Help! My Cat Had A Seizure

Here’s what to do if this happens to your cat.

cat seizure

If your cat has ever had a seizure, you know it can be a really scary experience — both for you and your cat.

But what's actually happening during a seizure, and how can you best help your cat through one?

To find out what it means if your cat has a seizure, and what you should do to keep him safe, we spoke to Kathryn Johnson, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet.

Reasons a cat seizure occurs

Seizures happen when there’s abnormal changes in the electrical activity in the brain. And according to Johnson, there are a variety of reasons for that abnormal change:

  • Disease (metabolic, liver, kidney or thyroid)
  • Epilepsy
  • Low blood sugar
  • Trauma
  • Toxin ingestion
  • Sensitivity to lights and high-pitched noises

“If your cat has had a seizure, your vet will look at a close history of your cat — asking questions about his age, seizure frequency and duration, if they occur around certain times or events, diet, medications, and if it's possible your cat may have ingested toxins,” Johnson told The Dodo.

To figure out why your cat is having seizures, your vet may want to run blood and urine tests, diagnostics (CT scan, radiograph and MRI), or even suggest seeing a veterinary neurologist.

If your cat has a seizure in front of you

If your cat’s having a seizure, it’s important that you pay close attention to how he’s acting, and don’t touch him unless he’s at risk of hurting himself (for instance, if he’s about to fall down the stairs or into water). If you touch him while he’s seizing, he may unintentionally bite or scratch you.

Also, keep an eye on your cat’s behavior before and after the seizure. According to Johnson,
behavior to look out for includes:

  • Convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vocalization
  • Vomiting
  • Salivation
  • Aggression
  • Tail chasing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Head pressing

Taking note of the length of seizure and how long it takes your cat to recover once he’s come out of his seizure is also important.

“If you can remember in the moment, take a video of your cat's seizure to bring to your vet's office with you, and call to get your cat in as soon as possible to be examined by them,” Johnson said. “Make sure you don’t touch your cat while they are actively seizing so that you don't leave yourself open to injury.”

If your cat’s seizure lasts over five minutes or he has more than three in a row with no normalcy in between, this is definitely considered an emergency and your cat will need to be rushed to the nearest available emergency clinic.

Cat seizure treatment options

Treatment for your cat's seizure will depend on several things — the test results, the seizure’s severity, how often they happen and how long they last.

“Depending on the severity, your cat could be hospitalized, placed on fluids and injectable medications, or given long-term anticonvulsant medications,” Johnson said.

It’s important to work closely with your vet to make sure the underlying condition is being treated and he’s receiving the care he needs. Although some cats will continue to have seizures while being treated, your vet will help your cat have the best quality of life ever — so you can keep giving him all the love he deserves!

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.