Seizures in Cats
Symptoms, Causes & Natural Remedies
Seizures in cats can be a distressing experience for both the feline and the cat parents. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and available treatment options, including natural remedies, can help provide better care and support for cats experiencing seizures. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of seizures in cats, covering the symptoms, causes, and various natural treatment approaches.
What Are Seizures?
Seizures, also known as convulsions or fits, are involuntary and sudden changes in behavior caused by abnormal electrical activity and/or inflammation in the brain. They can affect cats of any age, breed, or gender. Seizures vary in intensity and duration, ranging from mild episodes to more severe convulsions.
Symptoms of Seizures in Cats
Recognizing the symptoms of seizures is essential for early detection and intervention. Common signs of seizures in cats may include:
- Twitching or jerking movements
- Loss of consciousness
- Foaming at the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Paddling of the limbs
- Dilated pupils
- Involuntary urination or defecation
- Vocalization (meowing, yowling)
- Temporary blindness or disorientation
It is important to note that cats may display different symptoms during a seizure, and the duration and intensity can vary from case to case.
Common Causes of Seizures in Cats
Seizures in cats can have various underlying causes. Some of the common factors contributing to seizures include:
- Epilepsy (a condition characterized by recurrent seizures)
- Brain tumors or lesions
- Infections (e.g., feline infectious peritonitis, toxoplasmosis)
- Trauma to the head or brain
- Metabolic disorders (e.g., liver disease, kidney disease)
- Exposure to toxins (e.g., lead, certain plants, medications)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Heatstroke or fever
- Genetic predisposition
Determining the cause of seizures is crucial for effective treatment and management.
Diagnosing Seizures in Cats
If your cat experiences a seizure, it’s vital to consult a veterinarian promptly. The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may recommend additional diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the seizures. These tests may include bloodwork, urinalysis, X-rays, MRI, CT scan, or cerebrospinal fluid analysis.
Conventional Treatments for Seizures in Cats
In cases of severe or frequent seizures, veterinarians may prescribe anticonvulsant medications to manage and reduce seizure activity. Commonly used medications include phenobarbital, diazepam, potassium bromide, and levetiracetam. These medications require careful monitoring and regular blood tests to ensure therapeutic levels are maintained and to minimize the side effects that come along with chemical medications.
Natural Treatments for Seizures in Cats
In addition to conventional treatments, some natural approaches may help manage seizures in cats. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before implementing any natural treatments to ensure they are suitable for your cat’s specific condition.
Diet and Nutrition
A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and may have a positive impact on seizure management. Consider the following dietary factors:
- Provide a high-quality, species-appropriate cat food free from artificial additives or preservatives.
- Some cats may benefit from a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as krill oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Herbal and Nutritional Supplements
Several herbal and nutritional supplements may assist in reducing seizure frequency and severity. Some commonly used supplements include:
- CBD (cannabidiol) oil: A full spectrum CBD tincture has proven to be of immense help for seizures in cats due to it’s anticonvulsant & anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to choose a CBD that is 3rd party tested and full spectrum (suggested product below).
- Vitamin B complex: B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, may help support the nervous system.
- Antioxidant supplements: Due to inflammation triggering many seizures, giving Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) in your cat’s daily meals can help lessen the severity & frequency of seizures.
- Magnesium: This mineral has calming properties and may contribute to seizure control. Consult with a veterinarian to determine appropriate dosages.
Stress Reduction and Environmental Management
Stress can be a trigger for seizures in cats. Creating a calm and stable environment can help minimize stress levels. Consider the following:
- Provide a quiet and safe space where your cat can retreat.
- Establish a routine and avoid sudden changes in the environment.
- Use pheromone diffusers or natural calming formulas.
- Engage in interactive play sessions to reduce anxiety.
- Minimize exposure to potential toxins, such as household chemicals or plants that are toxic to cats.
- Avoid chemical flea and tick preventative products that have tremors as a potential side effect. Use natural flea and tick protection instead.
- Avoid unnecessary vaccines. Vaccines are only meant to be administered to healthy animals. If your kitty has seizures, ask your veterinarian for an exemption.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It may help balance energy and reduce seizure frequency in some cats. Consult with a veterinarian experienced in veterinary acupuncture to explore this option.
When to Seek Veterinary Care
It is important to consult with your veterinarian if your cat experiences seizures. Additionally, seek immediate veterinary care if:
- A seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
- Your cat experiences multiple seizures within a short period.
- Your cat has difficulty breathing or recovers slowly from a seizure.
- Seizures occur in rapid succession (cluster seizures).
Seizures in cats can be challenging, but understanding their symptoms, causes, and available treatment options, including natural approaches, can help you support your feline companion effectively. Always work closely with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat’s specific needs.
- Organ freeze dried treats (liver, heart, kidney)
- Canned sardines or anchovies
- Organic boiled egg
- No vaccinations
- No flea and tick medications
- Avoid chemicals and toxins in home (floor cleaners, candles, room fresheners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, shampoos, etc)
- Avoid chemicals and toxins in outdoor space (pesticides, fertilizers, lawn chemicals)
Recommended Product for Seizures in Cats
Hemp for Cats
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- Cancer Patients
- Neurological Issues
- Fear and Anxiety in Cats
- Great for Cats of all Ages