Medically, cat stroke is known as feline ischemic encephalopathy (FIE). Both male and female species of all breeds of cats can suffer from stroke. It happens when blood supply to the brain is disrupted all of a sudden. As a result, sufficient oxygen supply does not reach the brain, which leads to death of brain cells. Cat stroke is of two different types. Both are commonly associated with the problem of blood vessels of the brain. One is ‘ischemic stroke’, where blood supply to the brain is disrupted due to blockage in the blood vessels that carry blood to the brain. The other one is ‘hemorrhagic stroke’, where blood vessels in the brain get ruptured and bleeding occurs. There are a number of underlying health conditions that can contribute towards this kind of damage to the blood vessel
One of the most common symptoms of a cat stroke is a cat that presents a head tilting to one side, without the ability to resume a proper head position. A cat that shows a lack of balance or an inability to control muscle movements is another strong symptom of a stroke. Changes in the personality traits or activity of a cat is symptomatic of a stroke by signs of excessive sleeping, less interaction with humans and less affection seeking behavior.
There are two types of strokes in cats . If the blood supply to the brain has been reduced or cut off, causing a lack of oxygen, it is called a ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel bursts in the brain, which then causes bleeding, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
In terms of treating a stroke, there is no one definitive treatment protocol to be followed in cats. IF the cat suffers from seizures as part of the stroke or goes on to develop epilepsy (as happens in a very small proportion of cases) your vet may treat these immediate conditions. Generally, treatment for stroke involves careful observation and managing your cat’s lifestyle to accommodate for the problems caused by the stroke while they make their recovery. In a small proportion of cases, brain damage may occur or the ongoing treatment of stroke symptoms (such as seizures) can prove unmanageable, and unfortunately, a small proportion of cats that suffer from stroke do not recover.