cat has a twitch / tremor in his body involuntary

rockchick2325

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My 12 year old female does a tensing and relaxing thing like lycan. She's done it for 2 years now. The vet had no idea and thinks it is nothing to worry about as long as it doesn't get worse. It is uncomfortable to watch, but doesn't seem to bother her. It's always when she's laying down or trying to sleep. Never when she's alert and doing things. I'd love to find out what is going on. There doesn't seem to be any stress or other correlation though.
 

katforcats

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Hi all,

I have no further knowledge on this issue yet..... I've at least sent the videos to the Neuro vet.. they want to see her in person, of course.  Here are my latest videos:



Let's keep on this and get it figured out!  I'm seeing more and more of this in cats.. even one at the local Humane Society!
 
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katforcats

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Well, I think I've had a breakthrough in my research!!  I do believe that those of us who are seeing our long-haired cats do this, that is it a genetic malformation that occurs in Maine Coon cats called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  The symptoms match my cats to a tee, though it doesn't specify it happening only during rest but if you know medical science fairly well you can read the research sites and see how it can vary in levels of severity and understand how it might occur only during that time.  They also tend to walk w/ their hind limbs rotated outward by 30-40 degrees from the midline, causing their hocks to nearly touch when they walk.  My cat has that!  And, she lays flat on her belly w/ her hind legs straight out behind her which I'm now thinking is because of the muscular variation.  There are other factors of this genetic disease to - such as shallow or rapid breathing after a short bit of exercise, sometimes a rapid heartbeat, and loss of muscle tone and strength which can become noticeable.  They can have a more difficult time making a strong jump up onto furniture - another thing she has presented for many months now. 

Please see these sites:

Pediatric Research - Feline Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Inherited Motor Neuron Disease in Domestic Cats: A Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (PDF Download Available)

PawPeds

TESTS can be ordered here for $40 (maine coon SMA): https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/cat/
 

mochicat5

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Hello all! I am so glad I found this thread - my cat Mochi (2 year old female maine coon mix) has had these exact muscle spasms for at least a year now. Her spasms look JUST like Bella's spasms in the video above - shivering/tensing in the legs, shoulders, and head, and only when she is resting in a light sleep. I have done so much research and visited vets, to no avail - it's been such a mystery and it's so upsetting to see my little cat with these spasms, and not be able to do anything!! :( I have also wondered about the Spinal Muscular Atrophy, as my cat is somewhat knock-kneed, and a tad clumsy when jumping onto windowsills/tables. @katforcats, I am curious if you did the test for SMA on your kitty??

I hope we can discover what causes this!
 

katforcats

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Hi Mochicat5!  So glad you found this thread too!  I am hoping others do... if it isn't SMA, but rather something undiscovered, then we need to start advocating for veterinary research.  The more owners that come together on this, the better.  I saw a long-haired female in the humane society a few weeks ago that also had this issue.  I tried fostering her but they adopted her out instead.  Fortunately I informed them of this and they did share w/ her adopter so they could keep an eye on her.  This clearly is not so uncommon, but rather quite common, so I'm expecting the DNA test to show a positive on the SMA because it's the closest thing I can find so far to these issues.

I am going to do the DNA test for sure.  I'm trying to buy a house right now, though, and I need to keep money in the bank so I may still wait a bit.  But, it will be relatively soon, possibly next month at latest.  I hope others will also do it so that we can collect the evidence, collaborate, and care for our kitties properly.

Please keep watch on here and start talking to others about it.  Guaranteed lots of owners have yet to discover this in their coon-dna kitty!

Thanks!

Kat
 

drogon3

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Hello, everyone! New to this site, which I came across searching for info on my sphynx cat Drogon's clenching/tremors. They look very similar to what some of you have posted, but as I said he's a sphynx, so the diagnosis associated with Maine Coons doesn't make much sense for him. Any new news? I'm very worried and haven't been able to find any answers.
 

raysmyheart

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I will be watching this thread, I need to get caught up on it, but it caught my attention.  My Speedy is a female, siamese/calico mix and her back will twitch quite often, mostly when she is standing.  It is more of a quick twitch of the back, rather than slower contractions.  Her vet has said it is nothing for concern, but I think I read where it may be inherited.  Thanks for all the posters because I would like to know about this.
 

