A Quick Look at the Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures: Do You Need to Be Worried? 

March 03, 2021

A Quick Look at the Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures: Do You Need to Be Worried? 

Have you ever heard about feline audiogenic reflex seizures? 

FARS is also better known as Tom and Jerry Syndrome is a type of epilepsy in cats that has only been recently discovered. This is more common in older cats and seems to get triggered by high-pitched sounds. 

In this blog post, we will go over everything you need to know about Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures or FARS in detail to help you better understand the condition. 

Keep reading to know more. 

High-Pitched Noises and Seizures: Here’s How FARS Was Discovered

A reflex seizure is one that gets triggered by the environment or internal stimuli. It is different from an epileptic seizure since there’s no way to identify the precipitating factors behind one. 

Veterinary neurlogists in the United Kingdom teamed up with International Cat Care to look into cases of cats having seizures as a response to high-pitched sounds. 

Across the globe, hundreds of cat parents were included in the study and detailed information on the topic was collected by the researchers. Finally, the study was published in a scientific journal and this new syndrome was identified. 

What Does FARS Mean? 

FARS combines the following words: 

  • Feline or Cats 
  • Audiogenic or the stimulus is the sound. 
  • Reflex meaning that the seizures are brought on via a stimulus. 
  • Syndrome means a set of symptoms. 

So, what does the nickname Tom and Jerry Syndrome mean, then? 

The nicknameTom and Jerry syndromeis given to this condition after the cartoon character Tom’s reaction to high-pitched sounds. While this reaction may warrant laughter by the audience, it is how the cats with FARS actually react to sounds. 

Here are Some Causes Behind FARS 

In this section of the blog post, we will go over some causes of feline audiogenic reflex seizures: 

    • Age: Cats over the age of 15 are more prone to getting this condition. 
    • Breed: Certain breeds such as the Birmans breed is more prone to this. 
  • Deafness: Cats that are fully or partially deaf are more prone to developing FARS. 
  • FARS Triggers for Cats 

    • crinkling tin foil
    • clicking of the tongue
    • crinkling plastic bags or paper
    • a metal spoon clanging a ceramic bowl
    • chinking or tapping of glass
    • tapping on a keyboard
    • clicking a mouse
    • hammering a nail
    • clinking of keys or coins

    Summing Up: FARS and Cats 

    FARS is a relatively new disease in cats. 

    Treatment of the condition involves using drugs likePhenobarbitoneandLevetiracetamthat help reduce the seizures and improve the cat’s quality of life. 

    Do you think your cat has FARS? Leave comments.

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