FARS study identifies seizure triggers in cats

Think twice before you tear off that piece of foil if you’ve got an aging cat prone to seizures nearby. You may trigger a seizure.

So suggests a study published April 27 in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

The study, conducted by U.K. researchers, sought to identify the characteristics of a previously unreported syndrome, feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS), with geriatric onset.

Researchers collated owner information from an online survey with medical records from the cats’ primary veterinarians. The study involved 96 pedigree and non-pedigree cats; 30 of the cats were Birmans.

The study identified owner-reported sounds that could trigger a seizure, including crinkling foil, dropping a metal spoon in a ceramic bowl, and the chinking or tapping of glass.

Reactions ranged from mild (brief muscle jerks) to serious (the cat lost consciousness, stiffened, and jerked), reported Science magazine.

The researchers hope to inform veterinarians who could overlook the disorder when dealing with other health issues in older cats.


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