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What is Head Trauma?

Head trauma can vary in severity depending on the location your cat was hit and the impact of the blow. But, every cat with head trauma needs to be closely watched by a veterinarian, so if you spot the signs of a head injury, get your cat medical attention as soon as possible.

Head trauma can occur when a cat sustains an injury to the head, such as running into a wall, fighting with another animal, or being hit with a blunt or penetrating object. The observable signs of head trauma will vary between cats. In some cases, you may only notice your cat is beginning to act strange, while in other situations, your cat may completely lose consciousness and start to have seizures. 

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Head Trauma Average Cost

From 239 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,500

Symptoms of Head Trauma in Cats

The signs you observe will vary depending on the location and severity of the head trauma. Sometimes, there will be physical signs of an injury, but other times, you won’t see any signs besides behavior that just seems unusual. Some of the most common head trauma signs include:

  • Different pupil sizes
  • Rapid or unusual eye movement
  • Stiff limbs
  • Bleeding from the ears or nose
  • Varying levels of consciousness
  • Tilted head
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal behavior
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Causes of Head Trauma in Cats

Head trauma occurs after a cat is hit in the head with a blunt or penetrating object. This is common when the cat is involved in a car accident or fight with another animal. It can also occur when the cat accidentally falls from a great height or down a flight of stairs. Head trauma can also occur if the cat is intentionally or accidentally stepped on or hit in the head.

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Diagnosis of Head Trauma in Cats

Talk to your veterinarian about any signs you have observed, and when you first noticed them. If you know your cat was involved in some sort of altercation or accident, make sure you mention this as well.

The veterinarian will need to begin testing right away if he suspects there is head trauma. First, the cat’s vital signs will be taken to determine if the condition of his heart and respiratory system. A light may be shined into your cat’s eyes to check the size of the pupils and his eyes’ response. X-rays and CT scans may be performed so the veterinarian can determine if there is any brain damage, and if so, to what extent. These tests can show skull fractures, tumors, brain swelling, and bleeding, so they are vital in the diagnosis of head trauma.

If the tests show there is swelling in the brain, the veterinarian may collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, which is found in the brain. Brain infections can often cause swelling, so the fluid will need to be tested for the presence of bacteria so the veterinarian can eliminate this as a cause of your cat’s signs.

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Treatment of Head Trauma in Cats

Treatment will depend on the severity of your cat’s head trauma. First, the veterinarian will attempt to stabilize your cat by administering oxygen and IV fluids. The veterinarian may provide sedation, depending on the level of suspected discomfort and the cat’s condition. 

If the skull is fractured, your cat may need to undergo surgery to have the injury removed or repaired.

Medications to reduce the brain swelling may be administered to your cat as well. These medications are designed to pull fluid out of the brain tissue to reduce the overall swelling. If your cat has suffered from seizures as a result of the head trauma, medication can also be given to prevent these from occurring.

Throughout the treatment, your cat will need to be monitored closely by the veterinarian. Head trauma is a serious injury, and your cat’s condition can rapidly change from one moment to the next. You will most likely need to leave your cat with the veterinarian for at least 24 hours so he can monitor him until the swelling has gone down. 

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Recovery of Head Trauma in Cats

Every incident of head trauma is unique, so there’s no way to determine what the survival rate is for cats. However, if your cat’s head trauma is not severe and his condition does not worsen in the first 24 hours, this is a good sign your cat will recover. 

Once you have your cat back at home, it’s important to protect him from potential harm by keeping him inside and away from other pets or small children. You may need to keep him in a cage for a certain period of time to prevent movement. The veterinarian will want you to bring your cat back in for follow-up visits to ensure he is healing.

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Head Trauma Average Cost

From 239 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,500

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Head Trauma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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cat

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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14 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

I I tripped and dropped an unopened can of cat food Fancy feast on his head it bounced and now he won't come out from underneath the bed what should I do please help

Dec. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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14 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear about your cat. He may be hiding under the bed because he is scared. If you can get him to come out see if he seems painful. Some cats will just be scared after getting something dropped in them. You can even try to get him to come out with canned food. If he isn’t able to walk straight or seems like he has brain trauma, it is best to see you vet.

Dec. 19, 2020

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american shorthair

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Hyper

Was putting catnip on her toy and she fell. Her head spun but now she’s super hyper. Could it be the catnip?

Dec. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Four month old kittens can act strangely sometimes and become quite hyper normally. It is also very possible that the catnip was causing this. If she is acting normal otherwise and eating and drinking, it should be fine to keep a close eye on her for the next day or two. If she continues to not have a bowel movement, or she is acting strangely, then it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. I hope that all goes well for her.

Dec. 7, 2020

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Head Trauma Average Cost

From 239 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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