Seizures in 3 year old cat

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Purred: Wed Aug 22, '12 8:57pm PST 
Lola is a 3 year old indoor only cat that I rescued as an approx. 4 month old kitten. She has a deformed front paw, possibly genetic or a previous break that healed wrong, but has been otherwise healthy. In fact, she has been the healthiest of my 4 cats!

This morning I heard one of the cats heaving like they were about to puke under my bed. I looked under the bed and it was Lola. She vomited a small amount of mucusy puke, licked her lips a bit, looked up at me, and promptly collapsed onto her side. frown I pulled her out from under the bed and thought she was dead--her eyes were wide open, she was completely rigid, and was unresponsive. After a few seconds she started convulsing. The convulsions only lasted less than 20 seconds but it seemed like forever to me! She snapped out of it after that and was responsive and able to walk. Within 15 minutes or so, she was eating breakfast like nothing happened.

I called the vet immediately and they told me that I was welcome to bring her in but they wouldn't treat the seizure until she has had 2-3 in the span of a month. I opted to monitor her at home instead, since she seemed ok and financially I would rather hold off if I could. So far she is fine, acting completely normal, if not a bit tired.

I don't keep any toxic substances out so she didn't get into anything like that, she doesn't go outside, my other 3 cats are ok so it's unlikely to be environmental. The only new addition to her diet in the past few days was Pet Naturals Hip and Joint treats. I doubt that they caused the seizure but just to be safe, I'm not going to give them to her anymore.

My question now is, how am I supposed to leave her alone if she is at risk for another seizure (which seems likely from the information that I've read). I barely leave my apartment for more than a few hours at a time as it is, how can I go out for the night knowing that she may be in distress while I'm away? I live by myself so I don't have any roommates or anything to check in on her. I've read that for every seizure witnessed, there is likely 2-3 more that go unwitnessed.

To those with seizure prone cats, how do you deal with it? Is there anything I can do to reduce the chances that it will happen again? It was the most terrifying thing I've ever witnessed red face eek

Alex (sweet angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
Purred: Thu Aug 23, '12 8:42am PST 
I am posting this for my friend Michele as she cannot seem to get onto Catster at the moment:

Dear Lola's Mommy,

I am sorry you are going through this. My beloved Chiquitita suffered from seizures as well, I am happy to say, that with medication, she now has been seizure free for about 17 months. At one point, she was seizing 4-6 times PER DAY (and those were the ones I was home to witness). Therefore, while I am not a vet, or an expert on the subject, I do have a LOT of experience.

First, remember that the seizures do NOT cause pain and they are harder to witness than to experience. Second, as far as leaving your baby, yes you will worry, but you must continue to live (that sounds cold, but I too live alone and work full time). You can make her environment a little safer by picking up things she might crash into, but to be honest, my little girl was up on a coffee table more than once and ended up falling on the floor, so I would suggest also putting cushions down where ever you can to cushion her landing if she should fall. Try to keep her routine as normal as possible- if you are stressed and upset when she is in a seizure, she will be stressed and upset when she comes out of one. On that same note, it takes some time to come out of a seizure and she may seem very disoriented at first, so wait until she can come to you before you try to pet her (in the case of my little girl the seizures were triggered by nerve pain resulting from brain damage and if I touched one of her sensitive spots she would immediately have another seizure). Also, seizures in cats are EXTREMELY difficult to diagnose because they come in so many different forms. If you can, try to video an episode so that you can show the vet exactly what you witnessed, again that sounds so cold, but it is in her BEST INTEREST. Also, keep a journal with dates and times that you witness an episode. You may find she is more likely to have seizure activity when she is drifting off to sleep, and that information may prove helpful to the vet in finding the cause of her seizures. Additionally, look for signs that she has had a seizure when you were away; in the case of my Chiquitita I would find large tufts of white fur laying about because she would pull clumps of hair off of her chest in frustration at the conclusion of each seizure. One thing that I found interesting is that Lola has a deformed paw- I would as the vet if there is a possibility that there could be some nerve damage associated with the damaged paw. My Chiquitita is now on Gabapentin and has had WONDERFUL results.

I hope this has been helpful. You are not alone; others have been through this and cats can live very normal lives even with seizure disorders. My Chiquitita is 16 now and first started having seizures when she was 14. Pawmail me ANYTIME.

My heart is with you, and Chiquitita sends purrrrs and sandpaper kisses.
Michele and Chiquitita

Alex (sweet angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
Purred: Thu Aug 23, '12 8:44am PST 
You can also see Chiqi's story on my website here: Facing Unexplained Seizures


Purred: Fri Aug 24, '12 9:07pm PST 
Thanks for responding! There was tons of useful information that I had not read before, very valuable stuff.

Lola hasn't had another seizure (at least not one that I've witnessed) since the first incident. She does, however, seem to have an increased appetite and thirst since her seizure. I will be taking her to the vet as soon as I can afford it.

Thanks again smile


Sing a new- song...
Purred: Sat Aug 25, '12 12:09am PST 
Glad to hear that she has not had another seizure! Let's hope this was an isolated incident and that she does not have any more episodes. Purrring for you!

By the way, don't forget to mention the increased appetite and increase in water intake since the seizure, it might be that you are simply more tuned into her routines now, but it might also be important. Those are the details I mentioned in keeping a journal for her.

Purrrrs, headbonks, and sandpaper kisses,
Chiquitita, Bandit and mommy!cheerdancing

Edited by author Sat Aug 25, '12 12:15am PST