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Cat flung himself around.

Species: Cat
Breed: Mix
Age: 11-15 years
Hello about 2 weeks ago my 12 year old cat was sleeping soundly when he woke up suddenly and started to fling himself around. He could walk straight he was sideways. This lasted about 1 minute. Today my cat repeated this episode. He was sleeping on the couch then suddenly he flew up and bounced around sideways. This lasted also about 1 minute. Then he was fine and walking straight again. Could you please tell me what is happening. Thank you Janice


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, this must be so frightening when it happens.

Unfortunately I don't have an exact answer for you as to what is happening but I can give you some ideas.

It could be that there is some type of pain that is present. Spinal pain, especially in the area where the tail starts is a possibility. But, it's a bit unusual for pain like that to hit him while he is sleeping.

I have seen cats do something like this with an anal gland problem. If a cat's anal glands suddenly express themselves it can cause significant distress. This would be a hard thing to diagnose though. If it is anal glands you should notice a very bad smell around the anal area after this has happened.

Another possibility, which may be more likely than the others is that Jazzy had some sort of a seizure. If this is what happened then the cause would be hard to determine but in an older cat a tumor in the brain is a possibility.

I would definitely recommend a vet check up although there is a good chance that the vet will not be able to find anything wrong. However, if there is a source of pain then they can help determine this.

I hope things improve soon,
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.