According to some new feline research from the UK, your cat may soon have yet another very good reason to flash you that glare of utter contempt. All your sharp, staccato noises — pen clicking, fingernail biting, cutlery dropping, and mouse clicking — may trigger cat seizures, a condition researchers are somehow likening to the cartoon Tom and Jerry, probably because a cat having a seizure because its owner dropped a spoon in the kitchen makes seems like something that should only happen in an ultra-violent Warner Bros. cartoon.
Research on the strange cat seizure triggers began after a feline charity called International Cat Care began receiving reports from cat owners across the UK of strange behavior from their cats. According to the Telegraph, the charity passed on some of these accounts of cat seizures to a specialist veterinary center, which is now, with help from researchers at the University College London, investigating the phenomenon.
Thus far, researchers only have a vague idea of how such noises as pill packets being opened or kitchen ware being dropped on a tile floor may be triggering the cat seizures:
The seizures in cats do not appear to be related to volume, because many of the "trigger sounds" are relatively quiet. The noises do not appear to be particularly unexpected, either, as most are relatively familiar, such as the noise of food being opened.
Mark Lowrie, from Davies Veterinary Specialists, said: "We want to see if other vets and owners are aware of the problem. It could be they haven't even associated these fits with noise. I'm sure that a pattern will emerge. It doesn't seem to be occurring at times of stress. It is often when the cats are being fed – which is probably one of their happier times of the day."
The cat owner accounts of feline seizures are all more or less the same — a clicking or tapping sound (usually fairly quiet) triggers a cat to start jerking its body. The erratic movement stops when the noise stops. Some accounts describe cats running frantically in circles before slamming into furniture, which sounds sort of amusing from a distance but is probably a horrifying thing to witness if you're just clipping your toenails at home one night and Sprinkles takes off like he's on fire into your tufted Ottoman.
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