Symptoms of a Cat Concussion

Updated February 21, 2017

Identifying the symptoms of a potential cat concussion is both difficult and crucial to the cat's health. Luckily, animals naturally have stronger and thicker skulls than humans, and concussions in cats are rare. The best way to prevent a cat concussion is to keep the cat in a safe and caring environment. However, there are a handful of symptoms to watch out for if you think your cat might have a concussion.


Lethargy is often the first sign of a potential cat concussion. In this state, the cat might behave abnormally and experience drowsiness, loss of appetite and delayed responses to touch, sound, or vision. Typically, this behaviour is acted out when the cat is not feeling well. If lethargy in the cat's behaviour continuous for more than 24 hours, call the vet, as the cat may be experiencing head trauma.


Anisocoria is the most common sign seen with concussions and head trauma in cats. Anisocoria is when one of the pupils appears more dilated than the other. Other symptoms of anisocoria are blindness, loss of coordination and an increased respiratory rate or abnormal breathing.


Seizures are another symptom of cat concussions. The first phase of a cat seizure is apparent altered behaviour in the cat, such as restlessness, shaking, salivating or hiding. This behaviour might last a few hours or a few seconds. The second phase is referred to as the "Ictal phase," and can last a few minutes. The actual seizure takes place in this phase, when all the muscles of the cat's body begin to contract. Typically, the cat will fall on its side and appear paralysed while contracting strongly. Often, the cat might urinate, defecate or salivate as it convulses. Seizures lasting five minutes or more are considered epileptic seizures. Seek medical attention for your cat if it has a seizure.

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About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.