My cat goes into a coma when he sleeps

mysn

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I have to ask you guys about something, cuz I really need some help! 

This is very strange and I have no idea why it is happening. When my cat is sleeping, he sometimes goes into a "deep sleeping coma". He can fall asleep as a normal cat, but suddenly it can seem like he is dead or something. I can poke him, shake his head, lift his legs up and shake his whole body without him reacting to it.. It sounds strange, I know, and it is very hard to describe.. Therefore I've uploaded a video of it to show you exactly what I mean. Check it out here. This is what happens during the "coma". Strange, right? Almost funny..

 


The first time it happend, I seriously though he was head. He was not reacting to anything, and I almost started crying. I had to slap his face or make a very high sound to make him wake up. Is this normal? At first, it didn't happend very often, but now he goes into this "deep sleeping coma" almost every day.. It would be comforting to hear about other cats doing this to, and it would be even more comforting to hear WHY they do it. Does someone know anything? Should I take him to a vet or something? 

- TK
 
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-_aj_-

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Hi there welcome along to TCS :)

I dont think I have seen a cat fall into a deep sleep like that, does he act normal in every other way? 

I know I havent helped but there will be someone along that will be able to help better than me...

Do you see a regular vet there would be no harm in giving them a ring and asking to ease your mind
 

momofmany

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My old boy (nearly 17) sleeps HARD at times, and I do what you are doing to him for a short time before he wakes up. I'll talk to him, shake his paw and lift his head, and if he doesn't wake up by then I gently pick him up, which always wakes him.

What you are doing is far beyond what I would expect to be normal. If it were me, I'd suspect neurological problems and bring him to a vet. This is not normal by any means, and I have no idea if the condition that causes your baby to sleep so hard would also cause other issues.
 

GoldyCat

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First of all, welcome to TCS. You've come to a great place to meet other cat lovers and learn more about your cat. He's beautiful.
TCS policy does not allow links to YouTube, so I've embedded your video in your message. For future reference, there is a tutorial on how to embed YouTube videos in the Fur Pictures and Videos Only forum.

On to your question. There are several different things that might be happening with your cat. Best possible scenario is that he's just playing with you. Not so good is that he might be having some kind of seizure activity. How long do the "coma" episodes last? Is there any particular activity that seems to trigger them? I'd suggest you take him to a vet to get him thoroughly checked out.

I've not seen this in any of my cats, but there may be someone else here who has.
 

mrblanche

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Actually, I think this is perfectly normal.  While a cat typically "sleeps" something like 18 hours per day, much of that sleep is fairly aware of his surroundings.  A few minutes of each sleep cycle is like you show.  I've mistaken my cats for dead, several times, and caused my own heart attacks!  But the cat is perfectly paralyzed; this is also when he is likely to be dreaming.  It can really scare you! 
 

Willowy

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How old is he? I notice this mostly in kittens and older cats, but I'm sure some young adult cats do it too. You can bring it up the next time he's at the vet's, but it's probably entirely normal.

Ferrets do this all the time, and it really can be scary! But once you know to expect it, it's also sort of funny. . .:tongue2:.
 
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mysn

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How old is he? I notice this mostly in kittens and older cats, but I'm sure some young adult cats do it too. You can bring it up the next time he's at the vet's, but it's probably entirely normal.
Ferrets do this all the time, and it really can be scary! But once you know to expect it, it's also sort of funny. . .
.
He is almost 2 years now. 1year and 7months to be exact! I've heard that a lot of kittens does this. Is Mys a young cat or a kitten when he is 1,7years? I'll definitely talk to the vet about it next time we're there. Its funny now that I know it is most likely not dangerous! 
 
