What to do When a Cat is Having a Seizure

If you are a cat owner, you know how important it is to stay informed about potential health and wellness risks for your pet. But did you know there is a specific way you need to respond if your cat has a seizure?

Feline seizures are not very common, and they are much less common than seizures in dogs. However, it is still possible for a cat to have a seizure, and it’s a good idea to know what to do if this happens to your pet. Read on to find out more.

cat seizure

What You Should Do During a Cat Seizure

As a cat owner, it’s important to have a plan of what to do if your cat is having a seizure. This can make it less stressful on you and your cat. 

The actions you should take in this situation are listed below:

Give Your Cat Space

First, make sure your cat has plenty of space during the seizure itself. Do not crowd her, and make sure other humans and animals in the household do not have access to her during this time. The seizure will typically only last a couple of minutes, so keep everyone at a distance until it has passed.

Your cat may not be completely aware of what is going on around her, but she may also be exhibiting frantic, uncontrollable movements. For this reason, she should be given plenty of room during the event.

Keep Your Cat Safe

The only situation in which you should try to move your cat during a seizure is when she is at risk of further injury. For example, if your cat has a seizure on the edge of the bed or at the top of a staircase, she needs to be moved for her safety. Otherwise, leave her as-is until the seizure passes.

To move your cat during a seizure, wrap her tightly in a thick towel and gently place her in a safer location. Be careful but firm when picking her up and moving her, as she may still be moving uncontrollably at this time.

Avoid Getting Bitten

Although it’s less likely in cats than in dogs, it’s still possible for you to get accidentally bitten when your cat has a seizure. Keep your hands away from her mouth during the seizure as well as some time afterward. Even during the phase following the seizure, she may be aggressive, confused, or defensive.

If your cat does bite you during a seizure, don’t react negatively toward her. She can’t help her movements, and she may be very confused and frightened. Simply treat the bite as you would treat any bite from a cat, and continue providing care for your pet.

Watch and Monitor Time

Keep a close eye on your cat during and following the seizure. You should pay attention to any changes in your cat’s behavior if she has frequent seizures, and if this is her first seizure, look for any other signs of a problem as well. There are many things that can mimic a seizure and if you are able to record a short clip of the event it will be helpful for your vet. 

Time the length of the seizure during the actual event. If it lasts longer than two minutes, and especially if it lasts longer than five minutes, this is an emergency and your cat needs to see an emergency vet. Following a seizure, keep an eye on your pet to ensure she isn’t going to have a cluster of seizure episodes, more than one seizure in 24 hours warrants a trip to the emergency vet. 

Soothe Your Cat

Make sure you soothe your cat during and after this experience. Although you should not bother her much during the seizure, it’s okay to gently stroke her back and talk to her in a quiet tone while she is having a seizure. This may help her stay calmer during and after the episode.

Following the seizure, be sure your pet has access to clean, fresh water and plenty of food. Pets are typically very hungry and thirsty after a seizure. Do not force your cat to eat or drink, but be sure she can do so if she wants to.

Follow Up with the Vet

After your cat has a seizure for the first time, it’s important to call the vet and follow up. You may need to bring your pet in for a regular appointment within the next few days to see what’s going on. If your cat is already diagnosed with a known seizure disorder, you don’t have to follow up every time she has a seizure but make sure to keep track of the seizures in a journal.

Call VEG if Your Cat is Having a Seizure

If your cat has a seizure for the first time, go to the emergency vet as soon as possible following the episode. If your cat has a known seizure disorder but her seizures seem to be worsening, go to the emergency vet as well. And finally, if your cat has any seizure that lasts longer than two minutes, this is another cause for a trip to the emergency vet.

Only your vet can tell you for sure what causes your cat’s seizures as well as how to treat them. However, the next time your cat goes through a seizure, you’ll be prepared to help your pet through it every step of the way when you keep the above tips in mind. Contact your nearest VEG location if you have any questions. You will always speak directly to a qualified veterinarian.

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About VEG

VEG is a network of Emergency Veterinarians located across the country. We are dedicated to helping people and their pets when they need it most. If your pet is ever in an emergency situation, use the link below to find our nearest location so we can get your pet the help they need.