Tags: sound | cat | seizure

This Sound Can Give Your Cat a Seizure

By    |   Tuesday, 28 April 2015 02:34 PM

Everyone knows that dogs can perceive high-pitched sounds beyond human comprehension — which is why the dog whistle was developed. But veterinarians say cats are also sensitive to high-pitched sounds, which can cause seizures in some felines.

The United Kingdom-based charity International Cat Care is warning cat owners and veterinary specialists about the connection after receiving complaints from owners that their feline companions were having seizures in response to high-pitched sounds, Fox News reports.

A follow-up study of 100 cats found sound-induced seizures were more common in older felines, with common triggers including crinkling tinfoil, hitting a bowl with a metal spoon, and tapping glass.

The condition has been dubbed “Tom and Jerry syndrome” — after the cartoon feline, who often responds to startling sounds with involuntary jerks — by the researchers who conducted the survey, Mark Lowrie and Laurent Garosi, with Davies Veterinary Specialists, and Robert Harvey, a molecular neuroscientist and geneticist at the University College London School of Pharmacy.

The study, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, found that some cats — like some humans — suffer from "audiogenic reflex seizures" caused by high-pitched sounds that trigger responses in the brain.

Among the sounds that triggered the seizures:

• Crinkling tinfoil (82 cats).
• A metal spoon clanking on a ceramic food bowl (79 cats).
• Chinking or tapping glass (72 cats).
• Crinkling paper or plastic bags (71 cats).
• Computer keyboard or mouse sounds (61 cats).
• Jingling coins or keys (59 cats).
• Hammering a nail (38 cats).
• Clicking of an owner's tongue (24 cats).

Less common triggers included cellphone ringing, Velcro peeling, and a walk across a wooden floor with bare feet.

The epilepsy medication levetiracetam can be an effective treatment for managing the seizures, the researchers said.

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Cats are sensitive to high-pitched sounds, which can cause seizures in some felines, veterinary specialists warn.
sound, cat, seizure
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 02:34 PM
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