Seizure disorders in cat symptoms: foaming

Written by elaine anderson
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Seizure disorders in cat symptoms: foaming
If your cat is foaming, get him to a vet immediately. (cat image by tnk333 from

Cat seizures can have a wide variety of causes, from epilepsy to a parasitic infection to a head injury, and one of the most common and prominent symptoms is foaming. It is important to note that a seizure is not in and of itself an illness, but a symptom of an illness or problem.

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Failed Identification of Foaming

As difficult as it can be to determine the cause of your cat's seizures, it can also be difficult to identify the symptoms correctly. Of all the symptoms of cat seizure disorders, foaming at the mouth is perhaps one of the most common, and it too can have multiple causes and be mistaken for a sign of another ailment, such as dental disease. For instance, it is not uncommon for pet owners to mistakenly view both the seizure and the foaming at the mouth that accompanies it as a sign of rabies. While foaming at the mouth is indeed a symptom of rabies, making any assumption without obtaining veterinary confirmation can be dangerous.

Possible Causes of Foaming During Seizure

It is often difficult to determine whether the foaming at the mouth due to seizure is due to the seizure itself or to the underlying condition causing the seizure. For example, while a seizure can lead to a loss of control in which the cat foams at the mouth, urinates and defecates, an underlying condition triggering the seizure, such as exposure to chemicals, hypoglycaemia liver or kidney disease, can also cause foaming.

Periods When Foaming May Occur

Foaming most often occurs during the preseizure (aura) phase and the ictus (the seizure itself). Once the cat reaches the postictal phase after the seizure, the foaming tends to come under control. Therefore, foaming can sometimes be an early indicator of an impending seizure if your cat isn't exhibiting many other blatant symptoms, though you should always look out for signs of agitation, restlessness or confusion.

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