Stress Seizures in Cats

Something that is not widely discussed in the pet world is stress-induced seizures. While it is not something that is common, it can happen to any cat or dog. Dogs are more typically prone to this especially in purebreds, but that doesn’t mean it never happens with cats. Knowing how to recognize a stress-induced seizure vs a true medical problem will help you keep your cat happy and healthy.

What Causes Stress Seizures?

The short answer is obvious; STRESS! While it can take a lot of stress to make this happen, a cat who previously had a medical condition that caused them is more likely to experience them. The chances of it happening are also increased in cats who suffer from separation anxiety or bipolar syndrome. 

Just like a human experiencing a panic attack under high amounts of stress, a cat can have mild seizures from high amounts of stress or after stressful situations. Things like being yelled at, getting into fights with other cats or animals, or a stressful move can induce them.

Are They Dangerous?

While they won’t hurt them directly, they can be hurt by accidents. When a cat has a stress seizure, they can easily fall off of a high place, bite their tongue, or get stuck somewhere. This can lead to other issues like head injuries and broken bones. It is important to watch over your cat when this is happening so they do not hurt themselves. Make sure they are on the floor and not biting their tongue.

What Does a Stress Seizure Look Like?

Typically, the cat will do a bellow or deep meow because they know something isn’t feeling right. They feel scared and are asking for help. This follows the cat either lying down or clasping over. They will tense their legs pretty stiffly and followed by this they usually become unresponsive. They may roll their eyes back, have their mouth open, and tense their neck as well. This usually only lasts 20 seconds to a minute long. As they come out of it, they will look exhausted and this is because they are. Some may go to walk only to lay back down after a few feet. It is very important to provide your cat with the opportunity to rest. Make sure they eat and/or drink shortly after this. They may need to rest several hours before they are feeling better so keep things peaceful around them.

Signs and symptoms to look for with serious medical problems:

  • No appetite, not eating or drinking
  • Wetting themselves before, during, or after the seizure
  • Excessive panting
  • Crying and uneasiness
  • Signs of stomach or abdomen pain
  • Hiding/wanting to be left alone
  • Disorientation after the seizure has stopped
  • Multiple seizures happening in a short amount of time
When to see a Veterinarian

If your cat is experiences anything from the above list, it is very important to take them to the vet ASAP. Those are common symptoms of Feline Pancreatitis which has a high fatality rate when left untreated.

If your cat appears fine after and you want to make sure, there is no harm in taking them in for a checkup. I do not advise putting them on medication for this. Simply removing the causes of stress will keep this from happening. I have personal experience with one of my cats and it rarely happens but when it does, he is back to normal a few hours later. Medication risks making them worse, causing them to happen more often, or just giving them other general health problems they don’t need.

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96 thoughts on “Stress Seizures in Cats”

  1. Hi.
    I have a 3 yr old cat who was born feral, found her and sibs at 5 weeks. She definately wouldn”t have lasted the week…she was that near death from starving . She is a fragile sort, shy and easily spooked. She is is quite tame and sweet and quite healthy. Recently she has had 2 weird episodes. A few months ago, she got scared by the sweeper…tho isn’t usually scared of it. She was reacting to another cat’s fear of the sweeper, as that cat hates it. She started running around the house and ran into a cat tree and the sweeper. She ended up running under the bed…her fav hidey spot, but was moving oddly. (stiffly) Thinking she was injured I dug her out and she looked terrified…huge black eyes, ears back, body in a tight ball…breathing rapidly. I couldn’t calm her down at all…and she is super attached to me. She then proceeded to act even scarier…She put her paws over her ears and pulled her head down and she seemed like something neurological was happening. She didn’t recognize me and almost seemed like she was having a stoke or something. It was SO awful and scared me to death. We ran to Vet with her but they had closed 1/2 hour before we got there. On way home she kind of came around and was acting like nothing much had happened. She did hide when we got home, but came out 45 mins later totally fine, ate and acted normal. Vet said it sounded like a panic attack. Today she did it again…but had been on my lap and I have zero idea what scared her this time, except it was very windy outside. She ran away, again oddly and hid under bed. When I checked on her she was all weird acting again. Rapid breathing, huge pupils and in a stiff, tight ball and doing the pulling her head down with her paws. I couldn’t calm her and it took forever to go back to normal. She seemed very scared of me afterwards, like she attributed her episode to me having caused it. She seems very spacey and out of it when it’s happening. I had a panic attack myself, as she scared me so bad seeming like she was dying or something. I’m awfully attached to my little Catniss…I love her SO much. Could she be having panic attacks from being scared ?? I have never seen this in cats…and I’ve had cats forever. Thanks so much for any input.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Vicky. Yes, those are likely panic attacks. Her association with the panic episode and being near you is normal. She may need a bit of time to work through that. Most panic attacks are brought on by something fearful, different, or strange happening. It is hard to pinpoint triggers in cats as they don’t often show signs of anxiety prior to it becoming a panic attack. Just give her some time and see if they pass. They are completely harmless. Just reassure her with things she enjoys and don’t get upset or panic yourself if it happens again. Stay as calm as possible for her.

      Reply
      • Thanks Perfect Love for the reassuring info. I REALLY appreciate the comment back. It is so hard to stay calm myself…as when Catniss is doing that it scares the crap out of me. But knowing she isn’t dying and will be ok shortly (or in her case…longly !!) I will try really really hard not to freak out myself. So, since she goes under the bed and is in her “safe spot” in her little cat bed…it’s probably best that I leave her alone and let her work it out then right? My presents doesn’t seem to help her what so ever anyhow…and escalates my panic. I have read that a hormonal thing is happening when a panic attack occurs, and it really can’t just end…until it has ran it’s course. True?? So strange that I have had her and her sister for 3 years this summer and only just recently has she had the 2 episodes. I wonder why I never saw her act like that til now. One more thing…I didn’t really understand when you were explaining her association with panic and being near me sentence…sorry…but it’s important to me to know what you meant. Thanks again for responding/reassuring me, as my Vet hasn’t been too helpful except to say she was probably experiencing a panic attack. I totally understand about panic attacks, as I too suffer from them at times and they are NO joke.

      • Panic attacks are spikes of adrenaline without real danger. Instead of the mind focusing on the “danger” it ends up focusing on the adrenaline rush happening in the body. It is a very scary experience to go through this for humans as well as animals. Her association with you and the panic attack is similar to a human being at someone’s house and having a panic attack there, then not wanting to go back. She is associating you with her bad experience because she wants to avoid it happening again. Anxiety-prone animals, just as humans, will do this with people, places, situations, objects, and so on. She will work through it herself once she realizes you are not part of the reason it happened. If you can’t remain calm around her when she is going through an attack, then yes it is best to just let her be. Just check on her calmly and quietly after 5 minutes. Some panic attacks last only a few minutes, others can last up to 20 or longer.

