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Breeding & Showing Cats

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The Premier Online Magazine About
Breeding & Showing Cats

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What To Do If Your Cat Has A Seizure

What Is A Seizure?

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrollable and often violent thrashing of the body. More specifically a seizure is the involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body.

If Your Cat Is Having A Seizure

If you are present when your cat goes into a seizure, it can be quite frightening to witness. But your pet most likely is not aware of what is happening and feels no pain.

#1 – Don’t panic!
#2 – DON’T panic!! 🙂

Observe your cat during a seizure:.

  • Remain with your cat throughout the seizure.
  • Keep calm and quiet.
  • Note the time. You will need to know how long the seizure lasts.
  • Move anything that the cat might hurt itself on such as nearby furniture or food bowls.
  • Don’t move the cat unless it’s in a dangerous spot such as at the top of stairs.
  • Don’t touch the cat or try to do anything until the seizure ends.
  • If possible, videotape the seizure so you can show it to your veterinarian.
  • Once the seizure stops, very quietly and slowly try to touch cat. Too much intense.
  • stimulation/screaming/etc can set if off again.
  • Check the time again and calculate how long the seizure lasted.
  • Take note of what the cat was doing just prior to the event.
  • Call your veterinarian & take your cat in for a check up immediately.

What Does A Seizure Indicate?

A seizure is a sign that something is very wrong in the body and if your cat has even one seizure, the kitty should be taken to the vet immediately.

What Causes A Seizure?

It is important to determine the cause of the seizure — as most causes can and should be treated. Seizures are also dangerous in and of themselves as the animal can choke and hurt him/herself during the seizure. Cats can have seizures for a variety of reasons. Common causes of seizures in include:

Describing The Seizure

There are many different types of seizures. If you took a video of your cat having a seizure, show it to your veterinarian. In the absence of a video, you will need to be able to describe the seizure to your vet. This means the vet will rely on your description of the seizure to help him diagnose the cause.

Take note of every detail of the seizure including:

  • How long did the seizure last?
  • Was the body twisting during the seizure?
  • Were the legs twitching?
  • Were certain muscles twitching?
  • What body parts were moving?
  • How rigid were the limbs during the seizure?
  • Were the eyes dilated and/or were they still moving?
  • Was your cat salivating or foaming at the mouth?
  • What were the cat’s breathing patterns during the seizure?
  • Was there a loss of bladder or bowel control?
  • Did your cat lose consciousness?

If possible, take a video of your cat during the seizure so you can show it to the veterinarian.


Your vet may perform a series of tests to rule out possible causes of the cat’s seizures including:

  • A full physical exam
  • A full neurological exam
  • Blood testing for FIP, FeLV, FIV and toxoplasmosis
  • Test liver functionality (Bile acids)
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays
  • Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid
  • CT Scan
  • MRI


Based on the cause of the seizure your vet will treat the underlying reason appropriately. If the cause is idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy of unknown origin) then your vet may prescribe anticonvulsant medications. Many cats are prescribed phenobarbital.

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“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.”
* George Mikes (American Author)