If you have observed your cat displaying habits called head pressing, it is necessary to visit your veterinarian immediately to identify the underlying cause of the issue.
Symptoms and Signs of Head Pressing in Cats
Head pressing is the compulsive act of pressing the head versus a wall or other surface non-stop, for no apparent reason. It is various than head butting, a perfectly regular habit where a cat rubs or bumps its head versus a human or inanimate object as a sign of love. Head pressing is generally an indication of damage to the nervous system, which might result from several underlying problems.
Medication, Surgery or Diet: The approach of treatment for this behavior is dependent on the veterinarian’s medical diagnosis of the underlying reason for the action. Treatment must not be carried out up until a diagnosis has been reached.
Causes of Head Pressing in Cats You Should Know
There are a variety of medical conditions that can cause your cat to begin head pressing. The following are a few of the most typically diagnosed in domestic felines:
#1 Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are a primary reason for head pressing in felines. Tumors that begin in the brain are called primary growths. Those that start in other places in the body and spread to the brain are called secondary tumors. In addition to head pressing, cats with brain tumors might also have seizures and tenderness around the skull.
#2 Conditions Of The Metabolism
Cats with metabolic diseases such as hypoglycemia might show head pressing. These conditions can start at birth or in the future in life.
Felines can enter into some poisonous compounds around your home that can cause many symptoms, consisting of pressing the head. Also, they can likewise cause immunodeficiencies, cancer, liver disease, and other neurological problems.
#4 Liver Problems
Liver shunts are not common in felines, but when they occur head pressing may follow in addition to them. Cats that have this condition have hampered blood circulation to the liver.
#5 Prosencephalon Disease
This disease mainly affects the forebrain and thalamus of the cat’s brain. It can cause head pressing, seizures and lots of other neurological symptoms.
Your cat can get severe infections that can trigger head pressing as the main symptoms. Rabies, fungal infections, viruses, and parasitic infections are a couple of types of infections that can occur.
Sleeping sickness is caused by inflammation of the brain, which can cause many adverse impacts in your cat. Together with head pressing your cat might likewise have trouble working and be lethargic.
What to Expect During Diagnosis
To determine the underlying reason for the head pressing habits, your veterinarian will likely carry out a fundic assessment of the retina (the layer of the eye that gets and processes images) and other structures in the back of the eye. This may reveal irregularities in the brain or infectious or inflammatory diseases.
Other useful tests include blood pressure (the amount of pressure applied by the blood on the arteries) measurements to determine if your feline has hypertension, and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain.
Your veterinarian will also carry out bloodwork and a urinalysis, which could expose an issue with the metabolic system, or assist identify if there are any toxic substances in the system.
It would help if you were prepared to offer a detailed history of your cat’s health, including when the symptoms started and what occurrences might have preceded the condition. Make sure to notify your vet of any other symptoms that accompany the head pressing.
Typical symptoms consist of irregular vocalization, compulsive pacing and circling, changes in discovered (trained) behavior, seizures, damaged reflexes, disorientation, and visual problems.
These symptoms may lead to physical issues such as sores on the feet from compulsive pacing, or injuries to the face or head from pressing the head against a surface area for a long time.
When your vet has performed the proper tests and analyzed your feline’s symptoms, she or he will make a diagnosis. Some of the typical problems that might be triggering the head pressing are:
- prosencephalon disease (defined by damage to the forebrain and thalamus (the part of the diencephalons that is accountable for the transmission of sensory impulses).
- hazardous poisoning.
- metabolic or glandular conditions.
- a main or secondary tumor (one situated in the brain or other places in the body).
- an infection of the nervous system (such as rabies or fungal infection).
- acute head injury (such as from a car mishap).
Treatment of Head Pressing in Cats
The treatment of head pressing in felines depends on the condition triggering it. Major problems such as brain tumors, liver shunts or encephalitis may need surgery and hospitalization.
If your doctor discovers your feline has a metabolic disorder he might treat him with medications on an outpatient basis. Felines that have major or lethal conditions such as a liver shunt may not be good prospects for treatment.
Your doctor might advise euthanasia as the most humane form of treatment in these cases. Getting an accurate medical diagnosis is key to treating this condition.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor can move forward with treatment as needed.
Recovery of Head Pressing in Cats
The length of healing from head pressing depends upon the reason for the condition and the treatment of your medical professional uses. If a medical diagnosis can not be made, your feline may continue to display these habits.
Felines that have surgery will need many weeks to recover and may require follow-up treatment with your doctor.
Keeping all return visits for your cat is vital. Also, be sure to alert him to any unusual behaviors or new symptoms that may appear.
Your physician will also provide you comprehensive guidelines on how to manage your feline’s condition as he ages.
What to Expect At Home
The next actions for treatment and care depend on your veterinarian’s principal medical diagnosis of the underlying reason for the head pressing. Each disease or disorder will require various approach to treatment. Most of the times, your vet will suggest follow-up neurological examinations to keep track of the development of the condition.
Questions to Ask Your Vet
With neurological conditions, symptoms that seem unassociated may be connected. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about any unusual habits or symptoms your feline shows, as they may play a critical function in making the diagnosis.
Talk with your veterinarian if you have any issues about your feline’s condition or symptoms.