It’s pretty concerning to see your cat shake so uncontrollably, especially when you don’t know much about cat shivering. You could see the tremors being isolated to a part of the body such as the legs, head, or tail, or it could be the whole body trembling. The cause of this trembling in cats ranges from non-threatening reasons such as being in a cold room to potentially more serious ones like an underlying disease.
So seeing your cat shivering may be both good and bad. They could shiver in their sleep without any problem. However, when they suffer from involuntary seizure-like movements, then you know there’s a problem. One way to spot an abnormal tremble in your cat is that the legs, head, or whole-body shake uncontrollably. These tremors come in repetitive muscle movements and often have an alternating relaxation period, none of which the cat can control.
Involuntary cat shivering can happen due to several reasons and may be a result of conditions such as:
- Kidney failure or kidney disease
Reasons for Cat Shivering
Firstly, ensure that your cat hasn’t consumed any poison that may cause trembling, or take them to the vet immediately. Generally speaking, these are the reasons why your cat is shivering.
If you haven’t fed your cat for a long period, the cat’s blood sugar will drop, which will lead to hypoglycemia. However, it can also occur even when they’re fed regularly. In this case, it’s often a sign that they have feline diabetes and should be treated by a veterinarian. This sign is uncommon in adult cats but more frequent in kittens. So, if you feed your cat regularly and notice that they still shiver or tremble, visit a veterinarian.
The average body temperature of a cat ranges from 100.5 to 102.5, and healthy adult cats can maintain this temperature very well. However, kittens, primarily newborns, struggle to maintain their body temperatures. Also, if your cat has a health issue, you’re likely to see your cat shivering as they experience hypothermia. What you can do is cover them with a heating pad or heated blanket to keep them warm and contact your vet.
Several serious issues can cause hyperthermia, such as poisoning, epilepsy, and uncontrolled fever. When the body temperature rises over 103.5, they’re said to have a fever. In some cases, an underlying infection or fever can cause a high fever. So you must take them to a veterinarian for treatment.
- Chronic kidney disease
Your cat may have a chronic kidney disease that has led to the loss of some kidney function. When this happens over time, some waste products and protein start to build up inside the bloodstream, and this can lead to general malaise, loss of appetite, and if left untreated, will result in kidney failure. When your cat’s kidney fails, they’re going to experience seizures and tremors.
Shock in cats is a serious issue. However, most times, it doesn’t come on its own. It’s primarily secondary to an initial accident, illness, or result from trauma. So if you see your cat shivering, with cold limbs, pale gums, and a very fast heart rate, be sure to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
A tumor, injury, and other forms of internal illnesses can lead to cats shivering and cause them to tremble. Taking them to a vet will help determine that there’s no underlying issue causing the cat to tremble.
Cats are curious animals, and sometimes they encounter toxic chemicals, plants, and other poisonous substances out of curiosity. If you see your cat shivering and possibly vomiting, and you suspect that they’ve ingested something, you should visit your veterinarian immediately.
- Psychological issues
It is also possible that your cat is experiencing some phobia or a social issue with another of your pets. Stress and anxiety are also going to cause your cat to shiver.
How to Prevent Cat Shivering
You can prevent hypoglycemia in your cat by feeding it good meals regularly and keeping them away from poisonous plants and chemicals. If your cat has anxiety, you should monitor her behavior to find the cause. For example, if she’s easily startled by noise, you can soothe her by playing lovely music in the background throughout the day. You may not prevent kidney diseases but make sure your cat has good food and fresh water regularly, and visit a veterinarian for wellness checks constantly. All of these will reduce the possibility of your cat shivering.
Cat shivering may not necessarily mean there’s a health problem but most times it is, especially when it’s uncontrollable. This article discusses the different causes and how to prevent them.