Causes of Seizures in Cats

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


Seizures in cats most often occur due to trauma to the brain, viral or bacterial infections, poisonings, or overdoses of drugs. Underlying medical illnesses may also cause seizures to occur, but in many cases the cause of the seizures remains undiscovered.

Causes of Seizures in Cats

Viral and Bacterial

Any type of injury to the head can cause seizures. For cats, the most common type of trauma that results in head injuries is due to car accidents and dog fights. Viral or bacterial infections may also cause seizures to develop in cats. Meningitis caused by conditions such as feline infectious peritonitis virus and toxoplasmosis can be associated with seizures. Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus may also cause seizures in cats.


Poisonings as a result of ingested toxic plants or chemicals may also result in seizures in cats. Drug overdoses, whether human prescription medications or feline prescription medications, can also cause seizures. An overdose of topical flea medication, or the wrong type of topical flea medication, will often cause severe and life threatening seizures in cats.

Underlying Illnesses

Underlying medical illness such as diabetes, kidney failure, and liver failure may also cause seizures. In diabetes cases, seizures are most often the result of extremely low blood sugar.

Heat strokes may also cause seizures to occur. Inherited medical conditions such as epilepsy can also cause seizures in cats, although this is not considered to be a common disease in cats.

Idiopathic Seizures

In many instances, the cause of a seizure in a cat remains unknown. These cases are termed ‘idiopathic seizures’ because the cause is never discovered. While cats can suffer from repeated instances of idiopathic seizures, in most cases cats experience a spontaneous recovery after they receive medical treatment for the seizures.