Why Is My Cat Shaking?

Seeing your cat shaking uncontrollably can be concerning. The tremors can be isolated to one area, like their head, tail, or legs, or their whole body could be trembling. Sometimes the cause can be as non-threatening as a slightly cold room, which can simply be fixed by turning up the thermostat. Other times, its shaking can be a symptom of an underlying disease.

In either of these cases, a shaking cat is worth paying attention to.

Things that Can Cause Your Cat to Shake

There are many reasons for a shaking cat and the issues may vary from behavioral, to environmental, to medical. Luckily, there are many treatments to stop the tremors as well as to help their underlying.

Here are some common reasons for why your cat is shaking.


Hypoglycemia is one of the most common reasons for why your cat is shaking. Hypoglycemia is a deficiency of glucose, which means your cat’s low blood sugar and the shivers or shakes might both be symptoms of the disease. It is often caused by them not eating for an extended period of time.

For kittens, hypoglycemia is extremely common because their tiny bodies are still in the process of learning how to process glucose. It is vital for kittens to receive a nutritious diet, as well as be kept in warm environments to prevent hypoglycemia.

For older cats, giving them a few drops of honey or maple syrup, every six hours, can help calm their shakes. Placing some honey or sweet syrup directly on their gums can help the sugar get into their bloodstream more quickly.

If you notice your cat is still shaking and not eating properly, then it might be time to call your vet. Your vet will most likely perform a blood test, which can provide answers.

Fear, Phobia, Anxiety

Just like in humans, cats can get scared and shake! Cats can even develop phobias, which can lead to them developing anxiety.

The most common phobias, for cats, are fireworks and thunderstorms. It is not uncommon to find your cat shakingin these situations since both of these events produce excessive noise, which is amplified by their extreme sensitivity to vibrations and powerful hearing.

Other common situations that may cause your cat to shake or tremble are if your cat has experienced traumas and/or has separation anxiety. Aside from the shaking, other signs to look for in an anxious or fearful cat can be hiding or having diarrhea.

If you believe your cat is extremely anxious, it would be best to consult with your local vet to seek out proper treatment or medication for your feline friend.

Cat Shaking, cat in fear

Irregular Body Temperature

A cat’s normal body temperature ranges between 100.5°F to 102.5°F. Anything over 102.5°F can indicate illnesses such as fevers, and anything under 100.5° can lead to severe health complications like hypothermia. Both can make your cat shake.

Hyperthermia is an elevation in body temperature, can occur when a cat is exposed to environments with high temperatures. A common example of this is leaving a cat in a hot car.

Fevers are an indication of high body temperature in a cat as well. If their body temperature is not regulated, your kitty can experience heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke or heat exhaustion.

Low body temperature, or hypothermia, can also make a cat tremble. This can be fatal to your cat if it is not treated.You can help your cat by providing blankets for them to help bring their body temperature back up to a normal range. 

If your cat has either an extremely high or low body temperature, though, contact your vet right away.

Keep the Shakes Away

There are numerous things that can cause your cat to shake; low or high body temperatures, an illness, or low blood sugar are just a few common reasons. Regardless of its severity, if you notice your cat suddenly shaking, it would be beneficial to provide your cat with some extra care.

Feel free to contact us at the Acoma Animal Clinic in Tucson if you notice this sudden change in your feline friend. We are always here to help!

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