Important Facts About Muscle Contraction Disease In Cats That You Need To Know


Muscle contraction disease or myoclonus in cats is a condition, wherein a certain part of a muscle, whole muscle, or a group of muscles contracts in a repetitive, rhythmic, involuntary, and coarse manner at a rate of up to 60 times every minute. These irregular contractions happen because of nervous dysfunction and most typically affects muscle groups involved in munching and/or any kind of skeletal limb muscles. This condition is unusually seen in cats and is way more common in dogs. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about muscle contraction disease in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, as well as treatments. Read on to learn more about these!

What is Muscle Contraction Disease in Cats?

Muscle contraction disease in cats is also called myoclonus. This is a neurological muscle disease, which causes rhythmic and repetitive muscular retrenchments of a group or two of muscles. This condition is through to be triggered by the abnormal pacemaker activity in the neurons because of infections, like coronavirus meningoencephalitis. The diagnosis for congenital muscle contraction disease in cats is somewhat poor and vet consultation is recommended for cats suspected to have this condition.

Furthermore, muscle contraction disease in felines is a malady, which causes the cat’s muscles to suddenly contract without the cat aiming to move that particular muscle. You might notice this particular involuntary movement in the cat’s neck, head, abdomen, or legs. In addition, the muscles might contract vertically or lengthwise on the body of the cat. If the condition affects the jaw, you might notice what’s known as the chewing gum fit. This is where the jaw’s rhythmic movements look like a person that’s chewing a stick of gum. Specific infections and medications may cause muscle contraction disease in cats, while other cats are solely born with this condition.


  • Stimulus-sensitive myoclonus –In this type, the muscle contracts due to noise, touch, or noise.
  • Active myoclonus –The involuntary muscle shriveling are caused by the movement of the cat or the want of the cat to move.
  • Congenital myoclonus –The feline is innate with involuntary myoclonus and spasms happen for no specific reason.
  • Nocturnal myoclonus –The sleep-prompted involuntary muscle contractions.


There is actually no one cause of the muscle contraction disease in cats, yet relatively a group of maladies thought to cause the condition. Further, viral infections like distemper and bacterial infections, which affect the brain, like meningitis, are believed to be the most typical causes of the condition.

Moreover, intoxications, lesions, metabolic abnormalities, and the central nervous system cofactor deficiency have been known to instigate muscle contraction disease in cats. Last of all, muscle contraction disease might also be congenital, a condition that a cat might be born with.


The symptoms of muscle contraction disease in cats are so clear. The cat owners might be able to perceptibly see the condition causing the muscles of the cat’s abdomen, neck, jaw, neck, or legs. This muscle contractions are commonly short-term, lasting for only a few seconds from the time that it started. Additionally, the rhythmic, involuntary contractions may cause the cat to be  and it might misstep upon walking. It isn’t rare for the feline condition to affect the cats while they’re sleeping, brusquely waking the cat up.


muscle contraction disease in cats

The vet may need to go through any past injuries, surgical procedures, and illnesses the cat has had over its entire lifetime. Reviewing its medical history may also help in pinpointing whatever medications, which have been utilized on the cat, which might have triggered the contractions of the muscles.

In addition, a physical exam, urinalysis, and blood test may possibly be a part of the diagnostic procedure of the cat. Also, these tests assist in pinpointing any abnormalities. A CT scan or MRI isn’t rare in diagnosing the cases contraction disease , since the vet may likely want to evaluate the brain. The vet might also want to evaluate the spinal fluid with the use of a fine aspiration needle or spinal tap. The spinal cord infection, like meningitis, may be detected via the spinal fluid evaluation.

Treatment for Muscle Contraction Disease in Cats

The treatment plan for felines that have muscle contraction disease may vary from a case to another, this is because the condition may be due to a causal health problems or idiopathic reasons. Commonly, antibiotics are typically recommended to patients who have bacterial infections, causing the cat to show some involuntary contractions, while viral infections are being treated with the use of fluid therapy and some other medications.

Inflammatory medications might also be recommended to the cats experiencing brain swelling or the spinal column. Additionally, the most proper form of treatment may not legitimately be reputable without any examination of a licensed vet.

In addition, the muscle contraction disease in cats commonly seize or become lesser frequent after the cat has received vet treatment. cats born with this condition don’t need the best long-term diagnosis, since there is no definitive treatment for the condition itself.


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