A seizure is defined as the clinical manifestation of excessive synchronous epileptic activity of neurons in the forebrain, typically resulting in transient motor, autonomic and/or behavioural signs.

In cats, seizures represent one of the most common neurological presentations, with a reported prevalence of ~2% in referral populations. Focal seizures are relatively common in cats and may be mistaken for other paroxysmal events such as atrioventricular dysfunction.  Around 25% of cats presenting with seizures are diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy (recurrent seizures without an identifiable underling cause). Compared to dogs, less data are currently available on treatment protocols and outcome for cats. However, phenobarbital is typically the treatment of choice for cats with epilepsy.


O’Neill DG, Phillipps SA, Egan JR et al. Epidemiology of recurrent seizure disorders and epilepsy in cats under primary veterinary care in the United Kingdom. J Vet Intern Med. 2020 Nov; 34 (6):2582-2594.

Pakozdy A, Leschnik M, Sarchani AA et al. Clinical comparison of primary versus secondary epilepsy in 125 cats. J Feline Med Surg. 2010 Dec; 12 (12):910-6.

Further information on seizures in cats can be found via the following links:

Top of page