Does Your Cat Faint? This is What You Should Know

By May 11 | See Comments

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If you’re constantly noticing fainting or a brief loss of consciousness in your cat, then it might be suffering from a medical condition termed as ‘syncope’. Syncope is usually a result of a temporary obstruction in the blood supply to the brain. This reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrition delivery to the brain.Some of the common risk factors associated with this condition include heart disease and age-related factors. The treatment of syncope varies depending on the primary cause. It is more likely for older cats to suffer from syncope. It is usually characterized by a quick, spontaneous recovery.

Symptoms of Syncope

Physical abnormalities are usually the first signs of syncope or fainting in cats. You may notice that the reflexes of your pet have become slow and are sometimes even non-existent.Several cat owners report that their pet seems dazed or has a ‘glassy-eyed’ look throughout the day. But it is important to know that not all cats lose consciousness (temporarily) or collapse. Some cats might be experiencing general tiredness and not syncope.Some of the common symptoms of fainting in cats may include:

  • Unexpected falls
  • No response to touch or sound/voice
  • Sudden attempt to sit or lie down
  • Weakness or stiffness in hind legs
  • Resistance to movement
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Complete collapse

It can be difficult to make a distinction between fitting and fainting. The fundamental causes and the medical treatments for both these conditions are quite different. Also, certain other medical issues such as reduced blood glucose levels or muscle or nerve related diseases may cause collapse or weakness in cats. Therefore, it is vital to get a proper diagnosis of your cat’s condition by visiting a veterinarian.

Handling fainting in cats

Medical experts inform that fainting episodes in cats aren’t usually due to owner negligence. However, you could take certain steps and avoid this from happening too frequently. Ensure that you schedule routine health checkups for your cat with a trusted veterinarian. Also, keep a close check on drugs which could cause a drop in the cat’s blood pressure.Other precautionary measures could include restricting the cat’s activity as much as possible until the underlying cause for the problem has been identified.

Which cats are prone to syncope?

Syncope could occur in any cat, irrespective of age or breed. However, certain breeds like Ragdolls and Maine Coons are more susceptible to HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. HCM is a heart related condition that could result in fainting or symptoms that imitate fainting. This is the most commonly diagnosed heart condition in cats.

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