  2. My 3.5 year old cat (male) has never shown any signs of illness, and he had what we assume was a seizure at the very end of December. It appears our 7 month old lab was chasing him, and he ran under the bed (where we have suitcases to keep the lab out from under the bed). Within moments, we heard a blood curdling sound, and we realized it was the cat. It was a hideous sound and it went on for a good 10-15 seconds. By the time we got to him, as he was in between a suitcase and the wall, all we could see was that he was shaking, and when he came out from under the bed, he was hunched down, and his tail was puffy. A little while later he was fine. We thought he might have hurt himself under the bed or possibly be a wire and got a bit of a zap. Nothing or 26 days, and then it happened again. I woke up to this hideous screaming again, and the cat was lying on his side, and he was having what appeared to be a seizure – he was stiff, and he was kicking one of his back legs, and his head was bobbing back and forth, but not extremely fast. (I had a dog with Epilepsy, and I know what seizures in animals look like). The dogs were watching over him, and my husband made them move back, and my other cat ran away. He also urinated, as it was a bit wet on the floor afterwards – no drooling. After the incident, my cat walked away hunched down and went under the dining room table, and he was growling a bit. Then 2 minutes later, my husband offered him some treats, and he jumped up onto the counter as if nothing happened. We took him to the vet, and we had a bunch of bloods on him testing for him everything under the sun. Everything came back perfect. If he was any more in the middle of all of the ranges, he’d be a bullseye. We were thinking about doing an MRI and possibly a spinal tap, but this has never happened before, and my husband and I work from home, so the time that we are home in the day opposed to the time we spend away from the house is greater, and the chances of the cat having had a seizure without us knowing and/or not being home is slight in comparison to us being home. I asked the vet if a cat can literally scare themselves into a fit, and she said it is unlikely, but not impossible – anything is possible. After the episodes, my other cat would hiss at him for a few days, and he especially got hissed at after the last episode, because we took him out of the house and to the vet – and the other cat always hisses at him after going to the vet – even if they go together. I’m so glad I found this article, as something just isn’t sitting right with me. The cat shows no signs of an Epileptic animal – no staring off into space, twitching here and there or anything else. When the lab was younger and much smaller, my cat would swat at him from time to time and bit him once or twice too. Now, the lab is 7.5 months old and much bigger, and since he is much bigger, is it possible that the cat gets scared now instead of swatting at him, and that’s what caused these seizure type episodes? I’m really wondering about this. The lab was born 6/15/19, and the first “seizure episode” in the cat was 12/30/19 – the dog was 6.5 months old, and anyone that has a lab knows that they are high energy animals, and they want to play, and they are very big at that age. The cat went from seeing this small 8 week old puppy to what is now a 70 lb lab. I also have a GSD, and she and the cat are buddies – she’s not afraid of her at all, and she mommies him. Thank you so much for this article – it makes sense.

    Reply
  3. Hello, i was wondering if you can help me. I think my cat had a seizure from being exposed to flea treatment about 2/3 months ago, he snapped out of if after about 10 minutes but since then he has been really really anxious, he lives with his sister (both spayed) and sometimes when she walks near him it’s like he doesn’t recognise that she lives here, they sniff each other and he relaxes but any sudden noise he’s so on edge and it’s all been hightened since the flea treatment incident. There also has been the odd occasion he has been spooked wee’d a little and puffed up but he’s managed to come around quite quickly. Is there anything I can do to relax him? I have things like feliway friends plug ins, should i try the classics for example ?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Leanne. Did you run this by his vet? It sounds like he may have had an allergic reaction to the flea treatment. What you are explaining sounds like general anxiety. I don’t think he is having full blown seizures but the first one may have been a panic attack. You can try feliway for starts and see if that helps. You will have to figure out what is stressing him out and go from there. All cats are different. Try to remember any changes in the household, be it new furniture, new pets, or new people coming around. Keep track of what is scaring him as well. Do you allow him to go outdoors unsupervised by chance? He may have gotten into a fight with a cat or may have been scared by another animal. Cats are naturally nearsighted so his sister’s figure might be spooking him until he is able to know it is her when she is closer.

      Reply
      • Thank you for your reply, i didn’t take him to the vets but at the time of what I called a sezuire I ran the symptoms past a vet and they said to keep an eye on him. He’s an indoor cat. He is very anxious anyway and gets spooked easily it’s just strange that since that one incident it’s he I would say it’s got alot worse, and there has been two occasions where he has wee’d since he first time. I have feliway plug ins already but the ‘friends one as he chases sister sometimes. Not sure if I need the classic one….
        Other than the flea treatment there hasn’t been any other changes to his life style.

        Thanks

      • I would say just to keep an eye on him like the vet recommended. Try to make notes of anything that seems to scare him. The feliway spray that comes in the can is what I find most effective. You can use lavender scented cleaners around the home or scented lavender candles as well. This naturally will help to calm him down. Johnson and Johnson makes a baby shampoo/wash called “Bedtime Bath” that is lavender scented. I use this on my cats when they have their seasonal baths but I know a lot of cats do not allow themselves to be bathed. If he has any beds, pillows, or blankets, washing them with this soap can also help to ease some stress. The scent of lavender is very relaxing for humans as well as cats and dogs.

  4. I have a 9 year old Maine Coon. He had teeth extraction in June 2018. There were problems with him waking up from the anesthesia. He began to thrash around in his cage after the surgery and he was blind. We brought him home he was, toes could not see could not eat could not move his bowels could not pee could not stand. We have worked very hard with him and he gets around the house very good uses the litter box goes up and down the stairs. Some compulsive behavior began to appear, and the vet suggested putting him on Prozac. Prior to him being put on Prozac he did have an episode where he was sitting, began to growl, turn very very very very fast in circles, and began to run through the house. It was over in 30 to 45 seconds. Afterwards he scratched his head behind his ears and groomed.we began him on Prozac for the compulsive behavior of going up and down the stairs and and pacing constantly. I did also try flower remedies. 2 months after the Prozac he had another episode three times in one day a week later another episode. That put him on 1mg valium twice a day. I have weaned him off the Prozac. I really don’t think the Valium is doing anything for these episodes. The vet said they are panic attacks, but because of how this all came about and the damage to his neurological system oh, I do not know how to proceed. Do you have any suggestions? He does scratches behind his right ear and groom after each episode. These episodes remind me of what he experienced when he came out of anesthesia, the thrashing about that’s what it looks like.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Marty. I personally feel medication for panic attacks in cats can be more of a danger than a remedy. In order to stop the panic attacks, you have to either remove what is stressing him out completely or expose him to it a bit each day until he realizes it is not a threat and his body acts accordingly. Panic attacks are very treatable without medication but it takes work and time, especially with cats. I would start by finding out what is triggering his attacks and go from there. You may want to get a second opinion from another vet to make sure there isn’t any neurological damage and to make sure these aren’t seizures because of damage.

      Reply
  5. Hello, thanks for your post. I have been looking for answers around why my 1.5 yr old female cat Mila is having seizures and this is the first article I’ve found about stress seizures.

    Mila had her first seizure at 3am in a terrible rain storm with lightening. She yowled and screamed for a minute or two and then violently thrashed her front and back legs for what felt like 2 minutes. The blanket she was on was very damp. For the rest of the day she was very quiet and disoriented. I took her to the vet and her blood results came back normal.

    Her second seizure happened a month later after a car ride. When she started to get out of the cage she yowled and then her front and back legs thrashed and twitched for 30 seconds. She drooled quite a bit. It was not as bad as the first one. And she seemed ok two hours after.

    Today, 3 weeks later she had her third seizure after a car ride to my parents house. She was very calm during the whole car ride. When we arrived I let her out of the cage and she walked around a bit then howled and thrashed her legs for about 30 seconds. Again lots of drool. She ate after and had water. I am very worried about her. Do you think this sounds like stress seizures and is there anything natural you can recommend?

    Thanks very much.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Natasha. This sounds like she is having panic attacks at the result of being in a lot of fear. A panic attack can become a stress seizure and in some cases, they can appear to be the same thing. Panic attacks are tricky to treat with animals as it involves exposure to the stressor like with humans. If a person has a panic attack while in a car, they need to keep going in cars to get over the response. I don’t recommend putting her on medication unless there is a true medical concern here. The best approach is to reduce the stress by avoiding the triggers or build up her tolerance to them.

      It would seem that car rides or being in a cage is a trigger for her, it could be both. You can try putting her in the cage for a few minutes every day and just rewarding her for being in it to allow her to feel comfortable in the cage. Then you can do short trips with her in the car. Just drive around for 5 to 10 minutes and bring her back home. It can take some time but this should help her. She needs to understand that she is not in danger and can feel safe in the car and in the cage. You can’t help when a thunderstorm will happen but when you know one is coming, you can allow her to have a safe space where the windows are covered and she can feel secure.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the reply. I had not read about panic attacks before so that is helpful. I will try your suggestions. Again, many thanks.

    • Hi natasha
      Seems like your cat’s prob is the same as mine.coz im stress myself thinking why is my cat having seizures whenever we try to put him in his carrier.he will be kicking all his legs front n back,drooling and wetting himself at the same time. The 2nd time he had his seizures when we tried to put him in a basket trolley as we were scared if hes phobia with carrier.after few mins in the trolley he started his seizures again. Im trying to think of an idea to bring him to the vet to sterilise him but then he will have seizures if put in carrier.

