5 Causes Of Seizures In Cats

Seizures, or convulsions, are characterized by uncontrolled muscle movements. Cats can have seizures and they are an extremely alarming incident. Seizures in cats can vary in cause and severity. Affected animals will often seem “out of sorts” both immediately prior to and after the seizure event. They will usually seem unaware of their surroundings during the actual seizure, but the convulsions do not last very long (usually a minute or so). But to the cat owner, it is a very long minute because seizures are more painful to watch than they are for the cat to experience.


1. Poisoning and toxic ingestion can lead to staggering and seizures.  Toxicity can come from external sources, like toxic plants or chemicals, but even advanced metabolic disease (like kidney failure or diabetes) can seem like a toxicity to the body because of the imbalance of chemicals.  The most notorious causes of toxic events that can lead to seizures include antifreeze poisoning and topical insecticides meant for dogs.

2. Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) can also occur in cats.  Like any inflammation, it can be infectious, parasitic or auto-immune.  Sometimes if no one is able to figure out the exact etiology, it is called idiopathic.  Cats suffering from encephalitis are very ill, often progressing from uncoordinated movements to seizures and unresponsiveness. Common feline infections, Feline Leukemia can be an underlying factor for seizure disorder as can certain parasites.

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