Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
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Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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What is Involuntary Muscle Trembling?

Involuntary muscle trembling, or fasciculations, describes a condition in which muscles tremble, twitch, or spasm uncontrollably. This can occur in cats and other companion animals for various reasons. Muscle trembling normally occurs in response to irritants or emotions and is not necessarily related to any medical condition. It is also possible that trembling or twitching might be caused by a genetic condition and is untreatable, but not dangerous. In some cases, fasciculation occurs as a sign of another disease or disorder. Some medical conditions that cause muscle trembling can be severe and may be life-threatening. If muscle trembling continues, seek medical attention for your cat. 

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Involuntary Muscle Trembling Average Cost

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Average Cost

$1,000

Symptoms of Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

Involuntary muscle trembling can take many forms. The trembling can occur rapidly with the movements happening in quick succession, or it may occur at a slower pace often described as twitching. The fasciculations may also be localized, meaning it only affects a certain part of the body. Localized trembling or twitching in cats most commonly affects the head or hind legs. The muscle trembling could also be general, meaning it affects the entire body. In both localized and generalized trembling the movement may be persistent or episodic. Additional, seemingly unrelated, signs may also be observed depending on the underlying cause of the trembling. 

Signs Include:

  • Uncontrolled trembling or twitching
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Repetitive pawing or scratching
  • Pain and vocalizations that might be related to pain
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Causes of Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

Various conditions may cause involuntary muscle trembling as a sign or there may be no discernable cause. It is possible for the twitching or trembling to simply be part of your pet’s normal response to certain stimuli in their environment or to be an emotionally-triggered response. Involuntary trembling can also be a primary condition, rather than a sign of something else. Some of the potential causes for involuntary muscle trembling in cats and other companion animals include:

  • Nervous system disorder
  • Kidney failure
  • Certain medications
  • Toxicity or poisoning
  • Injury or trauma
  • Strong emotional responses like excitement, fear, or anxiety
  • Deep or REM sleep stages
  • Itchiness from dry skin, mites, or fleas
  • Low blood calcium
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Rabies
  • Seizure disorders like epilepsy
  • Feline hyperesthesia or rolling skin disease
  • Congenital or genetic conditions
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Certain cancers, especially those affecting the nervous system or muscles
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Diagnosis of Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

Various diagnostic techniques may be needed to determine what is causing the trembling or twitching. Your veterinarian will begin with a full physical examination and medical history. You should discuss any signs you have observed, including how frequent the trembling occurs and which portions of the cat’s body are affected. If the fasciculation is episodic and does not occur all the time, a video recording of the trembling may aid your veterinarian in forming a diagnosis. Veterinary staff might take samples of your cat’s blood and urine for laboratory analysis. The blood sample will be tested for blood cell counts, biochemistry and electrolyte panels, or antibodies that might indicate an infection. Urinalysis and analysis for proper kidney function will be checked using the urine sample. Additional diagnostic methods, including x-rays or other imaging techniques, may be needed to diagnose your pet properly. 

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Treatment of Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

The treatment method used by your veterinarian will be determined by their diagnosis of the underlying cause of the trembling. These treatments can vary widely depending on the condition causing the trembling and may include surgery, medications, or other methods. If no cause is determined, medication may be prescribed to aid in a reduction of the trembling. Some of the common treatments used for muscle trembling include:

Muscle Relaxants

Drugs in this category are designed to relax muscles, which may help reduce or eliminate the tremors. This treatment must be properly dosed for your pet’s size and physical condition to reduce the risk of side effects. 

Supplementation 

If a deficiency or imbalance is the cause of the trembling, your veterinarian may recommend supplementation to restore the cat’s nutrient balance. 

Anti-Depressants or Anti-Anxiety Medications

If the cause is determined to be psychosomatic, medications designed to improve mental state may be recommended. Proper dosing is needed with this type of treatment to minimize the risk of side effects. 

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Recovery of Involuntary Muscle Trembling in Cats

The prognosis for recovery will depend on the underlying cause of the muscle trembling. Trembling may never go away in some cases, but it is still possible for your pet to live a normal life. If the underlying cause is treatable, most cats will make a full recovery as long as they respond well to treatment. Certain causes of involuntary muscle trembling may respond less to treatment, and in these cases, recovery may not be possible. In any case, your care and support will benefit your pet. 

Involuntary muscle trembling can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has involuntary muscle trembling or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Involuntary Muscle Trembling Average Cost

From 480 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,000

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Involuntary Muscle Trembling Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Tabby

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10 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking And Limp

Shows no interest in her food. Breathing quickly, limp in her walk, shaking

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Havana

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Muscle Flutter

My 9 year old cat has been experiencing some odd spasms. He's been to a neurologist and chiropractor. He had an MRI and CT Scan of his spine and brain. Everything comes back normal, and his spine was adjusted. He's still experiencing these episodes and now underwent acupuncture as well without any relief. In fact, on the way home from the acupuncture, he had an episode in the car. These spasms often wake him up from his sleep as he scrambles around for a few seconds and then seems to lose his balance when he tries to get up.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Since I cannot see him, It would be best to have your pet rechecked by a veterinarian if he continues to have problems, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Involuntary Muscle Trembling Average Cost

From 480 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,000

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

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

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