Cat encephalitis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention


Cat encephalitis is a serious illness, fatal in many cases. Its causes being diverse, it manifests itself in different forms. It is a pathology that requires serious management, and the treatment can be of long duration. Let’s take stock of cat encephalitis and the different possible treatment protocols, but first of all, let’s find out which symptoms should alert you.

Cat encephalitis: symptoms

Symptoms of encephalitis in cats differ depending on the form of the disease.

Neoplastic encephalitis

It follows a tumor – benign or malignant – in the brain, the most common being the meningioma. This form of encephalitis affects approximately 5 out of 100 senior cats. It causes behavioral and neurological disorders. Its manifestations vary depending on the location of the tumor and can be spatial disorientation, seizures, abnormal eye movements, paralysis or loss of sight (blindness).

Viral encephalitis

Rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Borna virus (Bornaviridae), Feline coronavirus, Cat AIDS (FIV) can be the cause of this viral form of encephalitis in cats. This causes a high fever (over 40 ° C), convulsions, loss of consciousness, excessive salivation.

Parasitic or bacterial encephalitis

This rare form in cats is due to an infectious agent and follows an infection of the pulmonary or urinary type or even in the heart as is the case with endocarditis. It can also be due to the presence of the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii. Its symptoms are great weakness, convulsions, loss of consciousness.

Ischemic encephalitis

Symptoms of this common form of encephalitis in cats are due to the fact that the brain does not have enough blood supply. It may be blindness, unconsciousness and / or seizures.

At the slightest symptom that may give rise to the suspicion of encephalitis, the owner must have his cat examined by the veterinarian without delay.

Cat encephalitis: diagnosis and treatment

After a physical examination, the veterinarian performs Additional tests to diagnose encephalitis in cats. It is generally:

  • Of a blood test which should make it possible to find antibodies,
  • A spinal puncture : the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid is essential to check the level of leukocytes (white blood cells), encephalitis causing an increase in their number,
  • A review ofimagery (CT scan, X-ray, MRI, etc.): it is essential to visualize the tumor in question but also to see in what proportions it has spread.

If the diagnostic encephalitis is confirmed, the veterinarian sets up a treatment protocol adapted case by case. The treatment varies depending on the type of encephalitis, the symptoms the animal is suffering from but also the cause of the disease. He can therefore administer, for example, antibiotics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antiepileptics, glucocorticoids, or even consider chemotherapy. Surgery is possible for a benign tumor.

Finally, palliative care are prescribed if there is no chance of recovery and in many extreme situations the only solution is toeuthanasiar the cat.

Some forms of cat encephalitis cannot be avoided. But it is possible to do everything to prevent encephalitis following a bacterial or viral infection for example. To do this, the cat vaccination be always well up to date. In order to protect the health of his little companion, it is very important that he is regularly monitored by a veterinarian. The early diagnosis of a pathology, whatever it is, increases the chances of cure or at least limits the suffering of the cat.