Strokes in Cats
Despite a lot of misconception cats can and do have strokes

Strokes in cats can happen and do happen a lot more frequent then most cat owners may be aware of.

This is a condition that several experts said did not happen in cats, but in the last three to four years the medical community is now recognizing that it can, and in fact does, happen in cats.

Recent testing of pets brains have shown conclusively that your feline companion can suffer from strokes, or may have already suffered from a stroke.

And the experts will also tell you that there are no medications to help prevent strokes in your cat, or is there?


Green eyes in catsThe symptoms of Strokes in cats are totally different than humans

Strokes in cats are a very serious condition and the thought that your cat may have actually suffered from a stroke is frightening.

However, even though it is now proven that cats do indeed suffer strokes, they will not be as severe in your cat as they are in humans.

In humans, there are two major type of strokes, Ischemic and Hemorrhagic strokes.

Then each of these types of strokes have distinct subclass forms, all with differing degrees of severity.

Your feline will suffer from the same two major types, but again they are not as severe as they are in humans.

What is also reassuring is that there is mounting evidence that the B class of vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, help to reduce the chances of strokes in humans.

It is also believed that these nutrients can have the same affect with your cat.


Strokes in cats are caused when the flow of blood to your pet’s brain is disrupted by the vessels that supply the blood to the brain.

This is considered a cerebrovascular accident as it causes brain cells in your cat to actually die within minutes of this accident.

When the blood flow to your cat is impaired, it causes the delivery of both oxygen and glucose to stop, thus killing the cells. With cats, this can happen in two different ways.

The first way is when these blood vessels clog within themselves, and this is referred to as an Ischemic stroke.

When the actual vessel carrying the blood, ruptures, and thus causes blood to leak into the brain, which is referred to as a Hemorrhagic stroke.

With your cat, by far and away the largest threat they will face from strokes, will be from the Ischemic form of stroke, as it causes over 80 percent of all strokes in cats.

With Ischemic strokes, your cat has had an obstruction of the blood supply to the brain by a vessel that is most likely clogged by fatty tissues that line the vessel walls.

This causes both the brain cells and tissues to actually die within a matter of minutes, due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients that it rely on to function properly.

In this form of strokes in cats, either a blood clot has developed in the vessels inside the brain, or somewhere else in the pet’s body.

If it is in the brain, it is than referred to as a thrombotic stroke, if it is in another part of the body; it is called an embolic stroke.

A thrombotic stroke that has occurred in your cat is where a blood clot, also called a thrombus, develops in an artery that supplies blood directly to the brain.

Thrombotic strokes occur most often in older cats that have high cholesterol levels or fat and lipid build ups in the walls of the vessels.

These types of strokes in cats most likely have been prefaced by a series of much smaller strokes.

These are referred to as transient ischemic strokes, that you as the owner will have had no knowledge of ever occurring.

These stoke will most often hit your older cat very suddenly and generally occur while they are sleeping.

It your cat has diabetes; the risk for this type of stroke is much higher, as many experts believe that this disease is a major contributor to strokes.

The embolic form of stroke occurs when the blood clot has formed somewhere other than the brain, but has the same basic effect.

This form of Ischemic stroke can be caused by a heart conditions such as a fibrillation or murmurs of the heart.

Hemorrhagic stokes will make up the remaining 20 percent of strokes in cats.

When a vessel ruptures in your cat it causes the artery to essentially bleed into your feline friend’s brain, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

This also causes your cat’s tissues surrounding the arteries to swell and become very irritated.


An intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when the blood vessels that are within the brain drain and enter the brain.

Asubarachnoid hemorrhage is a bleeding in the area that is between the brain and the actual membranes that cover your pet’s brain.

Most of us know the symptoms of a stroke that happens in humans; there will be either a drooping of the facial muscles on one side of the face, or a total paralysis of one side of the body.

With your cat, the symptoms will be totally different.

The most prevalent signs or symptoms that you need to look for that your cat has had a stroke is to watch for a very usual pattern of your cat tilting or turning their head.

You should also watch for a sudden loss of vision, or a loss of balance for no apparent reason.

If your cat suddenly starts to turn in circles and falls, this is the perhaps the most telling sign and you will need to seek immediate medical attention.

Most veterinarians will now acknowledge that cats indeed can suffer strokes, and can run tests on their brain.

With the help of imaging, that can determine very quickly if your pet has suffered a stroke.


Although there is no known cure or prevention for strokes, there is a lot of recent evidence that the B class of vitamins, especially Vitamin B6 and B12, may help to prevent strokes in cats.

The B class of vitamins lower blood levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid in the blood.

There are also recent studies that have shown that high levels of homocysteine can be one of the major causes of blood clotting and artery problems as well as other cardiovascular problems.

Although there is no conclusive evidence that these vitamins can prevent the effects of strokes or how serious a stroke may be.

However there is mounting evidence that they can in most cases help to prevent recurring strokes.


Recurring strokes will happen in about 25 percent of all stoke cases in your cat, and helping to build their immune system is something that is very easy to do by supplementing these two vitamins.

Recovery by your cat of a stroke will all depend on how severe it is. Most cats can recover, but helping them in preventing a recurring stroke is something all cat owners should consider.

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