Epilepsy in cats

Epilepsy in cats

Cats can also develop epilepsy. Although such seizures are generally not as serious as they look, the cause should be determined.

A phase of restlessness or clinging attachment to the owner precedes a typical seizure. All of a sudden seizures start, the cat falls over and starts to twitch or make a paddling motion with its legs. The cat will no longer be responsive, may urinate and excrete, and foam from the mouth. It is rare for an epileptic seizure to last more than a few minutes, after which consciousness returns and the cat will behave normally again.

Dealing with an epileptic seizure

Although seizures often look incredibly alarming for owners, the cat does not generally suffer much as a result of an epileptic seizure as they are hardly aware of it. During a seizure the owner should therefore hold back from touching or moving the animal and solely focus on ensuring that it does not injure itself, for example as a result of falling objects.

When a seizure is over, or if it lasts longer than five minutes, the cat should be taken to see a vet. The vet can give the cat a sedative, clarify organic causes of the disorder and treat these accordingly. Usually, however, the cause remains hidden in the brain. Treatment is then generally dependent on the severity of the disorder. Only seizures which occur occasionally and are short in duration can be left untreated.

Living with epilepsy

If the seizures start to occur at increasingly shorter intervals and/or are increasingly serious in nature, the vet will suggest lifelong treatment with epilepsy medication. During the adjustment period this can often cause a few unwanted side effects such as tiredness and lethargy. The owner should not lose their confidence too early in such cases as after a few months these effects wear off and the cat will return its former lively self.