Fainting In Cats: Essential Facts We Need To Know About It


Syncope or fainting in cats is a medical condition, which is basically characterized as the temporary loss of consciousness of a cat, as well as a spontaneous recovery. In this article, we will discuss further what fainting is, what causes it, its symptoms, as well as its prognosis and possible treatments. If you want to learn more about this, give this article a read.

Fainting in Cats: What is this feline condition?

Syncope is the clinical term for fainting in cats. In the event that your cat faints, you must seek an immediate help. Its behavior is an indication of a medical condition. A professional vet may diagnose it and may suggest a proper treatment.

Fainting or syncope in cats happens during a blood supply interaction to the brain. This particular event is what stops the flow of important oxygen and nutrients, thus resulting to the physical impairment. The common risk factors may include heart disease and age. The treatment may vary and depend on the underlying cause of the fainting.

This feline condition is more likely to happen in the older cats.

Causes of Cat Fainting

The most common cause of fainting in cats is the temporary interruption in the blood supply in the brain that may cause impairment of the delivery of nutrient and oxygen to the brain. One more important cause of it is a heart disease, which may lead to the interruption in the supply of blood to the brain.

Moreover, cats faint due to various reasons. None of which are environmental. All of the incidents may relate to a physical condition. The young cat born with a congenital heart disease and seniors have the highest risk of experiencing the condition.

Here are the most common trigger of fainting in cats:

  • Poisoning
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung dysfunction
  • Hypoglycemia

Cat owners must know that several cat breeds are vulnerable to cat fainting –one of which is the Ragdoll. This long-haired cat often develops hypertophic cardiomyopathy as they age. Their left ventricle may grow thicker than the normal, thus causing a wide variety of breathing conditions, as well as depression.

Symptoms of Cat Fainting

Syncope or fainting in cats may show up through physical abnormalities. The reflexes of the cat may slow down. From time to time, the movement is non-existent. Further, there are also some cats that become confused or may exhibit glassy-eyed stares. Nonetheless, not all may collapse or experience a loss of consciousness. Be mindful of this very fact, in order to avoid confounding a symptom for overall tiredness. They are as follows:

  • Total collapse
  • Refusal in moving
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stiffening or weakening of the hind legs
  • Sudden lying or siting down
  • Unforeseen falls

The fainting in cats might last for a few seconds, up to hours on their own. Due to the fact that it is a symptom of a medical illness or disease, the early detection is important. You can set an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as you suspect your cat has it.

Prognosis of Cat Fainting

In order to diagnose fainting in cats, a veterinarian may do some examinations and may order a series of tests. The main purpose of this is find the causal disease or medical condition. Its recovery may provide the significant data in creating a treatment plan.

  • Holter monitor –a cat wears this device around its neck. This will record the heart rhythms for about 24-48 hours, in order to determine any irregularities.
  • X-rays –since the musculoskeletal conditions may cause fainting in cats, a veterinarian might request s-ray.
  • A sequence of blood tests –these are essential in identifying malformed red blood cells, as well as sugar levels. Further, it is a way of visualizing infection or disease like diabetes.
  • A complete physical exam –a veterinarian may check the cat’s body for any bruises, cuts, or fractures. This may include taking the pulse rate.
  • Complete medical history –medical events in the cat’s past schedule may show why it is fainting. The vet may need this necessary information in deriving a proper prognosis.

Treatments for Cat Fainting

Syncope or fainting in cats is a temporary and reversible illness, with the cat patient regaining its consciousness soon after the episode of unconsciousness. Nonetheless, if the underlying cause isn’t treated in time, it may lead to the recurrent episodes of fainting, as well as the aggravation of some other related symptoms to the causal disease.

In the event that the side effects because of various medications are what’s responsible for the episodes of fainting in cats, the vet may halt the use of these medications. If the medications are important for the long term health for the cat, the doctor may look into some other medications, which may be essential to use even without the harmful side effects.

Observe your cat for any episodes of fainting and call your vet immediately if the cat starts to show any symptoms of losing its consciousness again.


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