Can Cats Get Dizzy?

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Cats getting dizzy can happen because of a number of health factors or circumstances Cats get dizzy, don’t they? Cats are curious creatures, and they can often surprise us with their behavior. One question that many pet parents have is whether cats can get dizzy in the same way that humans can. The answer is yes, your feline friend can get dizzy; however, there are some important distinctions between feline and human dizziness that you should be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at what causes dizziness in cats and how to tell if your kitty is suffering from balance problems, vestibular problems, or any other symptoms. 

What is Dizziness? 

Before we can answer the question of whether cats can get dizzy, we need to understand what dizziness is. In humans, dizziness is a symptom of disorientation that can be caused by vertigo, anxiety, dehydration, low blood sugar levels, brain disease, bacterial infections, fluid-filled canals, or inner ear disturbances. While these conditions may affect cats too, their causes or clinical signs are often different than those in humans. It is more difficult to find the exact cause of a cat’s symptoms because your feline friend can’t explain what they are feeling. To be clear, a dizzy cat does not mean a question of quality of life. It is always good to seek medical advice from your vet. You may end up being referred to a veterinary neurologist who will perform a neurologic exam to see if there could be an underlying condition that could explain the problem and help come up with treatment options.

What Causes Dizziness in Cats? 

Cats can experience dizziness for a variety of reasons. Both motion sickness and inner ear infections can cause vertigo-like symptoms in felines, similar to those experienced by humans. Motion sickness occurs when cats are exposed to an unfamiliar environment or when they’re traveling in a car or other vehicle. Inner ear infections, on the other hand, are usually caused by bacteria or viruses that enter the cat’s body through its ears. Your cat could have developed a balance disorder or nervous system issue that could have caused the dizziness. In any case, it’s important to take your kitty to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect it may be experiencing vertigo-like symptoms so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment is prescribed. 

Inner Ear Infections 

One of the most common causes of feline dizziness is an inner ear infection. Just like humans, cats have an inner ear that is responsible for maintaining their balance and orientation. When this important organ becomes infected, it can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and even hearing loss. If your cat appears to be unsteady on its feet or has difficulty navigating around its environment, it could be a sign that they are suffering from an inner ear infection. 

Motion Sickness 

Motion sickness is another potential cause of feline dizziness. Cats can experience motion sickness if they are riding in a car or boat for extended periods of time without breaks. Symptoms include drooling and trembling as well as feeling faint or unbalanced. If your cat experiences motion sickness while traveling, make sure to give them frequent breaks so they can reorient themselves and regain their equilibrium. 

Vestibular Disease 

A condition known as Vestibular Disease can also cause cats to feel off-balance or unsteady on their feet. This condition affects the vestibular system – the part of the inner ear responsible for maintaining balance – and is usually seen in older cats over the age of 10 years old. While it’s not completely understood why some cats develop this condition, it’s thought to be linked to aging or a stroke-like event. Symptoms include head tilting and difficulty walking straight due to loss of coordination and balance control caused by inflammation within the vestibular system itself. Treatment typically involves medication to reduce inflammation, along with rest and supportive care from a veterinarian if needed.  

Other Causes of Dizziness in Cats 

In addition to Vestibular Syndrome, other medical conditions can also cause feline dizziness such as anemia or kidney failure. Cats may also experience dizziness if they suffer head trauma, vision problems, or low blood flow to certain extremities. This can be evident if a cat suffers from stiff legs. Stress-induced disorientation is another potential cause of feline dizziness that should not be overlooked when trying to figure out why your cat has suddenly started spinning in circles for no apparent reason. 

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Dizzy 

One of the most common signs that your cat may be feeling off balance is if it starts walking unsteadily or wobbling from side to side while walking or standing still. This symptom is referred to as “head tilt” because it appears as though the cat cannot keep its head level with its body due to vertigo-like sensations. Other signs include loss of balance, confusion, disorientation, difficulty standing up straight, vomiting and/or diarrhea due to motion sickness, and/or hearing loss due to an inner ear infection. 

How To Help Your Cat Avoid Dizziness 

If your cat seems to be getting dizzy often then there are several things that you can do to help. First of all, limit the amount of time your cat spends in spinning or high-up situations like on top of the refrigerator or the back of an armchair. Additionally, restrict their access to stairs or other areas where they might fall due to disorientation. Secondly, try introducing your cat to different types of movement slowly so that they can get used to it over time instead of being overwhelmed by sudden changes in direction or speed. This will help them learn how to process movement better and should reduce any feelings of dizziness that they might experience. Finally, make sure that your cat has access to plenty of water and rest when needed so that they don’t become dehydrated or overly tired from too much activity. It’s important to keep them comfortable. Make sure they have access to lots of soft bedding so that they can rest comfortably without feeling unsteady on their feet. You may also want to consider providing a litter box with low sides so that they don’t have difficulty getting in and out when using the restroom (Check out our choice in our Cat Holiday Gift Guide).

Also, seek medical attention if your cat’s condition worsens. Your vet will most likely do a full physical examination to ensure there is no underlying issue or serious conditions that may be causing the dizziness. You may have to take your cat to a veterinary hospital to see veterinary specialists who can identify any signs of infections, central vestibular disorders, or other causes, and will help with a specific treatment that should help you see either a dramatic improvement or make a full recovery.

Yes, Cats Get Dizzy

Dizziness isn’t something we typically associate with our furry friends but cats do indeed experience feelings of dizziness from time to time just like humans do! Dizziness in cats can be caused by a variety of issues ranging from inner ear infections to vestibular disease and can affect cats of any age. If your cat appears unsteady on its feet or has difficulty navigating around its environment, it could be a sign that something is wrong and you should visit your veterinarian for further evaluation. With proper diagnosis and treatment, many cases of feline dizziness can be successfully managed so that your cat can once again enjoy life with all four paws firmly planted on the ground!