Symptoms of Feline Idiopathic Epilepsy

Feline Idiopathic Epilepsy pic
Feline Idiopathic Epilepsy
Image: elmhurstanimalcarecenter.com

As a board-certified small animal veterinarian at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, and at other practices in and around Naperville, Illinois, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince treats a wide variety of canine and feline illnesses. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince pursues a particular interest in epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

Seizures in cats often present as a sign of idiopathic epilepsy, a congenital condition with no identifiable cause. The disease causes the neurons in the brain to fire abnormally and excessively, which in turn prompts abnormal behaviors, sensations, and muscle contractions. During such an event, the cat may fall to the floor, stiffen, or paddle its limbs. Many cats lose control of their bladder and bowels as well.

A seizure often occurs following an aura, also known as a focal onset, during which time the cat may become agitated. Some cats in this stage seek comfort from their human companions, while others attempt to hide themselves. After the seizure that follows, the cat is likely to appear confused and disoriented.

Owners of cats with idiopathic epilepsy may be able to control these symptoms through the use of anticonvulsant medications. It is unlikely that a cat with the condition will ever be symptom-free, but veterinarians and owners can work toward minimizing serious side effects.