Everything You Need to Know About Cat Seizures

Have you ever seen your cat have a seizure? Although seizures are much less common in cats than they are in dogs, they are still possible, and there is a chance your cat could experience a seizure at some point in her life.

Cat seizures

5 Things Every Pet Parent Should Know about Cat Seizures

Below, you’ll find a brief outline of information that can help you better understand seizures in your cat. This information is only the beginning, however, and there is a lot more you can learn about seizure conditions in cats if your pet suffers from this problem. Read on to find out more.

As a cat owner, here are 5 things you should know about cat seizures:

Cat Seizures May be Caused by Acute or Chronic Issues, or by Epilepsy

There are many potential causes of seizures in cats. One cause is an acute problem, such as poisoning from chemicals, toxic foods, or exposure to toxins in the environment. In this instance, a cat will have seizures shortly after exposure to the toxin and may have other very serious symptoms too.

Chronic issues like kidney disease and brain tumors can also lead to seizures in cats. If your cat is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, he may be at a greater risk of developing seizures, especially as the disease progresses.

Finally, cats may have epilepsy, which is a condition that causes frequent, repeated seizures. Seizures may be one-off events or may happen in clusters with epilepsy. There is often no underlying cause for epilepsy other than, in some instances, genetics. Cats must be diagnosed with epilepsy by a vet.

Seizures in Cats Usually Happen When Brain Activity Levels Change

Cats who have epilepsy are more prone to having seizures when their brain activity levels change throughout the day. For example, when your cat first wakes up after a long sleep, they may be more likely to have a seizure than they might after they’ve been awake for a while.

Some cats with epilepsy have seizures when they get too excited about food or playtime. It is important to learn which triggers affect your cat’s epilepsy and determine when you can avoid these events in your cat’s life, and how you can manage those that are unavoidable as well.

Vets Will Perform Many Tests to Diagnose Seizures in Cats

Before performing tests, the vet will ask you for as much information as you can provide about your cat’s seizures. The vet may want to know the frequency of the seizures, how long they usually last, when they started, and if anything else has been different about your cat as well.

After that, the vet will need to put the cat under anesthesia and take a sample of fluid from around the brain. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may also be performed to check the functionality of the cat’s brain and to determine if there are any undiagnosed problems within the cat’s body as well.

Cat Seizures are Treated by Treating the Underlying Cause

If the underlying cause of the seizure is something like a brain tumor or kidney disease, the vet will work with you to figure out the best course of action for treating this problem. However, if the cause of the seizure is epilepsy, the vet will prescribe an anti-seizure medication for your cat (also known as an anticonvulsant).

Epilepsy cannot be treated completely, but it is possible to prevent your cat from having seizures all or most of the time by keeping up with their anticonvulsant medication. It may take some time, however, to find the right medicine and the right dosage for your pet’s needs.

Seizure Medication for Cats Must be Carefully Monitored

If your cat is given seizure medication, follow the vet’s guidelines completely. Always give the proper dosage at the right time of day, and make sure your cat does not run out of medication either.

It is crucial that your cat remains on this seizure medication, likely for the rest of his life, to prevent further seizures from occurring. If a dose is missed, there is the risk of having severe, uncontrollable seizures that can be potentially fatal in a worst-case scenario. Your vet can give you more information about the expected outlook of your cat’s epilepsy.

Consult with a Veterinarian for More Information about Cat Seizures

Seizures in cats can sometimes be very serious, as discussed above. However, they can also sometimes be related to epilepsy. Only your vet can tell you for sure whether or not your cat’s seizures are a result of a serious acute problem or epilepsy, so it’s important to take your cat to the vet or emergency vet as soon as she has a seizure for the first time.

If your cat is diagnosed with epilepsy, you don’t have to take them to the vet every time they have a seizure. However, they will need to be closely monitored for their safety during seizure episodes.

That being said, cat seizures can be a frightening experience for both you and your pet. When in doubt, if you’re ever concerned about what’s going on with your pet, you should always seek the advice and care of a veterinarian. They will make sure your pet gets care and treatment they need to help with their condition.

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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