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. Gary Your Own Question
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19257
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im needing help with my 3 year old kitty, who, is normally

This answer was rated:

I'm needing help with my 3 year old kitty, who, is normally very active and healthy.

Basically, last Monday night, he was perfectly fine. Came in, ate, played around, then, the next morning, I saw him in my mom's backyard by the fence and he didn't offer to get up. He felt really cold and was lethargic, so, my brother helped me bring him in. My mom checked on him throughout the day, and he pretty much just laid around. By the time I got home, he seemed pretty sick. He had urinated all over himself, cried out quite a lot and could barely hold his head up. Got him to the vet, they did all kinds of blood tests and found nothing wrong. They gave him fluids, steroids, antibiotics, B12 shots...took xrays and the only thing they could come up with were some possible areas on his back they thought might be causing him pain. I brought him home on Thursday, and he seemed much better. His eyes were brighter, but, he still just wanted to lay around. Friday, he got up...ate all of his food, drank lots of water, walked around...seemed like he was wayyyy better. Then, Friday night, he started acting strange...drooling, chewing, and almost seeming as though he lost his vision. He went to his food bowl, would eat, then spin in a circle and eat again. He did that about 30 times. About 3 hours later, he had a full on seizure. I was so scared! I didn't know what to do! It lasted a minute or two, then he was just really drowsy. He had another one Saturday morning, so, we took him back to the vet. She said that he's back to eating and drinking just fine and that he had only one other seizure while he's been there. They just can't figure out what's wrong. I was just going to see what your first thought, expert opinion might be? Or, if you've ever seen anything like this before? Thank you!

With seizures in a fairly young cat, this may be one of a couple things:
1. Epilepsy- this is more common in dogs, but we can see it in cats. It may have been that he was in a "post-ictal" period where he was just off for the better part of a day last week. The post-ictal period is the period after a seizure that can last minutes to hours based on the patient. With epilepsy, we'll usually start treatment with anti-seizure meds once they are having more than 1 seizure per month. It sounds like he would benefit from going on something. Usually we'll start with Phenobarbital.

2. Encephalitis- this is an infection or inflammatory condition in the brain. It can be caused by a parasite (Toxoplasmosis), virus or something we call "steroid responsive encephalitis/ meningitis." An MRI and CSF tap with a neurologist is the only way to diagnose it. Typically the routine bloodwork is normal. Treatment is with antibiotics (often Clindamycin), steroids (Pred) and anti-seizure meds as needed.

Here is a good link on seizures in animals:

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the information Dr. Gary.


Is Epilepsy likely to come on suddenly without warning? He has shown no signs of neurological problems up until this point. He went from perfectly fine, to completely lethargic in a matter of hours.


Would Encephalitis be accompanied by a fever?


I think this is what has everyone so puzzled. He has had no fever, no vomiting or diarrhea...

Yes, Epilepsy will typically come on suddenly, as does encephalitis. They are typically normal cats until they start having seizures.

Encephalitis cats can have a fever, but not always. Sometimes they are normal and others that are sick and shocky will have a low body temperature. When there is an infection in the brain, there is a blood brain barrier that blocks off that circulation from the rest of the body making fever and bloodwork unreliable to making a diagnosis.

The best thing you could do would be consult with a neurologist. Sometimes just the consult is very helpful. They don't always have to do the expensive MRI or CSF tap. Sometimes just that neuro exam from a specialist is needed to narrow things down.
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19257
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Dr. Gary and 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... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...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
< Previous | 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:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician