Brain Disorders Average Cost

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What are Brain Disorders?

Veterinarians classify brain disorders in cats as neurological conditions. When a neurological problem exists, your cat may have difficulty sensing the environment around him. These conditions can be acquired from traumatic injury, infections, or they can be present from birth.

Brain disorders in cats are neurological conditions that can have a variety of causes. Your cat’s nervous system is complex, consisting of the brain and spinal cord as well as the peripheral nervous system. There are a variety of neurological disorders that can affect your cat’s brain. While some disorders cause minor symptoms, others can have serious consequences to your cat’s health.

Symptoms of Brain Disorders in Cats

The symptoms experienced depend on the cause of the condition. The most common symptoms of brain disorders include:

  • Loss of balance
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Stupor
  • Lack of coordination
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Walking in circles
  • Pacing
  • Loss of sense of smell


There are several different types of neurological disorders that can occur in cats. Below are some of the most common that affect domestic cats: 

  • Infections caused by viruses or bacteria
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Tumors in the brain or nervous system
  • Epilepsy
  • Injury from chemical poisoning
  • Effects of insect bites, snake venom, and ticks 
  • Traumatic injuries such as being struck by a car

Causes of Brain Disorders in Cats

The causes of neurological disorders can vary. Here are some of the most common:

  • Inflammation in the brain caused by infectious diseases such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Viral infections such as rabies, a condition that is fatal
  • Birth Defects
  • Neoplastic disease causing tumors or growths in the brain
  • Progressive degenerative disorders caused by advancing age

Diagnosis of Brain Disorders in Cats

In order to diagnose your cat’s brain disorder, your veterinarian may run a battery of tests. During the visit, it is important to relay as much information regarding your cat’s behavior to your doctor. After taking a brief history, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination. He will look at your cat’s gait, behavior, posture, and motor function. In addition, a neurological examination may be performed which examines your cat’s motor functions in detail. Nerve function, characteristics of your cat’s walk and tail motions are part of this exam.

The cranial nerves are also examined to determine the extent of your cat’s issues. Some things looked at during this examination are eye movements, control of facial muscles, balance, chewing, hearing and vocal sounds. 

Blood tests are typically ordered when a brain disorder is suspected. After a blood draw, your veterinarian will send the sample to a laboratory for evaluation. He is looking for signs of metabolic conditions, infections or autoimmune diseases. 

X-rays are usually the next step in the quest for a diagnosis. These can give the veterinarian a good look at the structure of the brain. He will be looking for tumors, fractures or signs of infection in the brain. Doctors may also order more detailed imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI. These provide a more in-depth view of your cat’s brain. A CT scan may be performed with contrast dye, which makes abnormalities easier to see.

Tests to examine the fluid around the spine are not the first to be performed, but they may be done if a diagnosis proves elusive. The fluid is collected during a needle puncture of the spine, known as a spinal tap. The extracted fluid is tested for cancer, infection, tumors, fungal infections and brain abscesses.

Electroencephalograms are not commonly used to diagnose brain disorders in cats. However, they may be used to record the electrical output of your cat’s brain. It can also reveal any damage done from seizures.

Treatment of Brain Disorders in Cats

The treatment of brain disorders depends largely on the cause of symptoms. Here are some of the most common treatments used in veterinary medicine today:


Antibiotics are often given to cats suspected of having infections such as meningitis or MRSA. These drugs work to eliminate the source of the infection to relieve symptoms. Anticonvulsants are often used in cats with seizure disorders. These medications can greatly reduce the amount of seizure activity in some cats. 


If your cat has a tumor, your veterinarian may perform surgery to remove it. Some veterinarians refer these cases to a specialty clinic for treatment. 

Comfort Measures

In some cases, cats have conditions that are potentially fatal and untreatable. In these instances, doctors administer IV fluids and medications to keep the cat comfortable. Severe cases may require euthanasia.