      Reply
  6. Im looking for an outside opinion. My wife and I adopted a 4yr old big boy named Sugar from an adoption agency. He had been moved around a couple times recently prior and took some time to acclimate and feel at home. In the first month we noticed he liked to hang his head when sitting in cat trees or the edge of a chair or couch, and he always had a twitchy tail. We’ve had him now for 8 months and he settled in very well and we love him very much. In the last 3-4 weeks he began having ear twitches. I used ear wipes on them but at no time ever saw any sign of ear mites/biuldup, they were always clean and looked healthy. Gradually the next 2 weeks came twitching/muscle type spasms in his belly when falling asleep and occasional head shakes. We saw them more often and took him to the vet. He cried and was stressed the way there (10 min ride), that surprised us since he made no objections bring him home from adoption (25min ride). The vet checked him out and commented ” looks like you have a healthy 41/2 yr old”. She recommended bloodwork and a medicine to calm his nerves. Sugar was checking out the exam room and hopped up behind me on the bench then spat up and went into a seizure for about a minute or so. The vet then took him back ,drew blood and gave him a shot of valium to calm him. She prescribed phenobarbital. His bloodwork came back normal except for some electrolyte values “most likely due to the seizure” we were told, and his urine tested ok. Currently waiting results of toxoplasmosis and are verifying his leukemia and FIP. We are concerned about the pheno use because we dont know the cause. My wife read about stress seizures here and would like your opinion. What if its a virus or other treatable issue, is taking the pheno harmfull or slow the treatment. And he doesn’t seem to want to eat sometimes for long periods. Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Christy. Cats who are very comfortable will fall into a deep state of sleep. This is where you will see twitching of the ears, tail, legs, and really anywhere else on the body. If he was sleeping during this, it is completely normal. Cats sleep in all sorts of ways as well so him hanging his head is fine. The tail twitching is more a less a nervous tick. Some cats will display this when they are nervous, excited, or curious. One of mine rattles his tail (the tip) when it is time to eat as he gets excited about food. Twitching is also a common issue with food allergies as they feel “jolts” under their skin. They will appear itchy all the time in the ear, neck, paw, and stomach areas. The paws tend to be a hotspot for them so they will often chew and nibble on them to ease discomfort. You can get him checked for food allergies if you would like. Chicken, corn, and soy are common allergies some cats have.

      I don’t agree with giving seizure medication to cats because the risks outweigh the benefits and should only be used in severe cases. Given that the seizure seemed very mild and his bloodwork is okay, I would say it likely was a stress seizure but I would not rule out a panic attack. Both can seem very similar if you have never seen a cat have either one. It would seem the visit to the vet coupled with the car ride stressed him out. If he is calm at home and you don’t notice any stressing triggers, then don’t worry too much about it. You can also get a second opinion from another vet to ease your mind. Just use your best judgment.

      Reply
  7. Remove the source of the seizure!? How can I do that when it’s a persian that needs to be groomed and trimmed down every month and shampooed and dried? She started collapsing and falling over at age 10 either during a blow out or during a grooming session.. by the way I am a retired groomer … it started out infrequent back then and now it seems like she collapses either now during a grooming or during the blowout .. and by the way I don’t groom her and shampoo and dry on the same day due to the stress … she is 16 and I’m good health except for thyroid disease diagnosed and being treated for since December … she has fo be groomed and shampooed regularly

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Sherry. Given her age and how stressed out this event is for her, I think it is best to get her hair cut very short and manage it from there at home. You can trim it weekly and brush it daily to manage it. Purchase some cat wipes as well. They will keep her fur clean without needing to put her in water. For tangles, just use a small amount of coconut oil (virgin and organic is best) before you brush her a few times a week.

      Reply
  8. My 3.5 year old cat was asleep on the back of a tall lounge chair when some visitors came in with a big dog. She tried to jump down but in mid air something happened and she fell to the carpet, went limp, eyes were huge and she was yowling like she was dying. When I went to pick her up she ran off under the bed and continued to yowl and lay on her side for 3 minutes. The yowl was terrible! I was able to get to her and isolate her from all the people and dogs. She was floppy and wide-eyed for 30 minutes. She finally got up and zigzagged her way to the litter box and peed. Then she flopped down and just laid on her side for another hour. It seemed like she couldn’t see or recognize me. When she came out of this she was happy and played with the dog and other people like normal. Could this have been a stress seizure? Should I take her to the vet?
    She is very healthy and eats only true organic expensive food.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Jaucelyn. What you described could be a stress seizure but it could have also been a panic attack. Panic attacks last much longer than seizures which only last a few moments. I would guess that she was startled and had a panic attack based on what you shared. I don’t think there is any real cause for concern here but if you do want to stay on the safe side, you can let her vet know what happened and see if he/she feels a visit is necessary.

      Reply
  9. My 7year old cat had a seizure and has now lost her eye sight is there a possibility that she will have her sight back again?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Susan. Vission loss due to seizures is usually temporary. Most of the time it only lasts for a day or two but in more severe cases, it can take a few months for a cat to fully regain sight. If her sight doesn’t return after a few days to a week, it is best for her to be evaluated by her vet to make sure nothing else is going on.

      Reply
  10. Hi there. I am seeking help but struggling to find exactly what my cat is doing. About 2 weeks ago she started to fall off of things (she insists on sleeping in weird higher up places). She falls onto the floor, urinates and then frantically chews at her fur around her sides or legs. She is perfectly fine once she stops aggressively cleaning herself. She isn’t hiding away from us, still likes attention, is still eating and drinking, doesn’t pant or lay down afterwards, doesn’t shout before during or after, her eyes don’t role back and she doesn’t go stiff. Not sure if it connected but arpund the same time she has started to groom herself so much that her hair is getting patchy arpund her sides and anus?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment David. This sounds like she may have some kind of skin infection or parasitic issue. Excessive grooming can also be anxiety related. When she falls to the ground from her sleeping position, it likely scares her enough to make her urinate. I would take her to your vet ASAP to rule out any kind of parasitic issues or skin infection. I wish I could be of more help.

      Reply
  11. Really want to thank you for this article. Yesterday, my SO was taking our cat to the vet. The cat really hates the car, and as he was lifting her carrier into the car, she suddenly flopped over and began to have a seizure. He was really panicking and raced to the vet. The episode lasted maybe 30 seconds, and was followed by her normal car behavior – crying, panting and pacing. I usually use a Feliway spray in her carrier when we have to go in the car, but I forgot to tell him about it. The vet couldn’t find anything wrong with her after a regular checkup but she will have some tests if it happens again. When she got home, she ate normally and wanted a lot of attention, then fell asleep in her current favourite spot. I’m still really worried but your article gave me some hope that the seizure was just from stress. Last summer she and I had to travel in the car several times and she was more stressed out every time. Do you have any advice for how to make this less stressful for her?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Kate. I am glad it helped ease your mind. You are doing the right thing by using Feliway when you need to travel with her. Unfortunately, some cats just do not like cars and may never get over that. You can try to ease her into being in the car by taking small drives a few days a week around the block to help lessen the fear. You can start by doing this at night when there is not so much to see and fewer people out on the roads. I have never used a carrier when traveling with my cats, I use harnesses. For some cats being in a cage scares them more as they feel even more trapped. If you have someone who can sit in the back seat and hold her while she is wearing a harness, you can see how she does with that. I wish I could be of more help but I do hope everything check out good for your kitty.

