hide suddenly before the seizure.
Your cat may appear completely normal and may not show any signs or symptoms of uneasiness or seizure. Therefore, this is hard to identify.
This is a phase in which the actual seizure occurs, and you will visibly notice it. This period may continue for seconds or a few minutes. It can be even longer than that.
This is after the seizure stage, or we can call it a recovery stage as well. Your cat recovers from seizure in this phase. The period of this phase is from a few minutes to a few days; however, most of the cats recover within a few hours.
Seizure patterns have a crucial role in diagnosing and treating this situation. Different seizure patterns include;
- The age of the patient at the onset of seizures
- Type of seizure
- Frequency of seizure
Causes Of Seizures In Cats
There are a lot of different reasons that can lead your cat to seizure. Sometimes, various diseases of the brain can be the main reason for seizure in cats. These include
Causes of seizure in cats can also be divided into two types:
Intracranial causes can make structural changes to the brain. It can also happen that you may not find any abnormality while investigating the situation. When the reason of epilepsy cannot be identified, it is referred to as “idiopathic epilepsy.” In this situation, you have to look at all the possible reasons.
These are the cause that you may found outside the body, such as toxic disorders. These can also be inside the body, such as any metabolic disease. Conditions at any particular part of the body can affect a cat’s brain, which ultimately results in a seizure.
Common Toxins As The Cause Of Cat Seizures:
Most of the time, the reasons for cat seizures are certain human activities. Human beings use such prays or chemicals that contain harmful toxins. These toxins become the main reason for seizure in cats. The following are some of the most common viruses that cause seizures in cats.
- Alpha-lipoic acid
- Fluor quinolone antibiotics
- Tea Tree
Symptoms Of Seizures In Cats
Sometimes, the symptoms are not as harmful as they appear. However, it is essential to immediately pay a visit to the vet so that he can examine thoroughly. He can also identify if there is any harmful disease behind this condition of the cat. Symptoms and signs of cat seizure vary according to the type.
7 Major Signs Of Partial or Focal Seizure:
In this condition, the following are the symptoms that you can notice:
- A loud cry; it feels as if the cat is in pain
- Aggressive behavior
- Loss of leg function
- Strange behavior
- Staring into space
- Unable to get up
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7 Major Signs Of Generalized Seizure:
In the case of generalized seizure, the following are some of the symptoms on the base of which you can identify.
- Uncontrolled activity of muscles,
- Kicking off the legs, as if it is swimming
- It will fall on one side.
- Loss of bowel
- Loss of bladder control
- Unaware of their surroundings
- Unaware of its reactions
What Can You Do If Your Cat Has A Seizure?
Cat seizures are not always a case of emergency. If you notice symptoms of seizure each after two minutes, you should call your vet. You can have an appointment to have a complete checkup of your cat. However, if a cat is having seizures continuously without any recovery, you should immediately take her to the vet.
When your cat is having a seizure, avoid touching them unless it is necessary. You may hurt your cat by touching her, and you are also at the risk of getting a bite. While taking your cat to the vet, you can use a thick towel. This will help in the safe transportation of your cat to the vet’s office.
Information To Be Provided To The Vet:
While having a thorough checkup of your cat, a vet will ask you different questions about it. He can ask you about the health history of your cat. These questions can be related to the behavior or condition of your cat. The following are some of the issues that a vet may ask about the seizure in your cat.
- What are the length, number, and frequency of your cat’s seizure?
- History of your cat’s vaccination
- Is your cat indoor or outdoor?
- Feed and nutrition of your cat
- Is your cat having diarrhea or vomiting?
- Any recent changes in the weight of your cat
Diagnosis Of Seizures In Cats
A vet can diagnose seizures in cats by doing different tests and by asking some of the questions from the owner. You can record the length of your cat’s seizure because it will help the vet in diagnosing. You can record it on your phone or simply make a video of it. Signs that a cat showed before the seizure are essential and its duration as well.
A vet may also ask you about some questions for diagnosing your cat. These questions are as follows.
- Was your cat exposed to any toxins?
- Any recent trauma if occurred?
- Pattern of seizure
- Any change in the behavior of your cat?
