By Angel Chang (THE LITTLE THINGS)
Some health issues in pets are less well known than others. The danger of triggering seizures, for example, is something that pet owners might want to pay more attention to.
Veterinary specialists and researchers Mark Lowrie, Laurent Garosi, and Robert Harvey decided to unearth and identify the most common factors that may cause seizures in cats.
Together with International Cat Care, a charity organization, they surveyed hundreds of cat owners on Facebook, forums, and vet websites who have experienced seizure-like reactions in their cats.
They compiled the data and published a paper — the first of its kind — that explained the troubling phenomenon. Published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the results showed that a handful of very specific, ordinary sounds could trigger seizures in cats.
Prior to the study, the pet owners could never understand why their cats would at times experience involuntary jerking, lose consciousness, or lose awareness of their surroundings for several minutes.
Below are the sounds that seem to trigger seizure-like reactions in cats. We’ve organized them from the most common to the least common.
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1. When foil is crinkled (82 cats reacted)
2. When a metal spoon clangs against a ceramic bowl (79)
3. When glass is tapped or clinked (72)
4. When paper or plastic bags are rustled (71)
5. When the keys on a computer keyboard are tapped, or when the mouse is clicked (61)
6. When keys or coins are jingled (59)
7. When a nail is hammered (38)
8. When tongues are clicked (24)
Other lower-impact sounds that reportedly caused reactions include: texting and ringing sounds from mobile phones, the movement of Velcro, running water, splitting firewood, squeaky shoes, and digital alarms.
Further studies need to be done in order to fully explain the genetic roots of FARS. Researchers have found, however, that the human epilepsy medication Levetiracetam may be an effective method for treatment.