What could be wrong with my cat?
January 27, 2017 6:30 PM   Subscribe

I have an appointment with the vet for first thing in the morning, but I just want to get a sense of what possible things might be wrong with my cat, Sweetpea.

I was away for three days and when I came home, the cat sitter said that Sweetpea was acting strangely, and moving very slowly, like she was in a trance. Today, about an hour ago, she did something similar. She was on her perch by the window and I noticed her moving in slow motion, turning around, and then settling down awkwardly. She finally did settle into a resting pose, but she didn't look very comfortable.

About 30 mins. later, she came downstairs and wanted to play and seemed to be completely back to normal. She is somewhere between 11-13 years old (she arrived as a stray) and has no known health issues.
posted by nanook to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
My cat is 18 and the vet said she has touches of dementia
posted by Postroad at 6:32 PM on January 27, 2017

My cat had something similar and it was eventually diagnosed as a kind of seizure. From the article my vet sent me:

"Complex partial seizures are associated with behavior and mood changes, and are thought to arise in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and temporal pyriform lobe. In the cat, these seizures are often classified by non-responsiveness to external stimuli and a "trance-like" stare. The cat may be found staring at a wall, and will often have facial twitching."
posted by frumiousb at 6:40 PM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Absence seizures are definitely a possibility, and if you have a phone that takes video, know how to start it in a hurry so you can catch it the next time you see it and show your vet.

It can also be some kind of intermittent pain, which is often either spinal or gastric. Your vet will know how to palpate for those.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:42 PM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I had a cat about that age who started behaving oddly, staring at walls, circling. It wasn't every day, just periodic. It turned out to be a meningioma which is a tumor in the tissues surrounding the brain. They're generally benign and often surgically removable or controllable with steroids.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 8:59 PM on January 27, 2017

Ask the vet about diet and allergies. When I was a kid our dog started going into these weird trance-like states and our vet diagnosed it as a food allergy. We changed the dog's diet and he stopped having those episodes.

It's encouraging that when these things end your cat returns to normal. At least the episodes aren't causing obvious lasting damage and her mood is good.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:46 PM on January 27, 2017

My cat was once eating roadkill and was hit by a car which clipped his head and crushed his paw. It broke his eye socket and dislocated his jaw but he healed well and without surgery. He acted like this periodically afterwards. The vet said it was probably either brain damage or seizure activity secondary to brain damage. He lived a further 8 years and died of renal failure at nearly-17.
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 3:05 AM on January 28, 2017

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