PDA

View Full Version : Nightmares vs. Seizures???


Larisa Harrison
February 1st 06, 01:50 AM
Does anyone have any experience with cats having horrible nightmares/night
terrors? My 6-yr-old, formerly feral, cat has had 2 episodes that I think (I
hope...) were nightmares in the past few months. Both times, he's woken me
up early in the AM screaming and yowling (it sounds like a catfight's going
on, but it's only him there), and when I get to him, he's growling and
hissing with his ears flat back on his head. I have 3 other cats, but none
of them was around him either time. Each time, he's acted disoriented, like
he didn't recognize me or where he was - he would run around in small
circles then throw himself on his side and literally drag himself across the
carpet with his claws, hissing and growling the whole time. The 1st time
this happened, he didn't bite me when I touched him to try to comfort him,
but this AM, he literally attacked my hand, biting it, when I tried to pet
him - he's usually the most gentle and meek cat around and would never hurt
a flea. This activity (growling, hissing, biting, circling, and dragging)
lasted about 5-10 minutes, until I was finally able to pick him up and hold
him in my lap, just rocking him back and forth - at this point, he would
quiet down and stick his head underneath my armpit to hide, just like when I
take him to the vet's - he also starts purring and licking my hand as if to
apologize for not recognizing me. I'm wondering if it's some kind of
Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (he just got back from the vet's 2 days ago
after a follow-up visit from bladder surgery a year and a half ago), but
nothing similar happened prior to his 1st (that I know of) episode a few
months ago. I'm hoping this is just some sort of horrible nightmare and that
it's not some strange sort of seizure or neurological disorder - I'm really
worried about the poor guy! Anybody have any experience with anything like
this? Thanks -

NMR
February 1st 06, 01:53 AM
"Larisa Harrison" > wrote in message
ink.net...
> Does anyone have any experience with cats having horrible nightmares/night
> terrors? My 6-yr-old, formerly feral, cat has had 2 episodes that I think
> (I hope...) were nightmares in the past few months. Both times, he's woken
> me up early in the AM screaming and yowling (it sounds like a catfight's
> going on, but it's only him there), and when I get to him, he's growling
> and hissing with his ears flat back on his head. I have 3 other cats, but
> none of them was around him either time. Each time, he's acted
> disoriented, like he didn't recognize me or where he was - he would run
> around in small circles then throw himself on his side and literally drag
> himself across the carpet with his claws, hissing and growling the whole
> time. The 1st time this happened, he didn't bite me when I touched him to
> try to comfort him, but this AM, he literally attacked my hand, biting it,
> when I tried to pet him - he's usually the most gentle and meek cat around
> and would never hurt a flea. This activity (growling, hissing, biting,
> circling, and dragging) lasted about 5-10 minutes, until I was finally
> able to pick him up and hold him in my lap, just rocking him back and
> forth - at this point, he would quiet down and stick his head underneath
> my armpit to hide, just like when I take him to the vet's - he also starts
> purring and licking my hand as if to apologize for not recognizing me. I'm
> wondering if it's some kind of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (he just got
> back from the vet's 2 days ago after a follow-up visit from bladder
> surgery a year and a half ago), but nothing similar happened prior to his
> 1st (that I know of) episode a few months ago. I'm hoping this is just
> some sort of horrible nightmare and that it's not some strange sort of
> seizure or neurological disorder - I'm really worried about the poor guy!
> Anybody have any experience with anything like this? Thanks -
>
>
I am wondering if he is coming out of a seizure when he is disoriented. My
cat rumble is epileptic thank the gods he has been seizure free for almost
3 years. But when he had them he did not know where he was after one and
did nip my hand when I touched him before

Cheryl_Is_Freak_John_Doe_And_NMR_Is_Freakkky_deeky
February 1st 06, 03:01 AM
Larisa Harrison wrote:
> Does anyone have any experience with cats having horrible nightmares/night
....sort of horrible nightmare and that
> it's not some strange sort of seizure or neurological disorder - I'm really
> worried about the poor guy! Anybody have any experience with anything like
> this? Thanks -

yes, this sounds like a seizure

Im sure there is medicine for this sort of thing.

seizures happen when there is gross brain activity, it sort of
overloads the circuits...

you will also notice he is more in tune with his world after the
seizures (if that's what they are)
you might notice this 3-4 hours afterwards...after he's rested.
(depending on how severe it was).

so sorry for you, Im sure it's scary to see.

