Decades ago, when 100% vegetable diets were first used in dogs and cats, this concern about the appearance of stones...
Why does a cat shiver?
Tremors in cats are not a common occurrence, but depending on their health or the situations they have to face, they can happen.
The most important thing if you see a cat trembling is to check the situation in which it is happening, if it's a baby animal, if it's seemingly healthy, if it’s cold, whether the animal may have had contact with toxic substances, if it's sleeping, if it’s old, or if you've just rescued or captured it. This information will be crucial for your vet to be able to advise you and carry out the necessary tests.
Situations in which it is relatively normal for a cat to shiver:
- It is asleep and dreaming, we don't know what cats dream about, but we do know that they do and that they often make involuntary movements.
- It is scared, stressed or very frightened. Cats are very stressful and territorial animals, changes in their environment, loud noises or the presence of strangers can cause them to become so stressed that they shiver. Whenever we deal with cats it is very important that we understand their behaviour and give them the space and reassurance they need.
Health problems requiring urgent veterinary assistance:
- Sugar lows. In kittens, hypoglycaemia is a very common problem and one to which we must respond immediately. In adults it is less frequent, but there are diseases that can cause low blood sugar, or it can happen in very malnourished animals. In any case, veterinary care is essential and failure to receive it can lead to much more serious or even irreversible problems.
- In addition to low blood sugar, deficiencies of some vitamins or minerals can lead to tremors and even convulsions in some cats. With a balanced diet it is rare, but digestive problems that hinder the absorption of nutrients can cause it and some metabolic problems can also cause it.
- Cold, we can tell if the temperature in the environment is very low, if it has got wet or if we have just found it and notice its ears or paws are cold. To confirm if it is hypothermia, you can take its temperature, the normal temperature is between 38ºC and 39ºC. If it drops, we may be facing a sudden drop in temperature and we must help them by offering them a source of heat, making sure they respond and their temperature rises correctly (in kittens below 38.5°C we are dealing with a lower-than-normal temperature). Hypothermia issues may be due to lowered defences or may be the result of a health problem. Here is an article to help you find out at what temperature a cat is cold: https://www.veggieanimals.com/es/blog/post/a-que-temperatura-tiene-frio-un-gato.html
- A cat with a fever may have tremors, temperatures above 39.5°C are an indication that something is not working properly and it is very important that you see your vet. Fever flare-ups can have repercussions on the health of our companions and it is important to test for their origin. If the temperature is extremely high (higher than 40°C) you can try to cool the kitten down by applying alcohol or cool water to its armpits and tummy while you go to the clinic. Please note that in baby animals the normal temperature is usually higher than in adults, with temperatures up to 39.5°C being normal.
- Shaking in pain, when a cat is in pain, it is common for it to complain or have abrupt changes in behaviour, and may show episodes of aggression, although this is rare, because of the pain it may also experience tremors.
- If our cat has access to the outdoors or may have had contact with a toxic substance, we may also notice tremors in combination with other neurological or digestive symptoms. Cats are very curious and if we leave toxic products or toxic plants within their reach, the chances of poisoning are high.
- In sick or elderly animals, tremors can be an initial symptom of something much more serious, so in these cases it is urgent to visit our vet or call them for advice.
- If we have a kitten with tremors we must go urgently to the vet for treatment, the causes of death in neonatal animals are low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia), freezing (hypothermia) or infections (fever), in all three cases one of the symptoms is tremors and all of them need urgent treatment.