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How to Treat Head Pressing in Cats

3 min read

You should be prepared to provide a comprehensive history of your cat’s health, including when the symptoms began and what incidents may have preceded the condition. Be sure to inform your vet of any other symptoms that accompany the head pressing. Common symptoms include abnormal vocalization, compulsive pacing and circling, changes in learned (trained) behavior, seizures, damaged reflexes, disorientation, and visual impairment. These symptoms may lead to physical problems such as sores on the feet from compulsive pacing, or injuries to the face or head from pressing the head against a surface for an extended period of time.


Once your veterinarian has performed the appropriate tests and analyzed your cat’s symptoms, he or she will make a diagnosis. Some of the common problems that could be causing the head pressing are:

  • prosencephalon disease (characterized by damage to the forebrain and thalamus (the part of the diencephalons that is responsible for the transmission of sensory impulses)
  • toxic poisoning
  • metabolic or glandular conditions
  • a primary or secondary tumor (one located in the brain or elsewhere in the body)
  • an infection of the nervous system (such as rabies or a fungal infection)
  • acute head trauma (such as from a car accident)


 What to Expect At Home


The next steps for treatment and care are dependent upon your veterinarian’s ultimate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the head pressing. Each disease or ailment will require a different method of treatment. In most cases, your veterinarian will recommend follow-up neurological examinations to monitor the progress of the condition.


Questions to Ask Your Vet


With neurological conditions, symptoms that seem unrelated may be linked to one another. Be sure to ask your vet about any and all unusual behaviors or symptoms your cat exhibits, as they might play a critical role in making the diagnosis.


Possible Complications to Watch For


Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s condition or symptoms.



Image:  / Shutterstock



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