Recovery of Brain Disorders in Cats

The recovery of cats being treated for brain disorders depends on the cause and severity of symptoms. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions to the letter. Report any changes in behavior as soon as possible. This is especially important if your cat stops eating or urinating, or becomes lethargic.

Brain Disorders Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

17 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

lost weight , cannot use back legs

My cat is 17 years old. He has lost more than half of his body weight, and has lost all feeling in his back legs. He also has a colon problem, and an infection where he sneezes and his nose runs. The vet took tests and the blood work was normal except for elevated enzymes. He had additional blood work and I was told he had an infection. One of the vets wanted to give him a shot, but the main vet gave me medicine to give him instead. She did not want to hurt his liver with the shot. It seems like he is getting worse with his nerves. Do you think an antibiotic shot would help him? He eats really good when he is not constipated. Every so often he needs an enema so he can go too the bathroom.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Whether or not to give an antibiotic would be down to your Veterinarian, if the signs of infection are mild it may not be worth stressing him with an antibiotic at this time; plus given the general deterioration in condition, age and quality of life it may be time to think about other options. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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4 months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Balance
Head Tilt

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral
Clindamycin Hydrochloride

My 4 month old kitten had a fever two weeks ago that ended in an overnight at the vet. He had not been eating and was very lethargic, only getting up to eat and use the litter box 2x/day. When he did walk, he had a hunched back and walked carefully on his back paws. There was no evidence of pain anywhere on his body when he was evaluated. At the vet, they gave him fluids and started him on 2 antibiotics. Coronavirus titre was really low, neg. for distemper, neg. for toxoplasmosis, general blood work came back normal with the exception of elevated white blood cell count. Nine days after his night at the vet, he is completely back to normal, except for his balance. Right away he was walking like a drunken kitten, but after a few days he seemed to adapt by tilting his 45* when in motion. He can now run, play, jump a bit. We have run up a huge vet bill already and can't afford to send him to a neurologist or even back to the vet for a follow up at this point. The vet told us to continue the two antibiotics for another ten days and watch for changes; she's guessing that maybe he had menengitis, but doesn't really know. I'm so worried because he is so young. If there is anything we could do now to help him have a long and happy life, I want to know, but can't afford to have him evaluated. Any insight you can offer would be so wonderful.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Infections of either the middle or inner ears or conditions like meningitis may cause some issues whilst walking; it is just a case of giving treatment with antibiotics (if the cause is due to a bacterial infection) and looking for signs of improvement. It is encouraging that Tarragon is almost back to normal and may just require the remainder of the antibiotic course to get through this. There isn’t much else you can do apart from waiting for the vestibular apparatus to start functioning normally again. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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7 Years 11 months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat wasn’t eating/drinking, hiding in cupboard and her leg was lifting up and down on its own, vet ran bloods picked up some anomalies and gave her an anti nausea shot. She is eating / drinking now but she is not herself. Strange shakes in body, seems uncomfortable lying down wagging tail at times, slept in cupboard again and her strange leg movement is still occurring. I don’t want to distress her with more tests vet suggests waiting for another symptom I don’t want to wait until it’s late . Heart rate also high.
Unusual results are haematocrit 49% WBC count 9 , platelet count clumped, PHOS - low .77 mmol/L ALT high 144 U/L , AMYL 1527 U/L , toxic neutrophils cytoplasmic basophilia foamy appearance

