How I Learned to Deal with My Sweet, Elderly & Newly Epileptic Cat

My beloved 17 year old cat named KITTY II has been with me since I was in middle school and I’m now approaching 30. That’s actually more than half of my life. As old as she is, she still looks young, a trait that runs in my family ;). Here’s Kitty starring in a poorly Photoshopped (her right eye was too bright) picture:

Kitty is still energetic and vocal — super vocal. I now keep a pair of ear plugs by the bed because she likes waking up at odd hours to yowl like she’s dying. If I yell her name, she suddenly goes from Death Meow to innocent kitten meow; it’s really unnerving. Kitty lives with me now but she didn’t last year when I had a high school friend, Mel, take care of her for a while. Kitty enjoyed the stylings of a large family home in Oceanside, complete with a backyard and koi pond while I worked things out with my apartment.

One day when Mel was taking care of Kitty, I received a call from her saying that she thought Kitty was dying. Apparently, Kitty did this weird thing where she fell on her side, “ran in place, feet in the air” and peed everywhere for about 30 seconds. When she stopped doing that, she woke up dazed, cried out when went eat tuna like nothing happened. My heart sank, I really thought Kitty was gonna go soon and did what I could to visit more even though I lived in San Francisco. I learned at some point that Kitty was having a classic seizures and that elderly cats could live for years with them.

A few months later, I was able to take Kitty back and I immediately took her to the vet to see what could be done. They ran a good $1100 worth of tests and found nothing that could be causing the seizures. That likely meant it was adult-onset epilepsy or a brain tumor. If it was a brain tumor, I wasn’t going to try to artificially extend her life so I figured it didn’t matter what was causing it, as long as it wasn’t something that was preventable.

The first time I saw Kitty have a seizure, it had such a bad impact on me that I called in sick to work; I was a mess. It was about the most awful thing ever. She was sleeping on my pillow and the alarm went off, apparently, loud repetitive noises trigger her seizures, and she started going crazy on the bed. I could see every muscle tense and pee was flying everywhere. I tried to cover my eyes so not see it but I could still feel her shaking the bed. My poor friend, I felt so bad.

Once the seizure was over, I cleaned up and wrote down the date and duration– something my vet had told me to do. I brought her back to the vet and asked for any sort of advice. “The first one you see is always the hardest and your ability to handle the seizures will get better over time.” He was somewhat right and his words really helped me to deal with seeing my little friend suffer. There was only one that was worse than that — the first time she started running while seizing, she ran into a wall twice and was jumping uncontrollably in a corner, slamming up against some really hard server rails. I was panicked and couldn’t find my glasses. I finally gave up and grabbed her so that she’d stop slamming into things.

I know that you aren’t supposed to restrict animals or people having seizures and I made sure not to restrict Kitty as I held her. I just let her do her running and shaking in my hands. My left hand was holing her rib area lightly and my right hand was holding her stomach lightly. Once she was done, I placed her gently on the floor and let her “come to.” Even though this was the worst experience thus far, it was the first time I felt like I was able to help Kitty and that made all the difference in the world.

The next time she had a seizure (they occur every 3-8 weeks), I immediately picked her up and let her have a seizure in my hands. It was the first time I didn’t have a breakdown.

Once the seizure is done, there’s about two additional minutes that she’s stunned and her muscles start tensing and curling her paws inward, like a temporary paralysis. Then she wakes up and meows like she’s sad or scared and the temporary paralysis wears off.

The last time that Kitty had a seizure, I placed her on my shoulder; one of her favorite spots and I waited for her to wake up. Once she did, she meowed the sad meow but for a much shorter time. Then she was ready to eat. So, if you have recently discovered that your cat has epilepsy, here’s a summary of what I learned:

Cats can live for years with seizures, even elderly cats. Someone I know had a cat that developed seizures at 17 and lived another 4 years.
The first time you see your cat having a seizure will likely be the worst. From there, it gets better. You’ll eventually learn how to handle seeing your good friend have a seizure. Remember they are unconscious when it’s happening and they aren’t hurting.
Look out for patterns that may trigger the seizures and refrain from doing that. My cat seems to be triggered by loud, irritating or repetitive noises such as knocking a fork on the side of an aluminium can, a ringing alarm clock or unwrapping crinkly paper (like a Cliff bar).
Holding your cat gently in the air by supporting its rib cage area and its stomach area lightly will allow your cat to have a seizure without running around and hurting itself. It also helps to make you feel useful. It also doesn’t feel freaky, it just feels like the cat is running while you’re holding him or her.
The barbiturates they recommend to suppress seizures may make things worse in the end. They can never stop taking the medicine and you have to give it to them every single day at the same time of day. If you have to go out of town for the weekend and your cat doesn’t receive it’s daily dose, it is likely to have a seizure. Sometimes, however, there’s no other options left.
Be sure to time how long the seizures last and how often your cat is having them. This will help the vet to treat your cat.
Your cat will probably be hungry after a seizure. This is because their blood sugar drops dramatically during the seizure.

If you have a newly diagnosed epileptic cat and you have any questions or just want to talk, feel free to contact me.

Chrissy is a Cloud and Datacenter Management & Data Platform MVP who has worked in IT for over 20 years. She is the creator of the popular SQL PowerShell module dbatools, holds a master's degree in Systems Engineering and is coauthor of Learn dbatools in a Month of Lunches. Chrissy is certified in SQL Server, Linux, SharePoint and network security. You can follow her on Twitter at @cl.

Posted in General
177 comments on “How I Learned to Deal with My Sweet, Elderly & Newly Epileptic Cat
  1. Fred Peters says:

    Thanks for kitty info. We also have an 18 year old cat that has recently started using her “alternate voice” at random times during the day. We used to only hear that a bath time, which is so tramatic to her. She makes a sound similar to a developer who’s been asked to create some Crystal Reports.

    I chalked up the recent behavior to kitty dementia, but I’ll be on the lookout for any seizures.


  2. Chrissy says:

    Hey fred,
    Haha i laughed out loud about the Crystal Reports.

    Your cat is likely just having kitty dementia.. I think the yowling and the seizures aren’t related other than both are something that elderly cats may experience.

    You are totally right..that is the bath time voice. Kitty does it after she eats, after she drinks water, after she uses the restroom and then random times when she’s just walking around. Often at night or when I return home from work. When I yell her name, she goes back to regular meow. Drives me crazy!

    Good luck with your 18 year old kitty.. is she a calico?

    • Margaret says:

      Well I have a 13 year old Siamese, Solomon.,He use to be overweight (indoor cat) he has had epilepsy since 2010, he was healthy, until he had vaccines, it was an animal charity vet for people on benefit (I was then) I had to have them done in case my last resort was to use a cattery (I had to have an operation). That vet cut corners. (My present vet is superb)
      The seizures were a complete shock to me, he fell of high back of sofa when fitting, but the worse was in the night, I would be woken with a loud thud..he often fell of the bed, into the wardrobe..I felt his pain.
      So years of seizures and lots of vet visits. At first the medication worked, the it made him worse and I had to stop it.
      Then he got feline asthma, which he still has. The mediation he was on for that, vet said it can cause diabetes, it did, so I inject insulin twice daily.

      Would give anything to make him well, don’t think he suffers to much. He’s under the vet. I only outline the symptoms, or the post be to long

      Chrissy, sorry for this detailed long post. But sure you understand caring for a sick kitty. You handled you

    • sophia says:

      Hello Chrissy

      I’m a cat lover also.
      I have 8.

      One of my senior cats Sammy just started having seizures 2years ago. Once a week.

      Today April 8, 2016 he had like 5 in one day.

      This has never happened before.

      I read your story about your kitty. And I felt every min of your pain and love you have for your cat.

      Your story so similar to mine.

      I really don’t have anyone to talk to about this.

      Its breaking my heart to see my Sammy like this and I can’t do anything.

      Please can I talk to you?

      I really need someone to talk to that has experience with cats and seizures.

      Please could you call me or email me at anytime. This is my number 647-281-9654. And my email us. [email protected]

      I’m very friendly person. I’m a single mom. Lov my kids and my 8 cats.

      Don’t want to bother you or anyone at the most.

      I just needed to ask a few questions and concerns about seizures and your experiences you had with your kitty.

      to maybe help my cat Sammy and I get through this all.

      So please if you could contact me at your earliest convenience, I would really appreciate this..

      Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

      Sophia and Sammy

      • Marian says:

        How is Sammy? My cat, Chestnut, starting having seizures two years ago. We don’t know how old she is, but we assume she’s between 8-10 years old. We started her on phenobarbital a year and a half ago, but it didn’t work. She was still having 5 to 10 seizures a day. So the vet prescribed what he said was the last resort: Kepra. It worked a miracle. Over the last year she’s only had two seizures that I know of. However, she isn’t the same cat she used to be. Most of the time she has a vacant look in her eyes. I don’t know if that’s a side effect of the Kepra, or if her brain was damaged back when she kept having seizures (seizures cause damage to the brain overtime). She still loves to be petted, though. But it seems like she’s hungry all the time, and slightly more aggressive.

        Chestnut has always been an unusual cat. She’s a Hemingway cat on steroids. She doesn’t just have extra toes, she has extra paws attached to regular paws. And her face and head are sorta weird looking compared to other cats. And before we fully adopted her and got her fixed, she had a couple litters of kittens. The kittens all were either deformed or dropped dead suddenly for reasons we couldn’t determine. We believe Chestnut has a genetic mutation that predisposed her kittens to deformity and sudden death.

        Last year my main vet said he felt tumors around her lower abdomen, and he said she also most likely had a brain tumor. He said the cancer in her abdomen would probably kill her in just a few months. I got a second opinion, though, and the second vet said the tumors the first vet felt may have been her lymph nodes swelling due to fleas (I had stopped flea medication when she first started getting seizures, as I thought the flea medicine may have been causing the seizures.) The second vet gave her a dose of steroids and I think the swelling went down.

        I can’t afford an MRI, so I don’t know if Chestnut has a brain tumor. At any rate, on the Kepra, Chestnut went from having multiple seizures a day (where she kicked and thrashed violently and sprayed urine) to only two seizures (that I’ve witnessed) over the last year. Before the Kepra, I was seriously thinking about having her euthanized. But now I think she just might live a few more years in comfort, maybe longer. She’s not in any pain. We spoil her with treats and pet and brush her frequently.

        The Kepra costs around 65$ a month, so it’s not nearly as cheap as phenobarbital. But if phenobarbital isn’t working, I highly recommend Kepra.

    • Tabatha Sterling says:

      My Howie is only 6.5. We have just experienced his 1st seizure, and he has had 3 more in a 2hr period. It’s 4:38 in the morning and don’t know what to do. He just keeps going under the bed and then having another. He has had 4 in a 2hr period. Nothing ever before this.

      • Chrissy LeMaire says:

        Hey Tabatha, that’s pretty young to have a seizure. Take Howie to the vet as soon as you possibly can. Kitty never had 4 in a 2 hour period. Howie may have epilepsy or something non-kidney related and meds should do wonders.

  3. Betsy says:

    My 19 year old cat has also been having seizures lately. The most recent one was triggered by the noise of my coffee grinder this morning. It was just what I needed to see to confirm my suspicion that high pitched noises are the trigger. She also starts to twitch and you can practically see her brain go balistic when I crinkle a wrapper. She has also gone into a seizure several times when I unexpectedly come out of my bedroom in the middle of the night….not sure if it was a high pitched noise or her just being startled. Good to know I’m not the only one whose cat’s seizures are triggered by noise.

  4. Rich says:

    Our Mankat started having seizures last year, at about 16 years old. We took him to the vet twice, and they really would not listen to the possibility it was a seizure, after we told them he did not drool. I thought this was ridiculous, as he was clearly having seizures… one or two a month. The last time, they did over $200 in pointless tests, not related to seizures. So I thank the people posting here, and elsewhere, where I have gotten a true understanding of what is going on with our guy, and what the options are. Also, this site is the first one which I found which points out a key aspect of Mankat’s seizures: Sound! Sharp, loud sounds make him twitch, and might start a seizure. But at times he is so sensitive that using the keyboard, or putting down a glass does it. When I can find a vet who will listen I may go back again. Rich.

  5. Chrissy says:

    Hey Rich,
    I’m sad that you left an invalid e-mail address! I hope you come back.

    I wrote to Betsy and told her about a study I found on the Internet that linked mice with kidney disease to sound-induced seizures. Kitty has kidney disease and I’m pretty sure this is the cause of her seizures. I read elsewhere that cats with kidney and liver disease are prone to seizures because of all the toxins that build up.

    Anyway, I suggested to Betsy that she get her cat checked for kidney disease..and that Kitty drinks a TON of water and that’s a symptom. She wrote back and said she did notice a huge increase in her cat’s water intake and she’s gonna schedule an appt with the vet to get her checked.

    My vets never really acknowledged that kitty’s seizures are sound influenced.. and never acknowledged that the kidney disease could be the cause. They just kept suggesting test after test. F all that. Cats with kidney disease are put on a low-protein diet because protein digestion causes lots of byproducts. I found a pretty good supplement though from Wyson (sp?) and kitty likes the flavor. She went 9 weeks (the longest by 1 week) w/o a seizure after I started feeding her that.

    Yep! Kitty is sensitive to me playing video games and sometimes typing. Other days, you can bang a hammer and she isn’t too effected. Poor thing though, crunching her hard cat food sometimes makes her spaz. :|

    Good luck with your kitty. If you come back, please leave your email.. I’d like to keep in touch.

    • Vicki Epstein says:

      what Wysong supplement did u purchase ???

    • Kristina Gonzalez says:

      My cat M&M is about to be 3 (we think) and he started having seizures a couple of months ago. He got on medication and he seemed to be doing a bit better, but now he’s back to having seizures and seems to be a lot more lethargic and in pain if I pick him up or move him. He’s also a lot less active, and I’m just very worried because I don’t know what’s wrong. He’s seizures mostly happen at night when I’m sleeping, and usually it’s on or under my bed. There doesn’t seem to be a trigger, or at least one that I’m aware of. I’m glad to know there’s others out there.

  6. Conny says:

    My 16 year old cat had a seizure yesterday. It was very scary since I knew nothing about it and thought she was dying. 16 year old kitties are already very old and many are already dead at this point. I thought her time had come. I was semi holding her and helped her to recover ( to my sruprise). She is totally back to normal. I did not know it could be caused by noise. With 16 years there is the question of going through countless bloodtest and vet -visits. What will I do about it once they ( might) find the reason for the seizure? I am glad to read you can help them by holding the cat to let the seizure pass.
    I am sure her kidneys are not working up to par because she is very thin ( good appetit though).
    I do have a question. Since she is an indoor-outdoor cat she is also registered ( she stays in the yard-seldom wanders off ). For that you have to send them the proof for the vaccination. Should she really be vaccinated at this age? That is like vaccinating and 85 year old man !?

    • Pam says:

      A cat that is very thin despite a good appetite and pees like crazy is very likely diabetic. You can treat him for this and help him feel better. See your vet!! My 17yr old is diabetic and just had his first (that I have witnessed) seizure.

      • Jane says:

        Hi my cat who is 17 has had the same symptoms plus numerous seizures!! It turned out that it is also her thyroid and liver!! The Vet discovered it by doing a blood test after bouts of seizures!! Hope everything works out with your furry friend!!

  7. Chrissy says:

    The reason I got tests for Kitty was just to be sure there was nothing like a bladder infection that I could help clear up. Bladder/kidney infections hurt a ton and I’d be sad to know that I let it go on so long. But..she didn’t have anything and now we just deal with her seizures.

    I got Kitty vaccinated last year and she limped and hid for a couple days but then bounced back. I think if the vet approves vaccinations, then it’s okay.

  8. Kelly Miller says:


    My 17 year old cat just started having seizures-he’s had 2 in
    the last two months and I was wondering if anyone knows of
    an alternative to the vet meds they use for this-barbituates.
    He’s so tired already that I can’t imagine that this will make
    his overall health better. He seems to bounce back but it takes a few days to get to where he was before the seizure. I’m glad to have found this site to see how other people cope with this problem.

    • Sue says:

      You can use homeopathic medicines to help stave off the frequency of seizures. My cat started having seizures about 4 years ago when he was 12 years old. I looked up seizures in the remedies book and found that belladonna is useful in stopping the seizures and it was. It would stop them from returning for years at first, and then months and months. After a new seizure, I would give him the belladonna and again it worked wonders. Well, as time has passed, we have had far fewer seizures to deal with than might have been expected, and I am absolutely sure that the belladonna is why.
      But recently, nothing seems to be helping and I am afraid that the time has come to say goodbye to my old friend. I am very thankful that we had so much time free of the seizures due to the belladonna though. You should look into that for your own cats. Most vets will not even consider homeopathic remedies, but they do work and with no harmful effects either. You can find the remedies at the Vitamin Shoppe and online.

    • Brian Daly says:

      CBD oil

  9. Cheryl says:

    These posts are encouraging – at least there are others out there with similar problems! My Mandy (17 years old) got very lethargic and started circling the walls of the bedroom very suddenly a few weeks ago. Of course, I took her to the vet, but after tests, all the vet could say was that the results were inconclusive, and to try to build her up a bit by force feeding. She did improve a bit, and was less wobbly and lethargic, but one morning she was as bad as ever. That was the point at which I suspected something neurological, simply because her behaviour change was so marked and so sudden, and the tests had turned up nothing. I didn’t want to take her back for more tests – the expense, the stress for Mandy, and the vet was mainly talking about checking out things that can’t be treated anyway, like FIV. She’s already had the tests for infection and kidney function etc. So I’ve kept her at home, shut in one room so she can’t fall over anything. Now, I’ve actually seen her have seizures, so I know that’s part of the problem; she was probably having them all along, but at night or when I was at work. I don’t really know what to do. I don’t want to put her through a lot of treatment (I’ve had to medicate her in the past, and it takes so much out of her, because she fights). I have to travel soon, and my regular cat-sitter isn’t too confident about looking out for a sick cat. But Mandy doesn’t seem unhappy, and I don’t want to euthanize her. Still, the seizures must be becoming more frequent, if now I’m seeing them happen, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much more to do for an elderly cat than to try to keep her comfortable until the end – or to take her one last time to the vet.