      Reply
  12. So I was just scared beyond belief and am looking for some answers/guidance.
    My cat who is 5 was just sleeping on the floor. I started vacuuming and he woke up, jumped on the bed to evade the vacuum, left the bedroom and went downstairs. My boyfriend saw him cross the room normally, stumble, and then teeter as he was low to the ground. He called me down and I saw him teetering and looking at me with a frantic look in his eyes. This only lasted for a minute. He then walked low to the ground into the kitchen, hopped up on one of the dining chairs and proceeded to drool heavily for a few minutes. I pet him softly and talked him through it and within moments he seemed fine. He was eating, talking, and mobile. The whole thing lasted maybe 3 minutes. It’s been a half hour and he’s behaving normally. I’m thinking that he may have had a panic attack? But we’re obviously concerned. Any information or direction would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Aarika. Yes, that does indeed sound like a panic attack. The drooling is a reaction to adrenaline being boosted in his system. Stress seizures are very similar to panic attacks, some believe they are the same thing for cats. Since it would seem the sudden startle of being woken up by a loud noise triggered it, it is best to only vacuum or do anything loud when he is awake and away from the area. Next time you want to vacuum, just put him in your bedroom until you are done and then let him out and close the door to vacuum your room. Some cats are more prone to stress and handle it differently than others. If you notice this happening without a trigger or his reactions (drooling, dizziness, etc.) getting worse, it would be best to take him to a Vet to rule out any possible causes. As of now, I think he is okay and just experienced a panic attack.

      Reply
      • Thanks so much for your response. It’s definitely put me a little more at ease. I’ll be keeping an eye on him and looking for other triggers or lack there of. Much appreciated.

  13. Hello….I have 2 female cats, siblings, about 4 years old. One of them has stress seizures every couple of months. I was so happy to read the article and find that this is common and non life threatening. If they become more frequent I will take her to the vet for blood work to rule out pancreatitis. She is the passive sister…the other one is much more dominant. Whenever she has a seizure the other cat hisses at her. It happened last night and this morning she was still hissing terribly at the sight of her. This goes on for 4 or 5 days….then slowly they get back to normal, playing and grooming each other. Any idea why the other cat is exhibiting this hissing behavior?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Beth. Are they both spayed? I have to ask because many unspayed females will fight over territory. If they are both spayed, it can be an issue of under-stimulation. What this means is that the more aggressive sister is acting out because of boredom. More often than not, aggressive cats are typically just bored cats. This is an easy fix but you will have to get involved. This will require playtime every day with both of them equally. A feather wand is the cheapest and most well-loved cat toy there is in terms of human and cat interaction and playing. You also want to make sure both are stimulated without you. They should have an area to look outside the house, a place that is higher in the home, and things to keep them busy at night (toys that won’t wake you up). You can even consider an outdoor enclosure so they can spend time outdoors without fear of them getting injured. If that is not an option, leash training works just as well. Read this post for more ideas on how to cut down on kitty boredom: https://purrfectlove.net/keeping-an-indoor-cat-happy/

      Reply
  14. Hello thank you do kindly. My cat had a violent seizure last night around 3am . I heard cats screaming. Cat was in seizure few seconds then went limp and panting. I was getting ready to take her to emergency, i stroked her and she got up and walked. I thought she was stone blind, she was very disorientated. Daylight came she can at least see where she is going is resting on her favorite chair. Has drank water and ate some. One of my sweet cats sometimes attacks other cat usually only her son. But has once attacked other girl if she’s fired up.She can be vicious. She’s been stalking the poor cat,that had seizure is 15-17. I thought the cat Stacey might have had seizure when attacked. It was horrible I thought she was dying.Now she’s purring. You’re post helped calm me. Will still see vet.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Edenslight7. Yes, being that she is old a vet visit is a good idea. It sounds like it may be stress induced from the other cat attacking her. I hope everything works out for her.

      Reply
  15. Dear purrfectlove
    Last week my cat ran an started going in circles with spit dripping from her mouth, now this week she was purring an rubbing my legs an it was hard for her to swallow, an she started to run off all of a sudden she got confused an fell over trying to get up but kept falling over hitting her head, then she got stiff an was kicking her back legs, it all lasted about a minute or so, then she just laid there, she got up but it was like she couldn’t move she meowed loud 3 times, then she moved but was wobbling an laid down her breathing was fast

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Myrahnna Love. That sounds like it can be more serious than a stress seizure. She should be seen by a Vet asap to rule out more serious medical issues. If she is older, it could have been a stroke the first time.

      Reply
  16. My cat got her head stuck about a month ago and was unresponsive for about 30 seconds Last night she started having seizures she had three four hours apart can this be a result. I’m very low income but can call my vet tomorrow maybe he can work with me. I just was wondering why she is four years old

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Michele Barbera. Where was her head stuck? Stress seizures usually come on during a stressful event or shortly after. This sounds like it can be down to oxygen loss in the brain but I am not sure if it would trigger the seizures a month after. I think it is best to get the vets opinion on the situation and go from there. I wish I could be of more help.

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  17. Hi! Thank you for posting this, it is putting my mind at ease but still have questions. My 12 year old cat had his first seizure ever two nights ago and since then he has had about 4 cluster seizures. When his first seizure occurred it was the longest of all and he went stiff and neck out etc. Thst was the night before we moved, boxes everywhere and the place was a mess. We move the next day and he was fine, unless I missed something. Then the following day (yesterday) was when he had the 3 cluster seizures. They all start out while he is in a deep sleep, where he has a limp body and doesn’t wake up easily. We took him to the vet yesterday, they kept him overnight and said he didn’t have any seizures while there. They ran his blood work and everything came back normal. Since he’s been home for about 12 hours he had one more cluster seizure after about 11 hours of being home. The vet said that if it happens again they recommend putting him on medication but I do not want to do that unless it is absolutely required. Do you think these will stop soon, once he’s adjusted to the new house?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Nikki Hart. Every cat is different and if these are indeed down to stress, then once he feels safe they should stop. Cats do not like moving nor do they like when we rearrange the furniture. Since he is older, it likely was a scary thing for him. Some cats at his age have lost some of their vision already. When a cat loses any amount of vision they rely on mind-maps of where they live using shadows, counting steps, and smells. That alone would prompt me to think this is down to stress. I would try to get more scents he is familiar with in the new home. Don’t over clean anything or add in anything new for a good month. Let him adjust. Ad long as you keep him indoors, there is no harm in waiting it out. He should be okay with everything in 2 weeks tops. Just treat him as if he is scared even if he doesn’t look it. Don’t play any loud music, avoid vacuuming around him, and keep your voice low in the home. I hope everything works out for him and he feels more at ease soon.

      Reply
  18. My cat won’t leave the window sill and he frequently falls out of it. I think he has some skin issues also at the base of his tail. Could he be suffering from stress seisures? His behavior changed when I stopped him from going outdoors introduced a liter box and started keeping him indoors.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Candace. This sounds more like an anxiety issue unless he is sitting up and just falling over. Since there is a skin issue as well, it is best he see’s a vet asap. It is a good thing you brought him in. Cats should only be outdoors under supervision.

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  19. My comment maybe long. First my Female cat Remy was a rescue, She was abused kicked and they broke her pelvis. Vet took custody of her to fix her up and I adopted her. Her age wasn’t exactly known but She was at least 1 year old. She is now 14. Never has needed to see a vet until recently. We have 3 adult cats Remy included, They were not raised together but they got along great. I got suckered into adopting a kitten he is now 6 months old. I was told HE was a she, which is why I agreed to take it. But he is a boy, and he is a nightmare for the other cats. They all hate him. He is making himself the Alpha and bullying the others. I don’t want to get rid of him, So Im trying everything. With that said, Remy has separation anxiety and is a Mama girl. The kitten is trying to be a Mamas boy. Makes for more problems. Shes been stressed for 6 mnths now. Just when it seemed everything was calming down right back to chaos. Remy has lost a lot of weight, wasn’t eating barely drinking, or going to the bathroom. And depressed. She keeps begging for food then wont eat it. ( she isn’t catfood picky) I took her to our Vet 3 days ago and had a full chem screen blood test and CBC,and Iv fluids. We took her home the same night, and She started to eat a lil, but more than she had in a week. Next day I get the results of the blood work and everything was fine. Yesterday she went right back to begging and not eating. ( not a people food cat) She ate some of my husbands Lasagna. It’s rare she would eat ppl food and if she did it was chicken, or lil bite of steak, then turn her nose up. Late last night I was eating ham and cheese. She wanted it, I gave her some ham and she was devouring it, made her slow down so she wouldnt make herself sick. While she was chewing her head suddenly drooped down, face went angry/evil like she was going to attack but blank stare, like she wasn’t there, lightly purring during this. Her front paws extended and went stiff, frozen. Only way to describe it is she went gimpy with no control over her extremities, sliding slowly down from a standing/ sit up position. It got intense terrifying me. Lasting at least a min or 2. I scramble for phone for video for evidence, By then it had stopped. Calming myself down I went to comfort her and look her over. At first seemed she wasnt seeing me. But then it passed. Suddenly back to begging for the cheese. I gave her a little more, maybe 5 mins later it happened again. I tried to video it again but I panicked and ran to my neighbor to come see whats happening. By the time we got back to her it was over again. This was terrifying, Remy rested for the whole night but still wont eat right. Just a lick or two of can food gravy, thats it. But still begging for food and not eating. Vet wants me to bring her back and of course I do too. But I will not have the money for MRI’s x-rays. Over 300 just for the blood work that told me nothing. My neighbor found this article and this seems to fit perfectly for what is going on with her. Any advice, suggestions, products, medications anything would be greatly appreciated

