Feline Recurrent Seizures and Epilepsy

Study shows risk increases with the age of the cat

A recent study carried out in the United Kingdom looked at recurrent seizure problems and epilepsy in cats. Seizure disorders are the most common neurological problem seen in cats.

The study enrolled 285,547 cats from 282 clinics. Of these cats, 1,497 were identified as potential recurrent seizure cases, with 458 confirmed. Cats can also experience seizures from toxins and liver shunts, but cats with these problems were excluded from the study.

This study’s results suggest an overall recurrent seizure disorder (RSD) prevalence of 0.16% in cats in the United Kingdom, with 24.89% classified by their regular veterinarians as epilepsy. Increasing age increased the risk of RSD, however, cats 3 to 6 years old had the highest risk of epilepsy.

A previous study of epilepsy in cats showed that secondary epilepsy was more common in older cats (over 7 years of age). Those cats tended to show neurologic deficits between seizure episodes. If seizures occurred during times of rest or significant exertion, they were more likely to be characterized as primary epilepsy.