Phil P.
February 1st 06, 11:09 AM
"Larisa Harrison" > wrote in message
ink.net...
> Does anyone have any experience with cats having horrible nightmares/night
> terrors? My 6-yr-old, formerly feral, cat has had 2 episodes that I think
(I
> hope...) were nightmares in the past few months. Both times, he's woken me
> up early in the AM screaming and yowling (it sounds like a catfight's
going
> on, but it's only him there), and when I get to him, he's growling and
> hissing with his ears flat back on his head. I have 3 other cats, but none
> of them was around him either time. Each time, he's acted disoriented,
like
> he didn't recognize me or where he was - he would run around in small
> circles then throw himself on his side and literally drag himself across
the
> carpet with his claws, hissing and growling the whole time. The 1st time
> this happened, he didn't bite me when I touched him to try to comfort him,
> but this AM, he literally attacked my hand, biting it, when I tried to pet
> him - he's usually the most gentle and meek cat around and would never
hurt
> a flea. This activity (growling, hissing, biting, circling, and dragging)
> lasted about 5-10 minutes, until I was finally able to pick him up and
hold
> him in my lap, just rocking him back and forth - at this point, he would
> quiet down and stick his head underneath my armpit to hide, just like when
I
> take him to the vet's - he also starts purring and licking my hand as if
to
> apologize for not recognizing me. I'm wondering if it's some kind of
> Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (he just got back from the vet's 2 days ago
> after a follow-up visit from bladder surgery a year and a half ago), but
> nothing similar happened prior to his 1st (that I know of) episode a few
> months ago. I'm hoping this is just some sort of horrible nightmare and
that
> it's not some strange sort of seizure or neurological disorder - I'm
really
> worried about the poor guy! Anybody have any experience with anything like
> this? Thanks -

Actually, it does sound like a seizure disorder- but don't get alarmed
because it can be treated very effectively with medication. We currently
have an epileptic cat in foster and he's doing quite well on medication
(phenobarbital).

Sometimes seizures are caused by an underlying disease and usually resolve
once the primary disease is treated or controlled. However, most seizure
cases in cats are termed "idiopathic epilepsy" because the cause of the
seizures usually is never found.

Its important for you to understand and recognize the symptoms and disease.
In cats, there are usually 3 phases of the seizure. The first is called an
Aura or PreIctal phase. This is when the cat senses the seizure is about to
happen and gets restless or anxious and might run around looking for a place
to hide or even cling to you. This phase can begin while he's sleeping and
might look like he's having a nightmare.

The second phase is Ictus- which is the actual seizure and usually only
lasts a few minutes but seems like it lasts for a lot longer because its a
little scary. Some people say cat's don't lie on their sides and "paddle"
during the ictal phase- but I've seen it happen a few times in cats. Your
description of him dragging himself across the room on his side seems like a
variation of the paddling behavior- which is more commonly noticed in dogs
during the ictal phase. You shouldn't try to touch him during this phase
because in this state he could hurt you. The only time his life may be in
jeopardy is if the ictal phase lasts for more than 15-30 minutes without
stopping.

The third phase is Post-Ictus when the cat begins to recover- which could
take about 30 minutes to an hour or so and might seem a little lethargic,
confused or disoriented until he returns to normal. So, your description of
his behavior describes a seizure disorder pretty accurately.

You should take your cat to the vet for a thorough exam to rule out
underlying causes. If the seizures are relatively mild and far apart, I'd
be a little hesitant about rushing into drug treatments right away because
the possible side effects of the drugs might be worse than a few minutes of
altered consciousness every few months. Is a tough call- so you might want
to get a few opinions.

