Audio Seizures in Cats


Good day everyone, CEO Olivia here. Last week we added a new member to the family, a one year old kittie. He seems to be healthy & is clearly a happy little soul. I’m sure the epi-monster isn’t after him but other cats aren’t as fortunate.

While sniffing about the inter-webs I discovered that some epileptic cats can be triggered by sounds. This is known as “audiogenic reflex seizures”, & they can happen with humans, too. The official name with cats is feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).

FARS has been seen in both pedigree & non-pedigree cats. Among pedigrees, it was most predominant in the Birman breed. It has also been discovered that the syndrome occurs in older cats – mostly from 10 to 19 years old, with the average age of onset being 15 years.

What’s interesting are the trigger sounds, which are pretty common everyday noises:

  • Crinkling tin foil
  • Metal spoon clanging in a ceramic feeding bowl
  • Chinking or tapping of glass
  • Crinkling of paper or plastic bags
  • Tapping on a computer keyboard or clicking of a mouse
  • Clinking of coins or keys

Other, less-reported triggers included breaking the tin foil from packaging, mobile phone texting & ringing, clock alarms, Velcro, stove igniting ticks, running water, a dog jangling its collar as it scratched, computer printer, firewood splitting, wooden blocks being knocked together, and walking across a wooden floor with bare feet or squeaky shoes.

Keeping the cats away from these sounds can reduce the seizures, but many of them are the common sounds of life & you can’t keep your good cat sequestered in a soundless room. But with further research comes the hope that vets will become more aware of the problem & hopefully, researching treatment may help cats with this condition.

Does your good cat suffer from FARS? If so I’d like to hear about your experience.

CEO Olivia