    • Mercedes says:

      I would most definitely not keep her locked in one room all day, although cats can be in all types of environments. Being in one room all day after being able to run freely through out the house could cause your cat large amounts of stress, which could actually make the seizures more frequent. Just try to make sure you keep an eye on your cat, to try and keep it off of high places like the back of the couch. Although I fully understand this is hard to do all of the time when you can just take your cat off of those places over ajd over until yihr cat gets tired of trying to get up and you just taking him down. Seizures are very common in older cats and often caused by injuries they had sustained when they were younger and have healed but are now resurfacing due to age (Just like in humans) if you think of a cat like a human in medical terms it can often help you recognize what’s going on. Like think of an elderly individual with dementia and the actions or reactions that they may have and yhen associate that with your elderly cat. I do hope this helps you, but like I said the stress of an environment change anf being unhappy of where he is being kept in the house can frequent the seizures or problems your cat is having. Good luck, Also try adding pumpkin to your cats food:)

  10. vsaltao says:

    My 16 years old cat ( quicky) as been having having seizures every 2 months, the vet cant find nothing bad in him so after lots of reading i am guessing it as epilepsy ( in the last seizure , the first one i saw with my eyes, i was afraid he would choke so i put a finger in his mouth and got a nasty bite).
    After the seizure he goes some days a litle lethargic, is this the same with your cat?

  11. alyson says:

    hi, my name is alyson, and i live in the UK, i have a cat who has had epilepsy since she was 7, she is now 12, and the vets put her on diazepam, (valium), plus phenobarbs, which helped her, but also she spent a lot of time sleeping, but she got better with these , her fits were few and far between, and almost stopped for a couple of years, but this year, they have come back so bad, and the medication is not helping, but i have come across this site which is very helpful and the product has helped to some extenct, but i feel her fits which is about 40 a day, has done to much damage as nothing seems to ease her now, its nice to be able to share this with your people, and hope all will be well with you, god bless you all and here is the link which i hope you will find helpful, alyson

  12. LAURIE says:


    • Karen Cartwright says:

      i saw a story of a very young cat who was falling and seizing frequently after being micro chipped. the chip had lodged between his vetebrae and pressing on his spinal cord. And were causing his falling and seizures he is young to be getting seizures which is why I am putting this on here It maybe worth getting an Xray to check the chip if you have had him chipped in last 6 months . I hate those things and would never put one in my pet.. .

  13. LINDA says:

    My cat is 15 and has been having fits for more than a year. They started one morning when my alarm clock went off. For the last 6 months he has been on phenobarbitone twice daily. Now having fits about every 10 days, very weak on back legs afterwards and very hungry. The fits are not always sound activated and I know when he going to have one soon as his head nods and he dribbles for a few days before, and is also extremely clinging. Also sometimes when cleaning himself his legs shudder. He’s not difficult to look after, but it is heartbreaking to watch. Linda

  14. alyson says:

    hi laurie, so sorry to hear about your cat, yes this is very upsetting when the fits happens, in my opinion having to cope with this for 7 years, one thing i have learnt is not to over power the cat whilst the fit is happening as this makes them worse, what i do is gently go to my cat from the side and gently stroke her side and softly talk her out of it, if i go in front of her face she jerks like hell making the fit worse, at the moment she is on phenobarbitones, 1/2 twice a day, which yes they make her groggy as they are sedatives, but given time they do over come it, they have calmed down a bit, but from my experiences there are a factors which trigger the fits, such as being to hot or cold, noise, change of food played a big factor in mine, although her blood tests are clear the vets over here know she has fits and only the tablets are at hand, but now we discovered her thyroid level is high and am going back next week to repeat the test and if its still high she needs to be treated, which in my case can not afford the operation but will need to be on more tablets every day for life, try and perservere with the tablets i know its hard but they will get better in time, i hope this helps you a bit, take care now and i hope things get better for you, alyson….

  15. anna says:

    My 23-25 yo cat began having seizures 3 weeks ago. She’d fall to the floor and her paws would curl up. The first time I witnessed it she slept it off and was fine for a week. The next time it happened she couldn’t eat or drink even though she tried and tried for 24 hours. It’s as if she couldn’t open her mouth but her mind kept telling her to try. I took her to the vet the next morning and he gave her fluids and a cortisone shot. When I got home, she was really thirsy and hungry and tried to eat and drink again. She then started to wobble and couldn’t walk. I laid her on her side and she started to doze but continued having seizures in the form of twitching. I left for about 3 hours and when I returned she was on the floor with all four legs splayed and seemingly stunned. I picked her up and she meowed just barely but without opening her mouth. I held her for awile an she twitched non-stop.

    At this point I went back to the vet and he recommended euthanizing her. I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do. She was unresponsive. After reading all of these stories of recovery and even before, I feel tremendous guilt for not waiting 24 hours or longer to see. I miss her so much! My question – has anyone else found their pet with legs splayed out around them, stomach on the floor and head up but out of it?

    Thanks. Anna

  16. Patricia says:

    Hi, I too am a cat lover looking for hints on how to help my own 80-year-old lady cope with her age. But my comment concerns the seizures some of you are reporting. My fiance adopted an elderly stray who suddenly started seizing after we had him for about two years. The vet figured it was a brain tumor and gave us valium for Tiger. The prescribed dose knocked the poor thing out, so we lessened it to where it kept him alert and seizure-free, which he was until he died (at a ripe old age, we’re sure!). These d*%^#$ cats…I was a dog person until my five adopted me! Now I wouldn’t live without them; they are the soul of my home.

  17. Laurie says:

    I found my cat Stella (a beautiful Tortoishell) about 5 months ago. She was in pretty bad shape and when I took her to the vet she told me Stella was declawed, had been spayed, and was probably about 7 years old- but there’s no definite way to tell how old she really is. I think someone must have abandoned her because they didnt know how to deal with the seizures (I didnt know this at the time I found her). She is the sweetest thing and has recently had two seizures (that I know of). The first was in the middle of the night about 6 weeks ago and the second was last night. These are the only two I have observed, but I wonder if they happen when I am not around too. After reading these posts, I also wonder if she might be a lot older than the vet thinks. Does anyone else’s cat have seizures in the middle of the night? I made a vet appt., but am rethinking it since pretty much everyone here said the vet couldn’t really help. I have also read that seizures once in a while arent deadly, so I wonder if I should just help her through them when I can and not even worry about taking her to the vet. She had bloodwork done when I found her and everything came back normal, so I am hesitant to go through it all again. Any thoughts, suggestions, or words of wisdom would be much appreciated for how to handle my little epilectic one. I am pretty sure they are grand mal seizures as she convulses, her eyes dialate, she froths at the mouth and looses control of her bowels for 45 seconds to a minute. I just womder what might be setting her off in the middle of the night… weird. It scares the crap out of me becuase I am usually in a deep sleep state and jerked awake by her sudden convulsing and hissing/spitting. I want to be a good pet owner and help her as much as I can, but I dont want to go to the vet and spend all that money to find out they have no idea what the deal is- plus if they acted like I was crazy and it wasnt seizures, I might have to chuck norris kick someone. It’s nice to read everyone else’s stories, I dont feel so alone.. Happy Holidays and bless all the little epileptic babies out there…

  18. Jill says:

    My 13 yr. old kitty just had her first (that I know of) seizure 1/2 an hour ago. I called the vet who was too swamped to see her and another who won’t be back in the office for another hour, looked in my cat book and could find almost no info, so here I am on the net. I was very glad to find this site, it has eased my fears somewhat. Sounds like I should have some routine blood tests for kidney funtion etc. and then just try to keep her safe and as comfortable as I can during and after the seizures. If they begin coming to often and cause her too much pain, distress or fear and discomfort than I will take her to the vet and have her put to sleep while holding her in my arms. I love her too much to watch her suffer. You see, she has spent many years getting me through my seizures. God Bless you all and thank you all for contributing to this site and helping ease my fears somewhat (as much as anyone can when we are watching our friends suffer)

  19. Jill says:

    Hi Chrissy, wanted to thank you for writing to me. Seizures are so frightening and it is nice to know that others care. I wanted to post heremy response to your e-mail. I got to thinking about it and I think it is important for everyone to condsider the options if the need for euthanasia arises. Here was my response: (and may God bless each of you and your furry friends!) Bobbi is doing fine after her seizure and I am hoping that the seizures will have long periods between them. As for holding the cat (during euthanasia) I think it depends on the person. It is definately traumatic, can’t deny that, but for me and my family (who have in the past held a dear furry friend while they passed) it has helped to ease the pain somewhat, to know that your friend did not pass away alone or frightened in the arms of a stranger. I felt and stil feel that it is very comforting for the animal to be snuggled in the arms of a family member while they are passing.

  20. Helen Hadley says:


    My 11 year old mini cat had a fit today. It was exactly as you descibed,on on her side but running, dazed for a couple of minutes then straight to the food bowl to eat for England, which was most unusual as she does not have a big appetite, being so tiny.

    Your pages have both reassured me & frightened me (vet bills) but I would pay anything to make sure Mia Bananas is OK

    Regards, Helen

  21. Amy says:

    It was good for me to read this site, as my Indy has been having seizures for a couple of years now. He is 15. He has only had a handful, but they are as you described, exactly. He scrabbles on the floor, every muscle tense, and pees everywhere. It lasts about 30-40 seconds, and it takes him about 2 minutes to move afterwards. I found that louding tapping noises trigger these, especially me typing on my computer keyboard. If he is on my lap and I am typing, he will jerk his head as if startled. I know that this is when he gets the boot out of the office!

    A strange thing about after his seizures… he will walk around the house looking at everything as if he is seeing it for the first time. He goes in every room, every closet, just fascinated.

    After his first one he was rushed to the vet, and tests revealed nothing.

  22. Joyanne says:

    Hi Chrissy,

    My 12 yr old sweet Siamese boy Orbit started having seizures for the first time about a month ago. My roommate was playing video games. I also narrowed it down to a sound trigger. It was very frustrating for me to have these blood tests done and I still know little of the cause of my baby’s fits =( It was very comforting and helpful to hear your story and the others that followed. The vet has put him on phenobarbital and thankfully he has not had a seizure since his first two. He is not the same kitty as before although he has glimpses of the old Orbie…I am concerned about the long term effects of this medicine, but I am very happy to not see him having the seizures. I would love feed back if possible

    Thank you!

  23. Suzy P says:

    Technics is 19, but looks like a cat half her age. In November she was diagnosed with kidney disease and put on medication. A check up in January showed her toxin levels almost back to normal. She’s due a retest next month with a view to taking her off the tablets. She still drinks loads and correspondingly urinates loads, but other than that seemed fine – till she had a seizure 2 days ago. I was astonishingly upset by it, called the vet out as it was in the evening and had to ring a friend to give me a lift to the surgery as I was way too upset to drive. By which time Techy seemed fine and wondering what the fuss was all about! I was still tearful the next day when I took her back in for a follow up check, even though she seems fit as a flea again! BTW She too has a habit of waking me up in the early hours by wailing loudly at me, but I believed it was just her being a bit old and confused and deaf…. It was good to read this website – reassuring. Thanks.

  24. Bill W says:

    Hi my 21 year old cat Pippy, has been having sound induced seizures for about 2 years. They are definitely triggered by high pitched repetitive noises. The vet was unconvinced by the sound induced nature of the attacks and organised hundreds of dollars worth of tests which told us nothing. After several apparently random seizures at home we realised in our case, that they were always associated with sound (rattling a can, the shower water echoing in the bathroom, electric tin opener, walking past her with a lawnmower (which wasn’t running at the time)She begins with sudden jerky reactions, for instance if you clapped three times she would jerk exactly in time with each clap and then have a seizure. The family has learnt to check if Pippy is around before making loud everyday domestic noises. We have been very successul in controlling them in this way and the old girl is still going strong.

    Good luck

  25. Carol says:

    My 16 1/2 year old cat just had a seizure. I startled her when I came into the living room, where she was sleeping on the sofa, and she began to shudder and twitch for what seemed like a long time. She did pee, but not “everywhere.” I petted her and talked to her, thinking she was dying. When the seizure stopped, I think she couldn’t see for a while; then like some of the cats described above, seemed very distressed, cried to me a lot, went to eat, and then “explored” the apartment, came back for more comfort, etc. Now she seems quite back to normal. Before looking on the Internet, I consulted a medical guide to cats which I own. It said (as above) possible brain tumor, possible effect of kidney disease (although her kidneys aren’t bad), possible epilepsy. I’m so relieved that she didn’t die or have a stroke. I had noticed that she was very easily startled lately, so I will take care not to surprise her or make sudden noises.

    I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old and arrived at my door in the hand of a construction worker, who had found her in a building site. She was hungry and thin, but already very tame and friendly. Some of these reports have given me hope, and I’ll also try to avoid unnecessary tests. My sympathies to Anna, above, but I’m also amazed that her cat lived so long!

  26. Lois says:

    My handsome 14 year old Thomas just recently started having seizures when I took him in for just a vaccination and exam. You know routine maintenance for our kids. When the Dr. called me and told me my cat was freaking out I kind of chuckled thinking I warned them he bites and scratches to beware of the KITTY. When I arrived at the vet 10 minutes after the drop off I asked which room my little spawn of satan was in. The lady rushed me in the back room and my little boy was in an oxygen tank with his tongue hanging out panting horribly. Now, in 14 years I have never seen my baby pant period. Now he is in an oxygen tank. I walked over trying to calm him and asked what happened the vet just said he bit and scratched one of his techs and the safety of his techs… stops talking he is getting the death look at this point. Than all of a sudden his head goes back and he gets stiff as a board and starts yeowliing a the top of his lungs. I started screaming what is wrong with him. Obviously I thought he was dying. I was on my hands and knees before God begging them to help him. The vet responded “He’s just having a seizure” like it is no big deal….Well excuse me Dr. Death but my cat is my son. I’ve been out 6k on him with CT scan, MRI, Spinal Tap, Every blood test and Urinaylis you can think of and disease I have a normal cat they say. Well hell it’s not normal to have seizures now is it. Any advice from someone to help me get thru these seizures. He is on Phenobaritol and Keppra nothing stops the seizures. Please help me someone. I LOVE HIM so very much.

    • Brian Daly says:

      Currently in the same boat as you were back then….

      • Kim says:

        Hi, I too had a similar experience with my cat Sammy. He is having Epiphen twice a day as well as a high dosage of Keppra. This seems to be helping as he hasn’t had a seizure since the medication kicked in. We recently tried to decrease the amount of Keppra, but Sammy had a minor seizure so we’re back to the original dose. Did you find a way to stop your seizures? Kim

  27. Dawn says:

    My 16-year-old cat has had a half-dozen seizures over the last 18 months or so. The symptoms are as described by others, and are usually set off by repetitive noises such as a computer mouse clicking or food pellets clattering into a bowl. Lately she has been having facial twitching but it doesn’t develop into a full seizure. After a seizure she is disoriented for a while (as if she can’t see or hear properly), and then tired but recovered within minutes. She sometimes howls loudly, especially after using the litter box. and also after a seizure. And lately it seems as though she is totally deaf, although I can’t understand how a deaf cat’s seizures would be set off by loud repetitive noises! I took her to the vet after the second seizure last year for blood tests, and the vet said it is probably epilepsy or a brain tumor. As long as the seizures were pretty irregular, I figured it was better not to try any epilepsy drugs. But after reading these posts, I wonder whether we really explored the kidney disease possibility fully enough. Lately I have noticed that her litter box has an odd, sickly odor. But I have not seen her drinking more water than usual. Perhaps because of her deafness (?) or dementia (?), she is easily spooked and now feels most comfortable spending most of her time on our bed or laps. Has anyone else noticed a symptom that may be unrelated but appeared before the seizures began: She sometimes has trouble retracting her claws properly and gets temporarily “stuck” to the quilt on top of our bed. I want to reassure people that seizures aren’t that bad once you get accustomed to dealing with them. The involuntary urination is a bummer but my cat’s seizures don’t seem to be worsening or getting steadily more frequent over time.

    • Kim says:

      Hi. My cat was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection at the same time as his seizures started. He would visit the litter box but not urinate in it whilst howling very loudly and then we noticed blood. Thankfully his uti cleared up and we seem to be managing his seizures with medication. He too gets his claws stuck regularly, especially in thicker/longer carpets. Kim

  28. Ginny says:

    My gorgeous girl had her first seizure yesterday. She will be 16 in July, and is the nicest, most gentle cat I have ever had. She came to me when I left home, along with her brother who was PTS when he was 12.

    I was so scared yesterday, although I did manage to stay really calm throughout the seizure. I’ve read so much since it happened, so was very glad to find this site.

    I think a plan would be to see how things go, and if there is another fit then get some bloods done, but no more tests. If there is no kidney/liver problem, then it’s a probable brain issue from what I’ve read. A friend of mine who is a qualified vet nurse, although doesn’t practise now, advised I keep her in one room. I don’t feel right about that, but any opinions on that I’d gladly welcome. I just feel that she’s had the run of the house for so long, she’s old, she’s been pretty healthy until this, and I’d rather she has her freedom for now. Obviously if she has more fits and more frequently I would have to re-think things and make a decision. I work from home, am rarely out for a whole day, so am around a lot.

    What do you think?

    Thanks in advance! Ginny

  29. Shawn says:

    Just stumbled upon this site. Very nice job! I'm finding a TON of useful stuff here!