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Lilith. I can’t say for certain if these two episodes were stress induced seizures but based on what you said, they sound like it. After they come out of them, they are usually very tired but VERY hungry. It would seem you have two issues going on here. She seems to be fighting for attention and wanting to eat your food (and your husband’s) only out of bonding/attention seeking. The other issue is that she isn’t eating enough of her own food. This is bad because she can become deficient in key vitamins and minerals. I don’t think the new kitten being a male has anything to do with this, but just a general uneasiness of a new member and it is stressing her out. You need to get her to eat her food. Is she on wet food? If she is not, I would suggested including that in her diet for starts. As for the stress, the kitten will likely calm down in another 6 months to a year but it is not worth putting stress on your 14 year old to wait. You can try having the 6 month old stay with someone for a few days and see if she improves. If she does, then you know for certain it is down to him being in the home. After this you will have to make a decision. You will have to get them Remy to be comfortable with him or you will have to re-home him.

      If you want to try and work through this, you can do a few things to see if it improves for Remy. Have her eat her own food with you and your husband separate from the other cats. Share your meal times with her meal times to make her feel important to you both. You can also use Feliway in your home. It is a natural pheromone spray that is good for stress, anger issues, and so on. It should help her relax more. You will want to keep the kitten away from her and busy doing his own thing so adding in some new toys, maybe a window perch (or putting a cat tree by a window), anything to keep him busy and satisfied. A lot of people assume dogs only get jealous of other dogs when it comes to living with humans. In my experience, cats tend to be worse with this. You will have to make sure he still feels included and accepted as well.

      This process will not happen overnight either. It is going to take work, communication, and adjustments to make sure everyone is happy. The most important thing you can do right now is get Remy eating cat food again and making sure her stress levels come down. If you feel she needs to see a vet again, check local cat-only shelters and see if they can help you pay for the vet bill. Some will work with cat owners when they know there is not another option. I hope everything works out for you, Remy, and the new kitten.

      Reply
  20. Hi my cat has a seizure last night she got under my bed and started meowing really really loud and my boyfriend and I got her out and was petting her, her eyes like wouldn’t focus like she didn’t know what was going on her body started twisting and she was shaking really bad I’m not sure why she did this it’s the first time she was a stray she had to of came from another family we took her in and she’s been great but yesterday scared me, at the time me and my boyfriend was wrapping gifts, could that of caused or is there something really wrong here ?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Bre. She needs to see a vet to know what the underlining cause is. If nothing can be found, it is likely down to stress/anxiety that induced the seizure. It is important you make she she gets tested as certain things that cause seizures in cats, like pancreatitis, can be deadly if left untreated.

      Reply
  21. Thanks for your comment Lucy. While I am not a vet and can’t make medication recommendations, I think it is better to approach this from a panic/anxiety perspective. If her episodes are mild in nature, she may even just be having panic attacks. A lot of vets and pet owners aren’t fully aware this happens in cats and dogs. It sounds like what is going on has to do with a night time fear. You can approach this like you would a child. Leaving lights on, keeping her in one room at night with you close by, reducing her consumption of food at night so she is less likely to need to get up to use her box, and so on. You can talk with her vet about the possibility of anti-anxiety medication but that won’t take care of the problem, just minimize the symptoms caused by the problem.

    Reply
  22. Hello. Our cat Bella is 3 years old. She’s been having seizures for 2 weeks now, nearly every night but only between the hours of 8pm and 5am. She’s averaging 6 per night. Lots of vet visits and different doses of ani-seizure meds tried which reduce the severity but does not eliminate them. She never has a seizure in the daytime (i work from home so I’m with her almost 24/7).

    The only possible explanation i can think of for night time only seizures is (she’s awake prio to the seizure so they’re not sleeping ones) shes been in lots of cat fights at night and on a few occasions cats have come into our home and terrorised her. I now lock her in and she shows little interest in going out. Could these seizures be association of night time with being attacked and therefore be stress/anxiety related? Should we be trying anxiety medication rather than epilepsy medication? Thanks u. Lucy

    Reply
  23. We recently brought a new cat into the house and my older cat is 15 years old didn’t like them and would constantly growl at him a fight with him one day he was fighting with him up on the top of the counter next thing you know my cats foaming at the mouth and now he won’t eat but he seems to be okay otherwise but he will not eat what should I do

    Reply
  24. Thanks for your comment Hadley. This seems strange. Was she falling asleep? My older cat will sometimes sleep very heavy to the point where I can move his limbs and he will not wake up, not even when I move his head. This is down to him (I believe) not getting enough oxygen in certain positions. What you are explaining doesn’t sound like a seizure to me. Have you contacted her vet about this?

    Reply
  25. I was just casually petting my cat a couple of days ago when she suddenly went limp and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. She only snapped out of it when I lifted her up and shook her slightly, and then she seemed fine.
    It happened again a few minutes later. I did the same thing, and again, she seemed fine. It hasn’t happened since, but I’m worried that it might happen again, because even though she didn’t seem to be particularly hurt by it (she didn’t meow or make any noise, and after she came back around, she acted as though nothing had happened), I do want to know if this is the same thing, or if it might be something different.

    Reply
  26. Thanks for your comment Megan. He needs to see a vet ASAP. Cats can become dehydrated very easily and he will need a drip done to prevent this. He is likely under a lot of stress but he definitely can’t go without fluids very long.

    Reply
    • I look after strays and come upon a lot of strange things, but whenever a cat does not eat I immediately give him “A High Calorie Nutritional Gel” which can be bought at any vet or Pet Food store. Although Megan’s cat looks like it has a more serious problem, at least he will get vitamins to keep him feeling stronger. This gel also gives them an appetite. The one I am given it to now has ulcers in his mouth and I am fortunate that he licks it off my finger. Some cats won’t so I mix it with soft cat food if they are eating or put it on the roof of their mouth. Tomorrow I take in a cat that has seizures so I hope everything goes well.

      Reply
  27. Just had a baby and left my cat with my mother while I was in the hospital. Mom called to tell me that she was acting very strange and distant. My sister who was there told me my cat started shaking at one point and when she went to soothe her my cat hissed at her and ran to hide. Mom took her to vet they said it has to be psychological but nothing wrong with her physically. I took her to the vet myself 2 weeks ago for similar behavior and they did bloodwork found nothing but said she was dehydrated (I’m assuming from not eating or drinking as frequently). That vet gave her fluids and when we got home she was completely back to normal. My mom brought her back to me last night and she is acting very strange just sitting in one spot for hours breathing hard looking out of it. I feel like I can hear her heartbeat just standing in the same room. From what this describes I do believe she is having stress induced seizures maybe because of the birth of my baby but it doesn’t explain the behavior from 2 weeks ago. I’m at a loss as to how to help her at this point

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Arabella. It doesn’t necessarily mean stress induced seizures are happening but rather anxiety and panic attacks. Cats can experience things just like humans ranging from depression and bipolar, to full on panic attacks. Depending on how close she is with you, your worries can be reflecting on her and she can be under stress. Some cats will be affected by bringing a baby home so that too could be the source of her stress. Just make sure she is drinking and eating and give her some time. Was she being fed the same diet when staying with your mother? That can also cause issues as well.

