Why is my cat walking in circles?

Original Question: I have a healthy 8-year-old cat who has taken to walking in circles and now refuses to eat or drink. My vet has run a wide range of tests that shows a healthy animal no apparent reason for this behavior. His health is declining rapidly now and I don't expect him to recover. What causes this? - John

Why is my cat walking in circles? Jun 10, 2017

Hi John,

A cat walking in circles is odd for an 8-year-old cat, or even any cat. My first thought would be something like vestibular disease, which is similar to vertigo in people. The balance center of the brain is affected and it is often due to middle/inner ear infections, brain tumors, or in most cases what we call idiopathic meaning the cause is uncertain. In this third situation, many pets will spontaneously recover in a few weeks. If it’s something more serious like a tumor, recovery will not happen. Most tests will be normal for vestibular disease. There may be some medications your vet could prescribe to help with the signs of motion sickness but something else to consider getting a second opinion. Other things to consider would be heart problems or behavior.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Ryan Llera

Summary
Why is my cat walking in circles?
Article Name
Why is my cat walking in circles?
Description
A cat walking in circles is odd for an 8-year-old cat, or even any cat. My first thought would be something like vestibular disease, which is similar to vertigo in people. The balance center of the brain is affected and it is often due to middle/inner ear infections, brain tumors, or it is unknown.
Author
Publisher Name
Healthcare for Pets
Publisher Logo

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

Related Q&A

  • Do you recommend a stool test for my cat who is on a raw food diet?
  • Answered by: Dennis Chmiel, DVM, MBA
  • Nov 25, 2020
  • When can you start brushing a cat’s teeth?
  • Answered by: Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
  • Jun 13, 2020
  • Why does my cat have a runny nose and discharge in his eyes?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • May 16, 2019
  • What are some tips on how to get my cat to lose weight?
  • Answered by: Dr. Clayton Greenway
  • Feb 13, 2019