katforcats

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Hi guys!  Glad you came here with these concerns.  It's an older thread but it's important we all continue sharing information.  I have not gotten her genetic test done yet.... I'm in midst of house hunting and going through the process of credit and lending stuff so I've gotta put it off a bit longer.  I don't think all of the kitties with this are Maine Coon... but there is always a minor chance of them carrying some coon genes... I mean, mixed gene kitties means just about anything since cats reproduce with any other cat, and through hundreds of generations.. they could have anything in them.  Though, if you have a pure bred Sphynx (wanna see pictures!) then that's an exception.  I do strongly believe that we over vaccinate our pets these days, and combined with all the flea poisons and other medications, that numerous side effects are simply a result of that.  Vets rarely admit that though... they simply refuse to believe it.  Also, be sure you are feeding an extremely high quality food... real meat, high protein, proper vitamins/minerals that AREN'T synthetic (if it says "vit A/E/D SUPPLMENT" it is synthetic, and NO by-products, GMO grains, soy, sugars, mystery meats, etc.  I buy Nature's Logic.  I have a trial bag of Orijen, and the kitties LOVE it.. it's high quality, but even they have a few synthetic vitamins in it (not as much though). 

If you have insurance on your pet, maybe consult with a neurology vet specialist.  That is what I intend to do if the genetic test comes back negative.  Please report anything you learn for the rest of us.

Thanks so much! :)

~Kat
 

katforcats

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Drogon3... can you take videos and post them to Youtube for us to see (add link or give Youtube channel name)?

Thanks!
 

jjaneksela

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My cat found a space under the kitchen cabinets yesterday and after being under there for about 30 minutes has since been sneezing like crazy, but with no wet nose, and jerking her head backwards frequently while awake not asleep.  Could she have been bitten by some spider/bug or been poisoned by something underneath the cabinets like roach or rodent deturents?  Please, help.  She is 3 years old, fixed, with all her vaccinations and was given a thorough blood test prior to entering Europe from Colombia and everything showed that she is 100% healthy.  What could this be?
 

katforcats

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Hi.  I would be concerned about rodent poison.  When you say "jerking her head", do you mean like twitches?  Or rough shaking like something is in her ears?  If she breathed in a bunch of dust under there that could cause the sneezing for a short time, but the head shaking is hard to say.  Are you able to get her to the vet?  If she is still doing this, take her to the vet right away.  Be on the safe side, otherwise you may regret it if it is poison or a spider bite.  Let us know what you find out.
 

jjaneksela

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That's exactly what was my main concern -the rat poison or roach killer or bite of some sort. 

She was more than twitching-it was she saw something come close to her and was moving out of the way to avoid it or as if someone was pulling on her from an invisible string.  It was quite strange.  And it was only her head-not her extremities or body.  I did clean out her ears and eyes well good.  She eventually stopped jerking, but the sneezing persisted for a few days more.  

I did not take her to a vet as I had received some advice that calmed me down-that she had probably gotten into some dust or stressed herself into a cold.  She all better now-100% better-no sneezing or twitching.

Thank you for taking the time out of your life to respond.  It really means to world to me and my baby.  We are grateful for communities that care.

All the best to you and yours.  
 

matt25

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Hi All,

I am very grateful that mochicat5 directed me to this thread, as I had just started another one last week (here).  My one year old tabby (Lina) has the same issue.  Just a moment ago, I recall that the shelter we adopted her from told us that 3 of her 5 siblings were disabled (all were adopted to loving families), so we just reached out to see if we can get more information about those disabilities.  I will certainly keep the thread up to date.

Just last week, we got a full body X-ray because she had back pain when the vet was feeling her spine.  Lina hissed at the vet, which she has never hissed at anyone.  Two vertebrae looked very close together in the area where she was touched when she hissed, but the vet didn't think this contributed to the tremors.  Two other details from the X-ray:  lungs and abdomen (and all other organs) looked excellent, and she has mild hip dysplasia in her right hip.  After reading about the spinal muscular atrophy, I now wonder if this is connected somehow.

Somebody mentioned their cat being worse in the hours or day after a stressful event.  We just brought our cat home from a weekend away and spending an hour in the car today, and her tremors are as bad as we have seen them:



More links are posted to the thread I linked above, in case anybody is interested.
 
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mugsybug

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Glad to have found this site. Mugsy is a short hair domestic, 2years old, and tremors started in back legs a month ago but has progressed to full body. Today, it's been going on literally all day and he seems quite tired. My other problem is he suddenly attacked his sister 10 days ago and she wants nothing to do with him now. All quite distressing. Vet did blood work. Nothing showed up.
 

matt25

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I think we found a "cure" for Lina's tremors.  For the last 3 months, we have use the Feliway Comfort Zone diffuser, and Lina has not twitched since we started using them.  I recommend giving them a chance.  
 

Petey's Mom

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I think we found a "cure" for Lina's tremors. For the last 3 months, we have use the Feliway Comfort Zone diffuser, and Lina has not twitched since we started using them. I recommend giving them a chance.
Hi Matt25, I'm really glad that you found something that is working for Lina!! I know this is an old post and I truly hope that anyone and everyone who posted here could keep it going, or at least post their progress to date. I was so happy I came across this thread because up until now every single vet I reached out to gave me a questionable look, as if I was crazy and imagining these symptoms. When I showed them videos of involuntary muscle twitching/tremoring in my boy, many of them said that this was a normal cat behaviour and acted like I was just being a paranoid pet parent. Unfortunately most if not all vets nowadays are too quick to dismiss your concerns but are more than happy to leave a big hole in your pocket.

My little guy will be turning three years old in October and his tremors started when he was around 7-8 months old. I noticed a pattern however that 95% of the time these tremors would begin soon after a meal, and only a small percentage would show up on their own (I.e. Not after a meal time). I went from one vet to another, did all kinds of bloodwork and x-rays, Took him to a neurologist, all the meanwhile trying to find a new healthy food that my finicky boy would actually accept. It was a long process, unfortunately, because my boy also has some sort of a irritable bowel issue since the day I adopted him ( he was only four weeks old when I picked him up from a family who didn't exactly live in the cleanest of environments and kept their sickly looking cat mother and her kittens in a smoke shed, so he came with a small bouquet of various different issues from the start). He's very sensitive to changes in food and more often than not his bowel movement ends with some mucus and sometimes drop of blood (yet another issue that vets were not able to figure out yet, but an issue that has gotten better since the change in diet). About the diet change - Around August of last year I finally switched his wet food to a minimal ingredients Italian brand wet food call Schesir, and his trembling slowly subsided and then disappeared altogether until May of this year. Minding the fact that about a couple months ago he became finicky about his Schesir food and I had to switch it again. I'm not 100% certain but I have a strong hunch that it may be some sort of sensitivity to an ingredient in the food, and I say that also because I came across another thread on the Internet where an owner was experiencing the same issue with his kitty and this issue completely disappeared when he switched the diet to all raw. At this point I'm still at a loss of what exactly is causing this involuntary trembling. It's not all the time and not yet overly persistent but I really don't want it to get to the point where it's an every day occurrence because it's driving me crazy already. I'm always worried sick about my guy. I brought up Ehrlichia topic with one of the vets I visited and wanted to do a test for my boy, but she denied it because she said she couldn't justify the request of this test to my insurance company. She said that because he's an indoor cat only he has absolutely no chance of contracting a tick borne disease. Just another example proving that they care more about insurance companies than well-being of their patients. I will be taking him to the vet for his annual physical soon, but to a different vet, and I will insist on the Ehrlichia test this time around. Idiopathic is just not good enough of an answer for me. I'm sick of leaving money with them and getting zero answers.
Long story short what I really wanted to ask you was - did that solution with the diffuser work for Lina long-term? Is Lina still tremor-free? Please let me know when you can I will greatly appreciate it!! Thanks so much in advance!

WorriedCatMom
 

Catmumof7

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Hey there! Does anyone have any updates as to what you figured out with your cats? My little boy is suddenly limping and having tremors not just in the back leg, but also all his other limbs and whole body..I’m so worried and the vet doesn’t know what it could be….
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Hey there! Does anyone have any updates as to what you figured out with your cats? My little boy is suddenly limping and having tremors not just in the back leg, but also all his other limbs and whole body..I’m so worried and the vet doesn’t know what it could be….
You have added your remarks to quite an old thread, so may not receive any answers. Did you happen to see this thread? It may have some interesting info for you: Cat doesn't eat and has started having tremors

At this point, it might be best to start up your own thread if nothing in the thread I attached rings true.
 
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