Cat Having Seizures?

Updated on April 05, 2011
A.M. asks from Dunlap, IL
11 answers

Has anyone ever had a cat with seizures? We have a cat who is 12-14 years old and we think she is starting to have seizures. She stands up, crys, drools/foams at the mouth, and has just recently started urinating during this. I have yet to contact the vet because after doing a little research it sounds like it is going to cost a lot to figure it out. We also have another cat that has always had stomach issues so between cleaning urine and stomach contents up all the time my husband is done. He told me today that he wants to get rid of them. I am heart broken but almost feel a little relieved because I was not sure how we would pay for care. What do we do? Has anyone cat a cat with seizures and is it expensive to investigate? Any advice would be so helpful.

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answers from Biloxi on

My 10 year old cat was just diagnosed with Liver failure this weekend...I have him on medication that may or may not work (will know by week end). But, I will do what I have to do keep him healthy and happy until such time that those efforts are prolonging his suffering instead of maintaining quality of life for him. He is my pet and trusts me to take care of him. He is my pet and I made a commitment to take care of him when I adopted him.

I am a little disturbed that you would feel "little relieved" to "get rid" of your pets because of their medical needs. And what does get rid of them mean? Will you take them to the vet and have them humanly euthanized while you hold them? Or will you dump these pets at the local animal shelter and let them die alone, scared and bewildered that their family of over a decade abandoned them?

Stomach issues in your cat could be as easy as changing cat food. Have you talked to a vet about this? Seizures in a cat can be caused by all manner of things so a vet visit would be in order to find out what is causing it and if it is treatable. Really, take them to the doctor.

I could never imagine getting rid of any of my pets just because they were old and/or sick. And think, what lesson are you teaching your children if you get rid of your pets when they sick....that animals are disposable and we have no responsibility for them?

Pet ownership, like parenting, means you take care of them no matter what. Pets, like children, are not disposable.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I guess I don't understand your relief at having to get rid of your cats. Do you mean to euthanize them or dump them at a shelter? Because taking them to a shelter when they are sick and elderly is so terribly unfair and completely inhumane. Shelters aren't in the business of taking care of sick and dying animals. Their job is to find homes for the thousands upon thousands of animals needing a home. Your cats don't need a new home. They need you to take care of them. If they are elderly and sick (and possibly dying considering the symptoms) then the humane thing to do would be to euthanize them. If it's treatable and you can afford it, then that would be your best option. You need to talk to your regular vet to find out what your options are before you make any decisions. It could be something easily fixable. And it could be something much worse. The only way to find out is to call your vet. Most vets will work with you if you have money problems.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You need to talk to your regular vet first and find out what your options are. You can be as aggressive or as conservative as you choose. I happen to be an emergency veterinarian who works at a neurology referral practice so we see quite a bit of this (we have board-certified veterinary neurologists on staff who only see cases on referral from general practice vets). Unfortunately, if it really is seizures the cat is having and she is already that up there in age, it often ends up being a brain tumor. Other causes can be metabolic issues (low blood sugar, liver disease, kidney disease, etc.), or an infection affecting the brain tissue. Your regular veterinarian might be able to do some bloodwork, but things like brain tumors can only be confirmed by doing an MRI scan of the brain (which we have available where I work). We do have people who pay for the consult, anesthesia, and MRI scan +/- CSF tap for the tune of $3500. We've had a few owners pay upwards of $10,000 for surgery to have their cat's brain tumor removed. Otherwise, on the more conservative side of things, you can try medication which may help for a little while, but again, if a brain tumor is suspected, and expensive diagnostics and surgery is not feasible (and for most people it isn't, including me! So don't feel guilty!) the goal might be whatever you can do to keep kitty comfortable. And if that is not possible, it would be kindest to have her put to sleep rather than just letting her suffer.

I'm sorry for what you are going through and I hope you can feel comfortable making whatever decisions you need to make - but first step is to make an appointment with your vet. If she has 2 or more seizures in a 24 hour period, take her to the closest 24/7 emergency hospital available so she can be examined and stabilized if necessary.

EDITED TO ADD: I second the video-taping idea!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

DVMMOM obviously knows a little about this subject. Might I also suggest, that if you have a video camera (or a digital camera that shoots video) that you video the seizure event and have that where you can show it to your vet when you take kitty in.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

To get rid of your cats now would be an absolute death sentence. Your husband is disgusting - animals are not disposable.

