How To Know If Your Cat Has Stroke

Table of contents:

How To Know If Your Cat Has Stroke
How To Know If Your Cat Has Stroke

A feline stroke, also known as a stroke, is caused by a lack of blood circulating in a part of the brain or bleeding at the site. The problem can cause loss of functions such as balance, limb control, vision and consciousness. Immediate signs can also indicate other problems, such as vestibular disease and seizures. Regardless of the cause, all these symptoms require prompt and specialized veterinary treatment.


Part 1 of 2: Identifying the Signs of a Feline Stroke

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 1

Step 1. Check the cat's overall alert level

If you notice any unusual behavior, you need to be on the lookout. If the cat loses consciousness, check its breathing and see if it responds to the sound of your voice. Also note if there is any spasm.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 2

Step 2. Watch for signs of depression

A cat who has had a stroke may exhibit symptoms close to human depression, becoming quiet and then not responding normally.

This behavior is often caused by a feeling of disorientation, nausea, or a headache

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 3

Step 3. Look for an abnormal head tilt

Does the cat have one ear lower than the other? Are you turning and twisting your head? In the case of a stroke, these symptoms are often caused by abnormal pressure in a specific part of the brain.

This symptom can also represent another problem, such as vestibular disease, which damages the cat's inner ear, disrupting the cat's balance and orientation in a similar way to a stroke. It is a cause for concern that should be looked into by a veterinarian, regardless of the cause

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 4

Step 4. Watch out for unsteady walking and walking in circles

If the cat cannot walk in a straight line, walks only in circles, or falls as if under the influence of alcohol, it is likely that it is suffering from pressure in a part of the brain.

  • In addition, the pussy may have weakness on one side of the body, measure steps wrongly, or show signs of weakness on all legs.
  • As with the other symptoms caused by pressure on the brain, these problems can also be caused by vestibular disease.
  • If the cat is shivering or moves its limbs without much coordination, it is likely that it is having a seizure. As we are not present all the time, it is common to see only the consequence of the convulsion: disorientation. This is the post-ictal phase of the seizure, which can last from a few minutes to a few hours. While an isolated situation is less worrisome, it's still good to get your cat checked out as soon as possible.
Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 5

Step 5. Observe the cat's eyes closely

It is normal for pupils to be different sizes or for eyes to quickly wander from side to side after a stroke. This problem is known as nystagmus and occurs due to a lack of blood in the nerves that control the eyes.

  • If the pupils are different sizes, the third eyelid is prominent, and the cat is tilting its head, the pussy is more likely to be suffering from vestibular disease, not a stroke.
  • The cat may become dizzy and nauseous from nystagmus.
Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 6

Step 6. Check the cat's vision

As less common as it is, some cats go blind from a stroke. Even in cases where blindness is not caused by a stroke, this symptom is usually associated with hypertension, which in turn causes stroke.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 7

Step 7. Check the cat's tongue, which should be pink

If it's blue, purple or white, bad sign! Take the pussy to the vet immediately.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 8

Step 8. Don't look too hard for symptoms of human stroke

In us, strokes are characterized by partial paralysis and shedding on one side of the face, but this is not the case in cats.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 9

Step 9. Observe the speed with which the symptoms appeared

Because the loss of blood supply to a part of the brain happens quickly, the effects of a stroke are often sudden. If the cat has an imbalance that gets worse over the weeks, it is unlikely that the problem is a stroke. Still, it's good to take the pussy to a vet.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 10

Step 10. Monitor the duration of symptoms

They usually last for at least 24 hours, and ideally, take the pussy to the vet as soon as you notice any signs of trouble, although this is not always possible. Like humans, cats can also suffer mini-strokes or transient ischemic attacks; in this case, the symptoms may disappear after a day, but you still need to look for a professional.

These temporary signs are an indication that there is a problem that needs professional analysis to avoid a powerful spill in the near future

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 11

Step 11. Review the cat's medical history

As much as it is not an immediate or observable sign, some health problems can indicate a predisposition to strokes. If you are in the habit of taking the animal to the vet frequently, check its history and see if it has already been diagnosed with kidney, heart, blood pressure or thyroid gland problems, as these conditions increase the risks.

Part 2 of 2: Taking Care of the Cat After a Stroke

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 12

Step 1. Take the pussy to the vet right away

The sooner it is examined by a professional, the better the care received and the greater the chances of recovery. The sequelae of strokes tend to have less devastating results for cats than for humans. Still, the situation is serious and needs immediate attention.

  • It's a good idea to call the office in advance, letting the veterinarian know of your arrival and letting them know of the pussy's symptoms.
  • If the problem occurs at night, see an emergency veterinary hospital.
Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 13

Step 2. Cooperate with the professional

The veterinarian will ask you a few questions to find out what the best treatment for your cat is based on its behavior, so pay close attention to this. He will ask if the animal ate anything that might have caused the symptoms. Also, he will want to know if there was any previous trauma, such as a fall or bump. Also discuss possible changes in water and food consumption, vomiting, diarrhea, and activity level.

It is also good to comment on when the cat received the last rabies vaccine

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 14

Step 3. Take exams

The provider will likely order a blood test, urine test, x-ray, or ultrasound to find out what problems are in the pussy (discussed above). If he believes there is a serious neurological problem, he may need to see a specialized veterinarian, who will likely order additional tests, such as MRI or CT, to identify blood clots and brain damage.

These tests are performed on animals in a similar way as they are performed on humans

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 15

Step 4. Take care of the cat

In many cases, the symptoms go away with a little home care and love. In others, the cat needs to be hospitalized. As neurological sequelae are difficult to determine, it will take a little time to figure out how long the symptoms will last.

  • If one of the symptoms is motion sickness, the veterinarian will recommend some medication to alleviate the problem.
  • If the cat has an appetite problem, talk to the vet about medications to help.
  • If the pussy is having seizures, the doctor will likely discuss treatment and medication options to contain the problem.
Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 16

Step 5. Research possible outcomes

If symptoms are from vestibular disease, the cat can spontaneously recover in a few days. In other cases, he may be permanently tilted with his head, which is the only problem. Unfortunately, others may suffer from balance issues for the rest of their lives. Because the brain is quite complex, it's quite difficult to fully predict the sequelae.

It's hard to see your pet stagger, but don't worry, it's unlikely to be in pain

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 17

Step 6. Protect the cat

If the pet has suffered neurological problems, it is important to keep it indoors only; if possible, confine it to a single room for a while after the vet returns, especially if you have other pets. It is best to avoid fights and disagreements for a while, especially if the cat is behaving strangely, as this can irritate the other pets.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 18

Step 7. Help the cat to eat and live if necessary

During recovery, the pussy may need help feeding and basic necessities. This will all depend on his condition after the stroke. In some cases, you may need to take the pet to the food bowl or litter box. Watch for signs of hunger or need for relief represented by meowing and general grievances.

Only time will tell whether this need will be temporary or permanent for the cat

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 19

Step 8. Take care of the children as you monitor the cat and watch for symptoms

If the pet is confused or has seizures, it is possible that it will bite or scratch people unintentionally. The ideal is to move the little ones away to avoid more serious injuries.

Identify if Your Cat Has Had a Stroke Step 20

Step 9. Be patient

With proper care, many cats recover well, but it still takes time. Be patient and remember how much your cat needs you during this difficult time.


  • If you don't know what's wrong with your cat, see a veterinarian. Do not wait!
  • Although unrelated to the stroke, the following symptoms should be checked by a veterinarian: loss of consciousness; convulsions; sudden inability to use hind legs; head tilt; fast eye movement; loss of balance; inability to stand still or walk without tripping; uncoordinated walking; sudden blindness; sudden deafness, lack of focus, or looking confused; standing in one place, watching the walls; press the head for several minutes against a surface.

Popular by topic