  30. Debbie says:

    Hi Chrissy

    I to am thankful you posted your experience. My old man Kiko (Part Siamease & Alley cat named for the color of Kikkoman soy sauce.) One of the most beautiful cats I have seen. He is 18 years old. I have never had a cat live this long. They never made it past 16. He was at my side and Mikassa’s side when she died. My siamease. He took over as my main comforitor. He is 18 years old and has had some issues with a ear infection about a year ago. The Vet thought he had a stroke. But we didn’t give up on him and he got better with medicine. He has had a nasty cough for years that the vets can’t manage to figure out. Well, at 3:10 AM this morning I awoke to him seizing. I thought OMG this is it. Oh my poor baby he doesn’t deserve to die this way. I removed him from the bed and put him onto the carpet. Where he continued to flop like a fish out of water. I softly held him so he wouldn’t slam his head. Once the seizure seemed to pass with only a small amount of twitching remaining I put him into the cat bed and just comforted him and pet him talking to him lovingly. His eyes were blank and one leg was still a little stiff. I straightend out he other front leg and rubbed them both. He came out of it the rest of the way looking a bit confused. He wanted up and was a little wobbley, at that point I set him back onto the floor and let him gain his bearings. He also walked in circles. Walking into rooms and looking around. He got more stable and I picked him up and put him onto the bed. Now, Kiko has never been a loud cat. He is one that his mouth moves and you hear very little. He will put his paw out to say hey.. got anything to share with me… like food. I gave him some of his favorite treats which he woofed down without biting them. This he never does. I gave him several until he started chewing them. My other cats were all watching. I have 5 in total. One hides in the garage as she runs from them all, and of course… they chase. I didn’t sleep for two hours after that. He didn’t seem to want to go back to sleep for about an hour. Of course I stayed awake for the next two hours until he settled in on my pillow above my head. I have never seen him do this before. Not to say that it hasn’t happened before as I do work. It was in the middle of the night when all was quiet so I guess it wasn’t noise induced. I am curious if anyone else has other issues that seem to set off the seizures?

  31. Dawn says:

    Hi Ginny, I don’t see any reason not to give your girl the run of the house. My Teddy (now 17) has actually become a bit more outgoing lately, coming up to visitors and even venturing outside more often. She hasn’t had any seizures for months now, although we do see the twitching that can lead to a full-blown seizure. So we are very careful about repetitive noises such as the creaking screen door. It’s interesting that other people have reported loud yowling. I notice that about once every day or two, often after Teddy has used the litter box or retired to our bed. It sounds like she is in great distress, but when we speak to her she “snaps out of it.” Sometimes she runs around the house at top speed, jumping off of bookcases and dashing wildly up the stairs. I think both of these behaviors are probably related to whatever is wrong inside her brain. We just chalk it up to senior moments, and try to avoid anything that might set off a seizure. I reported earlier that her box had an odd odor, but I now think that was because of a new cat litter that I tried. Dawn

  32. Laurie V. says:

    Thank you so much for posting your stories. It has really helped me understand what is happening to my sweet “old lady” Mindy. We call her our old lady because she is 16 years old. She recently started having seizures and I am positive they are triggered by sound; crinkling of a bag, tapping on the side of a plate with your fork, clicking the mouse on my computer, typing, etc. I have told this to the vet and she just says, “humm.” Like she isnt so sure that would cause a seizure. Well, now I know for sure that I am not crazy. I think we pet owners know our animals very well. It is very interesting that you link the seizueres to kidney failure because she does have failing kidneys. She is supposed to be on a low-protein diet but she doesnt like the food. She is so skinny now and drinks a lot of water. She seems to be hungry all the time and has started begging for food when we are eating. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to feed our cats who have this problem?

  33. Martha says:

    Hi all…
    My cat Cuddles will be 19 Sept. 7th.. lucky for her and I she does not (yet) have any seizures. Although I find her having trouble eating even wet food. I can hear her teeth somewhat grinding. She’s losing a little bit of weight I’m assuming from eating and the apartment I lived in had fleas so we’ve been treating that as well. She had them once when she was a kitten. She had them REALLY bad.. when she gets them she gets them hard! Kind of like her mama.. when she gets a cold. She is my world.. my everything… I’m totally a cat person…. but I love all animals. But Cats are MORE my style!! :) Good luck everyone with their cat(s)… I just wanted to share my kitty story ;)

    (the 23-25 year old.. I thought my cat was the grama from Tweety.. I guess not… lol)

  34. Kelly says:

    I have a 16-18 year old girl named Gray, but since I’m a Frasier fan I started talking to Gray one day the way Daphne Moon talks…I called her me Gray kitty kat…which turned into Me Kitty…which turned into Meme or Mimi, however you want to spell it. At the end of January 2008, I got a message on my cell from my fiance when I was at work. He said he thought Me Me was dying and went on to describe a scenario exactly like those in the posts above. As soon as I got home we rushed her to the vet and I was so distraught because I didn’t think she’d be coming home with us. Well, that was 8 months ago and she’s doing just fine!! As far as I know, she has not seized since January, but I can’t be sure b/c I’m not home 24/7. The vet never confirmed that it definitely was a seizure, but based on all the posts I’ve read here, I don’t doubt it for a second. It seems, however, that the vet’s course of action as a result of the “episode” has been accurate since she has not seized since. Here’s what I’ve been doing for her since January 2008: 150 cc of fluid given subcutaneously once a week to keep her hydrated (vet originally wanted it 3x’s a week, but Me Me would not stand for that! Once a week is doing just fine…we just finished up with that about 3 hours ago & I’ve finally arrived at the point where I can do it without the help of my fiance & once I even did it when Me Me was so relaxed and unsuspecting…she was laying on my bed…that she purred through the 3 minutes it took to give her 150 CCs!! I don’t even think she knew I’d done it!) About 6 years ago the vet put her on methimizole, I think because of her thyroid. She gets 1 pill (very tiny) a day. She gets 1 ml of pet tinnic (liquid iron) once a day because blood tests revealed her iron was low due to the fact she had not been eating much. Tests prior to the seizure had revealed her kidneys were messed up…vet said if she was a human she’d be on dialysis. Her diet changed as a result of the kidney situation so now she’s on a low protein diet w/dry and wet food. For wet I give her Purina’s senior small canned cat food which they only seem to sell at Petsmart. The dry stuff I get directly from the vet; it’s called K/D Cal. In order to aid in the absorbtion of nutrients from what she eats she gets 1/2 of a pancreved tablet a day. She’s supposed to get 1/2 twice a day, but again, I’ve had to change what the vet said b/c I think it was stressing her out too much. She also gets two drops twice a week of liquid arthritis medication which seems to help her hind legs immensely.

    From what I gather with the posts above and what I’ve seen in my old girl, it looks like her messed up kidneys were probably the precursor to the seizures. Only one seizure was witnessed, but I’m guessing she had probably been seizing before that, but we just didn’t see it. I remember one time when I woke up on a Sundy morning in early January 2008, Me Me’s entire rear end, hind legs and all, were caked in clumping litter. In retrospect, I think she probably started seizing in the litter box, the urine coated her fur, and when she was flailing about managed to coat the urine soaked fur with the clumping litter. That was NOT fun to deal with, but I felt so bad for her! For nearly two months after my fiance saw her seize she was peeing out of the litter box in every place imaginable…on my bed…on the rug…on the couch…but I couldn’t be mad at her! I just cleaned & covered the bed and couch with thick, washable throws and did lots of laundry for about two months until she started using the box regularly again. I think her seizure made her forget how to use the box, so if she had been on the bed w/me for 2-3 hours I’d pick her up and put her in the box and sure enough, she would go!! I made sure there was a litter box on the second floor so she could have access to one ASAP. I chose one that was smaller with lower edges, one you would probably see in a cat cage at the SPCA, so it would be easy for her to get in & out of. Crinkling objects do get her attention and she shudders/twitches when I cluck my tongue, but I’ve never seen that turn into a seizure. She has this weird obsession with chewing at plastic bags…has anyone else experienced this? I’ve also seen her twitching a lot while sleeping…at least I think she’s sleeping, bt her eyes are only half shut and I can see her eyeballs rolling around like she’s in deep REM sleep, I’m guessing she’s actually having a seizure?? It sounds like something described in a post above. Anyway…thanks to all who have posted as it makes what happed to Me Me less of a mystery. As I write this Me Me is on the floor next to me happy as can be! My fiance and I joke about the day we had to rush her to the vet(the poor guy, he was soooo freaked out by witnessing the whole thing)…he said that the pet CSI team had come and put up the yellow tape an was in the midst of doing a chalk outline of Me Me when she got up and started walking around in daze. We almost changed her name again that day to Lazarus. The vet said that she is far from being euthanized, and I agree!

  35. Zara (UK) says:

    Having read all the stories here I feel so much better!
    My old boy Duncan is 16 now and has been having fits for 2 years.
    His are also affected by sounds of tapping keyboards and rustling paper.
    He is on Phenobarb twice a day and also gets really hungry after a fit.
    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for sharing their experiences
    with their much loved cats. He has a fit every couple of weeks which is
    still upsetting to me but I find the calmer I am the quicker he becomes
    calm after.
    Many thanks again to everyone and how inspiring for so many people to
    live and support their cat mates so much,
    Zara UK

  36. Evana says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for these postings. My 19 year old is so sweet, and he has the same seizures. Bubba was getting very thin and drinking a lot of water. The vet said it could be Kidney problems, but his tests came out ok. So after researching, I started giving him Noni juice everynight via an eye dropper. He gained weight and his fur is so much better, but he still has the seizures. I also give him Valerium Root Capsules, I open the capsules up and put the powder on his stuffed animal. He licks the Valerium Root powder the way that he used to eat catnip. The Valerium seems to calm him down. The vet didn’t want to put him on medication because of his age, but Valerium Root is what Valium is made from. I originally had bought it so that I could sleep better, and now give it to my cat. It seems to help. Thank you again for starting the blog, maybe we will find a homeopathic cure through our communication! :-)
    Evana, Seattle

  37. Olivier says:

    i read the article with surprise , and just having see one mega seizure of my friend cat getting worst yesterday ,before it was not much in intensity but this time , i get scared ..i been myself leaving with cats since very young ,but not with epylectics ,base on what i saw , i would not advise to try to handle interfer with the cat like in any risky situation for instance when cats are fighting , running terrorised ect ,during this seizure it was exactly like the cat was fighting with some other invisible cat !!!, turning around himself at highspeed hair of dorsal spine erected , and all fangs out and making same sound as during a fight , i can tell you that any hand or head or eyes closed to him would have been end up shredded ,so i am very surprised with the article of Chrissy , so if if you have kids, you have to explain them not to interfer , because it can end up in a mess for any one interfering with the seazure!!!! Since he looked like in complete defensive pattern , same as you see two cats fighting together you do not approach , aswell in final he landed in the dark ,under bet , seem to put him at rest …all symptoms of loosing bowel and urinating were there to . what a sight ,i a really affraid that he would start to have a seizure like that ,while sleeping near the head of my friend and during her sleep, its really freaking !!

  38. tammy says:

    Thanks for posting your experiences, Chrissy, et al. My 16 year old Siamese mix just had his first seizure (that I know of), and like many of us, we jumped on the web to find out why the hell why. So, thanks, everyone. He was taking a nap next to me and stood up and started stiffly circling, then fell to his side and started in. It lasted a minute or three; who knows. I just held him while he started slobbering, thinking “This is it.” After, he laid in my lap and looked around the room, sort of half paranoid and half in a daze, his head just moving back and forth while he looked around (which he’s still doing a bit, half an hour later). He’s diabetic, so putting him on a low protein diet would very much be to the detriment of his diabetes and his carnivorous nature, so I hope that it’s not his kidneys – although it sounds as if I should take him in for that test. Thanks, everyone, for your input.

  39. Smokey says:

    My 15 year old cat had her second seizure last night. Her first one was about 4 months ago. It is awful I had a bunch of test done the first time and all came back normal. It is nice to know we are not alone. I did handle the second one better than the first. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

  40. Lauren says:

    Thank you everyone for putting up these posts and thanks Chrissy for starting it all off. My story very similar. Tango is 19, thyroid problems but not kidney. He’s had 2 seizures now in the last 3 weeks. the first was very traumatic for us both, but we coped better last time. Both times he has been on my lap. First time I was turning pages of a newspaper, the second time typing. Hind quarters are affected and he is sleeping much more. Instinct was telling me just old age and systems breaking down slowly but took him to vet first time. She was inconclusive but recommended MRI scan and bloods if it happened again. Not inclined to put Tango through all that, so really glad to have found this site.
    A million thank yous to all of you and good luck with all your best friends x

  41. Heather says:

    I am so glad I found this website. My 16+ cat has had several seizures a day and more lately. After reading this website I realized the reason she has had even more lately is because she loves to sleep on this brown paper bag she discovered. I never would have thought of a noise triggering the seizures but sure enough, she moves, the bag crinkles and she rolls around on the floor for a while moving her legs and then goes right to the food bowl and back to sleep on the bag. Thank you for the advice. I will be more aware of the noises now and get rid of the bag! Poor kitty . Luckily she has never peed while having one, and she does have a lump on her belly so most likely has an age related disease. She does seem perfectly happy. Thanks for the helpful information.

  42. Laurie V. says:

    Hello again everyone. Just checking back in to see what new comments were made and give you an update on my sweet old lady, Mindy. It has been four months since I last wrote. Mindy is doing just fine. She is also on thyroid medication now, but we decided not to put her on any anti-seizure medication. In her case, I really dont think it is necessary. She has seizures about once a month. It is still disturbing to to watch them; however, I can handle it MUCH better now.

    A few months ago, Mindy had a seizure and smacked her head on a door frame while thrashing around. When she finally finished her seizure, I noticed some blood coming from her mouth. After inspecting her face a little closer, I realized she had broken one of her front canine teeth in half. I found the other half of the tooth on the floor and took her to the vet. Needless to say, she had to have the remaining tooth extracted, have x-rays, blood work, anesthesia, antibiotics, etc. The whole ordeal cost us about $700. I was very upset about the money and the fact that I didnt get to her in time to hold her gently in place while seizing in order to prevent her from hurting herself. Here is the lesson I have learned. Dont be afraid to hold your kitty gently on the floor while she/he is thrashing around. This prevents her/him from smashing their head on objects or falling down the stairs. Dont be afraid to touch them while they are seizing. They will not hurt you. Actually, I think it might help them recover quicker just knowing you are there to comfort them. Since that episode, I have always put my hands gently on her to hold her in place so she will not hurt herself. It actually helps us both to calm down faster.

    I hope this info helps some of you. Good luck with your beloved cats.

  43. Wilsey says:

    Hello all, Thanks Chrissy and everyone else for sharing. My Opal just had her 2nd (that I know of), and it is a great comfort reading others experiences. I had dealt with humans having seizures at a job I had, and this prepared me (somewhat anyway) for the first time I saw it happen to Opal. There are remarkable similarities to human and cat seizures, I have noticed, especially in the dazed aftermath. And it’s difficult and sad to see in both cases, to be sure. Opal is 17 and generally as happy as can be. I took her in when she was 13, and it’s a relief to know that these seizures don’t necessarily mean “the end” for her. Blessings to all of you, Wilsey

  44. Hannah says:

    Hello, our cat is 19 and has had a couple of seizures, she had one today caused by me when I scraped some paper on the couch (not meaning to scare her of course)and she woke up, then looked startled when I stopped. I saw this and thought that she would have one. She did and started peeing for a few seconds. We grabbed her because she was hitting the floor and she stopped a little while later. I felt so bad because it was all my fault. She tensed like Kitty and we already know that she is developing a kidney disease from her other visits to the vet. She is fine though and is still meowing really loud at night looking lost and when she sees me (because I end up getting up and putting her on the bed) she stops but looks really, I don’t know but sort of scared.
    (Dads addition).
    Wanda is we a cat rescued from the haven, so she could be even older because we got her when she was a teenager. Age and renal failure go together so that is probably the cause ,like KITTY she also seems deaf to most sounds although her seizures can be triggered by them , pens clicking, dinner plates being clanked . She also has a genetic flea allergy and the vet seemed to think there was talk of a link. After visiting the vet and paying out big for lots of tests including diet restrictions and special food etc , we decided on a non-aggressive method of treatment, and in fact changed our vet. I have to agree with the new vets recommendation of ”spoiling the her rotten” in her autumn years , she just loves her weekly treats of Tuna (too much salt),salmon, mince and boring “senior” canned food I still will buy dried food designed for kidney disease prevention , and she has free access to as much water as she likes. She only has a seizure every so often ( less than 5 in the last 2 years ) , first aid is very much like what you would do for humans (pays to stay calm in front of the children ) , and visit the vet if the seizures are prolonged or increasing in frequency.
    Thank you , My daughter(12yrs old ) got great comfort from finding and reading the stories on your site.

  45. Soz says:

    My lovely Damascus has just had his first fit. He is now sleeping it off and I haven’t stopped crying for the last 2 hours. I have spoken to the vet and we are in the process of getting an MRI booked for him. Unable to work I have spent the last 30 minutes reading all of your comments and am so thankful to hear that it is not the end for him. All that has been written is very familar and I am now going to be tip toeing around the house to make sure nothing sets him off again. Advice about what to do when it happens is really helpful – I’m just praying there won’t be a next time but I figure I need to be prepared. Thank you all – and thank you for making me feel OK about how much I love my cat. Sx

  46. Peter says:

    I have a 21 yr old cat that just had a fit this morning. I never normally post on message bds but if everyone was like me I never could have read the above stories which have done so much to put me at ease. My story is amost exactly the same in that a simple sound set him off. The fit scarred the hell out of me. I was sure that he was dying a painful death. I straight away called the mobile vet but luckily they were unreachable as it turns out they were not needed at all. He settled after a few minutes. When he settled he just sat there not very responsive but quite calm. After about 10 minutes I thought to bring some water over to him which he sniffed and refused. The fact he sniffed it meant he was interested in something, and sure enough when I offered some food he gobbled it down. Since then he has been fine. Now if he has a fit I know what to do and also that I should not be alarmed as it seems quite routine for an old cat. I understand that this means he is probably near kidney failure, but I’ve known this for about a year now so it is just a matter of giving him the best life he can have until the inevitable happens to what is a very old cat. Thanks again to everyone who posted.

  47. Maggie says:

    Thank you for writing your post. My 17 year old cat was born in my car after I left the windows rolled down at the barn. I gave him to my cousin and is back in my care for his ‘retirement’. Every time his behavior changes throughout the last 6 years I think “this is it,” but thankfully he is still with us. I noticed about 4 months ago that he was getting unsteady on his feet and beginning to eat less. He had a seizure 3 weeks ago. It was traumatic because he was on tile flooring and shoving his face into the floor, blocking his nose. I held his head up, and he recovered. Not just recovered, it was like someone pushed a reset button. He is hungry, active, and back to sleeping in his favorite spots. Unfortunately he had another one this morning. I appreciate your website and hope for another 4 years with him.

