Simple answer to this question is: Yes! Cats can have strokes. When this condition is in question, it is important to separate strokes that occur in people, and the ones that occur in cats.
These two conditions have different symptoms and treatment, and in this article we will try to bring this subject closer to you.
Noticing the symptoms
Since our pets can’t speak for themselves, they rely on us to care for them and offer them our help when they need it. Internal conditions like strokes are sometimes very hard to determine. There are no superficial marks on feline bodies, no wounds and the only thing we can watch is their behavior.
In almost all cases, where animals have suffered from some kind of internal damage or condition, their outside behavior is affected. They will start to sleep more, be less playful, they will lose their appetite. Another thing to watch out for is spasms and shaking. This we can notice only when the stroke is happening, and not long after it has passed.
Just like people, cats can show their condition by their mood. If your feline friend is sad, droopy, doesn’t like to play anymore then it might be that she is in pain or has suffered from something. She can also become disoriented and nauseous.
Her overall appearance can also show symptoms of recent strokes. In humans, strokes usually leave marks on our faces in form of a face or lips muscle deformation, while in cats we can have an abnormal tilting of the head. This symptom is very important, because it can also show that something else is wrong within her body and you need to inform your vet right away.
Circling or walking around with unstability can also be signs of strokes. This will show that her limbs have been affected by the stroke and perhaps even her center for orientation in her middle ear. Any type of pressure on her brain can cause her muscles to become weak and move uncontrollably.
Nystagmus or unequal size of the cat’s pupils is a usual sign of stroke. You would need to look into her eyes and see if there is any unusual movement or changes in her sight. This can also be a sign of many other diseases, so never neglect this symptom.
Checking her eye sight, or whether she has gone blind is also important and her tongue color.
All of these symptoms can also be your guideline to your cat’s health. If the stroke didn’t happen yet, then there is a big possibility it might happen.
Diagnosis and treatment
Just like us, cats need treatment for their condition after the stroke. Informing your veterinarian and getting the right diagnose is the most important thing, so never rush to judgment and get the right diagnose.
Informing your vet about your cat’s medical history is important as well as obeying his recommendations. Your feline friend will probably get some tests done before receiving treatment, so keep in mind that this is highly necessary.
Treatment usually requires medications that will help your cat stay healthy and avoid future risks of strokes. Hospitalization is rarely required, and cats are mostly treated at home. If she refuses to eat then you can ask your vet for supplements for her appetite. They can include Mirtazapine, and Cerenia for her nausea.
Anti-seizure treatment involves phenobarbital, which you can give to your cat by crushing it in her food or giving it to her directly if she obeys.
In this fragile period, cats need to rest as much as possible. Avoid exposing her to threatening situations, and don’t let her go outside. Care for them when they're upset, like when you suspect they've had a nightmare. Any type of virus in this condition can make her health even worse. Sometimes medications can cause your cat to become disoriented or just act differently, so if you have small children it is best to keep them away until her condition gets better. This way you won’t expose them to possible danger, or your feline friend which is in a very delicate condition.
In the end, be patient with this treatment and keep in mind that her recovery is the most important thing. Her health and life, after all, depends on our care and protection. So make sure she gets everything she needs. Also ensure that they are getting proper food. Read here if tomatoes can be fed to cats.