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What are Seizures?

If your cat is displaying symptoms of a seizure, it’s important to stay calm. Remove other pets that could harm your cat from the room and call a veterinarian right away.

Seizures are characterized by sudden, violent movements of the body, disorientation, and uncontrollable twitching, among other symptoms. Cats may have a single seizure, or experience multiple seizures in a matter of minutes. Although treatment is usually not given until your cat has experienced multiple seizures, you should still take him to a vet after the first episode.

Seizures Average Cost

From 552 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800

Symptoms of Seizures in Cats

There are two main types of seizures that your cat may experience: partial and generalized seizures, although the former is more common in cats. Partial seizures only affect one part of the body, while generalized seizures affect the entire body. Each of these types has a different set of symptoms, including:

Partial Seizures

  • Drooling
  • Facial twitching
  • Growling
  • Sudden, strange neck, limb, or head movements

Generalized Seizures

  • Dazed or confused appearance
  • Salivation
  • Urination or defecation
  • Violent shaking throughout the whole body
  • Collapse
  • Twitching
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Causes of Seizures in Cats

Unfortunately, the cause of most seizures is unknown. However, some seizures can be caused by health conditions that affect the brain, called intracranial causes, including:

  • Head trauma
  • Brain tumors
  • Fevers
  • Infectious diseases, including leukemia, immunodeficiency virus, and cryptococcosis
  • Congenital disorders

Other seizures are caused by conditions that occur outside of the brain, known as extracranial causes, including:

  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Poisoning
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Liver disease
  • Thiamine deficiency
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Diagnosis of Seizures in Cats

It’s important to provide your veterinarian with as much information as possible to facilitate the diagnosis. Be sure to talk about your cat’s behavior immediately preceding and following the seizure. Cats often display odd behavior before and after a seizure, so this will help the vet understand exactly what was going on. The vet should be able to determine your cat is having seizures based solely on the information you provide, but to properly diagnose and treat the cat’s condition, the cause of the seizure must be discovered.

The vet will do a complete blood count test, blood chemistry profile and urinalysis to try to determine the cause of the seizures. The complete blood count test is done to see if there is an infection in the body based on the number of white blood cells present in the sample. A blood chemistry profile will give the vet insight to the cat’s liver health, and will also show calcium, sodium, and potassium levels. Finally, the urinalysis will help the vet determine if the kidneys are functioning properly. If something turns up on any of these tests, further tests may be required to pinpoint the exact cause of the seizures.

However, if nothing turns up, the vet may perform an MRI or CT scan to take a closer look at your cat’s brain. This will help the vet diagnose intracranial causes of seizures. 

When a vet is confident your cat is having seizures but cannot identify a cause, he will issue a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy, meaning the cause is unknown.

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Treatment of Seizures in Cats

If there is an underlying cause for the seizure, such as low calcium levels or another diet deficiency, these need to be treated. But in general, treatment does not cure this condition, rather controls it. Cats are often treated with anticonvulsant medication to reduce the number and severity of seizures. The most common anticonvulsants prescribed to cats include phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Your cat may experience side effects including fatigue and unsteadiness on his feet, but these should subside after he gets used to the medication.

Cat owners will be responsible for administering this medication to their cat at home, and it’s very important they follow the vet’s instructions closely. If a dose of medication is missed, the cat may begin to have severe seizures. Even if the cat does not experience any other seizures, the vet will still ask that you bring your cat in frequently to test his blood while he is on the medication.

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Recovery of Seizures in Cats

Your cat may need to be on anticonvulsant medication for the rest of his life unless otherwise instructed by the vet. In some cases, the vet will allow you to discontinue the medication if your cat has not had a seizure in over a year. But, it’s important to wean your cat off of the medicine instead of ending it abruptly. Speak to your vet about how to do it if you are told to discontinue the treatment.

Doses of medication may be adjusted over time. For example, if your cat’s body has gotten used to the level of medication, he may begin to experience seizures again and need a higher dose to control his condition. On the other hand, if your cat has not had any seizures, the vet may try to lower the dose. 