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Whilst Bella’s bloodwork is abnormal, it isn’t significantly abnormal and anomalies like platelet clumping may not be clinically relevant; the high amylase in cats (which again isn’t too high) isn’t specific for conditions like pancreatitis in cats as it would be for dogs. However, there is an indication of bacterial infection although white blood cell counts are in the middle of reference range; additional symptoms would be useful in helping determine a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Miss T
Turkish Angora
11 Years 9mths
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat Miss T is almost 12. She is in thyroid medication for the past year. However around the same time her thyroid was diagnosed she was at times dragging her hind quarters. She would lay down and her front paws stretch rigid. This probably lasts seconds but to me it’s forever. She also has a tremor like thing with her head for about 2 yrs. I have mentioned it several times to her vet but unless she is experiencing it they just seemed to ignore it. However it has been over a year since I have seen one my question is could it be aggravated by the loss of her brother? I recently had to put my other cat to sleep for mouth cancer. Miss T has been very distressed.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Stress could cause some neurological symptoms to present, whether grief is a factor is hard to say; I would however make a video of any episode that Miss T presents with so that your Veterinarian has an idea of what is going on. Tremors are not unusual in cats as they age (past ten years old) and may not cause any pain or distress, many times no treatment is required but very difficult to diagnose. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Domestic shorthair
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


Cat Name: Casper

Normal Weight: 5.6 kgs at the beginning of the year

First Vaccination: 29 March 2017 (we vaccinated him only when we fostered kittens and were afraid of him catching a disease from them)

Age: 8 years old

Gender: Male, neutered

Significant change: We rescued 5 bottle feeding kittens in March which Niveen helped us foster. They only sstayed with us for around 2 weeks and Casper acted very maternal towards them but at the same time he was very stressed. We adopted one of them in June and Casper interacted with him, acted maternal, but at the same time seemed very depressed, preferring the room the kitten couldnt go to and not eating. The kitten and his siblings are all very healthy and got vaccinated at 3 months.

History: Caspers mother Snow (Age 9) had to be PTS in February 2017 because she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She had similar symptoms to Casper except her symptoms were constant and were not related to her pooping. She would keep walking in circles all day long, have dilated eyes all the time, didnt drink water, blood tests were all normal, would get stuck in corners, stopped purring, stopped jumping, pee outside the litter box wherever she wanted and lost a lot of weight. We didnt put her on any medications. She started going into stupors every two days and getting seizures and we made the decision to pts.

My details: Hera Arif, 0561205865, [email protected]

