Most classic seizures in cats are because of acute poisoning. Seizures after head injury may take place at the time of the accident, but in most cases show up several weeks later as a consequence of scar tissue on the brain. Metabolic disorders, stroke, and epilepsy are other causes of seizures.
Seizure is an abrupt and uncontrolled explosion of activity that may include one or more than one of the following signs: foaming at the mouth, collapse, champing and chewing, jerking of the legs, and loss of urine and stool. An altered level of consciousness is followed by a measured return to normal
Some seizures are uncharacteristic. Instead of the standard convulsion, the feline displays odd and unsuitable behavior such as hysteria or sudden rage. Cats may scratch or bite their owner or another cat or lick and chew themselves. This is what’s known as a psychomotor seizure.
General poisonings that induce seizures include antifreeze (ethylene glycol), lead, strychnine, rat poisons, insecticides (chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates). Organophosphates routinely produce seizures that are preceded by muscle twitching and drooling. A history of exposure to an insecticide (dip, spray, or premise treatment) suggests this diagnosis.
Liver and kidney failure, accompanied by the accumulation of toxins in the blood, can also cause seizures and coma
Epilepsy is a recurring seizure disorder that starts in the brain. It can be caused by outside influences, such as trauma, which is obtained epilepsy, or from a flaw in neurochemicals in the brain, which is idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy constantly has symmetrical signs. It is far less frequent in cats than it is in dogs.
To establish a diagnosis of epilepsy, the attacks must be similar and recurrent. Toward this purpose your veterinarian will ask you to supply a complete description of your cat’s actions before, during, and after the seizures.
Narcolepsy-cataplexy is an atypical condition in which the cat unexpectedly falls asleep and drops to the ground. The feline may have one or dozens of such attacks in a single day, lasting a few seconds or as long as 20 minutes. The attacks can be reversed by simply petting the cat or making a loud noise. The cat is entirely normal when awake.
There are a quite a few conditions that, while not true seizures, can very easily be mistaken for them. Bee stings, for instance, can cause shock and collapse. Fainting spells linked to advanced heart or lung disease may appear to be seizures.
A cat who has suffered from a seizure should have a total veterinary workup, including a neurological exam, blood chemistries, and, if obtainable, an MRI or CT scan.
Treatment: If your cat is having a standard seizure, cover the cat with a blanket and stand aside until the feline quiets down. Never place your fingers in the cat’s mouth or try to wedge something between his/her teeth. Cats can’t swallow their tongues while having a seizure and this will merely result in you being badly bitten. Be sure to take your cat to the veterinarian so they can establish the cause of the seizure.