- Any signs of illness?
Apart from these questions, he will also do some of the tests to have a precise and confirmed diagnosis. These tests include
- Radiographs and laboratory test
- Neurological or physical examination
- MRI of cat’s brain
- Collection CSF
- PCR testing
2 Main Treatments Of Seizures In Cats
Treatment of seizure in cats depends upon the cause that is behind it. There are a lot of developments that have been made in treatment procedures. Cats need to receive some treatment if the vet is unable to identify the cause. Treatment of this condition of your cat can be done in two ways:
1. Anti-epileptic Medication:
Deciding when to start anti-epileptic medication for your cat is complicated. Some say that if a cat has a single seizure, and it happens after an extended period, it does not require any treatment. However, there are certain conditions in which you should start this medication for your cat.
- One or more seizure in a month or more than one cluster event
- A seizure that occurs after a head injury
- Increase in severity and frequency of seizure
2. Anticonvulsant Medication:
If anticonvulsant medication has been started for your cat, it will continue for the lifetime. Therefore it is essential to keep in mind some rules that you must have to follow.
Follow the instructions that are given. Strictly follow the timing and dose of medicine. Always have medicines in store so you may not run out of supply. Otherwise, it will lead your cat to uncontrolled seizures. If your supply is running low, you can inform your vet so he can arrange it before time. It is essential in case of any particular medication.
These drugs are sedatives; therefore, keep them out of the reach of children. Check the cat’s medication that includes any herbs or supplements. You can also consult a vet in this matter.
Side Effect of Treatment:
Many side effects are noticeable in the beginning. Lethargy or sedation is the most common side effects of the treatment of seizures. Some of the side effects are just temporary, and they will disappear after some time. However, if they seem permanent, consult your vet.
Seizures In Cats Even After Medication
A cat can still have a seizure even after medication if there is some problem in treatment. It usually happens within the first two months of treatment. There may be adjustments needed in dose or timing. Or it can only be a failure of treatment. Other reasons that may contribute include
- Stress: Increased medication is necessary for this condition
- Worsening or progression of the disease
Management & Recovery
To manage your cat’s seizure, you should pay attention to their overall health. Taking proper care as well as treatment is very important for recovery. Moreover, you can record the starting and ending times of seizure in your cat. You can also look for some additional information that your vet may need during your cat’s treatment.
Prevention Of Seizures In Cats
You can protect your cat from further seizures by taking care of its medications. For example, if your cat is on anticonvulsant medications, these will continue for its lifetime. You need to be careful about the timing and dose. Any missing treatment can make the situation worse for you as well as your cat.
Trouble For Cat During Seizure
Signs and symptoms of seizure in cats are dramatic, but a cat often does not feel any pain during this situation. They do not swallow the tongue. But you should avoid touching her because it can get hurt. Also, you are at high risk of getting a bite or scratch.
Duration Of Seizures in Cats
The duration of seizure in cats depends on the type of seizure. Some may last long for 1 to 2 minutes, and then a cat recovers. In the case of status epilepticus, it continues for about 5 to 10 minutes. A cat needs treatment on an immediate basis in this situation.
It’s a kind seizure that continues for 5 to 10 minutes in a cat. A cat can have more than one seizure within 5 minutes, and the cat does not return to the average consciousness level during this time.
Cat Seizures And Nutrition
There is a connection between seizure in cats and its proper nutrition. If any kidney or liver disease is the cause behind seizure in your cat, these can be treated. Making specific changes in your cat’s diet and giving it proper nutrition will help to reduce the cause.
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A cat may stop having seizures after the medication is started. The situation varies depending upon several different factors. If an acquired cause is the reason for seizure in cats, the treatment continues for 5 to 6 months. A cat generally does not have any seizures in this period.
Cat seizure is a serious issue that needs to be resolved. You should know the possible signs and symptoms of it. In this way, you can take your cat to the vet without any further delay. Delaying can complicate the situation. There are some possible treatments and medication of this disease that a vet can do.
You need to be patient while your cat is on medication. Moreover, you need to remember some of the rules that are most important for your cat’s health.