Convulsions and Seizures In Cats

Convulsions and Seizures In Cats

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It can be quite difficult to see your cat have a seizure. Fortunately, a seizure does not last that long and your cat will remain unconscious through most of it. Seizures happen due to an electrochemical imbalance in the brain. They can be an isolated event or your cat could have a cluster of seizures over a very short period, or on a recurring basis over a few days.

What do you need to watch out for?

Your cat will collapse to the ground when the seizure begins, go completely stiff and start to have convulsions. These are uncontrollable muscle contractions that are accompanied by a jerking body, snapping jaw, paddling feet and other such movements. Your cat might also empty his bladder or bowels during a seizure. Usually, a seizure lasts for more than a minute.In certain cases, cats might exhibit behavioral changes before they have a seizure (pre-ictal behavior), like circling, pacing, vomiting or yowling. They will be disoriented once the seizure stops and might show signs of temporary paralysis in their legs, vomit, seem blind, or show other such behavioral changes. These changes are short-lived and it might take a few days for your cat to appear normal again.

Primary cause

Most of the seizures in cats are the result of some previous damage to their brains, from which they have already recovered. Some seizures are spontaneous with no apparent cause. They are both forms of epilepsy.

Immediate care

If your cat is having a seizure, you need to make sure that he does not hurt himself. Since they last only for a few minutes, they will be over by the time you can get him to a car. Even if that is the case, you still need to take him to the vet afterwards. The following measures will help with the immediate care:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Bear in mind that your cat is completely unconscious and makes uncontrollable movements, including the jaw snapping. Just be careful not to get scratched or bit.
  3. If it is possible, move him to a safe place, away from the furniture and stairs. Sometimes, the other animals in the household might attack when they see your cat having a seizure; they tend to do this as they get upset or curious. So you better keep them away for their own safety.
  4. Once the seizure stops, your cat will be disoriented for a little while and will not be able to recognize you. He might even end up attacking you or fleeing.
  5. If the seizure does not stop, or if your cat is suffering from cluster seizures, you need to take him to the vet as soon as possible.
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