Do cats get dizzy?

Dizziness can occur to anyone. Various reasons can make people lightheaded from time to time. Have you ever felt dizzy? Did you know that animals can get dizzy too? Your cat can get dizzy. Of course we pet parents would not be able to hear the pet complain about their condition. Unlike other health concerns where the symptoms are physically manifested by the pet, it would be rather difficult to know the real condition of the pet. Dizziness is a common symptom of a number of feline health concerns. Treatment would be necessary for these underlying concerns thus knowing the possible reasons why the cat gets dizzy is necessary.

When we humans feel dizzy we either feel faint and lightheaded as if we are about to pass out or we would feel as if the surroundings are spinning although there are no actual movements. Do cats feel the same? As cats cannot talk how would we know that they are dizzy? A dizzy cat would look confused. Dizziness would make the cat walk in circles…the pet can even fall down. Dizziness is not a disease in itself. Cats, just like their human friends can contract many health concerns in their lifetime. Dizziness can be a symptom of an underlying disease. It is a common symptom of ear problems, low blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy and vestibular balance disorder. Dizziness would occur if the cat is exposed to extreme temperatures.

Feline hypotension or low blood pressure is one of the medical conditions that can make a cat dizzy. Trauma that results to sudden shock, heavy bleeding, medical concerns such as renal failure are some of the conditions that would cause a cat to have low blood pressure. Cats can get high blood pressure too and the medications that would treat the condition can lower the blood pressure to a point where the pet gets low blood pressure. Dizziness is a common symptom of diabetes mellitus and epilepsy. Diabetes mellitus results from the cat’s inability to produce the amount of insulin needed by the body to process glucose in the blood. Seizures associated with epilepsy can be the reason why the cat gets dizzy.

Feline vestibular syndrome or idiopathic vestibular disease is a condition that is commonly known as “dizzy kitty”. Affected cats would appear disoriented and dizzy…some would not be able to stand up. This condition occurs when the vestibular system of the cat gets off kilter. The peripheral vestibular system in the cat’s inner ear has semicircular canals where the special endolymphatic fluid circulates. Balance problems and dizziness will occur if the peripheral vestibular system gets inflamed or if there is an abnormality in the circulation of the fluid.

Cats have very poor heat regulating system because sweat glands are only found on the paw pads. Sudden exposure to extreme temperatures can result to dizziness as the pet would have a difficult time adjusting to the temperature change. Hypothermia occurs if the cat is suddenly exposed to freezing temperature. A cat that is exposed to elevated temperatures can get heatstroke. These are conditions that will make the cat dizzy. Ear problems are the most common reasons why cats get dizzy. Ear infections caused by ear parasites like ear mites and deafness would make an affected cat shake the head excessively. This condition would result to dizziness. Dizziness can also be a side effect of certain medications.

As expected, medical conditions will have an adverse effect on the pet’s life span. Health concerns can also affect the quality of life of the pet. The kind of life the pet would have will depend on the care provided by the cat parent. The signs of dizziness the pet shows must not be ignored as they can be symptoms of a more serious health concern.

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