  48. Mary says:

    We have a beloved young cat that had its first “grand mal”epileptic seizure at the age of 10 months. This seizure occurred while the cat was fast asleep, lying upside down in his “cat tunnel.” The seizure lasted approximately 10 to 15 seconds (but seemed like forever). Hamlet “paddle-footed back and forth, his body stiffened, he drooled, peed slightly, and later arose dazed, was extra snuggly, hungry, and slightly disoriented. These are common symptoms of epilepsy. His second set of seizures occurred 7-8 months later, also in the middle of the night. These were “cluster seizures” – short duration seizures occurring back to back (approximately 10 seizures). We rushed him to the emergency clinic where he was medicated to stop the cluster seizures (very important to prevent further neurological damage). We began a round of several different blood tests to exclude other conditions (all tests negative for FIV, etc.) before epilepsy was diagnosed. Long story short, Hamlet has been on phenobarbital twice daily for several years now (he’s approaching 5 years) with no additional seizures. We have recently reduced his medication to once daily successfully with no additional seizures. We have his liver tested once a year to make sure the pills have no adverse affect (none at all to date). He’s a happy, active cat that is the sunshine of our lives. It is VERY EASY to medicate a cat for epilepsy. The pills are extremely small, not at all expensive, and can be easily placed within a tasty “pill-pocket” cat treat which is sold at all the major pet suppliers these days. Hamlet looks forward to his treat and now reminds us that it’s pill time with a tap on the leg if we’re running late. We have an older 17 1/2 old cat that is developing a head twitch as she ages. We won’t hesitate to pill her with phenobarbital if the condition worsens, develops into seizures, and a diagnosis calls for it. Seizures are definitely not the end of the road for your cat. Please consider getting your cats medicated for their seizures as it can be very effective in controlling or even totally eliminating them. We can’t imagine what our life would be like without Hamlet in it. He makes us smile every day :).

  49. fred says:

    Max the cat (10 yrs old and 22 lbs) had his first seizure 2 days ago.
    Truely a scary moment. We immediately took him to the vet. They did some blood tests that came back negative and next week they will do some Xrays to check for any growths/cancer. The Vet said we should monitor him and see what happens. She mentioned brain tumor several times to my wife and today again to me. This scares the heck out of me. I am hoping that the Xrays come back negative. The next option would be a “Cat” scan looking for a brain tumor. I think we may bank on the Xray results and forego any “Cat” scans.
    The vet ruled out epilepsy because he is 10 yrs old…I guess we’ll see what happens. He runs the house. Can’t believe I am praying for my cat but this house would not be the same w/out him. Good luck to all w/ your felines.

  50. Johannes Jansonius says:

    my cat Aphrodite is now 20 years old and also has had a seconcd seizure, the first was about a month ago…. The first happened when I was clapping in my hands to attract her attention, she is getting quite deaf, and she also responded by jerking her head in time with my hand claps. Wierd! And then running around in circles frantically and being quite disoriented. I wasn’t sure at the time what had happened, but now a month later, I was opening an old bag of chips and the krinkling sound set her off and she jumped of my lap and started floundering around on the floor. This seizure was bigger and lasted longer, and I noticed that she was very warm afterwards, (her ears were very warm), and she was panting and gasping for a good 10 minutes afterwards. She was quite weak also and had trouble standing, but I held her in my arms on my left shoulder during the whole event, petting her and calming her down. This seemed to help both of us to calm down. Afterwards she just calmed down and slept in her favorite place next to the hot water radiator. The next day she was a little calm but seemed much better. btw I also noticed that one pupil was more dilated than the other right after the seizure. She seems ok, and I will just have to be careful not to make these noises to set her off inthe future.

    • KatyHume says:

      My cat has FARS noise related seizures and is hyperthyroid. Clicking sounds and bag crinkling but getting more noise sensitive. He has had a typical seizure from thyroid meds but jerking/ twitching was different . Seems to effect older cats and Stewey just turned 16.

  51. Bobbi Lane says:

    My 17 year old cat, Squeak, is a diabetic, and on insulin shots twice a day.We constantly monitor him, feed him high protein food, etc. He drinks and pees a lot, a result of his system trying to rid the body of the excess sugar. He’s had a couple of seizures that have been from low blood sugar. In cats, diabetes can instantaneously reverse itself, so you give the insulin, then the pancreas turns back on and bam, no sugar. He’s had several over the last couple of years now, but as he gets older, they have been happening about once a month. He had one this morning, totally triggered by sound. Starting a couple years ago we have seen him flinch to sharp sounds (keyboard tapping, shoes on hardwood floors, etc) and I now believe that the most recent seizures are sound related and not sugar related. His kidneys are slowly failing, part of the disease, and it makes sense to me that the poor functioning kidneys are the underlying cause of his particular seizures. He has the same symptoms as above, twitching followed by full grand mal seizure, then slowly coming around, confused, walking in circles or unsteady, etc. Then he walks around the house, looking at everything, a bit unsettled, and then he’s fine the rest of the day.The seizures are always followed by voracious eating. That is a result of the low blood sugar, We give him Karo syrup, drip it into his mouth with an eye dropper, to help stop the seizures. Please note this is for diabetic cats. The vet says that the seizures won’t kill him and they are much worse to witness then they really are to the cat. Although certainly not pleasant for him either.

    I will not put him on any tranquilizers since they don’t happen often and aren’t that dangerous. The best is to try and keep him safe when he seizes. I gently hold his body so he’s not banging into anything and then hold him and pet him when he comes out of it.

    I told the vet about the sound twitching and she was not familiar with it. Maybe it’s time some of these vets get some updating. Looking at this site shows how many cats have these sound induced seizures, so it’s not an “unknown cause” it’s just that they don’t know.

    Good luck to you all with you furry loved ones!

    • matt says:

      i am so curious if anyone has learned anything more about the sound-triggered tics/twitches. even my neurologist was unfamiliar with it. i induced the cat to twitch once in his presence and he said “that’s weird”.

      i have checked everything i could find on the net for brain tumor symptoms and it was not listed among them. i am reluctant to get Ruth an MRI for numerous reasons aside from the heavy cost. if i see more brain tumor-specific symptoms i may change that, and would give feedback to anyone here.

      an out of left-field notion. with no awareness on the part of vets is it possible that this condition is growing in recent years. i have commented before that the tic reminds me of a less severe version of a tourette’s or prion disease (kuru, CFJ, et al) spasm and he did grow up in an era where he could have been exposed to mad cow beef. i am sure pet food was not policed as closely. the sound sensitive aspect may render this guess useless, but it is just a guess.

      • Heather says:

        My cat is about 14 and she had her first seizure about a year ago. Since then she has had only 3-4 ( that I have seen). Since that time however she will twitch as you’ve explained with repetitive staccato noises. She likes to sit next to my keyboard on the computer and rapidly clicking my mouse will do it, or her bag of treats crinkling. I have never been able to find out why but it doesn’t seem to bother her and it only lasts for a second or two.

  52. kathy says:

    My elderly cat Marti started having seizures when she was 19. She has had them for 2 1/2 yrs now. They started about every 5 to 6 months then got progressively worse, about every 4 to 6 wks. I found out from the internet that sodium nitrites cause seizures in elderly cats. Sodium nitrite is a preservative found in some cat foods, namely fancy feast, nine lives, and purina. Also in deli meats. Once I took my cat off that cat she is on pro plan, the seizures have stopped. She has not had one in over 2 months. I am positive if I keep her off of that chemical she will stay seizure free. It mainly applies to elderly animals, by the way..she is 22 now, and doing quite well

  53. Ana says:

    My 16 1/2 year old cat, Snow, had his first seizure about one month ago. At least, I think it was his first. And he had his second seizure today. I am so worried and sad because I can’t imagine my life without him. I took him to the vet last summer and was told that his blood work was excellent. I was so happy to hear that my little old man was doing great. Now I worry that these seizures may be a sign of his slow end. I was hoping he would be one of those cats that lived to the age of 25. My concern is that I don’t have the money to take him to the vet right now and I am looking for ideas on what i can do to make his quality of life better while I get my finances in order. I appreciate any advice I can get. I love my cat and I am not a very nurturing person. But even my daughter finds it interesting how I just melt when my little guy is around. He has been with me through some of the most difficult times in my life and I want to make sure that I honor him by taking care of him the best way I can.

  54. Carl says:

    Thank you Chrissy and all who have shared. Mittens just began having seizures, 4 thus far one per month. Mittens is a 19 year Blue Russian mix and we’ve had her since she was a kitten. I’ve read many of the comments on this blog and will concur…her hearing has become very sensitive to certain sounds. This has been noticiable during the last year or so. She will flinch and twitch at certain sounds such as scraping her food can, tapping, rustling of paper and the like. I know two of the seizures occurred instantly with the rustling of paper. Convulsing on the floor, drooling, urinating, muted sounds and some gutteral sounds, curled spine and pawing. Last year I had her to the vet for a tooth extraction and he ran several tests. Bladder was OK but her kidneys were retaining some toxins. He suggested changing food to lower protein diet. I did and she wouldn’t eat it. So, I returned to the regular can food and continued providing dry cat food for seniors which I started some 10 years ago.
    After the seizures she’s dazed and tired. She will go to eat and drink once she gets her bearings then she roams the house sniffing and exploring as though she experiencing a “new environment” or just getting reaquainted with her old environment. Also twice just prior to the seizures and after hearing the sounds of paper crinkling she bolted around the house from room to room bumping in to walls and furniture. The other two seizures I’m trying to recollect what was occuring when they happened.

  55. stephanie says:

    i tried to contact you but was unable

  56. sally says:

    my 19 1/2 year old cat also has seizures from the crinkling of potato chip bags. She seizes for about 45 secs to 1 minute then meows and walks in circles no peeing though, I’m really glad i found this because I thought I was imagining things. I never have taken her to a vet glad to hear she may live an even longer life.

  57. matt says:

    I am so elated to have found your post. My 12-13 male cat (Ruth) has evidenced seizure-spectrum activity since I got him. He has been through the mill of tests and seen neurologists several times. He had radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroid but still had some of the symptoms attributable to that (including distressed meowing and pestering me during the night…similar to Kitty II). Epilepsy seems possible, as does a brain tumor. The problem is that his symptoms that would be tumor are not regionally consistent and MRI has risks due to kidneys, heart, and age.

    The reason I am so elated to read these posts is; He has the same sound-sensitivity issues a couple of you described. I can tell they can begin to trigger seizures and they also cause a Tourette’s looking tick frequently. The same sort of sounds.Tinny, hollow, crinkling. Last night I put the cable remote down on the nightstand and it made a noise that caused him to attack it. My neurologist acted as though he has never heard of this tick (even though he saw it once) or any sound sensitivity related to neuro problems.

    My question for you or Sally is. How do you help increase the kitty’s comfort level with some of the underlying stress or anxiety? Have you been able to learn more about the sound response cause or physiology?

  58. Stacey says:

    My cat is 18 years old and recently had his first seizure (at least that I know of). My vet put him on Phenobarbital, a tiny dose, twice per day. It is a tiny amount and easy to give him and inexpensive. My vet is a cat specialist and has successfully treated several other elderly cats for seizures with this medication. This seems to be a rather common possibility for elderly cats. My cat also has sound sensitivity like several of the previous posts mentioned.

  59. Karen S. says:

    Finally some posts I can relate to. Our 17 year old diabetic cat Spooky has been experiencing seizures now for 2 months (I think). I have witnessed 2 completely different types of what I believe to be seizures. The first is the most awful thing to experience which is the convulsive, lying on his side jerking, running type (he’s had 2 of these 5 wks apart). It lasts less than a minute and sometimes it takes him 5 to 15 minutes to recouperate. First thing he does once he gets his bearings is eat. Because he is diabetic, this poses an issue so I only allow him to finish what he has left in his dish from his feeding/insulin injection time. The second type of seizure is the sniffing/searching type. It is very bizarre. This type lasts longer than the convulsive type. It can go on for 5 plus minutes. He walks around the house usually following a wall or piece of furniture sniffing his way about with no regard to where he is stepping. I have watched him walk right through his water and food dishes and continue on. I have watched him get behind my computer desk and get tangled in the wires and get stuck. I have watched him circle the couch a half a dozen times just sniffing and sniffing. Last night he had one of these searching/sniffing seizure while laying on the bed next to me. He never actually stood up he just sniffed and pushed his way up towards the head of the bed moving his head back and forth sniffing. When I put him on the floor he seemed disoriented but within seconds he headed off to his food dish. I have not seen the connection between sound and seizure. Both of his convulsive siezures happened around midnight. I was sleeping and the sounds he was making woke me. It almost sounds like he is hacking up a hairball. His sniffing seizures don’t seem to have a pattern, but until last night all were daytime episodes. Since Spooky’s diabetic diagnosis 4 years ago, I have done everything I can do to accomodate him. Insulin Injections every 12 hours, diabetic dry food, etc….I called the vet a month ago and the first suggestion was bring him in, we’ll run some tests, perhaps put him on seizure meds. I refused. Insulin injections are enough both financially and commitmentwise. I love my cat, he is 17 years old and has been with me a third of my life. All in all he has a good life. My feelings are he is old and inevitably he will die one day. I will try my best to keep him out of harms way and continue to tend to his needs, but I will not add more pharmaceuticals into the mix. I don’t feel he is experiencing any pain, if I did I wouldn’t allow it. I am so glad I found this website. Hope my post helps someone.

  60. Scott J says:


    Brodie Boy is my 16 year old male kitty. His first sound induced seizure, which occurred approximately 18 months ago, caught me completely off-guard. Brodie was asleep in my lap as I worked on my computer when a repetitive series of key strokes prompted him to abruptly awake and convulse. I rushed him to the vet and began what has turned out to be a long search for a diagnosis, answers and hopefully, a cure.

    Brodie has had at least seven similar seizures since that initial episode. His sensitivity to crackling, tapping, clicking and similar sounds has increased. Three seizures were triggered while he was eating dry food and a few nuggets hit a plastic or metal surface or due to the crunch of attempting to chew multiple pieces at once. Two other attacks were set in motion by clicking bike tires and then a child striking a snare drum in an adjacent room.

    Neither my vet or I have found any definitive causes for the condition. It may be associated with kidney disease and/or genetic time bombs. The best we have been able to accomplish thus far is to address the symptoms.

    I now keep his dry food on sheets of paper towels, which cover a paper plate. The paper plate is positioned on a cushioned mat. This combination has reduced the risk of any nuggets striking a hard surface and generating a potentially harmful sound. I also turn on a nearby exhaust fan as white noise seems to help filter threatening sounds. This seems to help with the crunch of chewing the dry food. And, of course, Brodie gets canned food whenever he asks per his doctor’s instructions.

    Filtered water and regular 60 cc injections of Lactated Ringer’s solution support his kidneys. Brodie’s BUN and creatinine numbers have changed only slightly over the past few years. There have been no unusual blood values or test results to suggest a link to the seizures.

    Our options for drug treatment are limited due to the potential damage to Brodie’s kidneys. We treated him with Diazepam (.05 to 1 mg pill every 12 hours) until two months ago when we switched Brodie to Levetiracetam (0.8 ml oral solution every 8 hours) as an experiment. The Levetiracetam seems to have elevated his resistance to the sound triggers a bit, but not nearly as much as we wanted. The next step will be to explore using a combination of both drugs.

    Diazepam (Valium) is fairly inexpensive, while the Levetiracetam costs $20 every three weeks. Unfortunately, both medications cause drowsiness, which means he is not nearly as active as he was pre-seizures. The only other medicine I regularly give him is Lactulose Solution (2.0 cc oral solution per day), which is excellent for promoting consistent bowel movements.

    I use the words “we” and “our” when describing Brodie’s care as his condition has been a new experience for the veterinarians at his clinic. It has necessitated research, joint planning and open communication by all his caregivers to attempt to help him. There does not seem to be a magic pill or easy fix for the condition. We have even discussed muffling or purposely deadening his hearing to halt the threat or seizures and eliminate or limit the need for the medicines.

    My biggest concern is Brodie’s quality of life. He eats well, goes to the bathroom regularly, drinks a ton of water due to the kidney disease and sleeps a lot. He does not seem to have any ongoing pain, only the discomfort associated with threatening sounds. I consistently pray I will know when the good no longer outweighs the bad. I love Brodie dearly, but do not want him to linger even one minute longer than what is best for him.

    I wish you and your loved ones the best.

    • matt says:

      I really appreciate you posting your experience. My male cat has a very similar profile. He has only mild to moderate kidney disease (high BUN, high normal creatinine, very low end of normal specific gravity) but difficulties concentrating. First seizure a year ago (seemed to be a stress trigger) but the last several have been sound induced. He has had some things that would seem to be petite mal seizure spectrum ever since I rescued him 3 and 1/2 years ago, and has long shown tics/twitches in response to noise.
      A couple of questions; Does Brodie respond to sounds in that “sharp and/or tinny” range with tics or myoclonus, even if it does not progress to seizure? Did you ever do an MRI? I have not because most symptoms don’t match well with brain tumor, although meningioma still seems a possibility. Ruth also sleeps a good deal, but I cannot really tell that this is excessive lethargy considering he is a senior cat. He grooms, eats, drinks water, etc. He does experience a higher level of anxiety at night.
      I had come to the conclusion from what I have read that there was a good chance of this being related to his kidney function. My vets don’t rule it out, although they are not familiar (even the neurologist) with the symptom set I am describing. Do your vets have an opinion? Do you have any other resources to recommend? One only has to read the above posts to realize there is a reasonably sized population of cats that experience sound induced seizure. I guess us owners of such cats are waiting for veterinary knowledge to catch up.

      • Scott says:


        The vets I have consulted know little about the sound induced seizure phenomenon in felines. Most of what I have learned has been gleaned from the internet. The tests and treatments have been pieced together. His BUN and creatinine have changed little over the past four years or so. Tests have ruled out a brain tumor.

        Yes, Brodie responds to those certain sounds as if someone pricked him with a sharp pin. The only times the situations have progressed to seizure have been when the sounds where repeated quickly for long enough to push him over some unseen threshold.

        He sleeps much of the time during the day and especially enjoys basking in the warmth of a sunny spot. A heating pad or electric blanket on low works, too. Brodie eats, drinks and makes litter box stops regularly. He does not groom nearly as much as he used to and seems to have adopted a “take me as I am” approach. Since he sleeps by my head or on my chest at night, I insist on some grooming. :-)

        I consider each seizure-free day he enjoys to be a major blessing. I can still hear the clock ticking, so I cherish each peaceful day.