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mysn

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Actually, I think this is perfectly normal.  While a cat typically "sleeps" something like 18 hours per day, much of that sleep is fairly aware of his surroundings.  A few minutes of each sleep cycle is like you show.  I've mistaken my cats for dead, several times, and caused my own heart attacks!  But the cat is perfectly paralyzed; this is also when he is likely to be dreaming.  It can really scare you! 
Sounds logically that they do this every now and then trough their 18 hours of sleep, even though it is scary when you don't know whats going on. It usually starts with small "twitches" in his legs and mouth. Then he goes into the deep coma where nothing but a loud shout can wake him up! Strange.. But it comforts me to know that it definitely isn't something wrong with him! Thanks.
 
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rosiemac

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My Rosie can go like that, but if l moved her head as much as you did she would  wake up.

I remember the first time l ever saw her like that when she was small she scared the living daylights out of me that l had to shake her awake, but it gave her such a shock that she jumped up and hissed at me so don't slap his face or shout at him. Now l gently shake her paw and softly call her name. She wakes up and looks around to adjust herself just like a human would if their sleep was disturbed, but after a few seconds she's fine.

I think it's normal, but mention it to the vet.
 

frenchilottie

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hello all,

I was almost releived when i read your post. My kitten, coming up 5months now, Sleeps in exactly the same way. At first we thought it was cute and funny, of course after the first experience heart attack, But i am now very concerned. Not only can you shout at him, move him, lift and drop his head and paws. But we recently discovered you can also stick your fingers in his mouth, play with his tounge and ever put food between his jaws. We are now booked to see a vet as i dont think this is normal or right, heavy sleeping is possible, but i didnt expect he would no longer feel inside his mouth. Surely this would usually be a wake up point?

Good luck with your Cat too.

Lottie x
 

punkymp82

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My cat sleeps like that. he hasn't always slept this hard. about a year ago he started snoring. he also has nightmares; sometimes whimpering and sometimes growling and i have to wake him up from it but it can take a LONG time to wake him. we have gone through a very chaotic and traumatizing year and i wonder if its the stress that is causing all this??? He's also started falling asleep with his eyes half open, sometimes one completely open. I'm getting worried now that i read someone's suggestion that it could be something neurological like seizures.
 

jamaal

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I have 3 cats and they all do this.  And my Lexi, who recently passed, did it the most and she was 14, did it all her life. She would sleep next to me in bed and one night I thought she was dead!  She wouldn't wake up, even after shaking her a bit...then she jumped up!  My youngest, 4month old kitten who I've had for a month now has just started doing this, actually 5 minutes ago is the first time I've seen it happen.  She usually sleeps under the bed or somewhere safe, she was found in an alley at about 7weeks old very sick  and alone, and hasn't had much human contact, but now since being here she has started sleeping in the bed, and on couches.  She was asleep on the chair and I saw her breathing very fast so I touched her and I shook her, lifted her paws, nothing...I actually got scared!  Even though they all do it, she scared me...I guess because she doesn't fall asleep like that, she's always on the lookout when she's sleeping in the living room...maybe she's gotten comfortable and feels safe now so she's gone into coma mode too!  I've noticed the cats that sleep the most comfortable looking, like on their backs or spread out, are the ones who go into the coma sleep most often.  The other two rarely sleep on their backs, but when they do that's when they end up twitching and sleeping so deeply....I've always wondered about this, but all of mine do it, including my kitten now so...I don't think it's a problem....except when they sleep next to me and I think they are dead and have a small heart attack!  I've never tried to wake them for that long, because I usually go into a panic and start shaking them!  I don't know why it, gets me every time, and it's happened for over 13 years!
 

sillywabbit

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My cat has done the same thing, and has concerned me also. Not sure if it's normal? He's almost 2 and normally sleeps light, so maybe he just catches up on his sleep. Not sure what else I can say. First time it happened, he was twitching and unresponsive. It was 3 am and every drop of blood in my body went cold. Thought I was watching Robbie die. Five minutes later he was fine. Scary!!
 

lamiatron

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GIRRRRLLLLL take advantage and clip your kitties nails and file them. Thats the only thing i'm thinking when i see this video. My charlie used to fall dead asleep like that too and oh how i miss those days!