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Seizures Average Cost

From 552 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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Seizures Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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dog-breed-icon

calico

dog-age-icon

6 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

Tired-Has Asthma

My cat had a fever of 104.5. My vet told me to give him a cool bath, would that lower his fever somewhat

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your cat. If he has a fever, it would be best for your vet to look at him. it sounds like he may have an infection and need antibiotics. A bath will only temporally fix his fever. Your really need to figure out what is causing him to have this fever.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Mimi

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Mix

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Seizures
Drooling
Facial Twitch
Feline Leukemia

Hi, My cat started having first seizure around 10-11 days ago. Started with a 5-6 a day. The vet gave her IV and put her on Phenobarbital. The following days the seizures was becomming more and more frequent, with 1-2 hours in between. As the Phenobarbital wasn't helping, she's been given diazepam to control the seizures. It worked ok in the beginning, as it knocked her out, and she didn't have any seizures while in deep sleep. Now it has become much worse - need more diazepam to make her sleep, and when she is awake the seizures occurs every 10 min or less. She is at the vet every day to get IV plus trying to control the seizures. The seizure are mostly partial (focal?) with facial twitching, heavy drool, and jaw clicking. She used to have 1-2 full body seizures pr. day, which stopped after being put on diazepam. She does eat plenty and drink when 'awake'. Also cleans herself - for a few minutes before the next fit comes. Important note: The cat is around 1 year old, and has been tested positive for feline leukemia. I guess my question is: Is there any hope? It is truly heartbreaking to witness, and don't want her to suffer anymore if there is no hope.

July 4, 2018

Mimi's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

There are many causes of seizures in cats (including FeLV) and in many cases it is a case of trying to manage the seizures as best as possible, medical management can be difficult and unrewarding in some cases but without examining Mimi I cannot recommend any specific course of treatment since I cannot determine whether or not there is an underlying cause which also needs to be managed as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/cat/symptom/why-is-my-cat-having-seizures

July 4, 2018

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Luna

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I dont know

dog-age-icon

1 Month

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Critical severity

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1 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Hello, so my baby kitten been getting seizures. The doctor doesn't really know the cause from it maybe head trauma. So i decided to bring her home and the nurse gave her medicine for her seizures what do i do if she gets a seizure i dont have money to take her back to the emergency vet hospital. Im so scared to lose her and oh yeah they prescribe her medication but i have to wait till tomorrow.

July 2, 2018

Luna's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It really depends on the medication which was prescribed to her, but if Luna has another seizure you should ensure that she isn’t going to hurt herself and give her reassurance afterwards; the medication which you will pick up will come with instructions which you should follow. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 2, 2018

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Misty

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Domestic cat

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

My cat has just had her 2nd seizure, she is 3 years old and has had some unusual urinary habits of late. She starts to urinate squatting as normal then stands up and sometimes her urine is spotty, does she have an infection? I will be taking her to the vet as soon as I can get an appt but am worried about her. She is a very nervous cat that doesn't like strangers, she is also a house cat and doesn't go outside, any help/advice would be very welcome. My email address is julie.davis19@virginmedia.com if you want to respond via email. Thanks Julie Davis

June 20, 2018

Misty's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Frequent urination is one sign of a urinary tract infection or problem, and that may be what is going on with her. Your veterinarian will be able to test her urine and see what is going on. As far as her seizures go, depending on the frequency of her seizures, that may be something that you want to treat her for. If the seizures are infrequent and not severe, they don't always need treatment, but when you have your appointment with her, that is an important thing to mention.

June 21, 2018

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abbie

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tabby

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Drooling Shaking
Drooling Shaking Eyes Closed

Hello. My 7 year old female cat had a seizure about a year and a half ago. Vet could find nothing wrong at that point.She has just had another one. She has been find till now.

