Why Is My Cat Shaking and What Should I Do?

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Why is my cat shaking? Whether your cat has developed a little twitch or is involuntarily shaking unexpectedly, it can be a traumatic moment for a cat owner. You aren’t sure what’s happening or if your cat is okay.

Abnormal involuntary seizer-like movement can be alarming and scary for the pet owner and the kitty. If you suspect the problem is urgent, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

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orange and white cat walking and shaking it head

There are multiple reasons that can lead to abnormal shaking in cats, like stress or even a cold. This article includes some scientifically proven reasons behind abnormal cat shaking and their remedies.

You should never ignore abnormal shaking in your cat. Early treatment can save your cat from serious problems and help her live a long life full of health and happiness.

Why is My Cat Shaking? Reasons and Prevention


Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar level, is the most prevalent reason for shaking in kittens. These cats either aren’t getting sufficient calories or they may have diabetes. If you already know your cat has diabetes, it’s also possible that an overdose of insulin given to a diabetic cat can lead to hypoglycemia and shaking.

Although it’s uncommon in adult cats, they are equally susceptible to shaking in cases of prolonged hunger or hypoglycemia.

Putting some drops of honey, maple syrup, and corn syrup into the gums or mouth of a cat can tackle this issue at home. But if it’s not working, call your vet.

Fear, Shock, Phobia, and Anxiety

Cats are sensitive animals. Nervous outburst in anxious cats is a remarkable reason for shaking. They can be in shock or stress due to minor changes in the environment, changing furniture, seeing a neighbor cat prowling, a noisy environment, thunderstorms, fireworks, and visiting strangers.

Bananas, balloons, and intense smells are a big no for cats. So, keep your cat away from these things if you want it to be happy and healthy.

Hidey beds and perches in the dark have outstanding effects in soothing the felines from fear, anxiety, and shock. Make sure to remove factors responsible for their stress.

white cat walking on a fence and shaking it head

Kidney problem

Kidney failure leads to the accumulation of proteins and waste products in a cat’s bloodstream that is a common cause of appetite loss and malaise. As a result of the appetite loss, cats can experience hypoglycemia and anxiety, which can lead to seizures and/or shaking.

Keep your cat away from poisons, toxic plants, and human medications, especially ibuprofen (a single ibuprofen can be enough for the cat’s kidney failure). Surgery and removal of kidney blockage can be helpful in earlier stages, but once the kidney has failed, there is no other treatment than a kidney transplant.

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A cat’s average body temperature is 38.1-39.2 degrees C. It’s not a daunting task for adult cats to maintain their temperature, but young kittens often face difficulty maintaining it. So, young kittens often tremble due to low body temperature, known as hypothermia.

The good news is that mild hypothermia won’t be a major issue, as long as you get your cat heated back up quickly. The first thing to consider is to dry the cat’s body if wet and give it a warm blow. Try wrapping a warm towel around its body to warm up and ward off trembles.


Cats experience high body temperature if they are locked in a car or a room with a heater running, or a high humidity with insufficient ventilation. Untreated fever, virus infection, epilepsy, and poisoning can increase the body temperature above 103 degrees F, which leads to hyperthermia (high body temperature). Hyperthermia can lead to heatstroke, which can be a possible cause of cat shaking.

Medication, oxygen supply, and intravenous fluid treatment are often considered to cope with hyperthermia. A cooling bath can treat typical hyperthermia situations in cats.

Orange cat sleeping


Pain due to any injury, tumor, or another ailment may cause hunching in the cat and lead to trembles or body shaking.

If you find your cat in pain, book a visit to the vet. Try to eradicate roots of the reason for pain so that the kitty can heal quickly.


Human foods like alcohol, coffee, raisin, grapes, chocolates, and citrus fruits are a big no and toxic for cats. Rodenticides, slug pellets, and lead are major toxins for cats. Toxicity may be the root of diseases like diarrhea, vomiting, diminished breathing, coma, and even death. While suffering from all of the painful stages, cats feel intense pain and shake.

Keep your cat pet away from poisonous human foods. If unluckily, your cat has ingested something poisonous, speak up to the vet immediately.

cat sleeping with arm over its head

Infections and Allergies 

Infections, allergies, and other skin diseases, mainly in the paw, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth, are common, and cats mostly shake the infected area. Infestation by fleas leads to skin spasms very often. Bad smell from the infected area and appetite loss are among the symptoms of infections.

Proper medication is required immediately if you see these symptoms.

Medication side effects

Appetite stimulants, warm-up medicine, diabetes antidote, antihistamines, etc., may be the reason for cat shaking.

The first thing to avoid this problem is to keep your cat healthy, so you don’t have to take any medicine having side effects. But if you can’t handle it, you must take the advice of a veterinarian.

What Should I Do if my Cat is Shaking?

The first thing you should do if your cat is shaking is to determine what the most likely cause is of the shaking. The most common reasons for shaking are cold, illness, low blood sugar or stress.

Is your cat awake or drifting to sleep? Often a cat will shake a bit when drifting off to sleep, just like we do when we enter the REM stage of dreaming. This is normal behavior. However, if you can has just come in from outside and is shivering, you can assess that it needs to heat up.

If you can’t find a reason for the shaking, or alleviate your cat’s stress, you should seek immediately medical help from your veterinarian.


As you can see, there are many reasons why a cat might be shaking. You need to properly assess the situation in order to know what to do for him. If you can’t alleviate the shaking, it’s time to take you cat to the vet to be properly treated.


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why is my cat shaking
Cats shake for many different reasons. Read on to see why.

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