Why Does My Cat Shiver?

When our feline friends display symptoms or behaviors that are unusual, we're often left wondering what they mean. Jean B. writes:

I have a Bombay cat named Jackie. She’s three years old. For no apparent reason she will start shivering. She has ever since she was a kitten. She does not seem upset. When she was a kitten, I told the vet, but he didn’t think there was anything to worry about. Is there?

While many cats experience tremors, none should be taken lightly. It's worth another discussion with your veterinarian, especially if you observe any similarities in the instances when Jackie's tremors occur. 

Common causes of tremors include physical issues like low blood sugar, diabetes, hypothermia, and fever. There are also psychological issues such as fear and brain problems that can trigger tremors and even seizures. While this sounds like a terrible list of maladies, we include it to illustrate just how many different things can cause this kind of thing.

For now, we suggest you relax and start a notebook or calendar and note each time Jackie has visible tremors. Note the date, time of day and the temperature in the room she's in. It's also helpful to note when she last ate prior to the tremors. Then, the next time you take Jackie to her vet for a checkup, you can talk to them about the tremors from an informed perspective and even show them the data you've collected. You may even find that the tremors happen so infrequently as to be unimportant. Chances are, if she's lived with these tremors for several years now, it isn't a big deal, but only your vet can tell for sure.

Oh, and one last thing - many cats hold their tails upright and vibrate them when they're very happy. Many do this with a hunched back while rubbing or leaning against something, maybe even their human. If that's what Jackie is doing, it only means she's very happy to see you. :)

We wish you and Jackie all the best!