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Head tremor in a cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: Calico
Age: 11-15 years
Dear Dr.Marie,

My cat Wildwood has been lethargic for the past 2 days, along with being wobbly and not being able to walk, she also appears at times to have a slight head tremor. She has eaten a little yesterday and has been drinking water-she also urinated this morning. Wildwood had been an outdoor cat up until my parents passed away 3 years ago and since that time she's been indoors. Her symptoms seemed to have come on quite suddenly, although I had noticed the head tremor at times before but never thought to much about it because she seemed fine. I dont know if this is significant or not but she was also recently to a groomer for the 1st time approximately 2 weeks ago-I'm not sure if this may have shooken her up and caused her symptoms. I also forgot to mention at times before these symptoms came on she also had incontinance. We tried to make an appointment today, but due to a snowstorm in the northeast our local vets were closed today-We were just looking for some insight-as to the best way we can keep her comfortable until we can get in to the vet, and possible causes.
I thank you very much for your time and any advice you can give us.
Sincerely,
Melissa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Melissa and thanks for using Ask A Vet Question.

It really does sound like Wildwood is unwell. This is a hard question for me to answer without being able to examine her but I can give you some ideas as to what could be going on.

One of the more common things that I worry about with older cats is kidney disease. Kidney disease can cause a lack of appetite and also incontinence issues. It can also cause electrolyte imbalances which can cause the head tremors that you are seeing.

Another possibility is a serious liver problem. If the liver is really damaged there can be a buildup of ammonia and this can cause neurological symptoms (i.e. the head tremors) and extreme wobbliness as well.

A problem in the brain such as a tumor could possibly cause these problems.

There are other possibilities as well. Your vet will do a good thorough exam and likely some blood and/or urine tests.

Unfortunately it sounds like this is a very serious problem and she really does need to be seen as soon as possible. If you are not able to get her to an emergency clinic then, for tonight, the best you can do is to try to keep her quiet and comfortable. If she is having trouble moving, make sure there is food and water available to her.

There are no medications or treatments that I can recommend for you at home at this time. Hopefully your vet can see her in the morning.

I hope she does ok.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.