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Cat Dream Or Seizure?

gitabooks

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Alpha Cat
Sep 26, 2015
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So, I'm pretty sure it was just a bad dream, but my cat Nocturne started shaking in her sleep (like a dreaming dog) and once before she had done this and woken up terrified and scratched me as she tried to get away. I tried to carefully wake her up but she woke up terrified again and threw herself off me onto the bed, hissing and thrashing. Her tail was all puffed up, she scratched me pretty badly, and she emptied her anal glands on me and the bed.
It took a couple minutes of me comforting her for her to return back to normal and start moving around again. She had some "brain issues" as a kitten, and possible hydrocephalus (no test, but the vet said she appeared to have something wrong with her, and her head was much larger than her siblings). She still has some balance issues and is easily startled and frightened, but otherwise healthy. No seizures or other health problems.

I just wanted to know if this was normal behavior.
Nocturne is 2-years-old, I have had her since she was about a week old (fostered her and her siblings and mother, kept her because of her special-needs as a kitten). She is eating and behaving normally. Indoor only cat (she lives in my room because everything else startles her too easily).

Thanks!
 

danteshuman

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Mar 27, 2017
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Well my boy now sometimes nurses in his sleep. My dear cat Dante used to meow in his sleep like he was having a nightmare (when he was alive.) I used to talk to him and then wake him up gently when it sounded like he was having a nightmare.

Given your cat’s history maybe set up a vet visit and/or video your cat shaking in her sleep to show to the vet. You can do physical therapy for cats after they have a stroke. If your cat had a seizure or stroke; I wish her a speedy recovery!
 
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gitabooks

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Thread starter
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Sep 26, 2015
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USA
Thank you for the reply and advice!

Nocturne is completely recovered from her "nightmare" and in a good mood. I did have to wash the blankets and my shirt because they stunk!
She's only done this once before and it wasn't this bad, so I was just curious if there was something more to it than a bad dream.
 

KittyCatCove

Daddy of 3
Adult Cat
May 8, 2019
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When a cat dreams they twitch and move their paws, but your cat is attacking you and that sounds like something more serious than just a bad dream.

I would get your cat to the vet as soon as possible for a full check up and blood work.
 

Jem

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Aug 6, 2018
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I had a cat with anxiety/behavioral issues. He sometimes would have nightmares and it did happen a few times that he woke up in "attack mode". He would start twitching and making growling/meowing noised, and it would slowly escalate until he jumped up and hissed and growled and attacked the thing that was making him upset in his dream. Then he would "fully come too", look around a bit confused then settle back down again. He was still a bit on edge, but would lay back down and get comfy eventually falling asleep again.
I never tried to wake him when he was dreaming a normal dream, and I also never tried to wake him, from up close, if the dream seemed to be more of a nightmare. I would make "kissy noises", or other noises and call his name, things that could rouse him from a distance, I never used my hands. If that did not work, I would gently stroke him with a wand toy. I tried to make sure that I did not startle him awake.
Not only did I not want to be on the receiving end of his attack, if he did attack, but I also did not want to be the first thing he saw after being so upset from his nightmare. Re-directed aggression was one thing he display very often.
 
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gitabooks

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Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Sep 26, 2015
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Jem,
Yes, that sounds like what Nocturne did. I'll have to try calling to her. It's hard to keep out of her way when she is asleep across my chest : )
 

fionasmom

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Jun 21, 2014
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I would check with the vet; however, I have owned two cats who had bonafide seizures and neither looked like what you are describing. No one even went into attack mode and it was more like the head going back, twitching, falling, and remaining inert for a few minutes. But I certainly can't say that cat seizures cannot look differently from what I experienced. In both cases, my cats were taken to the vet who agreed that they were seizing and both were diagnosed with condition which caused the seizures.
 
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gitabooks

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Sep 26, 2015
514
506
USA
I would try to video it, but she has only ever done it twice, and it was months apart, so I wouldn't know when to expect it, if it ever happened again.

One of our dogs has occasional seizures, so I've seen what that looks like. It looks different, though I know different kinds of seizures happen in different ways. I was just surprised she could get so scared she would empty her anal glands like that. I've never seen a cat do that before (seen dogs do it plenty of times, but never a cat).
 

pearl99

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Aug 28, 2016
221
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Lakewood, Colorado
A cat I had that had seizures was always drowsy after, and not what Nocturne is doing, but that was only one cat. So yes I'd talk to the vet for sure as soon as you can for official medical advice.
 

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