May 8, 2018

abbie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It seems that the seizures are very infrequent which is good, daily management wouldn’t be required; but you should visit your Veterinarian again for another examination and to discuss your options. Continue to monitor Abbie and try to think (I know it is hard) if there is anything similar which happened before both episodes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 8, 2018

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Galaxy

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short hair

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Convulsing
Running
Dilated Eyes
Jolting Movements
Occasional Urination

Galaxy started with partial seizures that we mistook for pain spasms. The vet started him on gabapentin. He took the first prescription and we tried to ween him off of the second prescription. A couple of weeks after, he started having grand mal seizures. He had 6-7 in the past 40 hours. He will wake up, register, and then joly/jump in the air and run convulsing until he gets caught on something (which prevents the running) and the convulsions die down. Doesn’t last more than a minute, minute and a half. After, I try to give him a minute to come back to (but talk to him and try to comfort and calm him). Once he’s “back” I’ll wipe his drool and clean him if he urinates himself. We took him to the vet this AM and determined it is epilepsy. We started him on phenobarbital. The medication dosage directions state to give him 3 pills a day on the first day, and 2 a day after that. He didn’t get his prescription until 12, so we gave him his first dose at 12:15 and his second at 6:20 PM. I plan on giving him the third dose closer to midnight along with his second daily dose of gabapentin. He had a seizure at 7PM. Did I administer the dosages of phenobarbital too close together? Or is my plan ok? I assume he will at least still have a few seizures until his body gets used to the medicine, but I hate it for him. My plan is to get him on a 7-8AM/PM daily dosage schedule for his medication. He has also been prescribed Omega-3 to help with anti-inflammatory. Any feedback will be appreciated. I just want my furbaby to quit being in pain and want his seizures to cease.

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Jasper

dog-breed-icon

dsh

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling

I have a 10yo male cat Jasper who has started to have seizures. He had his first one a week ago Saturday and then another one last night (also Saturday). He has had a few problems with UTI's most recently in August. He was put on meds and is fine. Both times he seized, he went limp and then meowed loudly but was fine 2 mins later. Im at a loss as to what could have caused them. He does like to drink water from a leaky pipe under the sink which I've stopped and has a recent fascination with the fire place.

dog-name-icon

Milimil

dog-breed-icon

Mix

dog-age-icon

9 Months

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Stiffness
Scratching
Foaming At The Mouth
Going Around And Being Hysterical

I gave my cats vitamins but one day she suddenly became hysterical, going places and scratching but when I stop giving it as it's already empty, it stopped but when I bought again the same vitamin and gave it to her, the seizure is back and today it's 5 times. I just gave her a small dosage like .5cc and the other cat the same age as her doesn't have that. Is it something to do with the vitamin intake? I wanted to go to the vet but it's really costly here and I don't have that much money. Is there any natural remedy that I can gave her or do for her?

dog-name-icon

Arlo

dog-breed-icon

ginger

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling,Urinating,Shaking,Hissing

I had my cat for 3 years now, and I hadn’t noticed before that she would come home with drool in her mouth (which I thought was because she wanted to catch a bird), but in the beginning of 2019, she started having seizures. It started with it being every 2weeks, to 3, and even every month. But now she has had 7 seizures a day after a month of no seizures. I think before 2019, she was attacked by big dogs, and fell off the roof a couple times (but the roof was due to the seizures).

dog-name-icon

Jasper

dog-breed-icon

Short hair grey Tabby

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Spacing Out
Upper Body Spasms
Facial Spasms

I've had Jasper for about 6 months. She had a respritory condition, ear mites, and this weird twitching. After a few teips to the vet her other symptoms were cleared up but the twitching never went away and would get worse periodically. she Was given blood tests which came back clean and started on phenobarbital. The sedative effect is extreme but the vet assures me it's normal. 11 days on and the spasming continues. I can't tell if it seems worse because she's so out of it or if the medication is actually making her worse. I'm told i need to wait two weeks to see improvement but it's hard watching my baby like this.

Seizures Average Cost

From 552 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,800