  61. Debra says:

    Put us in the “sound induced” category. My 17 yr. old Sweet Pea just started having them in the past couple of months. The first one my husband saw was induced by him tapping his pen. Crinkly noises are a guarantee. I caused the last when I squeezed the moist food pouch as I was dumping it onto her plate. Her symptoms are the same as most have already described … total system freakout … lasts less than a minute – thank God – then a period of disorientation, crying, and regrouping. So far there have been no observable residual effects other than tiredness. I’d been noticing a slight twitchy reaction to “sharp” noises for maybe a year, but couldn’t really pin it down. Now it’s an instant full seizure immediately after that kind of sound and there is absolutely no doubt. Thanks for posting this.

  62. anne says:

    Mu 17 year old cat Blackie had her first seizure in Dec then April and are now becoming more frequent. Thanx to everyone on the sound induction – am now going to pay attention for that being a possible trigger. Doing bloodwork tomorrow but wonder about diabetes as she eats ravinously after her seizure. Have heard that thyroid problems could also be a cause. Has anyone had experience on this? Having old furkids is a real trial – also have my shepard0husky going thru chemo for lymphoma.
    Thanx to all for the info I have gotten from all of you

  63. Tammy says:

    I am so glad I found this blog entry. Yesterday, I was home and lounging with my 16 yr. old, Little One. She’d been flinching at high, tinny sounds (especially my mouse click) for about 6 months, but I thought maybe her ears were just dirty (cleaned them), then maybe ear mites (had them checked). Yesterday, all it took was opening a potato chip bag to set her off. She flattened both of her ears, shut her eyes, and proceeded to launch herself off of the bed – running headlong into walls. I jumped off the bed to intercept her as she fell on her side and propelled herself sideways across the room using her back legs. The whole event was surreal. I caught her up in my arms and held her as she finished the seizure – about a minute. She frothed at the mouth, but there was no releasing of bowels or anything like that. Afterward, she was confused, eyes dilated, and walked around in circles. I had no idea what to do for her. I felt so helpless – like crying. It is so painful watch my friend of 16 years go through this.

    She has a vet appointment today just to confirm that there’s nothing else going on – but I can’t tell you all how much your stories mean to me. They helped Little One and me sleep last night.

  64. Dottie says:

    I have a 17 yr. old cat, Clementine, who started having seizures in December. I cannot afford to have a lot of medical tests done so I am glad I found this site. I quickly deduced that her seizures were sound induced. I purchased a product called Calm Down! for cats and put it in her food. It’s a homeopathic solution to help reduce stress. The amount of seizures have decreased but I am also making an effort to not make any sudden sounds around her. I also learned not to wake her up, she’s more prone to have a seizure than if she wakes up on her own. Her weight and alertness are both good, no problems with going to the bathroom.

    I love my girl – I hope to have her with me for a long time!

  65. Tracy says:

    Wow, am I glad I finally found this site. My can Pebbles (15 yrs old), Had her first seizure about 2 months ago. I was lying on my bed with her watching some TV. I was eating a bag of M & Ms when all of a sudden she went into a full seizure. She flopped to her size and was moving so much she fell off the high bed to the floor. She was propelling herself with her back legs as if she was running. It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen. The seizure lasted about 3 minutes. When it ended I rushed her to the emergency vet 30 minutes away. They ran a few tests and $600 later I had no answers.

    I watched her very carefully for the next few days hardly letting her out of my sight. About a week later when I opened a bag of chips I noticed that she hunched down and seemed irritated with the sound. I had never noticed this before. No I am well aware. Whenever I open a package that makes sounds I can see her ears go back, her twitch for a minute and have the same look as the day of the seizure. She is really sensitive to the sound and if I am not carefully I can see that it will cause a seizure.

    It is a relief to know that I am not nuts. I was beginning to think I was. I had never heard of anything like this. You think how can sounds trigger such a violent reaction. I feel much better now and I am very carefully when I open any packages.

    Thanks for sharing your stories.

  66. Katya says:

    Thank you, everyone. I’ve only skimmed the comments as yet, and am already grateful that you all have shared your experiences. Our fellow is 17 years old and has had several seizures in the past six months. Not sure of the cause of the initial two, but the most recent seem to be sound induced seizures. His are almost exactly four minutes in length, occur in a small space (no running into walls), and generally very violent.

    The first seizure I witnessed seemed like a choking problem. Just as I pried open his mouth, the seizure kicked in and he crunched through four of my fingers for four minutes. We both went to emergency that day.

    The confusion, circling the house, and howling after seizures is terrible isn’t it? Positively unnerving. They seem inconsolable. I’m very sorry to read you all and your furry friends are experiencing this. I am, however, very grateful that you are sharing your knowledge. I wish you and the kitties well.

  67. lavamom says:

    I am a member of the sound-induced seizure club also. It is comforting to read others’ stories. My 16-yr old siamese-mix cat Oscar has been having sound-induced grand mal seizures for two years. The first one was triggered by mouse clicks (he was sitting on my lap as I worked on the computer). He has had about 17 so far, and ALL have been preceded by noises that are percussive and repetitive in nature (including one in his cat carrier on the way to the vet triggered by my car’s turn signal). They used to come every 3-5 months, but have increased in frequency over time; now they come every 3-4 weeks. I have learned to recognize times when they are most likely; although he is always twitchy with those kinds of noises, his sensitivity increases dramatically for a couple of days before a seizure, so that he is visibly flinching with any clicky or crinkly noise. It is hard on our family – we tiptoe around for days until the inevitable happens. You can see the pressure building in him, waiting to blow. Today, for the first time, I decided to take control and induce it myself and get it over with. I laid out a soft towel, got ice packs ready (more on that later) and placed Oscar in front of me. I used a small wind-up toy of my daughter’s to make the noise. The seizure started right away, but I was able to help him stay safe. It was much faster than any other one he has ever had. When he recovered, he was ravenous. And now that it is over with, he is calm and I don’t have to worry that I will miss it and he will hurt himself. I don’t know that I could have brought myself to do this two years ago, but I feel like this may actually bring some peace to our family. The dread of wondering when the next seizure will be has been difficult for us. And I suspect that by triggering it myself, instead of waiting for him to blow, it was less traumatic on his body.

    I have chosen not to medicate Oscar with pheno because I feel it would change the quality of his life. He is also in kidney failure (as are many of the cats written about on this page), so I don’t want to stress him with drugs if I can avoid it. The vet doesn’t believe in sound-triggered seizures. I do have him on some Chinese herbs for slowing tumor growth (as the vet thinks it is a tumor that could be the main reason for the seizures).

    One of the most helpful things I have learned is to apply a gel-type icepack to his lumbar spine (the part at the end of the back, before the tail) during the seizure. This has been shown to reduce the length and severity of seizures in dogs. If you google “dog seizure icepack” you can read other people’s stories. For some reason it isn’t widely known in cat circles – maybe because cats seize less frequently. Anyway, I noticed an immediate difference in Oscar’s seizures once I started doing this. We keep two gelpacks in the freezer (I use Boo-Boo Buddies, made for kids). Whenever he seizes I grab him and run to the kitchen with him, get a gelpack, hold him on his side with one hand and hold the gelpack in place with the other. It’s easier with help. If my daughter or husband is home, they also hold one on his head (brain area). We hod them there until he is done, a few minutes. I think the gelpacks are better than ice because they aren’t quite as cold, and gradually lose their coldness.

    Anyway – I hope that my experience will help someone out there.

    • lavamom says:

      I thought about my post, and realize that it could sound very strange to some people that I intentionally made my cat have a seizure. It is not something I recommend, or that I could or would have done even a year ago. All I can say is that after two years I feel I have learned to recognize the signs that precede his seizures. Seizures are horribly upsetting to witness, and in part because we have no control over what is happening to our cat, and we are scared they will hurt themselves. (One time Oscar got a bloody tooth from his head banging against the floor before I could get to him.) Recently a friend told me about someone she knew who had epilepsy, who learned to trigger her own seizures; by doing this she regained some measure of control over their unpredictability, and could live a more or less normal life. I had been thinking a lot about that when I realized that maybe I could lessen the trauma of Oscar’s seizures by inducing them myself. As I wrote, the seizure today was much briefer than usual, and he bounced back quicker, and all day has seemed to be more comfortable than he was for the last two days when he cringed at every sound. I don’t know if I will do it again, but I may. It is a personal choice, and again – not something I would recommend for others. I do, however, highly recommend using the icepack treatment. Good luck to all –

  68. Katy says:

    I am so thankful you all wrote your stories…my cat had a seizure just 20 minutes ago and we were freaking out :( Thanks for sharing so we know what to expect!

  69. Chris says:

    I have a 16 year old female. She has had diabetes for a couple of years; about the same time I noticed the sound sensitivity. In the last two years she has had 3 seizures. I have to wonder if there is any connection between the diabetes and the seizures. It seems that when her blood sugar was low, the seizures were more likely. Each time I assumed it was a low blood sugar emergency, I administered sugar (Kayro and yogurt) and she would come out of it in about a minute. Perhaps the two are not related, but one exaggerates the other.

  70. K. Spellman says:

    Wow — more information on cat seizures than I’ve found anywhere else on the Net. Much thanks! And this matches my experience with my 17-yr-old male cat, Sharif. I don’t know what triggered his first seizure because I wasn’t there to witness the onset, but the second was definitely induced by the sound of a pen clicking. He responds to that characteristic sound from plastic packaging rattling with head twitches but not a seizure — though he is largely deaf now, so perhaps the effect is greatly muted.

    Today he had a different kind of problem — general lethargy and lack of interest in food in the morning, then by early afternoon an overall twitchiness as he was lying down. Trouble getting to his feet and walking. His tail wouldn’t stop twitching — couldn’t tell if he was in pain or just irritated — and frequent head twitches. After about an hour of this, he spontaneously got to his feet, ate and drank, visited his litter box, and then seemed to fall into a peaceful sleep. Now he’s awake again and exhibiting some of the same twitchiness and discomfort. Bloodwork done after his first seizure showed nothing unusual for his age. I’m watching his symptoms and doing my best to make sure he’s safe and comfortable.

    Does anyone have any experience of twitchy, seizure-like behaviour that matches this?


    • lavamom says:

      My male cat Oscar (a couple of posts before yours) has the same overall twitchiness – his ears, his head – I guess they are more like tremors as compared to the twitchiness that comes in reaction to a clicking sound. In Oscar’s case, he also has kidney failure – so he gets the periods of lethargy and non-eating as well. I have started hydrating him with sub-q fluids, and that keeps him more comfortable. So you may want to have your cats kidney function looked at.

      I have also read about a condition in cats that is similar to the twitches you describe – it causes their skin to ripple and their tails to twitch – can’t remember the name though, and it’s not something that vets take very seriously. It’s also possible that your cat is having mini-seizures.

      Regarding triggering Oscar’s seizures – I am not always able to do it. I have tried to trigger about 5 times, and have only been successful twice; the other three times he simply doesn’t have the seizure.

  71. Willy Wonky says:

    My cat is also about 17 and started having seizures over a year ago. She’s had maybe 6 or 7 of them, all triggered by sound – mostly crinkling sounds like potato chip bags. One of the early seizures took place when I was getting dressed and dangling a belt with a buckle that made a clicking noise. I thought she was going to play with it at first, but soon realized it had triggered a seizure. The sounds that seem to trigger seizures are clapping, opening cardboard boxes with perforated pull tabs, potato chip bags, and other clicking noises. The seizures seem to conform to a lot of the other descriptions here. First, she usually will act startled and go in circles as if chasing her tail. That is followed by the running in place on her side and loss of control urinating. She also drools/foams at the mouth a bit. I try to hold her to prevent her from running into things and injuring herself, but I also try not to restrict her too much. When the seizure is over, she usually gets up and walks crooked, favoring one side.

    The phenobarbital seems to help prevent reactions to these sounds, and I have decided to continue with the meds just because they seem to make her feel better and react less to sound. I avoid making the sounds known to trigger seizures, but the most recent seizure came when I didn’t realize she was nearby and I was opening a corrugated cardboard package with perforated pull tab.

    When these seizures started, I thought it was the end for her, but now I think she can live a while longer with the treatment and as little exposure as possible to the sounds that trigger the seizures.

  72. Erica Hartzell says:

    I know this is an older post but thank you for the information. My cat is 25 years old, and had her first seizure last friday. I thought it was the end but she came to fine and seems to be ok. She had symptoms of running in circles a little bit after the seizure was over. I know shes old and its a blessing just to have her still with me. And I know when its time… I will do whats best for her.

  73. lavamom says:

    The twitchy condition I was referring to above is called Feline hyperesthesia syndrome. Reading about it may interest some cat owners here.

  74. Isla Burgess says:

    Kia Ora to all that have written here.
    I have an amazing cat called Musashi who has been my dearly loved companion for 20 years. He and I have been through stuff and are very close. He had a seizure (I thought Epileptic) abpout 21/2 months ago and another this week.
    I instinctively hold him close and afterwards he pants for sometime and then is voraciously hungry with accompyaning symtoms many of which are described in prevoius posts.
    Since he lost his teeth (has one left) I have been feeding him a tin of ‘Fancy Feast’ daily – I will stop this as a trial (Reference to Post above and link with Sodium Nitrite).
    I have him on 1/4 teasp of a mix of Reishi ad Shiitake mushrooms, Nutritional yeast and a Multi herbal/Vitamin/Mineral anti-oxidant (he was misdiagnosed years ago as having cat Aids and these all assist with that).

    This website has been inspiring and really helpful. He may have a brain tumour BUT I will try no Sodium Nitrite first. I am a Medical Herbalist but treating cats is a different story.

  75. Michelle says:

    My adorable 17 year old Ophelia started suffering from seizures this year: really violently scampering around the flat, bashing headfirst into everything, then convulsion, foaming at the mouth and pawing the air, peeing everywhere.

    The first time was triggered by me opening his dry food bag, then next by the ‘pshhh’ sound of me breaking open a lychee fruit, then by dropping a wooden mothball on the floor! I thought that I was crafting the begins of a conspiracy theory – this webpage has saved my sanity!

    The vet diagnosed a brain tumour or epilepsy and has put him on Diazepam (5mg tablets that I divide into quarters and crush into his food) once a day. This seems to have stopped all seizures.

    I was interested in what others have written about gel packs and Phenobarbitals.

    • Wendy says:

      Please help me. I have a 19 year old cat. Losing hair on rump and between hind legs very alarmingly. Doesn’t scratch or lick excessively but becomes aggravated when I try to rub any anti fungi or vitamin E oil on her. Also started seizures 2 months ago. Vets can’t help. Has always fed on Hills Science Diet Mature Adult pellets for years.

  76. Laura says:

    Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories. My 5-year old cat started having seizures at 1 1/2-2 years old. Vet could find nothing wrong with her. For the next 2 years she would have one grand mal seizures every 2-5 months. We finally made the connection that loud repetitive or crunching noises were causing some (or all?) of her seizures. We’ve found that distracting her with food or talking over the load noise will solve the problem. She hasn’t had a seizure in 9 months. Like many of you, we also told our vet about the sound triggers and she looked confused.

  77. Joan says:

    I am relieved to know that my 18-1/2 year old kitty is not the only one having seizures due to sound! My vet doesn't believe it to be so because it's not documented. How many coincidences can you have (this is the 4th time I triggered it!) He has the same reactions as all the other comments made here: it takes him a while to come out of his temporary paralysis, he hides under a chair and sleeps it off for 1/2 day and then resumes the rest of the day like nothing happened. I think I was able to divert a couple of seizures simply by petting him and letting him know everything was all right (maybe that was just a coincidence). The only thing I see that's lasting is a little more weaknesses in his back legs each time.
    It was very reassuring to hear stories so much like mine and to know that I'm not crazy.

  78. Angie says:

    Hello, fellow cat lovers,
    Our cat Smudgie is now 22yrs old & has been having these fits for the past 4 years. The first few times it happened, we found it so trumatic & distressing, as we too thought she was dying. We find the best treatment for her is to let the fit happen for a few seconds, then gently pick her up in a towel (as she loses control of her bladder) & cuddle her for half an hour or so. We find this seems to comfort & calm her. She then sleeps for 24hrs & is as bright as a button after, as if the fit has taken the weight off her brain. We can usually tell a few days in advance when one is brewing, as any click or rustle makes her jerk her head, then it is that sort of noise which triggers the big seizure. At first we thought she was having a stroke, but now accept that it is part of her life.
    If her quality of life was not good, we would not let her suffer, but these harrowing episodes are soon over & only happen every few months, so feel we are lucky to still have a very loving & comforting old girl still with us two oldies.
    We make sure she always has a bowl of fresh clean water available, as she does get very thirsty. It is so good to know we are not alone with this worry about our beloved friend.
    Good luck to you all & get lots of cuddles in!

  79. merijoe says:

    oh im so glad to have run o this support group my 18 year old girl, kiki has been having noise induced seizures for about 2 years-the first one was very upsetting, but yes it does get easier to deal with after that.
    The vets are absoultely useless, except for charging big $ and working on your emotions-
    I figured out some things myself from alot of research-my cat still has these noise induced shakers but I learned that during the seizure the cat's blood sugar drops (which is why they eat from their bowl right after an episode) and during the fit or immediately after a small bit of honey rubbed on the gums will shorten the duration of the disoreintation period-it works for us, i do it all the time. I sure would like to know why noises set her off though, does anyone know?
    Sometimes I don't know shes under my feet -I spin around in my sqeaky chair and set the poor thing off-yes, even the sound of her eating her crunchies will send her to shake and rattle a little

    anyway thanks, here is myemail address if you have info to share or want to talk as of 8/12/[email protected]

  80. Susan B says:

    Wow….i want to thank everyone here who posted about kitty seizures. My cat 13 year old calico Lucy had a seizure about 2 weeks ago and i was crying hysterically thinking she was dying. Even tho i had a thought in my head it was only a seizure, it was still very traumatic for me. I notice remembered what was happening when she had it…she was sitting right on the desk next to me and i was typing up a storm…all of a sudden she seemed to be totally startled by my frantic typing noise and started with the seizure right there on the desk. I freaked out and grabbed her…putting her on the floor where she continued to convulse for about another 30 seconds, which i must tell u, felt like an hour. Once she stopped, she just laid there breathing heavily and seemed very dazed. i helped her sit up and got some water for her to drink, then gave her some food once she seemed to be coming back to her old self.