      Reply
  28. I was reading this because I am going to look after a cat that has seizures when she is stressed so I thank you for the info. I wanted to comment about the question from Lynda a year ago. I had a cat that was hyper and when we moved he would attack my son and I whenever he was around us. I had to keep him in a spare bedroom and pass the food and water to him through the door with a baseball glove on. We had him for about 5 years or so and did not want to put him down but we couldn’t live being afraid of being attacked by our cat. I took him to a Vet who used to teach at the only Veterinary School in this province in Canada. He told me his Siamese was very aggressive and he gave him an injection of Depo Provera (Don’t know if I spelled that right) and we tried it. It changed his life as he lived another 12 years and was the most affectionate cat after that.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment and sharing on that JScott. I am glad something worked out for him. Let me know if you have any questions about the cat you will be looking after.

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  29. I took my 10 year old cat to the vet for sneezing and a runny nose and while there they were trying to draw blood and he had a panic attack, made a crazy low sound I’ve never heard before, and his back legs collapsed. They gave him oxygen and it took about two hours for him to fully calm down before I could take him home. They never got a blood sample and now my cat hasn’t eaten ever since (before that incident he wasn’t eating dry food but did eat canned food when offered. Now he won’t eat or drink anything. It’s been about 40 hours since that incident). I’m so worried he’s not eating or drinking, his heart rate seems fast and his breathing is labored. I’ve tried tuna, canned food, baby food, and treats. Help!

    Reply
  30. My cat is 12 years old. A few months ago my dog scared her and she appeared to have a seizure. It wasn’t exactly as you describe though- she was unresponsive, licking her mouth, and her back legs collapsed and she was unable to walk for maybe a half hour or a little more.
    She had another scare last night, and the same thing happened but she has slept all night now and her legs are still not back to normal. She also has something grey or black on her mouth, I’m not sure if that’s related. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Jessica. This sounds like it make be serious and more than stress so I think it is in her best interest that you take her to see a doctor. She may have nerve damage or a severe vitamin deficiency.

      Reply
  31. My kitten is only three months of age. We found him just recently in the middle of the road. He had several fleas over his back and had an ear/eye infection. His eyes and ears have healed a lot, and he has gotten more playful than when we first got him. However, we recently noticed that not only is he extremely aggressive and doesn’t enjoy being touched at all (unless we bring him food), but, he’s having full-blown out seizures. Now, I don’t want to say it’s epilepsy, but I also don’t want to rule everything else out. His seizures consist of his body completely spazzing and contortioning, starting with him running around the room until he ultimately hits his head somehow (in most cases he does, not all) and they just start. He loses control of his bowels and almost always wets himself. He’s disoriented after and will meow like a lost kitten. It break my heart. What should I do? I’ve gone to the vet and they are just as confused as I am. I don’t think anyone wants to think about epilepsy, but, it seems like the only option left.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Mrs. Distresses. Seizures typically don’t involve running. In cats, they normally become disoriented, fall over, stiffen up, and wet themselves. What you are explaining sounds very severe. It seems like something is triggering the disoriented running/freaking out which then lead to the episode. Has he had any vaccines or medication recently before this started? I would speak to your vet about the possibility of having an adverse reaction to them if so. This certainly is not normal. I wish I could be of more help to you. If you vet has no answers, take him to someone else.

      Reply
    • I found a kitten in similar situation several years ago, and the behavior was from her being eaten up with fleas and worms inside which eventually attacked her brain and we had to euthanize her. Please take your new fur baby to a new vet asap, and good luck!!

      Reply
  32. Hello up till Sat afternoon my 2yr old girl cat loved being out now she go a few feet then run back in and her back and head twitch for a few minutes we claim her down by talking and stroking her she seems normal in any other way apart from trying to go out something has scared her but I don’t no what so please
    can u tell me what Else I can do many thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Barry Brown. I am guessing something that happened outside scared her enough that it is causing her to have panic attacks. What you explained does not sound like a seizure. Unfortunately, for many cats who face panic attacks, it is very hard to cope with what caused the scare. She may not enjoy going outside for a long time. Also, because she is likely having panic attacks, I think it is best she remains an indoor cat for safety reasons. You can try using lavender scents in your home to help ease her stresses if you feel she is still acting like she is filled with anxiety.

      Reply
  33. Hello!! Found a kitten this afternoon.. About 6 to 8 weeks old. Everything was going well… All of a sudden a big piece of wood fell over and scared the kitten into a seizure. Now the baby is really sleepy and has been sleeping since it happened I have woken it up about 45 mins ago to feed her and she ate but went × back to sleep… Is this normal behaviour after a seizure for a kitten so young? What do I do ? She is moving around and eating when I feed her but she is super sleepy.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Tamra. That sounds like what she had was a panic attack. Both can be confused if you had never seen them before. She should be fine but will likely be afraid of the wood and possibly the area where it fell for a while.

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  34. hello. i recently found an abandoned kitten about 2 weeks old. i took him to the vet, bought kitty milk and started feeding him. At first he was very weak and wouldn’t drink much but then he got better. Then i noticed he was shaking his head a lot. i googled it and they said that it was probably ear mites. i brought him to the vet again and the latter gave me an ear drop called Aurizon to give him everyday. But right when i started giving it to him he started having seizures. Everytime he’s about to fall asleep he would just lay there and start convulsing. i got so scared I thought it was because of the ear drop so i called the vet and he said that wasn’t the case and there can be various causes. I looked up information about the medication and it said that it was only for dogs and it could also cause seizures in some cases. i stopped giving it to him immediately. i am so desperate right now i don’t know what to do. Maybe he was too small i shouldn’t have given him any medication. i can’t stop blaming myself. Can he get better over time? Is it possible to get over seizures naturally? am scared to get him any more medication because he is so small.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Sora. The vert gave you ear drops for dogs? That is not your fault at all, that is their fault. I would make sure they know that. Seizures from medication usually clear up on their own if there are no damages. A 2 week old kitten should never be given any kind of medication unless it is a life or death matter. For the ear mites, just gently clean out the ears with peroxide and cotton balls then spread a thin layer of Vaseline to the insides of the ears. Do this every day and it should get rid of the problem in a week or less. The peroxide will help kill them off and disinfect the area and the Vaseline will take away the food sources for the mites and keep them from laying more eggs. If you are still worried about the seizures, I would take the kitten to a more professional vet. There is no reason a doctor should just fluff that kind of thing off. The kitten is still considered a baby.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much. Today it got better. i didn’t see him having any seizure. Only some muscle twitching but not as bad as before. I really hope it clears up. I will do as you say for the ear mites. Really thanks a lot i didn’t know who to ask for help. I kept searching everywhere but couldn’t find much about seizures due to medication.

      • I am glad I could help! I am sure he will make a full recovery since you stopped the medication in time 🙂

  35. Thanks for your comment Michelle. It sounds like it could be down to stress seizures or even panic attacks. These two things aren’t addressed as much as they should be in the medical world which is a shame. Knowing her tests came back clear, I think you should focus on making her life as stress free as you can. With panic attacks, a lot of times cats will hide. This makes it hard to see if your cat is having them at all. The after-shock of both panic attacks and seizures is very similar as well. Start by addressing the home life. If there is anything new in her life that can be causing stress. It can be a move, a new piece of furniture, a new pet, even a new person. Use things scented with lavender oil around the home to help calm her nerves. Avoid catnip and catnip laced toys until you find out what is causing the stress. I wish I could be of more help. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Reply
  36. I can’t tell if my cat is actually having seizures or not. If so I’ve missed every episode and see the after affects. She doesn’t eat, she breaths heavy, can’t walk or move too much but also can’t seem to get comfortable. Is this what the after effects look like? We’ve had tests for other feline illnesses and diseases but they’ve all come back negative. I just don’t know how to help her.

