What causes feline seizures?

If your cat is having seizures, you MUST get it treatment. Feline seizures are often caused by other, more serious illnesses - but they can also be dangerous themselves, because your cat could choke to death or injure itself while convulsing.

   

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What do I do if my cat is having a seizure?

First, observe carefully exactly what is going on so that you can describe it to the vet. There are different kinds of seizures in cats, and you will help the vet quite a bit if you watch for what is going on. If there are multiple people around, tell one person to get a pen and paper and do this. Specifically: how is the cat breathing? Is it paddling with its limbs? What kind of motion is it doing? Are the eyes dilated? Is it twitching - if so, where? Is it salivating or drooling? How long does the seizure last (time it)? Is it just part of the cat that appears to be afflicted? Answers to these questions will aid the vet in figuring out the cause.

Second, don't panic and try to help the animal as best you can to avoid injury to itself. You can't do anything to stop the seizure - but do move any objects away from the cat that it could hurt itself against. Keep other pets or children away. Do not put your hands into the animal's mouth, or try to put anything else in there (unlike people, a cat will not swallow its tongue). The only other thing you can do is gently pet the cat and calm it down when it comes out.

Next, you have to decide whether to seek emergency medical attention. It is probably a good idea - but if it lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if you have 2 seizures or more in a day, it is an emergency. It is also a serious problem if the cat does not recover within half an hour or so.

What causes them?

There can be any number of things that can cause seizures in cats. Epilepsy in cats is rare, but can happen. Seizures are generally pretty rare in cats anyway (at least as opposed to dogs). Chemicals, infections, and cancer can be causes as well, as can FIV (feline AIDS). Sometimes roundworms in cats can cause them as well.

What is the treatment?

You have to treat the disease that is causing it. If it's a brain disorder like epilepsy, there are some anti-seizure drugs that sometimes work, but are usually used when a vet doesn't know what is causing them. If it's another disease, then that has to be treated to get them to stop.

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