Many Vets are understanding of money issues and will take payment plans, care credit (which I use) and some will even trade professional services.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Get off the computer and call you local 24 hr. emergency animal hospital. Give the cat a break...can you imagine how it feels to be that old and that sick and my beloved owner just wants to throw us away. It's part of being a responsible pet owner. End of life care is alittle pricey, but they offer an interest free credit card at the vet to help out in situations like this." Rid" means "death" in this situation. Give them at least a fighting chance. "Good-going" to that "wonderful" husband of yours. Look out for when you get old. Not impressed with this post....AT ALL!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm one of many, many people who don't see expensive treatment for a very old animal as a reasonable option. Animals live, hopefully, happy lives with lovely connections to their people. They don't worry about dying the way we do, they just live until they die.

When living becomes too uncomfortable or quality of life severely diminishes, I personally believe it is a kindness to end the animal's life. We can't explain to them why we would choose invasive tests or surgery, or make them take drugs that alter their capacities or cause side effects. And expensive end-of-life care simply isn't within range of many family's finances.

I've had to have many beloved pets put down. I've known many friends who have had to do this. It's never easy, and we complicate our grief unneccessarily by thinking in terms of 'throwing them away' or being disloyal to them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi A., I am not sure if that would be considered a seizure, but it definitely sounds like something is wrong. How long has she been doing this? If you can't afford to investigate, and with her being an older cat, it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a ton of money if you can't afford it, the most humane thing would be to have her put to sleep. It sounds like she is in a lot of discomfort. We had to have our 9 yr old cat put to sleep last September. She was in the beginning stage of kidney failure. We were given the option to have this treatment/kitty dialysis thing done which would have been at least $1000, but we had no money for that and there was no guarantee it would work. Even just finding out what was wrong with her (blood work, ultrasounds, etc...was $450.00)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

I have a deaf cat that use to have seizures. She hasn't had any in a couple of years. We could never find out what was causing them but we have an idea that it was due to where we were living. They didn't start til we had moved from Arkansas to Utah and they stopped about a year after we moved out of Utah. So we think the change in altitude is what triggered her's.
I do want to suggest a few things for your other cat if you haven't already tried these ideas. We also have a cat with stomach issues. We fixed the stomach issues rather easily but getting cat food that has no dyes in it. It is a pain to have to read through the whole label to make sure there are no dyes in the food but so worth it. I have found about three foods that work great for my sensitive stomach cat. One is actually really cheap considering. Sam's sells it and it is their store brand. There are no dyes in it and all our cats do great on it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I hate to say it, but it could just be that your cat's life is coming to an end. Cats usually have a life cycle of anywhere from 10-15 years. We had one that made it to 16 years, because my mom just couldn't stand to put her down. By the time she died on her own, her quality of life just sucked. She couldn't even walk on her own. In the wild, when a cat reaches the end of their time they are killed by nature. It would be very rare to see such an old cat naturally. Living with humans has prolonged their lives so long that their bodies start shutting down, and the cat lives in pain. Personally, I find it a kindness to have a pet put to sleep when they get to this point. I know that when I get to the point that I can't even move without being in pain, I would much rather pass peacefully than to have my life extended past my natural lifespan. You could ask your vet what his reccomendation is. Who knows, it COULD very possibly be something small and easily fixed... potentially adding another 3-4 years to your cat's life.

My mom's dog had seziures, and it cost quite a bit to figure out what caused them. It turned out they were stress-induced (her previous owners abused her, so loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, etc. would bring them on.) Her medication was pretty pricey too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

Seizures in cats are really rare, but our youngest cat has had several. It has not been that expensive, we have medication we keep on hand now.
We have seizure medication for in case Sylvie has more than one seizure in a row and we are basically at a once a month seizure rate right now so have not had to use the seizure medication( it is phenobarbital 1/4 gram tablet) , we have used Meclizine 12.5 mg for dizziness...we can give this to her as frequently as once daily, but so far we wait until she is no longer having a seizure then give it to her with a little water and then she is fine.
It is frightening. but she has pulled through after each seizure. I will say that Sylvie walks with a permenant head tilt now, but seems otherwise no worse for wear.

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