Head tremor in cats does not always indicate pathology. In some cases, the cat’s head is twitching for quite harmless reasons, when the animal is preparing for a jump on a considerable height, if an irrigative agent got into its fur, or even due to sexual arousal. In uncastrated animals, twitching of the head and the whole body indicates readiness for propagation. The pathological cases are often caused by diseases of the ears, vestibular apparatus disorders, or neurological abnormality.
Parasites and Tremor
If the cat is making uncharacteristic twitching movements with its head, first of all the owner should examine the pet’s ears. Involuntary tremor of the head is one of the main symptoms of otomycosis. The disease is also called ear mange. It is caused by microscopic mites that can infiltrate the ears of those animals who spend too much time outside.
Ear mange is more commonly seen in small kittens and weakened senior animals, often wandering outside. Weakening of immune system is one of the factors predisposing a pet to the disease. An animal can only get infected through a contact with an outdoor animal. Specific symptoms of the disease are the following:
- itching in the ears, which causes the cat to twitch its head;
- shedding of the coat on the ears;
- anxiety, jitteriness;
- scabs on the tips of the ears and in the ear auricle;
- dark discharge instead of sulfur.
Note!A disease left untreated leads to hearing impairment! Be sure to contact veterinarian as soon as possible upon noticing one or several of the symptoms above!
The cat tries to get rid of microscopic parasites and reduce its discomfort by scratching its ears, which can only lead to infection contamination. Often, with otomicosis an increase in body temperature, ear swelling and redness of the auricles are observed. Pyorrhea as well as the discharge of dark matter are also possible at the severe stage.
The owner can try and cure the disease at its early stage at home. Amitrazine drops are most commonly prescribed in this case. Also cat’s ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab. When otodecosis sulfur becomes dense and difficult to be cleaned out, you can use special solution from the veterinary pharmacy, which is designed to soften the sulfur and facilitate the process of cleaning the ears. After cleansing, the ear should be thoroughly wiped with a cotton pad dipped in Amitrazine. The solution is to be used three times a day, one drop in each ear. Re-processing should be carried out every three days. To boost the recovery process, vitamin supplements can be included into the cat’s diet to strengthen the immune system. As a rule, tremor of the head due to otodecosis goes away on the third day of treatment.
Otitis as a Possible Cause of Tremor
Otitis media is an inflammatory disease that develops due to hypothermia or infection of the ear canal. The disease is accompanied by pain and some cases by purulent inflammation. The cat shakes its head and twitches its ears in an attempt to soothe the discomfort and pain. Lack of timely treatment can lead to dangerous sequela, including meningitis and total hearing loss.
Otitis media can be easily cured at an early stage with antibiotic drops. The use of Otonazol or Aurican you can get rid of all the symptoms in 4-6 days. Antibiotics are often prescribed too. The veterinarian determines proper treatment based on the age of the cat and the general state of its health.
The cat’s head twitches sometimes due to neurological disorders and diseases. The causes may be:
- Cerebral accident
- Craniocerebral injury
- Severe faintness
Encephalitis and cerebral accident usually occur in senior cats, but no animal is immune to a traumatic brain injury. Faintness may be a consequence of the above mentioned pathologies, or an independent neurological disorder.
As it often happens with neurological diseases, in addition to tremor, the cat shows signs of confusion and uncharacteristic behavior. The pupillary reaction is lacking with pupils constantly expanded. Inadequate behavior may be manifested with going round in circles, while the cat’s paws are literally ‘staggering’. The cat can suddenly tap into a door or other barrier at a speed without simply noticing it.
If the cat’s head is twitching due to neurological disorders, do not consider self-medication. Only a veterinarian can determine the cause of such a symptom and prescribe proper treatment.