    I now see this pattern with noises…she LOVES to come sit by me when im at the comp, but the typing just makes her twitch and i feel horrible for putting her back over on the bed where the noise of my typing doesnt seem to affect her nearly as badly. I thought maybe this was ear mites but now after reading all this, i can see she has elderly cat epilepsy. I appreciate your words as this makes me feel a whole lot better that i know she isnt dying when she has these. So far has been only the one, but i am very careful about loud noises now. However she still does the weird meowing at random times and when i call her name she stops. She also seems to "freak out" a number of times a day where she runs to a door frame, scratches it frantically (much to my dismay), runs the exact same path thru the apt…..past my dresser, up her kitty tower and onto the dresser…then snaps her head around quickly back and forth like someone is chasing her. This is upsetting for me as she has never done this before in her life. she started doing this about a month or so before that first seizure, so im figuring it might be related….maybe a waking mini-seizure? Any info on this would be appreciated, and u can email me your thoughts at [email protected]. thank you!

  81. Keri says:

    My 17 year old cat had a seizure this morning. It was the first one, as far as I know. I opened his bag of treats and he twitched at the sound, which I did notice he started doing lately. After he twitched, he kind of turned around and seemed really scared at something, but then all of a sudden he started convulsing and rolling around the room, drooling a bit. My dad came over and gently held him until he stopped. The seizure lasted for about a minute. Afterwards, he was a little wobbly and his eyes were dilated. He seemed very confused and then began walking in a circle for a little. He then looked around like he was unaware of his surroundings. But after maybe 10 minutes, he went into the kitchen over to his food bowls and ate his food and drank water. He was fine after all that. Very scary, but reading all of these stories helps put my mind at ease so I'm hoping he will be OK. We will just have to try to avoid sounds that will set him off again.

    • Laurie says:

      I have a 17 year old Calico, Callie that has been having seizures for 1 1/2 now. She had the same reaction when I opened treats for her, also a couple after i made clicking sounds to get her attention. It took me awhile to figure out these seizures might be set off by noises. Our story is so similar…. I try to hold her on her side until she is done,,,, It is so sad… Thank for posting…

  82. Tracy says:

    I'm glad I found this site, it is a great help to hear other peoples experiences. My 12 year old cat started having fits 6 months ago. We took her to the vet and they did expensive blood tests but found nothing. They now will not proceed any further until she has had more blood test which I cannot afford but, moreover, I am angry with my vet for not doing all the test they needed the first time round. My cat is having random fits ranging from 15 to 47 days in between and has the same symptoms as everyone who has posted on here. I thought it might be chemical induced and have cut down on harsh cleaning products but this has not helped. I am going to try to avoid noise and sodium nitrate foods and hope these help. Thanks again.

  83. Wendy says:

    Hi everyone, Im from England & my name is Wendy. I have a cat who will be 18 this November. She also started having fits about a year ago & again like so many of your cats here its often due to rustling packets, crinkling crisp packets etc…that start her off. She also eats well after having these fits ( which incidentenly are extremly horrid to witness) Im so glad to know that im not alone in this and indeed it seems to be a very common thing in loder cats. Im not going to take her to the vets to be put to sleep as I feel that she has a bit of life left in her yet, so I will just make her comfortable & let her live out the rest of her days untill her times comes. Good luck to all you kitty lovers out there. XXX

  84. Jon says:

    Yep this all sounds very familiar.

    I have a 22yr old male cat who started fitting about a year ago. The following points apply:

    – elderly
    – thin (although he eats like a horse and is slightly obsessive about eating)
    – drinks loads of water (although the vet told us his kidney function isn’t that bad)

    His fits are definitely brought on by crackling noises (crisp packets, food sachet packets, keys jangling, any kind of crackling noise really). I just really make a conscious effort not to make those kind of noises around him, and he hasn’t fitted for quite a while now. Very comforting to hear that it’s not only us who has this problem though and the symptoms are quite common.

  85. Sue says:

    My 17 year old male cat had a seizure last week, for the first time. (I had noticed that he's been twitching and extra jumpy for the past 6 months or so.) The vet did a blood work-up after the seizure and everything was pretty good except that he did have a slightly elevated white blood cell count (the vet then put him on an antibiotic since he seemed to have something starting to brew in his sinus area–as he had been sneezing and his eyes were a little runny, in the days before the seizure).

    The vet guessed he may have a tumor that caused this seizure — but it's only a guess.

    This site has been very helpful — and I've also read on the internet that this type of seizure is called an "audiogenic seizure." I'm not having any luck finding out what is the cause of this type of seizure — does anyone know? Is it a tumor, or a chemical imbalance? Any info would be helpful — please email me at [email protected]. Thank you!!

  86. Jaime says:

    Bartonella bacteria caused my cat to have seizures at the age of 13 every four hours. She had to get all these tests then I found a veterinarian that had 30 years of experience named Dr. Glidewell in Fort Wayne, IN and he actually kept current in research studies on cats and told me he thought that she had Bartonella on the first visit with him after tests were done by another veterinarian for $400, including x-rays, that showed my cat had nothing wrong with her. Bartonella has to be tested by a facility in New Jersey that came up with the test in 2001 for it. Bartonella comes from fleas and affects 30% of healthy cats. A cat can get as a kitten and it can become noticeable at say my cat's age of 13 years of age. So, get your cats tested for Bartonella if you don't know why their seizing or are sick. Tawny stopped having her four hours apart seizures on the second day of antibiotics. These bacteria are so strong that it takes 21 days worth of antibiotics to kill them. This saved $900 for an MRI.

    • Susan says:

      Jaime — What antibiotic did you use? Also, did your cat have any discharge out of his eyes (before going on the antibiotic)?

  87. Judith Contreras says:

    Thank you! This just happened to my 14 y/o cat after I clicked my tongue at her. I thought she was dying! She didn’t pee, but she was foaming at the mouth, and chasing her tail. I will never do that again!

  88. tina says:

    I have to elderly cats (19) who both have kidney disease and one of which has fits. Although he had one a month for 6 months there have not been any for 10months now until yesterday :-) The fits are definitely sound induced crackling plastic wrappings, clinking cutlery etc. The other one does not have fits but did start with the banshee howling at night, generally in the bathroom for full echo effect! I found with him that it is like he can't lap enough water up somehow and I started to give him water from a syringe that resolved the problem and he now comes and asks when he wants more to drink (Maine Coons are SOooo cute ) so maybe that could help those of you that have the yowling thing going on.

  89. lovemyragdoll says:

    My kitty started having seizures after receiving his vaccines and microchipping. It was horrible. I cried for days and worried about him when I was at work. Afraid I would come home and find him dead. Took him to vet and they ran tests, found nothing and vet also suggested it could be brain tumor or toxoplasmosis. They put him on clyndamycin. His seizures increased to three daily. While I was at home. When he was under my bed and I wasn't home have no idea how many there could have been..Long story short, I talked to a amedical doctor/professor who is an expert in environmental diseases and he told me it was the vaccines he had received causing the seizures and that I could take him off the phenobarbitol vet additionally prescribed for the seizures when the clyndamycin was showing no good. I called my vet and passed on this information given to me by an expert, who may very well have been a professor teaching a course to these vets when they were in college. The vet would not recommend nor help me wean kitty from phenobarbitol to find out if it was only vaccine related so I had to go it on my own. To date, kitty is taking starting today 1/8 pheno twice a day and I will be giving it to him for the next week until the clyndamycin RX is gone and then see what happens…The vet prescribed 1/2 phenobaritol twice a day every 12 hrs to begin with and it stopped the seizures but my little ragdoll was unable to even walk or use the litter pan without much difficulty. I am thankful for the vets help in stopping seizures but they would not even consult with me on weaning him or what this professor told me about vaccine related seizures in pets. I showed a video to the professor and he said "that is a vaccine related seizure"..Ragdoll had never had seizures and curiously all began after those vaccines…

  90. lovemyragdoll says:

    I would also like to add as I am weaning him of the phenobaritol that vet prescribed taking at 1/2 at 2times began on September 26 that right now as he is being weaned on lower dose, my little ragdoll is "not" having any seizures and it is Oct.11..I reduced it to 1/4 two times daily five days ago and today 1/8 two times daily..He is not having any seizures and beginning to act more like himself. My loving buddy. Used to he would be under my bed instead of on it..Today I came home from work and he was on my bed waiting for me like he used to do…

  91. Antonio says:

    Hi, My Cat Puffy is 20 years old and I witnessed a seizure for the first time today at 4am. I had set an alarm and he started to shake. It really scared me. I thought he was dying. He seems like he is going back to normal now. The episode lasted around 2 minutes or less. I was thinking of taking him to a vet, but after reading this I will keep my appointment for him which is next Thursday. Glad I ran into this page. Thanks! I will add that before this I noticed that the alarm on my iphone bothered him, but this was the first time I saw him having an attack.

  92. Lucy says:

    My 21 year old cat, Sky, has seizures and for some reason after his old age became very vocal. The very first seizure frightened me to death, I didnt know what to do, but now we learned the noises that will trigger them. When Sky is around we try to be as quiet as we can, this seems to be the best way we found to avoid any seizures.

  93. Gabe says:

    Thank you for posting this. My kitty, “Miss Meow”, is 25…got her when I was small, and the critter has been at my side, even now as I also approach 30. It is an amazing feeling to watch her continue as so many of my childhood friends pets passed years ago. People are always shocked by her youthful appearance as well. The shakes started a year ago…she had been thru a few moves and became an outdoor cat, while NOT in my custody…it’s a horrible feeling to sit helpless as your innocent friend spazzes out, and the feeling that the vets capitalize rather than save them. I am in tune with my cat, and her moments are in the head/neck region, this caused her to fall until she learned how to adapt…I commend you on stayin with your baby, it ain’t easy!!!

  94. michelle says:

    im so upset my cat is just starting havin fits its so sad to see it she been given tablets to take half one twice a day she is havin blood test to check her liver and kidneys i dont want to loose her but i dont think it looks good im so sp scared i luv her and b so sad to lwt her go but can she live a happy normal life with fits since havin fits medication she is so sleepy all the time and hardly eats

  95. jmcull says:

    Yes, watching that first seizure was the scariest thing I've ever seen. My 19 y/o kitty recovered within a few minutes as KITTY II did, and I haven't seen another episode since (thank goodness!). The trigger for that first time was the clacking of dice, which were about to be rolled in a game of backgammon. The more I pay attention, I notice that certain sounds – crinkling plastic or snapping – trigger some kind of seizure precursor in her as well.

  96. Jon says:

    By way of an update, my 22 year old cat Benji is still doing well in spire if his senior years. My stupid parents (who had him for 19 years) came round the other night and starred tapping a plate loudly which triggered a fit. I am very annoyed. Just treat your cat gently with no loud and sudden noises and they should be OK (I know each case has its different merits and I am not blind to to that so sorry for the sweeping statement). Benj is so happy when all is quiet; I intend to keep it that way!!

  97. Nic says:

    My beautiful Tonkinese, Poppy, is 15 1/2. Earlier this year he broke his hind leg for the second time and it was amputated.
    I woke Thursday last week to find him in a seizure and rushed him off to the vet. He’d been seizing for at least 20 min. They sedated him and told me he should wake by lunch….. By 3 he was still sleeping. I thought I would go say my goodbye and by 6 he was waking

  98. Jeff says:

    I'm so glad I happened upon this post with all these informative comments, it helps to clearly see the pattern of seizures and their cause in our 20 year old tabby named Buddy. The seizures started a year and a half ago when Buddy was diagnosed with kidney disease was going downhill fast. My vet recommended we put him down and I said no flippin way! Ok what can be done? We started to give him 100cc of lactated ringers solution with vitamin B12 a couple of times a week for the kidney issue and that brought him back from deaths doorstep. Fast forward to today and we now give him 100cc each and every day which keeps him healthy and happy with very rare episodes of seizure. A seizure can still be triggered by a sudden loud noise, as happened yesterday when I wasn't thinking and clanged the cat food can against his dish to empty it. Sure enough, he went into a pretty bad one, recovered and went right to his food dish. It's really upsetting to watch and takes a lot out of him, but he does recover pretty quick and seems no worse for wear. I'm truly a believer that the adult onset kidney disease is what brings on this type of kitty epilepsy and what works for us is to keep our little Buddy hydrated with the subcutaneous lactated ringers solution. I know that may not work for everyone, but our guy is very tolerant of it and it's keeping him a happy little camper.

  99. Sue says:

    Help! My cat with audiogenic seizures (and runny eyes) is now paralyzed from the back legs down to his tail. Has anyone had this experience with their cat? The paralysis started yesterday (it slowly progressed over the last 24 hours–now working its way from the tail, and up the spine). Any quick suggestions before I lose him? My vet that is trying to figure this out now, too. Please call me at 847-742-6308 if you've experienced this with your cat — thank you!

  100. Trevor says:

    I have a ginger tom called Garfield, I have no idea how old he is as he was a stray, and all the vet has said is he is not a young cat. About eighteen months ago he suddenly went into a ball with his back legs windmilling and he was biting his side, this only lasted about ten seconds but he seemed a bit disorientated and afterwards he was unsteady on his back legs, but went straight for his food bowl. The vet said it could be because the he had some fleas which surprised me as I had him on Frontline flea protection, but he pointed out some flea dirt and I saw a couple of fleas so he went onto Frontline Combo, and the fleas eventually went but the mini fits didn't. He still has them, they only last a few seconds, apart from him being a bit unsteady on his back legs, and being a lot more vocal. He always wants his food after one and sometimes he does pee a bit but not always, but he has a good standard of life he goes out and enjoys his food and normally seems quite happy, as to what causes the fits I have no idea.

  101. alicia says:

    that is the same thing that my cat does

  102. Amanda says:

    MY Grandma has had many cats but one day one of her 15 year old cat was dying and she keep
    having seizures while she was dying i think it was her liver giving up on her she had liver proublems it was the most saddest thing i have ever seen i felt so bad i can not emagion having a cat with seizures my heart goes out to any one with a cat with seizures

  103. Lisa says:

    hi my 1 year old cat has just started having seizures, usually one a week. he has started acting abit agressive towards the other cats sometimes, and was wondering if u could email me and let me know if this is usual behaviour with epilepsy as he is normally so laid back. thanks x

  104. Paula says:

    My cat had a seizure about 3 hours ago (it's about midnight here) the vet came here and gave im valium and a corticoid.
    My cat was sleeping and woke up running and went to one corner and started to had a seizure.
    im so scare
    he is just about 13 years old. and i love him so much
    im so worry :(

  105. Joanne says:

    charlie started having seizures when he was 2 horrible thought he had died ,took him to vet they said cats dont have epilicy just dogs do ,took to another put him on phenobarbital,and he had to have liver test every month,none ofthis helped . and he laid around half I took him of the medicine and chg'd food to beyond that has no gluten ….Now he has a fit every 20 days ..I can tell because hesits and stares at me and I can seem to fill his stomack up ..always happens at night…..the locked jaws are whatscares me the most ….I'm beginimg to think it might have something to do with the moon but I guess I'm loosing it

  106. Lara's mum says:

    Just found this blog and was relieved to find out that I'm not the only one with a cat that has seizures caused by noise.

    Lara is about 14years old and I think had her first seizure 6months ago when I was 39weeks pregnant. A nutty neighbor (long story) had seen it and brought my slightly lethargic/dazed cat home saying she thought she had had a stroke (vet said strokes are extremely rare in cats). Anyway I took her straight to the out of hours vet who did usual checks but could find nothing by this point and sent me home with my healthy cat.

    Her first seizure that I saw was 3 months later when I put dry food in her bowl in the middle of the night. It lasted about 20-30secs but feels like an eternity. By the time i had the vet on the phone she was sitting upright.

    Since then I have noticed high pitched noises can make her jump/twitch as though she is going to go into another seizure but she doesn't. I try to stop the noise or move her to another part of the house.

    She had one about 8 weeks after that on the sofa as I'd dropped my fork onto my plate and it set her off. I wondered if the heat might also be playing a part as the heating was on.

    This time I just calmly talked to her until she was ready to sit up. I find she likes to sit in the kitchen (I think where it is cooler) afterwards.

    Since this all happened she's become reluctant to go outside. I'm not sure if this is related.

  107. Chatouille's mom says:

    Hi all,
    Wow, I have been reading all your stories for the past hour and I am really glad to have found this blog! I am reassured by the fact that I am not the only one to have noticed that high pitched/crackling/clicking noises can make a cat twitch! My dear Chatouille is 15 years old and I have noticed the same twitching as described many times here for the past 3-4 months. She twitches at my mouse click when I am working on my computer and she is lying on my lap, or when I open her favorite treat bag. She'll twitch 4-5 times and them will seem to be "over it". I haven't witnessed any actual seizure yet but, unfortunatly, I am now aware that I should expect them anytime…
    Other then that, she acts fine, eats well, is active and playful. The only other thing I have noticed in the past months is that she is more vocal (she always was but now she REALLY insists when she talks to us, or when she is claiming her meal!!! It's loud and pushy!) and that she insists on sleeping ON me every night. She never slept on the bed before, never. That is until the day I had to euthanise my 4 year old sheltie (congenital brain tumor). That was two years ago and every night since, when I go to bed, she'll wait till I'm settled, and then she'll climb on and lie on my stomach. She'll stay there for an hour or two, goes away, and then she come's back just before I get up in the morning… I know cats usually cuddle like this. I just find it weird that she would start so late in her life. Now I am thinking maybe she just needs to be reassured or something…
    I will ask the vet about the twitching and will give her the link to this blog.

  108. Tanya says:

    I have created a support site for owner of epileptic cats.

    There is my cats story, seizure management, coping tips, advice and a forum where you can chat, share your story and advice with other owners.

