Nystagmus in cats: causes of the disorder and symptoms

Nystagmus in cats, a disorder related to the cat’s eyes. Let’s see together what can be the causes of this disease.

Nystagmus is a disorder that can occur in both dogs and cats. This condition determines the rhythmic and involuntary oscillation of the eyeballs of the feline.

This means that the cat’s eyes wobble or move back and forth involuntarily. But let’s see together what can be the causes of nystagmus in cats.

Nystagmus in cats: the various types of the disorder and the causes

Nystagmus is a disorder characteristic of a cat ‘s nervous system problem. This disorder is divided into two types:

  • Jerky nystagmus
  • Pendular nystagmus

Jerky nystagmus is more common in cats, it consists of slow eye movements in one direction, with a quick correction moment in the opposite direction.

While the pendular nystagmus consists of small oscillations of the eyes of the feline, without the movement of one eye being slower or faster than the other. There are other symptoms associated with this disorder, which can be seen in the feline, they are:

  • Head tilt
  • Headache


The causes that can lead to nystagmus in the cat are many, some of which derive from a vestibular disease of the cat that can be peripheral or central.

The vestibular system is commonly known as the “balance system” and is the system responsible for the correct balance of the cat’s head and body. Peripheral vestibular diseases that can cause feline nystagmus are:

  • Hypothyroidism in cats
  • Neoplastic tumors
  • Traumatic injuries

While central vestibular pathologies include the following diseases:

  • Tumors
  • Thiamine deficiency
  • Feline infectious peritonitis

Diagnosis and treatment of nystagmus

Cat nystagmus is usually diagnosed by analyzing the cat’s cerebrospinal fluid, which can reveal any inflammation associated with the disorder. Brain abnormalities can also be diagnosed with a CT scan of the brain.

In addition, the veterinarian may also prescribe urine analysis and serological tests to check for the presence of infectious agents in the cat’s body.


The treatment and cure of nystagmus in cats depend on the cause of the disorder and the severity of the symptoms associated with it. If central vestibular disease is diagnosed, more intensive care is required.

If the symptoms associated with the disorder are cat anorexia and vomiting, your vet may prescribe fluid therapy to prevent your cat from becoming dehydrated.

Most specialists recommend a neurological examination two weeks after treatment to check the progress and improvement of the diagnosed disease.

Cat BreedsCat Food and Nutrition
Tips for Cat OwnersCat Training
Cat BehaviorKittens
Cat HealthCat Grooming
Cat AdoptionTravel with Cat
Holiday Season- Cat

Leave a Comment