If you really feel concerned definitely take your kitty to a vet, but cats sleep a lot
 

ferals

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I haven't been on here in a while and just noticed this topic through Google.

My 2 year old cat Dolly has started going into this coma sleep mode. But the only times she does it is when she's looking for attention and a nice massage later at night and then gets comfy by herself before falling into a regular sleep overnight.

She was originally a feral cat which might have something to do with it, esp when it comes to the physical movement during dreams.

She starts meowing for attention around 11:30pm while I'm on my bed with my laptop. I tell her to come and she gets comfy on my belly. Then as I massage her on her neck or carefully rub her on her cheeks, she goes into the coma sleep mode until she wakes up on her own or I have to get up. After that is when she gets comfy on her own and goes into that stage a few times before she goes into a regular sleep mode for the rest of the night and into the next morning.
 

zoneout

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hello all,

I was almost releived when i read your post. My kitten, coming up 5months now, Sleeps in exactly the same way. At first we thought it was cute and funny, of course after the first experience heart attack, But i am now very concerned. Not only can you shout at him, move him, lift and drop his head and paws. But we recently discovered you can also stick your fingers in his mouth, play with his tounge and ever put food between his jaws. We are now booked to see a vet as i dont think this is normal or right, heavy sleeping is possible, but i didnt expect he would no longer feel inside his mouth. Surely this would usually be a wake up point?

Good luck with your Cat too.

Lottie x
This is how I sleep every night.   
 

ryly97

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I have two cats. Whiskers had been with us four years without doing this and then Skittles came along and she started doing this all the time. Scared us half to death but she always came out of it. Whiskers then started doing it. This happens every now and then. They twitch and their mouths curl, then I go right to them, pick them up by putting one arm around their abdomen on one side and the other arm on the other side so they are cradled but that usually wakes them up. Sometimes they just come out of it on their own. There was a period where they would lay on us and do it and we had no idea what was going on.  Now Whiskers likes to straddle the arms of the couches and sleep. He will do the seizure sleep and roll off onto the floor or into the trash can. He has learned to position himself so he rolls onto the couch. Skittles has a summer fit where she pulls out her hair because of the fleas and bites herself to try to kill the fleas but it only ends up in scabs. She hides from us in the windows and spends most of her time there but will roll out of the window and a fall three feet to the floor where she will wake up and seem confused as to how she got on the floor but then she hops (she never runs) away. But they go on with their lives. They eat and drink well enough, go to the bathroom frequently, and sleep through the night with a nap during the day.
 

puddykat

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Remember the saying "cat nap". Yes cats like to sleep and once they trust you they will go into what we would call a coma, not so for the cat, they will go into a deep sleep for two reasons: they are tired after a hard day of hunting or playing depending on the age of the cat. Dreamtime for cats occurs when their heart rate is very low, sometimes so low you think he is dead. I think this has to do with the flight or fight mechanism as well, wild cats will almost hibernate like reptiles do if they do not eat for periods of time. I have observed lions leave the area when one of the tribe is deep alseep after a big fight or injury, they are doing this for protection of the tribe, they know that the hurt animal will not survive so they more away to allow the animal to die in peace and to assure that if there is disease it is not spread. My advice to all the cat owners who think your cat is dead - just give him/her a big hug and let them enjoy their cat nap.
 

warn81

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A few days ago, I thought my cat was dead. I woke up with him lying on my stomach. It was dark. I shook him and he wouldn't move. Then when I woke him he was like why did I disturb him.
 

furrycat

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I had a cat years ago that did the same thing and he was natural a wild cat given to me from a friend that turned out to be allergic to the little boy. so I  loved him for 19 years.  Your cat probably has wild in its DNA or not.   If a cat loves you and TRUST you then you can do anything because they know they are safe and it sounds like your and great parent.  Unless your cat  has out of the ordinary problems when it is awake then your fine, it is just letting you know that you are its everything.
 
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