The bottom line is that most seizure cases in cats can be managed quite
well- so try not to worry too much.

Best of luck,

Phil

Frank Pittel
February 2nd 06, 02:05 AM
I have a cat that I got from a shelter when he was 5 weeks old. He's about
a year and a half old now. While his nightmares aren't as severe it's disturbing
to watch. Like your cat when he "wakes" up he seems disoriented, confused and
scared. I've picked him up after he's woken up and he was shaking from fear.

When I got him I needed to bring him to the vet a few times for shots, etc. I
mentioned it to him and he agreed that he was having nightmares and as long he
wasn't hurting himself it shouldn't be a problem and that with time it should
get better.


Larisa Harrison > wrote:
: Does anyone have any experience with cats having horrible nightmares/night
: terrors? My 6-yr-old, formerly feral, cat has had 2 episodes that I think (I
: hope...) were nightmares in the past few months. Both times, he's woken me
: up early in the AM screaming and yowling (it sounds like a catfight's going
: on, but it's only him there), and when I get to him, he's growling and
: hissing with his ears flat back on his head. I have 3 other cats, but none
: of them was around him either time. Each time, he's acted disoriented, like
: he didn't recognize me or where he was - he would run around in small
: circles then throw himself on his side and literally drag himself across the
: carpet with his claws, hissing and growling the whole time. The 1st time
: this happened, he didn't bite me when I touched him to try to comfort him,
: but this AM, he literally attacked my hand, biting it, when I tried to pet
: him - he's usually the most gentle and meek cat around and would never hurt
: a flea. This activity (growling, hissing, biting, circling, and dragging)
: lasted about 5-10 minutes, until I was finally able to pick him up and hold
: him in my lap, just rocking him back and forth - at this point, he would
: quiet down and stick his head underneath my armpit to hide, just like when I
: take him to the vet's - he also starts purring and licking my hand as if to
: apologize for not recognizing me. I'm wondering if it's some kind of
: Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (he just got back from the vet's 2 days ago
: after a follow-up visit from bladder surgery a year and a half ago), but
: nothing similar happened prior to his 1st (that I know of) episode a few
: months ago. I'm hoping this is just some sort of horrible nightmare and that
: it's not some strange sort of seizure or neurological disorder - I'm really
: worried about the poor guy! Anybody have any experience with anything like
: this? Thanks -




--




-------------------
Keep working millions on welfare depend on you

-L.
February 2nd 06, 07:42 AM
Phil P. wrote:
> The second phase is Ictus- which is the actual seizure and usually only
> lasts a few minutes but seems like it lasts for a lot longer because its a
> little scary. Some people say cat's don't lie on their sides and "paddle"
> during the ictal phase- but I've seen it happen a few times in cats.

I have seen it as well - and in all but one case, the cats have also
thrown a blot clot.

> Your
> description of him dragging himself across the room on his side seems like a
> variation of the paddling behavior- which is more commonly noticed in dogs
> during the ictal phase. You shouldn't try to touch him during this phase
> because in this state he could hurt you. The only time his life may be in
> jeopardy is if the ictal phase lasts for more than 15-30 minutes without
> stopping.

I have also seen cats seizure very stiff, standing with their legas
straight and heads forced into the corner of the cage - usually the
tongue hangs out and the eyes are fixed. And then there are the
panting/vibrataing seizures which are pretty easy to spot.

I agree that the OP's symptoms sound like a seizure. A vet visit is in
order.

-L.

Clyde Ferndock
February 6th 06, 12:25 AM
I have a cat that is apparently claustrophobic, and if I put her into a
cage to transport her to the Vet. she has a violent seizure. It's pretty
much like you described except within the confines of her cage. She is
totally disoriented, confused and does not even know her litter mate
sister. She has only had two seizures (that I know of) outside of close
confinement and has not had one (again that I know of) for several years.

She and her sister are almost feral as far as anyone other than my wife or
I are concerned.

I know this doesn't help much, but know that I sympathize with you.

allen