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Cat Seizures



Epilepsy and seizures are less commonly
Suggested Treatment
Vet Select Seizure Formula
encountered in cats than dogs. They are, however, the most common sign of disease affecting the front part of the brain in the feline.

Some important terms:

Term Description
Seizure Convulsion, ictus, fit - an involuntary disturbance of normal brain control that is usually seen as uncontrollable muscle activity. Seizures in cats can be single and very occasional or may occur in clusters followed by long periods (weeks to months) without any.
Epilepsy Recurrent seizures
Preictal Aura - the change in character that occurs prior to a fit e.g. nervousness, attention seeking, head turning
Postictal It can take 24-48 hours for a cat to return to normal after a seizure. This period is called the Postictal Phase and is characterized by a variety of signs including sleepiness, pacing, depression, excitement, excessive eating and drinking.
Generalized seizures Grand mal seizure - jerking movements, rigid limbs, paddling/running movements, loss of fecal and urinary control. The head is often bent backwards along the spine.
Status epilepticus Continuous seizures for more than 5-10 minutes. Cats in status epilepticus require urgent treatment.
Partial seizures Very rare in cats. May involve only certain muscle groups or be characterized by behavioral changes (e.g. tail chasing, biting at imaginary objects, aggression).
Absence seizures Petit mal seizure minor seizure activity very rarely recognized in cats.


Seizures in cats often occur at times of changing brain cat seizuresactivity such as during phases of sleep, excitement or feeding. Affected cats can appear completely normal in between episodes. Many different diseases can lead to seizures in cats so it is important that diagnostic tests are performed to discover the cause of them. Treatment of the underlying disease is most likely to lead to their successful control. In cats, idiopathic or non-specific epilepsy, which occurs commonly in dogs, is rare.

How can I help my veterinarian to diagnose epilespy?
Carefully observing your feline during a seizure can provide valuable information to your veterinarian about the types of disease that may be causing the problem.
  1. What age did they begin and are they getting worse?
  2. Are they intermittent or did they develop suddenly?
  3. Frequency
  4. Theiry association with sleep, excitement, feeding, etc.
  5. Other signs of illness such poor appetite, excessive drinking, reduced exercise, etc.


  6. Information about your cat's lifestyle may also be important:

  7. Medications - especially recent deworming or use of flea control products.
  8. Diet
  9. Access to poisons or toxins
Both diseases that involve the brain directly (intracranial) and conditions that affect other body systems (extracranial), especially liver or kidney disease, can cause seizures. With recent developments in treatment, many diseases that have previously been untreatable may now be treated though this can require referral to a specialist center.

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Cat Seizures - (More)

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Any information contained on this site relating to various medical, health and fitness conditions of pets and their treatment is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

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