Cat acting dizzy – Vertigo?

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Our question this week was:

Hi, my male indoor cat who is 10 years old started walking like he was dizzy tonight. Any thoughts as to what this could be?

Thanks Leida

Answer

Hi Leida– thanks for your email. Your email said that your 10-year-old cat started walking like he was dizzy.

I worry about a few things Leida. I'll just give you a list of the things that pop into my mind:

  • Low blood sugar– some cats with a low blood sugar can act abnormal, become weak and lethargic.
  • Ear problems– some cats with inner or middle ear infections can have balance and coordination problems.
  • Vestibular disease– with this problem, the part of the brain that maintains balance and equilibrium becomes abnormal. Cats will often appear dizzy, walk in circles, fall over and have abnormal eye movements.
  • Weakness– Many cats that are weak and dehydrated will appear "dizzy" to their owners. Their balance can become abnormal due to weakness. This can be severe and life-threatening depending on the underlying cause for the weakness.

    I'll insert links to the above problems so that you can click on them to learn more. I'd recommend that you take your kitty to your local veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic for evaluation. Whatever the cause, a cat that acts "dizzy" is not normal.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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