Twisting of the Spleen (Splenic Torsion) in Cats Recognizing the Symptoms of Splenic Torsion in Cats

Twisting of the Spleen (Splenic Torsion) in Cats

Cats are susceptible to splenic torsion, a dangerous medical ailment. It is an uncommon disorder where the spleen twists, potentially damaging the organ and obstructing blood flow. Learn more about this disorder in this article.

Splenic torsion is a serious medical condition that can occur in cats. It is a rare condition that involves the twisting of the spleen, which can cause a blockage of blood flow and damage to the organ. If left untreated, splenic torsion can be life-threatening for cats.

We will look at the causes, signs, diagnoses, and available treatments for feline splenic torsion in this article. We will also go over the necessity of timely veterinary treatment for this ailment and how cat owners might contribute to its avoidance.


There are several potential causes of splenic torsion in cats, including:

  • Abnormal anatomy: Some cats are born with an irregular shape or placement of the spleen, which increases their risk of torsion.

  • Trauma: A blunt force injury to the abdomen can distort and harm the spleen.

  • Excessive activity: Excessive exercise or activity can torsion the spleen by causing it to revolve on its axis.

  • Cat spleen enlarged: Enlarged spleen in cats can lead to torsion.

  • Ligament thinning: When the ligaments holding the spleen in place are weakened or strained, the organ is more likely to spin and twist.

  • Age: Splenic torsion can affect cats of any age, but it is more frequent in older cats.

Given that splenic torsion can develop spontaneously without any underlying disease or risk factor, the precise origin of the ailment is sometimes unclear.

Symptoms of a Twisted Spleen

The signs of splenic torsion in cats can be vague and non-specific, and they may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common signs to watch out for include:

  • Pain in the belly: Cats with splenic torsion may feel discomfort or pain in their abdomen, which can make them agitated or restless.

  • Vomiting: The torsion of the spleen in cats can cause them to vomit or feel queasy.

  • Loss of appetite: Due to the discomfort this ailment causes, cats may lose their desire to eat and refuse to do so.

  • Lethargy and weakness: As a result of the discomfort and agony brought on by the disease, cats may become weak and lethargic.

  • Pale gums: The lack of blood supply to the spleen may cause cats with splenic torsion to have pale gums.

  • Rapid breathing: As a result of the discomfort and anguish brought on by the ailment, cats may breathe quickly or shallowly.

  • Collapse: In severe circumstances, cats may collapse or become unconscious owing to a lack of oxygenated blood reaching their organs.

Treatment Options

The treatment and recovery process for twisted spleen in cats will depend on the severity of the condition and how quickly it is diagnosed. The injured spleen is often surgically removed after the cat's condition has been stabilized.

  • Stabilization: Cats with splenic torsion may need stabilization prior to surgery in order to treat any shock or dehydration that may have resulted from the restricted blood supply. This may involve intravenous fluids, pain relief medication, and oxygen therapy.

  • Surgery: Once the cat is stabilized, the damaged spleen is typically surgically removed. This procedure is known as a splenectomy. In some cases, if the spleen is still viable, it may be untwisted and repositioned.

  • Post-surgery recovery: Following surgery, cats will require a period of hospitalization for monitoring and post-operative care. This may include pain relief medications, antibiotics to prevent infection, and monitoring for any more potential complications.

  • Long-term care: The cat will need continuing care and supervision when it leaves the hospital. To aid with their recuperation, this can involve prescription medicine, additional veterinary appointments, and a changed diet.

Overall, the prognosis for cats with splenic torsion is generally good, especially if the condition is detected early and treated promptly.

How Long Can a Cat Live With an Enlarged Spleen?

As a pet owner, you might first ask yourself, “Can a cat live with an enlarged spleen?”. Yes, but how long a cat with an enlarged spleen lives will depend on the underlying cause of the enlargement as well as the severity of the ailment. While some cats may see a more rapid deterioration in health, others may live for years with an enlarged spleen.

A benign tumor or cyst may occasionally be the source of an enlarged spleen, which may not necessarily shorten a cat's life. However, the prognosis and lifetime of the cat may be greatly damaged if the spleen is enlarged as a result of a more serious underlying illness, such as cancer.

Prevention Tips

There are some steps cat owners can take to help reduce their cat's risk of developing the condition. These steps include:

  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Any potential underlying health issues that might raise a cat's chance of developing splenic torsion can be found with the use of routine veterinarian examinations.

  • Avoiding strenuous exercise: Cats should be discouraged from engaging in strenuous exercise or activity that may cause rotation of the spleen. Instead, they can engage in basic exercises and play with toys that won’t stress them.

  • Providing a balanced diet: A balanced and healthy diet can help support a cat's overall health and reduce its risk of developing certain medical conditions that may increase the risk of splenic torsion.

  • Quick veterinary care: It's critical to seek quick veterinary care if a cat exhibits any signs of splenic torsion in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

  • Spaying or neutering: Spaying or neutering a cat may lower its risk of having specific health issues that may raise the risk of splenic torsion.

  • Recognizing the hazards: Cat breeds like Siamese and Abyssinians may be more prone to splenic torsion than other cat types. Owners of cats should be aware of any breed-specific dangers and take the necessary precautions.

Although there is no foolproof method to stop feline splenic torsion, adopting the aforementioned preventative practices will help lower a cat's risk and enhance general health and well-being.

Was this article helpful?