Diabetic Cat Seizures

Written by daniel moverley
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Diabetic Cat Seizures
A cat in the middle of a seizure will often lose their balance and fall to the floor. (Cat image by Riina Aume from Fotolia.com)

Cats that are not properly diagnosed and treated for diabetes are much more likely to have seizures, but even felines that are monitored closely can fall victim to these frightening events. Diabetes in cats is not very common. Most cases that are diagnosed are type 2 diabetes. This is a treatable disease that does not mean the lifespan or quality of life for the cat is compromised.

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Cats with Diabetes

Approximately one out of every 400 cats will develop diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that drastically alters the metabolic balance of the cat's body, and can result in the cat having a seizure. Cats with diabetes are hard to diagnose early as their symptoms often go unnoticed. It is only when a cat has a seizure or a severe hypoglycaemic reaction that the problem becomes apparent to owners. Early signs of diabetes may be as subtle as an increase of their water intake.

What Causes Diabetic Seizures In Cats

When a diabetic cat releases too much insulin into the blood stream, the blood sugar level of the cat drops. If this level drops far enough, it can cause hypoglycaemia, which may be a prelude to a seizure. Sometimes these seizures are mistaken as epileptic seizures, so it is important to get a correct diagnosis before trying to treat a cat that has seizures.

Symptoms Of A Seizure

Many cats that are about to have a seizure are aware that something is about to happen. They often will hide or seek refuge in the lap of their owner. When the seizure hits, all the muscles of the cat can contract and expand rapidly causing the cats body to twitch or flail about, depending on the severity of the seizure. Most of the time, all sense of balance will disappear briefly and the cat will fall to the floor and may even roll its head around. Cats in a seizure frequently drool, urinate and defecate as they lose control if their bodily functions.

What To Do During A Seizure

Although watching a cat have a seizure can be very disturbing for owners, it is important to remember that the cat is in no pain. Never try to hold a cat still while it is having an episode, and contrary to popular belief, the cat will not swallow its tongue. Do not put your fingers in the mouth of the cat in mid seizure because you could get bitten.

After A Seizure

Most seizures will last anywhere from a few seconds to five minutes. If the episode lasts longer than five minutes, take the cat to a veterinarian immediately. The longer the seizure continues, the more chance of brain damage and death. Once the seizure stops, it is important to try to raise the blood sugar levels of the cat. Try to offer food or treats to the feline, but if the cat is too confused to eat, rubbing honey on their gums will often be enough to bring them out of shock. Always contact your veterinarian to have the cat checked out after a seizure.

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