How to Know if a Cat Had a Stroke

If your kitty has had a stroke, he may become more vocal, uncoordinated or confused.

If your kitty has had a stroke, he may become more vocal, uncoordinated or confused.

Strokes are caused when blood flow to the brain is blocked. The lack of oxygen that occurs causes symptoms including disorientation, imbalance, seizures and blindness. If your cat suffers a stroke, you may observe one or more of these symptoms. Your cat requires medical treatment, stat.

Be concerned if your cat exhibits a tilted head, lack of coordination or a loss of balance. If your kitty is suddenly looking sideways, falling or having difficulty walking straight, his sense of balance has been disrupted. This could imply any of a few serious problems, including a stroke.

Look for signs of disorientation or confusion, common in stroke victims. Your cat may be walking into walls, getting stuck in corners, running in circles without stopping, staring off into space or appearing seemingly lost.

Take notice if your cat acts as if his sight is suddenly impaired, as this can indicate he has suffered a stroke. Signs of potential blindness include the inability to find food and water dishes, missing the litter box, and bumping into furniture and walls. Your cat may exhibit signs of fearfulness and become withdrawn. Immediate medical attention may allow some reversal of any blindness that occurs.

Assume that any seizure your cat suffers requires an immediate examination by your veterinarian, as seizures can be caused by strokes. Symptoms can include your kitty collapsing, leg jerking, bowel or bladder elimination, foaming at the mouth and unconsciousness. You may cover your kitty with a blanket to keep him warm, but do not try to intervene otherwise.


  • Stroke symptoms typically occur suddenly but will not worsen after 24 hours. If your kitty's symptoms continue to worsen after this time, there may be another underlying medical problem rather than a stroke.


  • Try to get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as symptoms present; while your vet may choose to simply observe him for a day or so, treatment may be necessary to lessen symptoms or stop a second stroke from occurring.

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About the Author

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

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