On Saturday, a segment of the show My Cat From Hell featured a 14 year old cat named Foley. Foley’s guardians were concerned because Foley had been experiencing what they termed “night terrors” for about a year.
When Foley fell asleep, he would begin thrashing around and eventually fall from whatever surface he was sleeping on to the floor, often head first. His guardians were worried he would severely injure himself due to the number of falls he was taking.
Jackson Galaxy, star of the show, came to visit Foley at home. Jackson noticed Foley’s gait seemed a bit off and advised his owners to schedule a vet check up. When he was checked out by the vet, it was discovered Foley had suffered a stroke. The stroke damaged the portion of the brain that governs sleep patterns, and as is the case with humans, Foley also suffered some partial paralysis.
To help Foley, the vet prescribed melatonin to help him sleep peacefully, and Foley started “play therapy” to help him regain mobility. The melatonin greatly reduced the “night terror” episodes and the physical activity helped him regain much of his mobility.
There are symptoms to look for if you believe your cat may have suffered a stroke. Signs of stroke in cats include:
- Sudden change in mobility, unsteady on his feet
- Walking in circles
- Head tilting to one side, unable to move head to other side
These are not all inclusive, and not all cats exhibit the same symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, or observe your cat suddenly acting out of character contact your veterinarian immediately. Cats can recover from a stroke if it’s caught quickly and go on to live normal lives, like Foley.