  109. Alex says:

    Hi, i was so relieved to hear that im not the only one who had a breakdown the first time we have to go trough this…
    My case is a little bit different, it might not be the same but i honestly have no idea what it could be. I adopted this orphan kitty and i raised her from scratch, take her to the vet when she was less than 2 weeks olderand had to feed her with cat formula. I named her Penny, she is right now sleeping at my side, she had a seizure less than 15 minutes ago. Everything started when she was less than a month old, i noticed that she started twitching her nose and whiskers out of nowhere and peeing at the same time with no warning at all. Days later the twitching was also on her eyes (blinking) and ears and started hissing and growling. After that everything went worse. One night when she was about 6 weeks i heard a noise (like cats crying and hissing) and went to check only to find that Penny was having what i can only describe as a seizure: She was on the floor, muscles tense, moving her arms and legs uncotrollably, pee and poo everywhere, every episode lasted about 30 seconds… it happened more than 10 times that night with less than 10 minutes between each other… longest night ive ever had. I take her to the vet as soon as it was open and bsaically told me that it could be 3 reasons (hypoglycemia, epilepsy and a disease that i can remember the name) and none of them were likely to be happening to my cat. The vet suggested that i gave the kitty a drop of honey when she presented a seizure (this in case she was hypoglycemic). The thing is that i dont think is helping. I know the tests are expensive and im still a student who cant really afford those tests and as i have been reading most of them tell us nothing. Im really sad because she is so little, and i can see her lost sight when a seizure ends, it breaks my heart. She is now 10 weeks older, and the seizures still happens every 2 or 3 days, and when they happen she has like 3 seizures in a short period of 1 hour or so. She is a really happy kitty who loves playing and running and sleeping, she also has a great appetite. I cant reallt thing of nothing that triggers the seizures, the only weird thing ive found is that she doesnt know how to go to her litterbox, she doesnt have the instinct of scratching the cat litter to hide her pee and poo, whenever she wants to go she starts acting nerviously and crying like if it hurts, i might be triggering the seizures, but then again i have seen here pee and poo without any problem. Im lost, and honestly dont know what to do nextm the seizures gets worst eveytime.

  110. Marc says:

    I found this blog after searching for insight into what might have triggered my 16 year old female cat to seizure two days ago. At the time, I had no idea what was happening, as I had just been playing a video game and thought she was responding to the noise. Once she leapt to the floor and began to convulse, it was clear she was having a seizure. I was convinced that it was the loud, concussive noise that triggered her.

    After it passed and we took her to the vet, I told the story and was essentially dismissed, hearing instead how it was likely a tumour, or something else more sinister. That could well be, but I’m not going to put her through a ct to find out, as there is little to do differently if it is something more. The vet also sedated my cat, Seadna, with valium, and that’s when things got really ugly.

    By the time we got her home, Seadna was falling on her face, unable to stand. She was clearly distressed by the sedation, barely able to walk, and immediately became confrontational when our other cat approached her — she even hissed at her own reflection. Somewhat fortunatelty, I was sick with a cold at the time, so I was staying home away to rest up anyway. It took the whole day of me sitting with her, feeding her, helping her around, before she started to come out of it really. Again, the vet assured me that valium doesn’t take that long to clear a cat’s system, and I was dismissed.

    After the seizure,
    Seadna was scared, but the valium really made things harder. It could have prevented a second or cluster of seizures, so in the end I don’t regret letting the vet dose her, but just a word of caution that not all cats respond well to this drug.

    After 36 hours, she woke up early to meow for her breakfast like nothing had happened. This blog offered a lot of good advice and a comforting amount of shared similar experiences at what was a very distressing time. Just wanted to contribute our story, in case it ever can help someone else and their cat.

  111. A S says:

    Our 21 year old cat just had her 2nd seizure in 2months she is blind & deaf! What else can trigger them. Vet just wants us to put her to sleep but he also said she doesn’t seem to be in pain. She manages to get around the house etc. but would hate to think I’m causing her pain ?

  112. Jana says:

    My experience with many cats is that they have an instinctual relationship with times of day and locations that naturally amplify their voice, likely to enhance the success of finding mates. For example when they are near water, even though it’s a little bowl, instinctually their voice would carry well over a body of water. They enjoy practicing this enhanced meowing, and may also use it if they’re distressed. Good thing I always wear ear plugs when I’m sleeping.

    My 12-year old fell off the desk and had a seizure – only one so far. But his head involuntarily jerks back-back-back repeatedly when I make tapping or crinkling sounds, so I avoid those. I held him very gently against the floor on his back so he could wiggle all around without running into things. I was so relieved to find out from the vet that he was unconscious then.

    My cat has always been somewhat tweaky, with biting problems that came out of nowhere, etc. It seems clear he has born with some neurological problems, but he was also abused and abandoned before I adopted him. I avoid situations where I am vulnerable to a sudden bite, though as he has matured I have also managed to help him develop some impulse control about the urge to bite by verbally conveying VERY stern disapproval from “the head cat” for this unacceptable behavior.

  113. Jana says:

    Hi I just now read of your problem. My cat seems to have been born with his neurological problems, and it may be that your cat was also, or was injured neurologically in utero or very early. It sounds so heartbreaking. Perhaps you have already had to euthanize your kitty, and if so, I would say she was lucky to have a human who helped her with this painful and serious problem after just finding each other. If you are still trying with each other, just know that you are in that place where we face the terrible and the horrible coming into contact with what is most vulnerable and lovingly dependent, and that is just super super hard. I am sure you have and are doing everything you can. Finding a trusted and caring someone to listen about this would be very helpful for you. God bless.

  114. Karen says:

    Hello Everyone,

    My 21 year old kitty named Sisko had a seizure about two years ago when he was taking a nap with me and my phone rang. It was a horrible seizure and I wasn’t sure if it was because he got startled or the noise (maybe both). He bit the bed and lacked on for part of the seizure. I wouldn’t recommend holding him anywhere he might accidently bite and not even know it. He was also diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease two years ago. I feed a really good high protein diet with a phosphate blocker to block the harmful effects to the kidneys. (I think that is why he has made it so long after his stage 4 diagnosis). I haven’t seen anymore seizures in the last two years, but if certain loud or high pitched sounds are made he twitches real bad and looks like he could have one if the sound continued. He also walks around and yowls sometimes and acts “lost” sometimes. We did notice this last night after we phone pee on our bed. We imagine he could of had a seizure that we didn’t see because he never has an accident unless he is really sick. Thanks for sharing your story. I believe his seizure was caused from kidney disease. The key is to maximize water intake, keep toxins out of his system as much as possible, DO NOT vaccine elderly cats, my vet sees no need in it and it will cause more harm than good on already failing organs. Thanks, Karen

  115. Ari says:

    Your article is very helpful. I have a kitty who turns 21 this upcoming October. She’s older than I am and my best friend. Recently she started having seizures and we can’t take her to the vet because she has high anxiety and car rides scare her. I’ve been searching for something like this to help me since she has her first one in November. She’s had two all together as far as we know but they’ve been so hard to watch and be around. We don’t know what’s causing them, but I will now start paying extra attention to what’s going on before they happen.
    Kitty is beautiful and I know how hard it is to watch your friend hurt and change in an instant. Thank you for your kind and helpful article.

  116. Stacia says:

    I’m so glad I found this page! My kitty Tori, who’s almost 17, went blind and was diagnosed with high blood pressure back in December 2014. It was also determined that her kidneys weren’t working properly, but she would not eat the special food (I think it was Purina NF. The vet said it was important to get her weight up (she only weighed 5 pounds at her visit to the vet), so I went back to the cat food that she liked. Anyway, in relation to seizures, I noticed that Tori had a strange reaction to a new game app I added to my phone, Trivia Crack. Something about the sound of that wheel spinning, and her head would shake and eyes would dart around for a moment. I thought perhaps the sound scared her because she was blind and didn’t know where it was coming from…so I sotopped playing game altogether. Well, a couple of days ago, I was unwrapping a sugar-free popsicle, and she had that same reaction which evolved to her having a seizure that lasted for about 10-15 seconds. I had no idea that sound sensitivity could be related to her kidney issues!

  117. Karen says:

    I am so glad I found this article…my cat turned 20 years old in March and I have noticed that loud crunching noises, such as a potato chip bag freaks him out. I used to give him cat treats from a bag and every time the bag would open he would flip out and look like he was going to seizure. He had a seizure during a thunder storm and just had another one today when I was opening a bag of chips. The seizure was violent but he didn’t throw up or lose control of his urine. I held him until he calmed down and then he just sat there is a trance for about 5 minutes. He seems fine now. So strange but glad to know other people have seen the same thing.

  118. Alicen says:

    Thank you for writing this. My 15 year old cat just had a seizure and this was very comforting to read. He ran like maniac under the end table and started convulsing. It felt like it lasted forever. When he stopped convulsing I thought he was dead. He eventually sat up and seemed confused for a few seconds. Then he was completely normal. He jumped up on the counter and started eating. He was really hungry afterward. Im so shaken up by the whole thing. Thanks again for taking the time to write this.

  119. Amy Carrick says:

    Thank you. I have a gray tabby who adopted me back in 2001and she is believed to be at least 15 years old if not older.
    Due to some poor choices I made that coincided with a series of unfortunate events I ended up having to move into my car in January. I felt it would be cruel to try to keep Petunia with me and was able to find someone willing to foster her for me until.I could get back on my feet. Unfortunately. in my absence she yowl for me all night and two different friends could not handle her crying which they tell me lasts all night.
    I had no choice but n move her in the car with me. She seems to have adapted very well but dud suffer her first seizure after moving into the car. 2/13/2015 was the first seizure I have known of and it doesn’t seem to be related to noise at all.
    I rushed her to a vet because I had money earmarked for my storage but I was terrified that she was dying and used that money to get her checked out which consisted of blood and urine draws that revealed nothing. However one week to the day she had to be rushed to the vet again for a urinary tract infection which after reading your blog u suspect points to kidney disease (she also drinks a phenomenal among of water).
    I feed her Friskies canned cat food – I was told to take her off hard cat food about 4 years ago and I wonder how much protein is in the Friskies and if I should feed her something else?
    Petunia just suffered the second seizure I know of and to my poor girl was terrified following the episode. This time I could not take her to the vet (I would if I felt it was significantly different than the last). My situation actually worsened as I never was able to bring my storage bill up to date and they auctioned my life and all I had from my parents away on April 22.
    Petunia’s seizure occurred on the 24th and I was looking for information to help me help her and found your blog and I am so thankful for the very helpful information you and others have provided.
    Truth is I doubt I would be able to survive the gravest circumstances I have ever known and frankly cannot imagine living without my best friend and only source of affection & emotional support. I am in danger of losing her May 1, 2015 because I can’t pay my car insurance. I can’t keep Petunia with me homeless without the car where she can be contained safely because without insurance my car will be immediately impounded- people really hate the homeless, especially police who regularly check to make sure I’m legal because it’s obvious I live in my car. There’s a fund for Petunia’s Asthma and Heart Care which includes the information about money used to also pay insurance so i can keep my best friend with me

  120. Lynn says:

    My cat Angel is 15 and had a seizure a week ago. It was 6:30am and I heard a comotion in the hall. I was still in bed. I turned over and I saw her all legs in motion like she was playing with something but there was nothing there. I got up of course and she was laying very still. I thought she had died. I picked her up, took her to the couch and had her on my lap. I softly talked to her and stroked her until she started to come around. I was very scared. I didn’t know what to do. It was so early my vet wasn’t open yet. I then got on the web and found this site. I started reading all the posted stories and began to feel better. Angel was better by then too. I read about the noise induced seizures but there was no noise that started this one. Then two days ago she knocked over a bottle of pills that made noise and she freaked out. This one was more intense from the first one. She has had the twitching for a while that I’ve noticed to different sounds. When the pills fell over this was a twitching seizure. It took her longer to recover but thankfully has. Last year the vet did tell me she has kidney disease. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. Please keep posting about your experiences it is very helpful for all.

  121. Elizabeth says:

    Dr. Mark Lowrie, a veterinary researcher at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire in the UK, has just conducted a study on sound-induced seizures in cats, which has been recently published in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. You can find a description of his research at– the article is titled “Crinkling Tinfoil and Other Sounds Can Cause Seizures in Cats.”
    My Cordelia was one of the cats in the study. She is 18 and is having seizures much like the cats described in the above comments. She had another one just an hour ago, which sent me back to the net, where I found all your helpful and comforting stories.

  122. Denise says:

    Your cat most likely doesn’t have epilepsy if the seizures are triggered by sound. It’s audiogenic (sound induced) seizures. As Elizabeth mentions above, Dr Mark Lowrie just did a study on this, here is the abstract (if URLs are allowed): My 16 year old cat suffers from this and I manage it by not making the noises that set her off, particularly crinkling of chip bags in front of her and typing loudly on my laptop. She has only had one seizure thus far since I’ve learned her triggers. Dr. Lowrie has been very receptive to discussing this with owners, as I touched base with him and filled out their questionnaire to try and help with the study.

  123. Jeff says:

    I can’t tell you how reassuring reading all of these stories have been for me and my partner. Our beautiful cat Shilo had a seizure for the first time yesterday afternoon and it scared us half to death. We were sitting on the couch with her lying between us and were both drinking from a bottled water. I started clicking the lid on mine when I was finished and this seemed to attract kitties attention. My partner started to do the same, as it looked like she wanted to play or at the least was very intrigued by the sound we were making. All of a sudden her pupils dilated and she started to tense up and go into a kicking fit. She almost fell off the couch but we grabbed her and kept her steady. She was also salivating throughout the ordeal. This only lasted about a minute but we honestly thought she had died on us. We grabbed her and brought her into the kitchen and placed her on the counter. She seemed to come out of it after a minute or so, but seemed a tad confused. I put her on the floor and let he walk it off. She meowed at us a few times, but within a half an hour seemed back to her normal self, other then the fact she was probably weirded out because we were hanging on her every move. She slept for most of the afternoon and then became very hungry and thirsty. Today she seems fine. I phoned the vet after it happened and they were completely booked but said I could take her to an emergency vet, we decided to see how she would be after a good nights sleep and, again, she seems fine today. We tied it to the clicking sounds we were making with the water bottle that seemed to set it off. After googling and seeing all the evidence for audiogenic (sound induced) seizures we felt more at ease. I did talk to the vet on the phone today and they still think she should come in for a battery of tests, and pretty much dismissed the sound induced theory, but I’ve decided to just keep an eye on her for a few days before stressing her out with a vet visit. I just wanted to again say thank to everyone on this site as we’ve found the information quite reassuring and hopefully someone will find our story as helpful.

  124. Gizeh says:

    My cat is 1 year and 4 months old and had a seizure last night. Before he seized he was behaving sort of normally, he was doing things he normally does but in the morning, not in the middle of the night. He woke me up and purred on my chest for a bit, then he sat on the night stand and knocked things about. I sat up in bed and he jumped down and hid under the bed, which is his usual way of getting us out of bed. He does this at about 6 am. I went back to sleep and some time later my boyfriend and I were woken up by a loud noise.

    We have some suitcases stacked on the floor in the back of our bedroom and at first I thought he’d knocked them over. I got out of bed and turned on the light and I saw him on the floor, lying on his side, convulsing badly. I wasn’t thinking straight having been woken up by the noise, so at first I thought he was hurt, that something had fallen on him and that he was convulsing in pain or from shock. But as I crouched down next to him I realized the suitcases were still stacked and nothing was out of order. There was nothing around him that could’ve hurt him even. (Later, I realized the noise was probably him falling off from one of the suitcases because he was seizing). I didn’t know what to do, so I ran to grab my phone and dialed the vet emergency number while my boyfriend crouched next to him, petted him gently, and talked to him, which is all that he could think of to do.

    In the time that it took for me to find the number and for someone to answer the call, he was already calming down. The whole body convulsion probably stopped in under a minute and then one of two of his paws kind of stiffened and shook for a bit longer. The whole thing lasted probably a minute or two. When he came to he looked really scared and his hair was all puffed out like they do when something frightens them. He had drooled over himself too while he seized.

    The person on the phone told me it wasn’t really an emergency if it had passed and to just keep an eye on him and maybe call my regular vet in the morning. He paced around the room for a bit, looking confused and meowing as if he was looking for something. He did that for about 10-15 minutes and then he sat down on the carpet. He stayed on the carpet breathing heavily for another 15 minutes probably and then he got back on the bed.

    He slept all night (I know because he was sleeping next to me with his head on my leg) and looked better this morning. He ate normally and drank a bit of water and even looked as if he wanted to play at one point. He did however get scared when the jeans I was getting out of the closet brushed against his back. He jumped and looked scared and then he walked slowly towards the jeans and pawed at them as if he didn’t know what they were, which is something he’s never done before. Apart from that though, he seemed normal. A bit calmer than usual, he’s very active and vocal, but otherwise normal.

    The vet said that one seizure is no reason to bring him in, especially since he seems to be behaving normally now. He said that if it happens again then I should call him. I worry though that it might happen again when I’m not there and that he might hurt himself. He likes to climb on shelves and often sleeps in the closet to keep warm, so I worry that he might seize on a high place or next to things that he could knock into.

    I’m also wondering just how common it is for a cat so young to have a seizure. He hadn’t injested anything toxic that we know of and hasn’t had any injuries or other health problems. Can anyone let me know if they’ve heard of cases of young cats having epilepsy? Could it be something other than epilepsy?

  125. Laura says:

    I’m so glad I found this! My 17 yr old cat is very vocal as well and this morning when my alarm went off at 4:30am (which must of triggered it) had his first seizure. (Lasted about 4-5 minutes) He was on his side, eyes wide open and spinning around. First instinct was trying to hold him but I left him and he came into my arms stunned and after a minute or so, urinated everywhere and then ate a huge amount. Having him in my life for 17years I was petrified of losing him.
    Now his his usual self.
    Thank you, this post has really helped me!

