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Narcolepsy and Cataplexy in Cats



Your veterinarian will try to determine what is behind the episodes by mapping patterns in your cat's behavior before an episode takes place. By finding these patterns, such as in particular activities, foods, or times of day, you may be able to predict with some surety when your cat will have an episode. Although you may not be able to prevent episodal attacks of narcolepsy or catalepsy, you may be able to reduce the frequency and duration of them. Watching for small signs of an oncoming episode, and being prepared to gently bring your cat out of it can help the incident to pass quickly. These attacks can appear to be severe, but they are not life threatening. Your cat is neither suffering nor in pain while it is undergoing this neurological episode, and there is no need to be concerned about it choking on food and/or having its airway obstructed if an episode occurs while it is eating. But, there are other safety issues to take into account. If the episodes are frequent, are happening in vulnerable situations, or are otherwise very concerning, there may be medications your veterinarian can prescribe to help control the frequency or duration of the attacks.


Living and Management


If your pet has this condition, you will want to supervise its activities when it is doing anything that might place it in a vulnerable position. For example, sexual activity can bring on a level of excitement that can cause an episode; meeting new people or animals, or playing outside, can place your cat in a situation where it is vulnerable to harm due to its inability to protect itself or run away. If this is the case, you will need to be aware and on guard so that your cat does not find itself in a problem situation, and needless to say, you will need to keep your cat indoors at all times.



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