* 12 September 2017 - Casper got constipated and we gave him Duphalac (1.5 ml once a day) which did not help. The poop was moist but he pooped after 3 to 4 days.
* 19 September 2017 - We took him to the vet and gave a higher dose of Duphalac (3 ml once a day; his weight is 5.6 kgs) with no improvement. Vet performed CBC, Haematology, and Urine tests, and XRays which are attached. Vet also gave him Petcam for 3 days which made him feel very better however he was still constipated. Vet recommended Royal Canin Fibre Release dry food which seemed not to make a difference.
* 22 September 2017 - Casper started panting in the middle of the night and then went to the litter box and strained to poop. No poop came out. He panted again the next day and didnt poop. Finally pooped on 25 September with difficulty.
* 5 October 2017 - We raised the Duphalac dose to 3 ml twice a day but it didnt help. The condition progressed into into him feeling very sick and slow after he pooped. His hair would stand and he would walk slowly and hide behind furniture. His third eyelid would appear everytime he fell asleep. He also started walking around in circles and going into corners
* 9 October 2017 - Took Casper to the vet again. Vet performed blood test, serum test, and XRays and concluded that Casper has Fatty Liver Disease (Weight is now 5.2 kgs). Started giving him Milk Thistle for it. Vet recommended giving him glycerin suppository.
* 11 October 2017 - Gave Glycerine suppository and Casper pooped
* 12 October 2017 - Gave Glycerine suppository and Casper pooped
* 13 October 2017 - Gave Glycerine suppository and Casper pooped. At night his head started falling backward while he was sleeping (opisthotonos) and he went into a stupor and was unresponsive. He would start purring out of pain towards the end of his stupor (he stopped purring completely at the beginning of this year) . He would become pale - his nose, ears, paws while he stays sick (Video:
* 14 October 2017 - Took Casper to the vet who performed ProBNP test (Caspers heart beat was very slow), XRay of the heart, and Ultrasound of the abdomen. Vet also noticed that his eyes were not responsive to light at all. (Weight still 5.2 kgs) Report is attached. Vet diagnosed Thiamine deficiency since Casper has eaten Whiskas Tuna flavour cat food all his life. He prescribed daily B Complex injections and Complivet Multi Vitamins.
* 16 October 2017 - The injections helped for a few days until he pooped again. After that he went into a stupor and opisthotonos. This was the pattern from now on: he would have all his hair raised and walk in pain prior to pooping, then poop, and then towards the night he would go into a stupor which laster 1.5 days where he is unresponsive, doesnt eat, doesnt pee/poop/walk. He had also started showing more neurological symptoms like staring at walls, walking in circles, losing some sense of direction, head always hanging low and ducking when we tried to pet him. Also stopped drinking water and had difficulty swallowing his food.
* 18 October 2017 - Casper started pooping in his stupor and did not realize that he was pooping. We took him to the vet who performed FIV/FELV test (negative), Coronavirus test (Negative), Toxoplasmosis test (Negative), T4, CBC, and Haematology. We only found T4 to be slightly low and started him on medicine for it. He said Caspers eyes were responding to light but they were very slow in their response.
* 23 September 2017 - Took Casper to the vet who said to stop with the B Complex injections since they werent helping. He gave Caper 4 shots: Butorphanol, Cerenia, Dexason, and Enrotril which really made an improvement. He got 90% better-he was running, scratching, jumping, playing (Weight 4.9 kgs). He also performed Bile Acids test, XRays, and another ultrasound of the abdomen but didnt find anything wrong.
* 25 September 2017 - Casper pooped and didnt go into a stupor
* 28 September 2017 - Casper pooped but went into a stupor. Vet suggested we give the injections one by one to see which one exactly made him feel better. We did that the next couple of days but none of them worked on him. He also started peeing after 24 hours and sometimes even after 2 days. His hind legs also started getting very weak and cold.
* 2 November 2017 - Took Casper to the vet since he was still sick and did not recover from his last stupor as he usually does after 1.5 days (Weight increased to 5.1 kgs). He gave all 4 shots together which made him feel much better.
* 5 November- Casper pooped after 5 entire days. At night, he randomly started meowing and hissing and his back legs got paralyzed. After about 20 minuted, his back legs came back but they were still weak. Vet recommended giving him an enema after which he pooped only a little. At night, he went back to his stupor and started having mini seizures where his head would keep going back and then his arms would start moving very fast.
* 7 November 2017 - Took Casper to another vet who is good with neurological cases (Weight 4.8 kgs). He performed a full neurological exam (I can request a copy from the vet on sunday) and suggested doing a CT Scan and CSF test. We could not afford the scan at that moment and the vet suggested giving him prednisolone (0.5 ml twice daily) and clindamycin (50 mg twice daily) and see how he reacts. Towards the night, Casper lost all feeling in his tail.
* 8 November 2017 - Casper became incontinent. He would be sleeping and there would be urine coming out of him. He stayed in this condition for 2 days
* 10 November 2017 - Casper stopped being incontinent but still would pee outside the litter box wherever he wanted. He was pooping but would not go into a stupor after his poop.
* 14 November 2017 - Casper went into a stupor after his poop. We took him for a CT Scan as was reocmmended by the vet but seeing that his imrpovement was very questionable even after the meds, the doctor voiced his concern of possibly not finding anything via CT Scan that could be fixed (Weight 4.6 kgs). He also said he could pass away due to sedation. He said Caspers eyes were responding to light but his right eye was slower in response and his right hind leg was weaker than the left. He suggested increasing the dosage for prednisolone (1 ml twice a day) and said that would buy us some time with Casper.
* 15 November 2017 - Caspers tail came back to life.
* 17 November 2017 (Today) - Caspers tail is still moving, he is eating, pees once or twice a day. We have to put him in the litter box otherwise he pees wherever he wants. He is still on the prednisolone and clindamycin. He hasnt pooped yet after we increased his steroid dosage so we dont know if he will go into a stupor after or not.
The vet that is good with neuro cases suspects dry fip to be causing these symptoms however I have researched extensively and found that the bloodwork can give clues as to weather a cat has fip or not. For examplt the albumin to globulin ratio must be less than 0.8 for a cat to have dry fip however Caspers ratio is much higher. The other thing the vet suspects is a brain tumour.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
From your detailed question (the longest question I’ve received on this site) it does seem to indicate that non-effusive FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) may be the cause due to the symptoms including the opisthotonus, lack of pupillary reflex and anisocoria (unequal pupil size); however I read specifically in your question that on October 18th 2017 Casper tested negative for coronavirus among other infectious diseases (it usually is the other way round - cats test positive but are asymptomatic). However, FIP is a difficult disease to pin a diagnosis on and is usually done by combining multiple tests and other information; a brain tumour is also a possibility as well but without a CT scan it is not possible to definitively determine whether that is the cause or not. I would have suggested retesting for coronavirus but as you have pointed out, an albumin:globulin ratio greater than 0.8 practically rules FIP out; I really do not know what else to suggest for Casper at this point. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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16 1/2 years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My cat is 16 years old and she won't eat much (She has become very picky) but the thing that is scaring me to death is she is having like muscular or neurological problem. Her head turns to the side in a strange position and it continues like that for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. It's almost like a muscle spasm or charley horse. We tried giving her cat vitamins and she take them. Any clue what could be wrong with her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
It is possible that Muffin is having a muscle spasm which may be caused by a few different problems which may include cervical vertebrae issues, intervertebral disk issues, nerve inflammation, trauma among other disorders; if there is no pain or discomfort, I would just keep an eye on things but if Muffin is showing signs of pain you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and possibly some muscle relaxants or antiinflammatories. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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American Shorthair
13 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Head Shaking
Eye Shaking