  126. Roxanne says:

    Hi, my cat mortimer isn’t even 2 yet and has suffered from fit since April this year he has at least two every 28-30 days today he’s had two today it’s horrible I’m really struggling with looking after him and a 10 week old baby plus I also have another cat holmes which is mortimer brother, I’m at breaking point mortimer has been on medication since July to help with the fits but they appear to be getting worse we have special soft cat box for him as we have been advised to place him in this as the aftermath is horrible he has trouble with his sight after a fit and howls and runs into things which would cause him more pain. I’ve spoken with the vets and they have said to up his tables and just carry on as normal it’s got to a point where I’m so worried to leave the house incase he has one I can go weeks without seeing the outside world. I just wonder if anyone has any tips or idea to ease things, my other half helps as much as he can but with a full time job which involves working away it’s hard for him too

  127. Claire says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say thank you. I found this article after my 14 year old pudding had her first fit. I thought it was the end of the road but reading this gave me hope. She is fitting every 2-3 weeks at the moment (last one this morning so nothing has gotten done today)so I am not going down the medication route yet.
    She now has 3 web cams following her every move!
    We have yet to find her trigger, but all of her fits have been in the morning so far.

  128. Kimberley says:

    Hi, my cat Tiffany is 22 now and has epilepsy all her life and has had seizure medication all her life too. I haven’t read all of these posts as there r too many to read but holding the cat up off the floor while they fit is the best way I have found to keep them safe – food always a must too after the fit – good luck with your special pussy cats everyone xx (uk)

  129. Jemma Robertson says:

    Thank you for this helpful info on seizures, my cat Muffy(19 yrs) just started having them and although freaked out at first (both of us), the info you provided was very helpful and comforting. She is a happy cat that loves string, that suffers the occasional seizure, we are grateful for the time we have left with her.

    I am so happy that people use the internet for good and helpful things. Thnx again.

  130. Sad mom says:

    My daughter’s kitten (under a year) had a seizure this afternoon that was over 1 hour. The vet got it stopped & sent her home with medication. Unfortunately, the seizures returned with a vengeance. (He’s been on a raw diet to avoid the grains that we had read contribute to seizures). Now they’re at the emergency vet. I don’t know what can be done. He’s never had anything like this. I don’t see how he can make it; his little body must be exhausted. The regular vet said he would probably be blind. What damage is this doing to his poor little brain.

    • Chrissy LeMaire says:

      I’m so sorry, sad mom :( An hour-long seizure does sound terribly exhausting. I know how heartbreaking this is. Poor sweet little baby. I hope you guys can find the cause of his seizures and he’ll be okay. At least he doesn’t remember this part. He’ll hopefully just wake up exhausted and hungry.

  131. julie s. says:

    OK, I think I feel better and worse too. My cat had a huge seizure today-the first and then drooled afterwards. , then ate food, and now she sleeps in her locked carry cage. i was afraid she would bite me if she had rabies. she is a house cat and is rarely outside so that is a slim chance. She drinks a ton of water, pees a lot in my house . She is only 9Y but I think she has a kidney disease. She is sound asleep now. she drooled a lot after that seizure. She was meowing a lot for being locked up but she has accepted it now. I carry her to where she can see me in the house. that seems to help. Now i think i will probably say good bye to her. i cannot afford huge vet bills. and there is probably no cure for kidney failure. that can be lethal and I do not want her to suffer. i love my cat and now it is time to say goodbye. I think the diet we feed is really bad for our animals. I switched her to a high protein cat food just about when all of this started. I thought no grains was the latest good thing we could do for dogs/cats. But very bad for kidney disease apparently. So sorry for this. I had no idea. She is sleeping now. i am so sorry she is so sick. Bye and thanks for all of your ideas. They have helped me a lot. Julie S.

  132. Ashley says:

    Hello! I cannot tell you how happy I am that I found this! My cat, Buttercup, is 14 and had her first seizure 3 weeks ago and another small one this morning. A few days prior to her first one she had a full “Senior panel” work up which showed she had hyperthyroidism. She has been taking her medication twice daily and it has been going good. I heard that hyperthyroidism and seizures have some relation but not 100% sure. Other than the two seizures she had she has no other symptoms I am hoping and praying that it’s not a brain tumor as that is in the back of my mind.

  133. Jessica Heilman says:

    I have a 6 year old cat that started having seizures about eight months ago. He has had a total of about five so far. They come about every two months barring nothing stressful to him happens (ex: Hurricane Matthew evacuation, he had one when we got back). Currently, its been about ten weeks since he has had one, the longest hes ever gone without one. Im praying that maybe he has been miraculously cured of his epilepsy (ridiculous I know but anything is possible with God). Upon initial seizure, I took him to the vet, urinalysis and blood work all came back normal. Vet said probably just epilespy. For reference, his seizures are grand mal, last about thirty seconds, he falls on his side or back and paddles and also hypersalivates everywhere. No peeing or pooping. It is true that the first is the hardest. You do eventually learn how to remain calm and keep your composure when they happen. Most of his occur at night when he is falling asleep (another sign of epilepsy). I have found talking to him and petting him helps him to come out of them sooner. Once he does come out, he is right back up eating and playing like nothing even happened. I will say my vet told me that if a seizure lasts more than about two to three minutes, you need to get your cat to the vet or er vet immediately because seizing can raise tempature and high temperature for too long can cause brain damage. Dont wait too long. If your cat isnt coming out of it like they usually do, get to a vet. Better to be safe than sorry, I would say. I just love my little Popeye boy and I hate to see him suffer with these seizures (even though I honestly dont think he even realizes what is happening or has happened once they are over).

  134. Donna says:

    Thank you for the I information. My princess is going on 18.she’s going blind, can’t hear and she’s had 3 seizures in the past 6 months. You’re right. The first one is enough to make you have a meltdown. The second did as well.the moaning she did was brutal! I thought she was possibly dehydrated so I syringe fed her water once she was fully coherent. She’s also now mistaking the wrong places for the litter box. Instead of going left and I to the litter room, she goes right. It’s the exact spot but wrong direction. I hate keeping her in there,but poo carpet isn’t very sanitary. 😐

  135. Ann Mackin says:

    Thanks so much for this site. My eighteen year old had a second seizure today, the first about four months ago. She has become very vocal in the last few years with daily howling. She’ll calm down if I hold or pet her although she has always been a jumpy cat She doesn’t seem to be triggered by any noise and seizures occurred when she is sleeping. She generally sleeps alot and loves the heated mattress pad on my bed, but when the sun shines on my deck, she’ll move outdoors. She seems content and eats and drinks water. I cannot prolong her life with drugs or expensive tests but as long as I know she is not suffering we will continue as is.

  136. Tina Prince says:

    I’ve stumbled across this thread and can see that it started quite some time ago. Still, I thought that I’d add something incase someone else reads it and my experiences can help. My elderly cat was 16 when he had his first seizure. He was also hyperthyroid and had been since he was 11. All tests that could be done proved negative and there was no explanation as to why it had happened. 3 months later it happened again in front of me and he literally had 1 seizure and as soon as he was coming out of it went into another one. I’ve never seen anything so horrific in all my life. Tests again showed nothing obvious and the vet felt that it was most likely a brain tumour. It took him 24 hours with vet care to recover from that seizure and it was 50/50 whether he’d pull through. Fortunately he did. I wasn’t going to put a cat through an MRI scan to find out if he had a brain tumour when ultimately nothing could be done for him at that age anyway. He was prescribed a 5mg per day prednisolone tablet (a steroid). He lived for another 13 months seizure free and happy although almost a year later had what I thought was a stumble and hurt his leg only to be told that the stumbling was likely to be neurological due to the brain tumour pressing on nerve endings. 5 months later, all of a sudden one day he couldn’t walk straight. He was falling into things, stumbling over and I feared he was going to really hurt himself. We called the vet out and there was nothing they could do. It was unkind to leave him as he was and so we had to make the very fast and very difficult decision to help him to his final sleep.
    I should add that both seizures happened after he’d had violent vomiting (he used to suffer from constipation and occasionally it would get so bad he’d vomit through straining). For the remaining time we had him after the double seizure we tried to keep his stress levels to a minimum, and I believe we did that very successfully. His thyroid blood tests were all done at home by the vet nurse as he hated going to the vet.
    He also used to wail a lot. I wonder is this an elderly cat thing?
    From that last seizure every day with him was a gift. We maintained a good quality of life for him and his end was peaceful. I wouldn’t do anything different if I had my time with him all over again. He was the love of my life and I miss him very much.

  137. Krystan says:

    Finally someone else that agrees picking them up is best. Not leaving them on the floor like the vets say.
    When my baby had his first siezure my first responce was to pick him up but get on the floor and very carefully move him onto my chest and took everything in me not to go into one myself or panic.
    Im also epileptic so I knew I had to overcome it all go into a zone of calm while holding him breathing slowly in and out to keep me from givibg off any type of added stress.
    Hes 18 up until this yr never had anything like this happen. I had hoped it was just going to be one.
    I made sure to immediatly go to the ERvet as soon as he was awake and able to move. He went in his crate no hesitation. Which was never the case before. Almost as if he knew he needed to go to the vet but for the first time wanted too.
    I had them do all tests and it didnt make sence they found nothing showing the cause.
    But then all of a sudden every 2 weeks or less he began having more and more.
    At first they suggest meds. Idk but hes to old to risk it. I am still looking for any all natural homepathic hollistic anything safe that can help.
    Lately I see it is now effecting him its breaking my heart.
    Hes been the only solid thing in my life and ive had him since he was abandoned at 4 weeks old.
    I think the most difficult but most important thing to do when they have one is remind yourself you have to stay calm for them focus on holding them but not tight and idc if I get scratched or bit. Thats the vets statement of why you shouldnt pick them up due to them being unaware and you get hurt.
    Im sorry but my love overcomes even caring if he shredded me. Cause even though its hell, holding him is the only thing I can do but also timing and paying attn to their breathing.
    Worst fear is him not making it through and dying on me but rather be that he went in my arms then left on the floor.

  138. Anna Kerr says:

    Hi I have just found this blog and it has made me feel much calmer. My 14 year old cat Gonzo had a spate of seizures at the end of June. I rushed him to the vet where he stayed for 3 days. During this time he had many seizures. I thought I would have to have him PTS. He came right. He was on Prednisone drops at night and phenobarbital morning and night. The prednisone gave him respiratory issues so this was stopped. He has phenobarbital morning and night. His blood test said that the levels of phenobarbital were within the normal range. He has been going well. Has increased eating and drinking as side effects. Last night he had a seizure. It lasted about 2 minutes. He is very tired now. He loves his food but is extremely suspicious of it when I put his medication in it. The other day he had got into some cat biscuits and was vomiting them up. I put his medication into his food Crushed up but worry is he getting the dose. I am wondering if it would be better if I Crushed it up and mixed it with some food and then put it in his mouth orally. Would this ensure he is getting the dose correctly? It is horrible to watch him have a seizure. I will take him back to the vet as soon as I can get an appointment. I live in New Zealand. I am going to try crushing up his pill into some food and then putting it into the side of his mouth. Will get vet to check medication levels. Seizures do not mean he has to be PTS after reading all the other comments here. Thank you so much. Any advice

  139. Bruno says:

    Hi one week ago my 14 year old cat had her first seizure. I took her to the vet and all her blood work results were normal. The assessment did not find anything abnormal in my cat. She is now back to her normal self. After my visit to the vet I started thinking what has changed in my cat environment? I quickly realized that the day before her seizure I had purchased and put out lavender essential oil in my bedroom where my cat sleeps. I did not know that many essential oils are toxic to cats. I now believe strongly that the lavender essential oil contributed to her having a seizure. I have removed all essential oils from my house and cleaned my bedroom thoroughly. My cat seems a lot better. I am grateful for all the above comments as it helped me learn a great deal about seizure in older cats. Thanks.

  140. Alice says:

    I took my 20 year old cat to the vet after having had a couple of (peeing) accidents outside his catbox. He was treated for a bladder infection with a long term antibiotic injection and received his rabies vaccination. He had elevated BUN levels and high but normal range creatine levels. Everything else came back normal. Up until this day he was eating, drinking and playing with his toys… very affectionate and friendly. I took him home and within 4 hours he started running around the house peeing. Within 8 hours he threw himself into the wall, fell on the floor and started paddling. With fixed, dilated eyes he locked his teeth down on his front leg and remained that way for over a minute. I put a towel over his lower body and that seemed to calm him. When his seizure was over, he was quiet and confused. These seizures continued 2-3 hours apart in varying degrees of severity all through the night and into the next day. He had no sleep. If he dozed off a seizure would begin. I could not bear to see him like that. On the advice of my family and friends I had him euthanized. He had received both medications before and his necropsy results showed no cause for his seizures. I feel that he loved and lived for me for long enough. I could not ask for more from my devoted friend. Best of luck to those struggling with these horrible seizures.

    • Georgie says:

      Alice that is heartbreaking. It is so confusing when things seem to come on so suddenly. My 17 yr old cat, Ali who is deaf now, had her first noise-induced seizure on Friday evening. She was on the worktop in the kitchen miaowing for dinner so i went in to give her it and i noisily tapped her steel bowl with a knife as if to say dinnertime! Well she started twitching (i noticed her twitching slightly the week before when i clicked my tongue and thought it strange but not overly concerning), but this time the twitching became greater and greater and turned into a full seizure. I thought i had lost her and blamed myself. She came round and was shattered, but she’s more or less back to ‘normal’ but still a bit shaky on her feet. However a few days before the seizure she missed her litter tray and peed on the floor, I didn’t bother because i thought she’s just misjudged, but she’s done it again this morning so what you said about your cat is worrying me. She goes to vet every 6 weeks or so for Laurabolin and Vit B injections and was bloods were tested last year as she had increased thirst and loss of appetite but all clear. I will just have to keep an eye on her. My wee angel.

  141. Nikki says:

    Thank you for this post. My 19 year old cat had 2 seizures this weekend. Your post was useful and described my feelings too. Two days on my cat is back to normal but I’m keeping her under strict observation. After her firs she was extra affectionate and extra grumpy.

    • Cathie says:

      I’m so glad I found these posts. My 18 year old Burmese has just started having mini seizures. They first happened when she was eating, but then happened at other times. They are short in duration, and mainly involve involuntary neck movements. A couple of times recently she went to the litter tray to pee, but didn’t make it in, and peed just outside. It’s definitely not something she has done before.

      I’m lucky to be home a lot, so when this happens, I put on an old soft dressing gown, and cocoon her in the front, against me. She settles immediately, and purrs contentedly. She must feel safe, and relaxed.

      I’ll watch and wait for a few days, to see if it progresses, stays the same or resolves. She doesn’t appear distressed or in any discomfort otherwise.

      Given her age, I fear that if the time comes to take her to the vet, the prognosis will be to have her PTS. I’ll do that for her, but only when it’s needed. I really love my little cat.

    • Nikki says:

      I have an update. I lost my cat a few weeks ago. She had one more seizure in November. At which time she’s been diagnosed with kidney disease. She was old and was getting dehydrated, not eating and became unsteady on her feet. I had to make the kindest and hardest decision for her. :-( Still feeling raw.

      I learned that the side effects of kidney disease can be seizures. I’m sharing this for those with older cats who have guts so you can get that checked too if you need to.

      I still have 3 cats who have been extra affectionate to me and each other XX

      • Cathie says:

        I have similar news. My cat started going downhill. She was unsteady on her feet, and began having trouble reaching the litter box. She was still drinking lots of waterm but started to literally fade away. The only place she wanted to be was tucked into the front of my dressing gown as I worked at the computer. She would purr quietly, and sleep. If she wanted water or the little box, she would touch my face with her paw, and I’d take her.

        I knew by then it was her time. Well over 18 years, and she’d had the best life I could give her.

        I grieved before she went, and had that last few days with her, then took her to the vets.

        Her trusting look into my eyes as she was given the first sedation was alsomst more than I could take, and then she fell asleep. She was asleep when they gave her the final drug, and it was all over in a couple of minutes. I stroked her beautiful fur, and then left.

        No regrets. I mourned before I had her PTS, and for a while missed her little face and quiet manner very much. I still do, but it’s more accepting now. My other cat, much younger, was lost for the first couple of weeks, didn’t eat much, and seemed to be missing her “older sister”.

        Slowly, though, she’s become used to now being the centre of attention, and she’s blossomed into a more confident little cat. She seeks me out more than before, and I enjoy spoiling her.

        Reading the posts again, I can see that the circumstances may be different, but we all do what we can for out little companions, and miss them when they go. But it’s inevitable, and it’s a comfort to know that you have given them the best life you were able to.

  142. Jenna a says:

    Hi Chrissy. I want to thank you for this post and sharing your story about kitty and all the tips you have! I got my first kitten in 2018 and absolutely fell in love with him. He was a full bred Bengal and was the most energetic fun loving kitty ever. We had jones for about a year and a half. Last month jones started having what the vets called “episodes” because they said they couldn’t confirm it was a seizure until they saw it. It started with jones looking super confused and disoriented, then he would let out terrible meows. He became super distant which was not at all who he was. It developed super fast after this. I took him to the first vet, who said it was probably just what they called “zoomies” and was nothing to be worried about. I wanted to believe that so bad but I knew jones wasn’t himself. A couple days after his episodes began he began to actually seize. The seizures were very mild in the beginning. He would have this mouth and face twitch and would become paralyzed. It would last about one minute and he would be super out of it after. A couple days went by and it got terrible. He began to foam at the mouth and had seizures back to back one night. He had about 5 one night. He started to run and slam himself into walls and became crazy. I no longer saw my sweet kitty. He was harming himself and I stood up all night thinking about what I should do. I had taken him to the vet multiple times before that night. I got tests that showed there was nothing wrong with his organs and he had no diseases they could detect. The next doctor asked for a video and agreed what we were seeing were seizures. Another vet told us it may be dental issues. Of course I held on to this because I wanted to believe I could help him. So that night I decided if I could help him I absolutely would do anything, but if there was nothing I could do to help, I couldn’t watch him suffer like this. The next day it got so much worse. I took him to the vet and he had seizures in the room back to back. The vet again told us we would do nothing for the next few months but a guessing game. She told us the side effects of the meds, that may not even help him and my heart broke. I knew I couldn’t hold on to him and make him suffer simply because I wasn’t ready to let go. When you looked in his eyes that day, it was if no one was home. I knew the seizures were probably tearing up his brain and there was no way it wasn’t doing any damage. I made the most difficult decision of my life to let go of my love that day. He was so young and it happened so fast. I have been looking since that day for someone else’s story to try to relate to. I am so thankful for your story and everyone else’s that has replied to this.

Leave a Reply