    Reply
  37. My cat was put on cat prozac for extreme anxiety. A week later he had a seizure, days later mini seizures. Apparently its a contraindication of medication. Stopped it immediately. Now he wont eat.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Fi Woolfe. You have to be very careful with that medication. You shouldn’t just stop it like that, just like in humans. He likely isn’t eating because of the seizures he had. They are very stressful. I would make sure the vet is aware of what happened and that you stopped. That kind of medication never sat right with me for cat or even human use. There are too many risks. Get some lavender essential oil and a diffuser. Use it and make sure it is out of reach from your cat. The lavender will calm down his anxiety and hopefully encourage him to eat. The oil itself is concentrated and toxic to cats if eaten or placed directly on the skin so be sure it is out of complete reach. You can also use cleaning products with lavender scents like dish soap, floor cleaner, laundry detergent, ect. this will keep the scent in the air of your home. You will also find yourself more relaxed. Just be sure he is drinking and your home is very peaceful. He should start eating again soon.

      Reply
      • Thank you for that Purrfect Love. He’d been on it a week, a quarter tablet. Took him to vet after big seizure who advised to stop. Yes, im looking into planting up his cat run – he has a fenced and protected big garden area – with chamomile, lavender, etc. Feel guilty for trying to “fix” him with meds. I should have thought about it more carefully and researched.

      • Don’t feel guilty, it is the way of the world these days. There seems to be a pill for everything these days. I am sure your kitty will be fine. I have one with separation anxiety and it helps him to have a quiet place and lots of love, and naps.

  38. Thanks so much for this info. I have a 3 year old indoor cat. Great health, loving, and well adjusted. Something spooked him last night after we’d all just gone to bed. I heard him bellow and make an odd hissing noise, something I’ve never heard him do in that tone. I ran out in the kitchen and the only way I can describe it, was he seemed stuck in a dining room chair. He was staring at something in the dining room that I couldn’t see. I figured maybe it was a mouse. But he usually lives for a mouse to get in his sights!! Lol
    I went to touch him and he wasn’t bristley, puffed up like a normal scared. He seemed stuck like his back claws were dug in and he was rigid, with his back legs a bit limp. Still staring.

    After about a long 5 min. I got him to come to bed with me, he seemed calmer, so I was petting him, reassuring, and he suddenly jolted, and bellowed, and then went limp like he was slowly crawling at me making a low bellow sound. CREEPED me out.
    After losing half a night’s sleep, I wake up and he seems to be normal. My husband said he slept in the chair beside him. In fact he’s playing alot with a toy mouse.

    Is this a fear seizure of some sort? He wasn’t completely passed out, just partially paralyzed. I initially thought. Oh,,, somethings hurt him or he’s in pain, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m debating making a vet appt

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Bting. It sounds like it could be but without actually knowing your cat or seeing what had happened I can’t be 100%. You mentioned he healthy an playful otherwise. I know they can be very scary to see happen to your cat. I have experienced seeing enough of them. They are hard to watch. The bellow crying usually happens when the seizure is coming on. It is a fear cry. The only time my cat every made that sound was when he was going to have one. He also had pancreatitis when he was about 1 and a half (it was bad) and that is what brought on his seizures. A cat who has had one from an illness is more likely to suffer from stress seizures. This is not to say it can’t happen to any cat though. I have had a German Shepherd who had these a few times from being very upset. It is like an elevated panic attack. If you are certain there is no health issues or he didn’t digest anything toxic, I think he will be fine. It can’t hurt taking him for a check up to be 100% certain. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

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  39. I had a kitten we found him half dead eyes swollen shut from upper respiratory and he was severely under weight we were never even able to get him healthy enough for the vet to be comfortable enough to give him his shots. Blue lived to be about 6 months old and I’m not entirely sure how he died we left the house for 4 hours and he was dead when we got home. He seemed to be doing so much better in the last month or so it was so unexpected. But he had these fits sometimes when anything would startle him it was kinda like multiple sneezes then he would move his body side to side and his head back and kinda hunker down after this he’d be sluggish and then thirsty and hungry. He had a fit like this the day before he died and it seemed to take longer to get over this one he even went to be alone for a few hours and then came to lay with my old boxer dog (which he did anytime he need extra comfort) but he was better that afternoon and ate supper and slept with me he seemed to be at 100% after breakfast but was dead only hours later.( My poor old dog was barking trying to wake him up and he was horse and almost collapsed when i picked Blue up.) I miss him terribly and i’m so mad the vet could not figure out what we needed to do for him. Idk sorry this was so long. But if you have any idea what this could have been I’d like to know.

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    • Thanks for your comment Nancy. It sounds like your kitten had epilepsy brought on by another illness/injury. Seizures rarely kill an animal or human on their own but the most common reason they do is from biting down on the tongue and bleeding out. This likely did not happen, you would have noticed. When my cat was about 1 and a half, he had seizures but it was due to feline pancreatitis. I did have a female German Shepherd when I was a child who had horrific epilepsy to the point where she had to be put down. This was caused by her mother being struck by a car while she was pregnant. None of the puppies made it past 3 years old. I am shocked that the vet did not do a more thorough check up of this kitten. It was clearly sick or suffering from some kind of brain injury. These were not stress induced, I know that. I am very sorry for your loss and wish I could be of more help.

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  40. My cat of 10 years, out of the blue, just attacked me last night and then came back two more times to attack again. Before that she went around in circles and then attacked.

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  41. I have a 10 year old cat named Marlee and the other night my husband picked her up as he usually does and I was patting her and then was getting her favorite soft food ready. He put her down and she started to go around in a circle while staring at my feet and all of a sudden she attacked me and ripped open my leg and came back at me two more times. She then ran off and hid. We have kept her in the back room for two days because I am really afraid of her now. What can you suggest. I have been crying for two days because she has been our baby for 10 years and has the run of the house and is spoiled with love. Thank you

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    • Thanks for your comment Lynda. It is hard to say what would cause this. If she has never shown signs of aggression like this before, something likely triggered it. Have you had new animals around you or your house? New people? Maybe new furniture? Other triggers can be you going on vacation/being away from home too much, new perfume/body spray, or a cat outside marking your home. It is possible she smelled another cat’s spray or pheromones on you. This is not a stress seizure but does sound like a bipolar outburst which is strange if it suddenly came on. You have to figure out what triggered this. Since she only went after you, it would seem it is something you did or changed.

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  42. Hi,
    My 5yr old cat has recently begun having collapsing episodes. The first was 3 months ago when we had guests in the house. They had been here over a week and she seemed pretty comfortable with them, and the house was very quiet at time. She made her usual sound as she was about to vomit, but after vomitting she collapsed (to her left). This lasted about 5-10 seconds then she sat up and defacated on the floor. She was still dazed and sat down in her poo. I took her to the vet where she had a check up and a full set of bloods. Everything cameback normal.
    She was fine for nearly 3 months, then we had guests twice in 10 days, and she had another episode. Again, the guests had been here a few days and she seemed comfortable with them, and it occurred late at night when everyone was in bed. She again vomitted, collapsed (to her left), and pooed. I took her to an emergency clinic but all they did was give her fluids/electrolyte for dehydration. We went to the vet again the next day and two irritating assistants kept entering the very small room. I was holding her on the bench while the vet checked her and she rolled on her left side and feebly began pawing the air with a dazed look on her face. She then rolled on her back.
    The vet arranged for me to take her to a specialist the next day. The same happened there when an assistant attempted to shave her to. The vet was out of the room and the assistant just stood by with a vacant look on his face, even though i was telling him to get the vet!
    They took her for a heart test in a dark, quiet room, and fou d no problems. The next day we were back and she went for an MRI. We got her back the next day with a pronounced limp, a scratch under her eye, no apetite, a rasping voice (from the tubes down her throat), and constipation. I tried to feed her wet food witha little olive oil but when i tried to coax her to eat she got agitated so i let her go. She moved away about 3 metres and her back legs collapsed (to the left again) and she lay down.
    This was two days ago. She has been ok since but has a wet sounding cough. She coughs only once every few hours like she is trying to clear her throat. She has been eating and has managed a small poo.
    The MRI came back clear.
    Due to the stress of taking her to the vet, the vet has decided its unnecessary to check for meningitis, and has suggested we start a course of anti-epilepsy drug (pheno-barbital). I am nervous of!
    Do you have any suggestions please?