Medication Used

Urinary food

My kitty Bubba is 13 and has always had very shaky eyes, lately he has developed small bouts of tremor like shaking of his head. He eats plenty and is very happy and talkative otherwise. Acting very normally except for the head shaking. Do you know what this could be?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Head shaking or tremors in cats may be caused by a variety of causes including ear infections, allergies, cerebellar disorders (common as cats age), vestibular disorders, cervical spine disorders, head trauma, tumours, poisoning among other causes. I’d keep an eye on Bubba and if the problem continues or you notice other symptoms visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Main Coon
15 yrs
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

My amber is walking in circles, had ultra sound. no longer vocal, off balance ,staring& a variety of other symptoms. Very aggressive lately, can not even get exam by vet w/ out going berserk. I just don't know what to do she was on med. which is no longer, she is 15 yrs. old

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
Walking in circles may be caused by vestibular disorders, neurological tumour, liver disease, kidney disease, head trauma or another cause; without an examination of Amber or some blood tests it is difficult if not impossible to pin down a diagnosis. I would recommend getting at least a blood test done if you can get her reasonably restrained to rule out liver or kidney disease as well as checking overall internal health. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

her nose has turned black

Also her nose has turned half black it was always very pink

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10 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Less active
Not wanting to be touched
More aggressive than usual
Slightly off balance

Hi, I’m not sure if it’s a brain disorder or anything serious to be concerned about. My kitten has been off today. I’m not sure if it could be a behavioral change. I just need advice, please.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1675 Recommendations
It is difficult to give accurate advice without performing an examination, but I would keep an eye on Milah to see if the issue is just an ‘off day’ or something more serious. Neurological disorders, infections, poisoning, dehydration (make sure that she is drinking), liver disease, kidney disease and other causes may be the primary cause; if you suspect that Milah may have been in contact with something poisonous visit your Veterinarian immediately. If there is no improvement, visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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