How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr.Fiona Your Own Question

Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
7995545
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr.Fiona is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, My cats head is trembling involuntarily. Whats

Resolved Question:

My cat just had this strange episode where just her head just began to tremble involuntarily and uncontrollably with jerk-like movements. Even when she put down her head to sleep, her head was still twitching. I have notice this in the past. But as soon as I noticed it, the involuntary twitching would stop. What scared me is that this twitching ocurred for several minutes tonight. Even as I tried to pet her and soothe her, the twitching continued. Her diet has remained the same. Nothing out of the ordinary. There has been no change in her bm''s either. She is strictly an indoor cat--always has been. She is almost 11 yrs. old. I have no other pets. I''m concerned. What could be causing this? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hey Laura,

I can imagine that this must be very distressing to you and the cat. I would like to help but need a bit more information, please.

1. How is she now?

2. When it was happening, did your cat seem aware of her surroundings? Could she focus on you, or did she seem to be disoriented and unaware?

3. Did she urinate or defecate during the episode?

4. Was her mouth making chewing or chomping motions during the episode?

5. In the last 6 months or so, any changes in appetite, energy or water consumption?

6. Any changes in her weight?

7. Any changes in her voice in the last 6 months or so?

8. Last but not least, what is her name?

Fiona

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dr.Fiona's Post: Hello Fiona,

Thank you for responding so quickly. Nena (my cat) is fine now. The twitching occured for several minutes late last night, but then it stopped all of a sudden. This morning she was playing and following me around so that I would fill her bowl to the top like she likes it! At one point this morning, she was sitting still and her head did twitch once, but then it stopped. During the "episode" last night, she was lying next to me and I began to scratch her head and behind her ears to see if it would calm her. She responded to the petting, so I believe she was aware of her surroundings, but it is hard to tell. Even with all of the petting, the twitching did not stop. In regards XXXXX XXXXX other symptoms that you mentioned above, she doesn't and didn't have any of them. She weighs between 12-14 pounds. No changes in weight. The only other change that I have noticed in the last few months is she has begun to lightly snore and make soft sounds while she is sleeping--like she is having nightmares. I know that I didn't provide you anything helpful, but other than these random episodes, she has been perfectly healthy. Last night was scary because it was a prolonged occurence. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi Laura,

Hmmm... that is odd. There are a few things that come to mind: One, these could be "petit mal" seizures, two, they could be evidence of hyperthryoidism, or three, they could be due to an electrolyte imbalance (such as low potassium, which can happen with kidney problems) .

1. With seizure disorders, animals can either have "grand mal" seizures where the whole body is involved, or they can have petit- mal seizures where just the head is involved. Regardless of which type they have, seizures usually last a few seconds to a few minutes. There is often a very brief phase before-hand (seconds to minutes) where they seem disoriented, and a longer phase afterward (5 to 60 minutes) where they seem disoriented. In a cat Nena's age, seizures could be brought on by an inflammation in the brain, by epilepsy, by low blood sugar or by a tumor in the brain.

Here is more information http://www.petplace.com/cats/seizure-disorders-in-cats/page1.aspx

2. With hyperthryroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much of a hormone called T4 that controls metabolic rate. Being hyperthryroid is like being me on 8 cups of coffee - jittery, restless, very active. Usually there is weight loss. However, if Nena were in the very early stages, she could just have small "thryoid storms" with muscle fasciculations.

More information is here: http://www.petplace.com/cats/hyperthyroidism/page1.aspx

3. It's possible that Nena has low potassium levels which can happen with kidney disorders. Again, they usually show weight loss before they get to a point where they would have low potassium, but every cat is different.

Here is more information: http://www.petplace.com/cats/chronic-renal-kidney-failure-in-cats/page1.aspx

So, there are a number of possibilities for what might be going on. If Nena came in to see me, I would do a complete physical exam incuding a neurological exam. I would also recommend blood and urine analysis to check her thryoid and kidney function.

One thing which would be tremendously helpful to your vet would be if you could videotape the episode (on a cell phone perhaps as that might be closeby). Does it look anything like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeE2E7nqe0w

This video always disturbs me because THIS is what a cat looks like when it seizures.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, Nena does need to be seen by her vet to get to the bottom of this. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it.

And I LOVE to get updates down the road on how pets I "meet" on here are doing!

Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 7 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician