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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21416
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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What causes a cat to shake, shiver or tremble

Customer Question

My cat sometimes shivers for no reason and when he tries to sleep he gets muscle spasms.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

How old is your cat? For how long has he been doing this?

Does your cat have any medical conditions you're aware of, and is he on any medication at this time?

Does he go outside at all?

Where is he usually sleeping, when you observe this trembling?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: He is 1 year old and I have just started to notice the tremors. I just had him at the vet and his blood work and urinalysis came back clean. He never goes outside and I notice his shaking when he is trying to go to sleep.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again, Tim, and thanks for your additional information.

From your description, it sounds like your boy may have a neurological disorder. I'm glad that his most recent vet visit, urinalysis and bloodwork showed nothing abnormal, however, since this just started, AFTER the vet visit, I'd have him evaluated again, and perhaps given a neurological workup.

Once a cat is asleep, he WILL twitch now and again, when he's in a really deep sleep. My cat does this all the time. His paws/legs, whiskers and tail will twitch when he's dreaming. The fact you mention this happens AS he's falling asleep, sounds similar to 'restless leg syndrome' in humans. Is it possible that he's ingesting a non-food item or toxic substance? If you have any houseplants, flowers, or cleansers he may have access to, this is also a possibility to consider.

Monitor him closely to make sure he's eating, drinking and eliminating properly, and also make sure he's not chilly or sleeping in a draft when you notice him shivering. Definitely call your vet to discuss this, and bring him in if the vet says an in-person evaluation is necessary, to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

I hope all will be well with your furry boy!