It’s scary when a pet is ill. Your kitten is precious to you, and fainting and falling is a serious condition. It can indicate something is wrong with her inner ear or nervous system. If your kitten is fainting and/or falling, you need to call your veterinarian. Only a vet can diagnose what’s wrong, and immediate treatment may be needed to avoid life-threatening illness. The following outlines a few of the conditions that may be what’s causing the fainting and/or falling.
You Kitten May Have an Inner-ear Infection
Of all the following conditions, inner-ear infection is the least likely to be life threatening. Unfortunately, it’s not that common in house cats, so it’s unlikely it’s behind the fainting/falling. If you notice any swelling or buildup around your kitten’s ear, she maybe has an infection.
Keep in mind, that although not immediately life-threatening, inner-ear infections can cause serious problems, such as deafness or neural damage, if it’s left untreated. Your vet will run the gamut of tests in order to diagnose this issue. Your vet will ask that you provide treatment at home, such as prescribed medical drops or oral medication to be served in her food.
Myotonia Congenita aka “Fainting Goat” Syndrome
The above video was posted in 2010 and currently has more than six million views. The kittens, named Charlie and Spike, have a conditional called myotonia congenital or fainting goat, which is a muscular disorder. It’s a rare syndrome, but can be inherited from someone in their bloodline. There’s no cure, but your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medicine or provide you with tips to better care for your kitten.
Ataxia or Feline Leukemia and other cancers
Ataxia is defined as a sensory dysfunction; basically, it’s a side-effect of another problem. Kittens who are suffering from cancers, such as leukemia, may also have ataxia. Kittens who’ve suffered trauma may also have ataxia, which effects balance, limb control, and possibly head and neck control too. Medications are often prescribed and dispensed at home, but if the case is severe your veterinarian may require your kitten by short-term hospitalized and cared for onsite.
Cerebellar Hypoplasia (Distemper Exposure)
Does your kitten have stiff legs before she faints or falls? Distemper can be passed from a mother’s milk to her baby kitten, and the result is cerebellar hypoplasia. It’s very important to vaccinate cats and kittens to help combat the spread of this disease.
As with humans with cerebral palsy, the kitten’s cerebellum doesn’t fully develop which results in the falling and fainting. In some cases, kittens develop this disease because they’re malnutrition or poisoned. As with all syndromes on this list, only a vet can diagnose and treat the disease.
Because fainting and falling often indicates a very serious problem, you should attempt to treat the problem at home. Contact a veterinarian as soon as possible, and in the meantime keep your kitten comfortable and away from dangerous. You don’t want her fainting near water, electric items, or anything that could fall on her. Keep her away from stairs and off furniture and anything high off the ground.
If it’s possible, make sure to bring your cat’s medical information with you to the vet. Previous owners or the adoption agency may have that paperwork. A family history can also be useful to know, but it’s not always possible to garner this information.
Although fainting and falling is a serious indication that something is clinically wrong with your kitten, there is hope she can go on to lead a happy and healthy life. Early detection and treatment are key, so contact a vet as soon as you can.