Sound from a mouse can give your cat a fit!


London: Sounds like crinkling of paper or plastic bags, clinking of coins or keys and even clicking of a computer mouse can trigger seizures in cats, says a new study.

The syndrome has been termed feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS). Having received reports of seizures in cats, Mark Lowrie and Laurent Garosi from Davies Veterinary Specialists, England, and Robert Harvey from the University College London decided to investigate.

They compiled a questionnaire for owners to complete. They received hundreds of replies from across the globe from people who had noticed the same problem in their cats in response to certain types of sound.

It revealed that some cats do indeed suffer from FARS—those which are consistently caused by sounds.

The most commonly reported triggers for FARS were the sound of crinkling tin foil (82 cats), a metal spoon clanging in a ceramic feeding bowl (79 cats) and tapping on a computer keyboard or clicking of a mouse (61).

The other sounds that triggered seizures were chinking or tapping of glass (72 cats), crinkling of paper or plastic bags (71 cats), clinking of coins or keys (59), hammering of a nail (38), and even the clicking of an owner’s tongue (24).

“While, the loudness of the sound also seemed to increase the severity of seizures, avoiding the sounds could reduce the incidents of seizures, the study found,” said lead author Mark Lowrie.

Other, less common triggers were the sound of mobile phone texting and ringing, digital alarms, stove igniting ticks, a dog jangling its collar as it scratched, or squeaky shoes and, in one case, the sharp scream of a young child.

The study was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

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