Cats are known for their unpredictable and adorable behavior. However, shaking heads like Parkinson’s can indicate that there is something wrong with your feline companion.
A cat that shakes its head constantly or does not seem to be able to stop it is likely to have some health problems. If your cat is experiencing this behavior, it is important to pay attention and immediately take steps to correct the situation.
Your cat’s head shaking like Parkinson’s can have many causes. Most likely, your feline companion has an ear infection.
Aural hematoma, allergies and inflammatory skin diseases can cause your cat to shake its head. Head shaking can also be caused by diseases like myopathy or ear polyps. Your feline companion may also shake its head due to feline infectious peritonitis, or other oral issues.
Parkinson’s Causes: Why Your Cat’s Head Shakes Like Parkinson?
- Ear Infection and Other Ear Problems
Your cat may squirm if it has an ear infection.
Infections can be caused by bacteria, fungus or ear mites. They often cause intense itching and irritation.
The accumulation of fluids within the ear canal can also lead to significant pain.
You might notice it shaking its head from an aural hemorhage, which can cause blood-filled blisters in the inner ear flap.
This is caused by a ruptured blood vessel due to injury or accident. If foreign particles enter their sensitive ears, your cat may shake its head. This can cause a lot of distress.
This is an insulin-secreting tumor or functional tumor that occurs in the beta cells. An excess of insulin can cause low blood sugar or blood glucose, which can lead to neurologic signs such as seizures and weakness. Insulinoma can also cause cats to collapse. This medical condition can be treated with nutritional therapy, prednisolone and therapy.
- Your Cat has Aural Hematoma
Aural hemomatoma can cause your cat to shake its head like Parkinson’s. Aural hemomatomas can be seen from the outside. The earflap of your cat can become swollen like a pillow. This swelling is caused by blood-filled blood vessels being damaged.
The pain can cause extreme discomfort. Your cat may shake its head like Parkinson’s or scratch its ears to relieve the pain. Most cases of aural hematoma are associated with ear infections, mites, and itchy skin. Your vet might drain the fluid to treat this condition.
- Oral problems
You should check the oral health of your cat if you see it shaking like Parkinson’s. Gingivitis, toothache and rotting teeth can all be distressing for cats.
As a sign of an underlying problem, they may start shaking their heads. You might also notice drooling and licking. Sometimes, they may not be able to groom themselves because of their tooth pain. It might also show aggressive behavior and hesitate to eat as much food as usual.
- Cerebellar Hypoplasia
This is a neurological condition in which a cat’s brain doesn’t fully develop during pregnancy. This condition is congenital and present at birth. Cats with it have an underdeveloped cerebellum, which is responsible to coordination, fine motor skills and spatial awareness. Cats with this condition have trouble walking, running and jumping, as well as shaking their heads. The condition is neither contagious nor painful and does not get worse or better over time. It is important to help cats with this condition adapt so that they can live happy, healthy lives as they age.
- Your cat developed myopathy or spasticity
Your cat may have spasticity, myopathy, or Devon Rex if it is a Sphynx or Devon Rex. This is very common in these breeds. Myopathy is characterized by muscle weakness, head shaking, and a high-stepping gait in the forelimbs.
Myopathy-afflicted cats have difficulty keeping their heads in a normal position. This happens in Devon Rex cats as early as 5-6 months old.
- Insect Bites
If bitten by insects such as wasps, ticks or fleas, cats can shake their heads. These insects can leave marks on cats and cause irritation, redness, swelling and irritation in the area they are targeting.
They usually bite the neck and face of cats, causing shaking of the heads. These bites are usually harmless and will heal quickly if you use a soothing cream.
If you observe any unusual behavior in your cat following an insect bite, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately.
- Myopathy or Spasticity
It is a genetic condition that affects only Devon Rex and Sphynx cats. This condition causes muscle weakness and the affected cats may bob their heads, giving them the appearance of having Parkinson’s disease. They may also have trouble swallowing their food. As young as six weeks, it can be seen in Sphynx and Devon Rex kittens. This disease can be prevented by a DNA test.