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    • Thanks for your comment Will. Have any of these doctors checked for pancreatitis? I ask because that is what caused my cat to start having seizures. If they are truly stress induced, and the doctor has ruled out the chance of it being pancreatitis, I would try using natural calming agents first. Lavender is a good oil to use. You don’t give it to your cat or even put it on her, you simply use it in an oil diffuser away from where she can reach it. You can also try feliway spray which is typically used for spraying issues but can help with all kinds/types of stress related issues with cats. You can read about it more on their site HERE. I would add unflavored pedialyte to her water for a few days. Do it in a 50/50 ratio and change it twice a day. Do this for only 5 days max. This will ensure she doesn’t become hydrated. Stress, specially high levels of it, can cause a cat to lose their appetite but so long as she is drinking, don’t worry too much. If you know of a food she really enjoys, try giving her that, even if it is considered a treat. I hope she feels better soon! And try not to worry too much. Our stress can be sensed by cats and this in-turn cause more stress on her..

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      • Thank you very much!
        I have just been on the phone with the vet. She had considered Pancreatitis but ruled it out due to a number of clinical factors and her bloods.
        My wife and I have been talking this morning and decided that we will try and provide her with a calm environment for a couple of weeks using herbs/oils etc. before thinking about any kind of drugs. The vet was very supportive of this also, and I think her initial suggestion of drugs was more a product of us being in a country where it is expected of doctors to ‘fix’ problems immediately.
        Thank you for your suggestions of products to use too.

  43. Thank you for this information. I have a 12 year old calico who lives in my bookstore – loves people, very social, very sweet, very healthy. She rarely has to go to the vet. But the past couple of days I noticed she didn’t seem to be feeling well. So I took her in this morning. They were going to do a urinalysis and bloodwork. When the vet tried to draw blood from her neck, she missed the vein. The new assistant helping her was very timid and afraid of being bitten, and I think Maddie sensed her nervousness. I should have stepped in and help her myself, but I didn’t – bad on me. Anyway, Maddie then urinated all over the table and herself. The assistant took her to the back to wash the urine off her and get the other tech to draw her blood. She seemed fine when they took her back. Just minutes later they brought her back in wrapped in a towel, her head was laying to the side and she was drooling, panting, and growling deep in her throat. The assistant laid her on the table and Maddie just laid there growling and panting. I went nuts, and the vet said “Oh my God – what happened??!!!” The assistant just shrugged and said she didn’t know. So the vet called the other girl up, and she said that she hit the vein and got the blood with no problem, but when they put Maddie in the sink she went baliistic and then had what I guess was a stress seizure. The vet thought she was having a stroke, I thought she was dying. So I was crying and holding her and talking to her. She pooped on the table. The vet listened to her heart and thought she heard a murmur. So they turned the lights down in the room and turned the A/C up to cool the room and told me to just sit with her and talk quietly and pet her for a few minutes. After a few minutes, Maddie sat up and soon stopped panting, and finally calmed down. The vet came back in and turned the lights up, and Maddies eyes looked better and she was calmer, so the vet did an ultrasound on her heart and listened to it again. She said the murmur was gone, and her heart looked fine. Her blood work was good, and other than a bit of a kidney infection all seemed to be okay. So they sent us home. By the time I got her back to the store, she was acting fine – she had a little bit of food, then went off to lay down in her spot. I have checked on her several times, and she seems to be fine. Is there anything I should know or watch for? The vet said it was a stress seizure, so I came home to look it up and found your page. Your article has put my mind more at ease though of course I am still worried about her. I had never heard of this and am very concerned. She has never had a bath or been put in a sink, and with a nervous assistant it may have just been too much. But I will NEVER NEVER NEVER let anyone take my cat from me to go to the lab again – I will go or I will find another vet!!! Does this sound like your experience with Stress Seizures? Thanks for your help

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    • Thank you for your comment Gayle. I am sorry she had to go through that. In my experience, Twiggy had his seizures brought on by a severe infection but once a cat has them, they can happen again during high stressful times. The kidney infection could have brought it on so make sure she gets a lot of rest and fluids for the next few weeks. Another thing that can bring on a stress seizure is a panic attack which is what it sounds like happened here. The best advice I can give you is to keep your bookstore as calm as possible. Don’t allow anything in her life that may cause her a lot of stress. You may also want to find another clinic just in case it was a panic attack that brought it on. She will associate that clinic with the fear/danger and will likely have another one just like humans do. If a cat is not used to being in water or in a tub with water, they will panic.

      Prior to one happening, you will notices a glazed look to the eyes and an unresponsiveness to you/your voice or their surroundings. Every cat is different after this point. I know Twiggy is about to have one because he will let out a bellowing meow and fall to his side. He then will stiffen up his legs and just shake. He hasn’t wet himself during the last two he has had but he seldom has them anymore now that I know what they are. I agree with you 100% about never letting your cat leave your sight. Vets and their assistants mean well but they do not know your cat like you do. I worked as a veterinarian assistant and have seen how stressful a trip to the vet can be. Again, I am sorry she went through this and you as well. I know how terrifying it can be. I am glad my article helped calm you down a bit. Please do not worry, stress seizures rarely do harm to cats and the only reason they can be deadly is if they are in direct danger of harms way (having one in/near a street, up high, ect).

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  44. Hello, I have three ginger toms, one is twelve years old and the other two are two years and brothers. One of the brothers is a very socially anxious boy, he doesn’t like visitors, loud noises, or being petted too much. He has had stress induced seizures when he has had to go to the vets; these usually happen just as we are leaving the house. I have tried putting a blanket over the cat carrier, but it doesn’t prevent the seizure from happening. Recently, he has started having them in his sleep. He panics, wakes up and runs out of the house, and i have to look for him because he is usually disoriented and can’t find his way back home. He has a seizure once every 3 or so months but now that it’s started happening whilst he is asleep, it’s happening more frequently. Last night he had one and I found him under a parked car across the road, soaking wet. I’m worried that he may get hit by a car or injure himself some other way, plus his brother, who has always been very loving towards him, started uncontrollably hissing and growling at him last night when I brought him home. He is always exhausted after a seizure and the vet hasn’t been able to come up with a plan, plus vet trips trigger seizures so I just need to know what to do to help him without drugging him up please.

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    • Thanks for your comment Jordan. Stress induced seizures can be tricky because you have to mind all the triggers. If he is having them in his sleep, he may be having nocturnal panic attacks which then become seizures. While he is having a seizure he will be unable to run or walk properly so when he does run out of the house, it is likely do to having a panic attack. Firstly, never under any circumstances let him outside. He is at higher risk of getting hit by a car or hurt by something else. The other cat is likely smelling other animals on him and that is why he is not happy. What you can try is a mix of natural oils and pheromones. I have personally used Feliway which is a natural pheromone spray that relaxes cats (most commonly used for spraying issues). You can read more about that HERE on their site. As for the natural oils, lavender works very well. You do not want to use it directly on your cat but rather use it in an oil burner away from the cats. It will scent your home thus making it more relaxing. Since the vet has no answers for you, it is best to avoid taking him there. A lot of cats have high levels of stress from going in cars, cages, or simply somewhere they do not enjoy. Other things to do to help calm him is avoid catnip for the time being. Do not over feed or under feed him. When using anything loud in the home, allow him to be in a closed off space he will feel safe in. Bedrooms are best for this as he will be able to hide under the bed. Do not pet him or pick him up unless he approaches you for it. Sometimes it helps to have hiding options around the house to reduce stress. The easiest and cheapest way of doing this is using cardboard boxes. You can have one in each room. As mentioned above, it appears he is having panic attacks along side the seizures and it is very common to be completely exhausted after either one of these. Be sure he has quiet space to sleep. I hope he feels better soon and the tips I have given you help. These aren’t permanent but will be reoccurring so long as high levels of stress keep happening.

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