It’s terrifying to encounter your attention-seeker feline friend stumble around with its flickered eyes and tilted head. It looks like your cat is completely out of control and is an old alcoholic. Well, if your feline is also walking like a drunk, it is probably a vestibular problem.
A vestibular problem is a syndrome in which the inner ear of your cat develops an abnormality. The vestibular apparatus controls your cat’s coordination and balance. Besides incoordination, there could be other problems as well, such as vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, and more.
In this article, we have explained in detail why your cat is suddenly walking like a drunk:
Can Cats Get Dizzy?
Dizziness in cats is not that rare. While your feline friend gets dizzy, it will start walking like drunk and falling over. In this phase, your cat won’t be able to walk a straight line. This could be a reason for some intense play session or illness.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your cat is walking like a drunk:
Ear infections are quite common in cats. If your cat is suffering from inner ear infections, he/she might encounter vertigo and dizziness. To confirm that your feline has an inner ear infection, you can examine its behavior when standing at heights.
While on heights, if your feline is showing the signs of incoordination or dizziness, you should visit your vet and check for inner infection. Keep in mind that inner infection can lead to severe pain and uncomfortableness in cats. So, treat it as soon as possible.
Has your feline consumed an animal with an exoskeleton and now is walking like a drunk? If yes, he/she might be suffering from a stroke. A stroke can lead to dizziness, incoordination, and even the death of your feline friend.
If you think your cat is showing signs of stroke, you must take it to your vet at once. The clinical signs of stroke in cats include:
- A Tilted Head
- Loss or Balance
- Walking in Stumbling Circles
- Loss of Vision
In general, ataxia is a clinical sign of other severe disorders that can affect your feline’s ability to move around. This symptom can manifest severe instability or just a little loss of control. Furthermore, ataxia can represent the signs of life-threatening diseases or temporary and harmless health changes.
Therefore, instead of guessing the severity of the symptom, you should visit your vet and follow his instructions. Here are some of the most common causes of ataxia in cats:
- Electrolyte Disturbance
As mentioned earlier, the vestibular problem is the most significant reason your cat is walking like a drunk. This disease is generally known as vertigo and can come into your cat’s life at any time. The symptoms of vertigo are not that hard to find.
Here are some of the most common signs of vestibular disease:
- Eye moving rapidly
- Tilted head
The vestibular disease can be caused by a previous ear infection. Unfortunately, the direct treatment of this disease is not available at this moment. So, contact your veterinarian and follow his instructions.
This one is a well-known brain disease. Cerebellar hypoplasia can affect your cat’s general movement as well as control over its muscles. Usually, your cat will get this disease even before he/she is born. Cats can also get cerebellar hypoplasia if they are poisoned or severely malnourished.
If your cat is suffering from cerebellar hypoplasia, you don’t have to worry. This disease is not contagious or causes any pain. Your cat will simply adopt a unique way of life compared to its feline counterparts.
When it comes to cats and dizziness, it’s not always a serious disease. Sometimes, your cat walks like a drunk because of general dizziness. This will happen when they hit their head roughly or spin too fast. If it’s general dizziness, you don’t have to work. Your feline friend will gain its balance after a few seconds.
The Symptoms of Dizziness in Cats
Now that you know the common causes of dizziness in cats, it’s time to ask, what will happen if your feline gets dizzy? Well, you will surely see significant behavior changes similar to humans. Your feline will walk like a total drunk. They won’t be able to walk in a straight line and will stumble around a lot.
Even though cats are known to have impressive balance, in this state, they will lose their balance and fall over again and again. In some rare cases, they might lose their ability to move muscles and flicker their eyes rapidly.
Cat Suddenly Walking Like Drunk – Treatment
As you can see, the dizziness in cats can be caused by numerous reasons. So, there are no general treatments you can apply if your cat is walking like a drunk. Before trying anything funny from the internet, we suggest contacting your veterinarian.
Once your vet checks up on your feline, he/she will determine the treatment. In the case of vertigo, there are no direct treatments available out there. You will need to protect your feline from heights and offer him/her a soft surface.
The same goes for general disorientation and cerebellar hypoplasia. Your feline will automatically recover from the dizziness after some time or adapt to a different lifestyle than the others. However, the treatment of ataxia, ear infection and stroke is available. So, simply visit your vet and follow his instructions.
Are you wondering why your cat is walking like a drunk? Well, there are numerous reasons that can lead to dizziness in cats. Usually, your feline walks like a drunk due to vestibular problems. Ataxia is also a common reason for this problem.
In most cases, your feline will get its balance in no time. If your cat is unable to get control over its balance, you should contact your vet and follow his instructions.