- Your Cat Is Experiencing Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
Feline Infectious Peritonitis is a condition that causes your cat to shake like Parkinson’s. FIP is a viral infection that affects mainly multiple-cat households.
FIP can cause watery eyes, nasal discharge and head shaking in cats. FIP can also cause your cat to lose its appetite and fall into depression. It can also cause breathing difficulties and diarrhea.
Cats can also be allergic to pollen, food, grass or certain plants. Itching can occur in the neck or head, which can lead to a headache similar to Parkinson’s. This is a sign that your cat may be allergic to certain allergens. If it happens, you can try to keep her away from them or bring her to the vet immediately.
A condition known as’spasticity’ could be affecting a Devon Rex or Sphynx cat. This rare genetic condition is found in very few cats. It is also known as myopathy.
This condition affects the muscular movement and can lead to fatigue, weakness, difficulty walking, headaches, and head bobbing.
Modern technology can help prevent this disease by performing a proper DNA test.
- Side effects of drugs and other substances
Cats can experience localized tremors from certain drugs or other substances, such as head tremors. It’s a smart idea to educate your cat about the side effects of medications and consult a vet before giving them. It’s possible for your cat to experience head tremors from exposure to household cleaners or other substances.
Permethrin is the main cause of involuntary shaking in cats, according to many experts. Permethrin can be used to control lice and repel mosquitoes. Permethrin can be used to repel fleas in dogs, but not in cats. Tremors can also be caused by pesticides such as avermectins. Tremors may also be caused by other pesticides like DEET.
Ziprasidone, a medication used to treat mental disorders like bipolar disorder, can cause cats to experience involuntary shaking. Head tremors could be caused by a cat who ate a pill that fell on the bathroom floor.
Due to severe dental issues, cats can experience head bobbing and pain in their mouths. Even cats with normal-looking teeth may have hidden dental problems that are only diagnosed by X-rays.
Other signs of pain in the mouth include:
- Foul breath
- Teeth discoloration – i.e. Discoloration of teeth i.e. brown or gray teeth
- Reddening of gums or any other tissue in the mouth.
- Excessive drooling
- Poking at the mouth
- Vocalizing while eating
- Prefer to eat soft (canned food)
- A decreased appetite
The procedure involves the use of anesthesia in a veterinary clinic to perform a dental procedure.
There are many treatments available to treat head shaking in cats
Most of the time, medication is the best treatment. However, your vet may prescribe some specialized medicine to treat the symptoms. You may need to alter your pet’s diet in some cases to accommodate the medication. If the problem is already severe, you may need to perform surgery. It is important to address any issue as soon as possible to ensure your fluffy friend doesn’t need to undergo surgery. Despite the fact that modern techniques and facilities reduce surgical risks, there are still accidents.
When should you call your veterinarian?
Take a video and immediately call your veterinarian if you see your cat’s head bobbing when it isn’t falling asleep.
It can happen while your cat falls asleep. Keep an eye on your cat to see if the frequency increases or if the severity gets worse. It is recommended to call your veterinarian if the frequency or severity of the problem increases.
You should be prepared to answer any questions your veterinarian may have about specific causes. These questions could include:
- Is your cat a victim of trauma in the past?
- Are there any other signs or changes that you’ve noticed in your cat?
- Do you think your cat ate anything toxic?
- What do you feed your cat? Do you feed your cat a balanced diet that is available at pet shops or make it yourself? Home-cooked diets are more likely to cause problems.
- Did your cat have anesthesia at a different clinic recently?
The diagnosis of the condition that your cat has will determine how likely it is to heal his sudden head shaking.
Sometimes, the shakings will disappear as quickly as they started. Other times it will persist until you see a doctor.
The healing process is made easier by proper medication and veterinary assistance. To heal and become healthy again, your cat will need lots of love and affection.