A stroke is a condition that is caused by blood flow abnormalities in the brain. In cats, there are two types of stroke, the ischemic and the hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke develops if a cat's brain is not receiving enough blood. A hemorrhagic stroke is the result of a ruptured vein in the brain. Feline strokes have various causes, including brain injuries and poisoning. A stroke may also be a symptom of another medical condition such as diabetes. Several signs indicate if a cat is experiencing a stroke.
The cat may stumble or constantly fall while walking. It will often show signs of ataxia, the inability to coordinate its muscles. Instead of walking in a straight line, it may walk in circles or sideways.
The most indicative symptom of a feline stroke is a tilted head. The cat may consistently hold its head to one side and appear unable to move it. This symptom can last for several weeks after a stroke has occurred.
Because a stoke can cause nausea, the cat may refuse to eat food or drink water. A lack of nutrients and hydration is especially dangerous to a cat's health. You should contact a vet immediately if appetite does not increase.
A stroke can cause a cat to have impaired or blurry vision. Vision problems are detectable by a cat's movement. If it constantly bumps into things or seems disoriented while moving about, its vision may be disrupted. In some stroke cases, a cat's pupils are affected, causing one pupil to appear larger than the other.
A cat may display behavioural changes, especially if the stroke is affecting the front part of the brain. It may seem withdrawn and avoid normal interactions. It will often sleep more than usual and appear lethargic.
The cat may have partial seizures. It may exhibit difficultly in completing facial movements, such as closing its eyes or moving its lips. Weight loss is another noticeable symptom, caused by loss of appetite due to the nausea and vomiting that may accompany a stroke.