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Thread: Drinking Twitches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5

    Drinking Twitches

    I'm not certain this is a health issue, but as Brenda is a 15 year old cat and I'm an overprotective 'mother' I'd appreciate any advice you can give. When Brenda goes to drink her front paws jerk/twitch one at a time and at least once each but sometimes more. They jerk enough that she can inadvertently kick nearby objects including the water bowl itself. It doesn't seem to deter her from drinking at all but I hadn't noticed her doing it until recently so it worries me a bit even though she is in good health otherwise. We also moved somewhat recently and so I have wondered if it is something about the change from hard Texas water to softer Oregon water that has her doing this. I've never heard of such an occurrence, but then again not many people I know have moved their cats cross-country. It is also possible that she has been doing it longer (even forever) and I didn't notice because her water was in the bathroom instead of in the same room as me during the 8 months she lived with me before the move to Oregon. I'm usually fairly observant though so I think I probably would have noticed one of the times she happened to be drinking at the same time I was in the bathroom. Thank you for any thoughts and advice you can give - even if it's just to tell me I'm crazy and overprotective and of course there is nothing wrong with her

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Windham, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    40,010
    Is that paw at all tender if you touch it? At 15, maybe it's a neurological thing ... I'd keep an eye on her for any other symptoms, and keep a diary of how often and the circumstances when it happens, then give the vet a call. I doubt it has anything to do with the water, though you could try giving her bottled water for a few days, just to prove that is the case ...
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5
    She hasn't acted like either of her front paws are tender at all, and as she is currently curled up next to the warm computer I lightly squeezed both just now to be sure. She drinks out of several different water bowls and even occasionally (when I'm not paying attention ) my own water cup and no matter what it's always the same with the twitching but she does not twitch at any other time - and I've been watching her carefully to make sure she doesn't. I am planning to take her to the vet if any other symptom at all develops and in the meantime will work on your suggestion of keeping a diary of the exact circumstances of her twitching - thank you for the suggestion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    11,974
    My Poppy when he drinks water from the fountain or a bowl, will paw at the floor almost like he does when he is scratching in the litter box. My other cat Suzy when drinking from the fountain will bring her right leg under her left leg, almost like a crisscross and scratch the side of the fountain. Why Poppy or Suzy do this, I have no clue, but my vet said that it is just something they do and not to worry about it because they don't do it any other time, only when drinking their water and they are in good health. Poppy is 7 and Suzy is 10 months old. So these little quirks, that's what I call it, has no age limit.

    But, if you are concerned because of Brenda's age, then phone your vet first and see what he/she has to say about it.
    Also, believe me when I say that not one person is going to say that you are crazy or just being overprotected. If that was the case, then when it comes to our beloved pets, we are all crazy and overprotected and to me, there is nothing wrong with that. Any animal lover would understand this and as for the rest, they can all go to......well lets just say that they can take a flying leap. LOL!!!

    Keep us posted and if you can, I would love to see a picture of Brenda.

    R.I.P. my Precious Katie, Katie Pretty Lady.
    Oct. 1991 - Oct. 9, 2005
    R.I.P. my Beloved Wild Hair Wee Willy Winky
    April 8, 2005 - June 19, 2009
    R.I.P. my best friend Buddy.
    Sept. 1993 - Feb. 04, 2010
    R.I.P. my handsome Mooky.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Posts
    17,102
    I have a thought. Is the water colder in Oregon than it was in Texas? I mean, you were in TX in summer, warm weather, now in Oregon in winter. Is the house cooler? Is this making the water at room temp cooler? So maybe this is just her reacting to having a cold drink? In which case, it is comical and nothing to worry about!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5
    I have wondered if it is just a quirk she has always had, but the fact that I can't remember noticing it before now is why I'm wondering if it could be something else and not just a quirk she has always had or even developed recently. Plus from the many many times I've closely watched her drinking since first noticing this it seems like the jerking motion of her paws is completely involuntary despite her not being bothered by it.

    As for the water temp I'm pretty sure it is the same as when we were in Texas. During the summer in Texas the house temp and her water may have been a little higher, but we had cold spells for several months before moving here and because of heating/cooling systems in both locations have kept the room temperatures at about the same temp.

    I don't have a lot of great pics of Brenda... most of our good ones are on my husband's iphone and he is currently in Kentucky for training, but I tried to attach two fairly good ones.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Posts
    17,102
    Awww, hello Brenda! Such a pretty girl! But somehow, I think you KNOW that, lol.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SoldiersGirl View Post
    I'm not certain this is a health issue, but as Brenda is a 15 year old cat and I'm an overprotective 'mother' I'd appreciate any advice you can give. When Brenda goes to drink her front paws jerk/twitch one at a time and at least once each but sometimes more. They jerk enough that she can inadvertently kick nearby objects including the water bowl itself. It doesn't seem to deter her from drinking at all but I hadn't noticed her doing it until recently so it worries me a bit even though she is in good health otherwise. We also moved somewhat recently and so I have wondered if it is something about the change from hard Texas water to softer Oregon water that has her doing this. I've never heard of such an occurrence, but then again not many people I know have moved their cats cross-country. It is also possible that she has been doing it longer (even forever) and I didn't notice because her water was in the bathroom instead of in the same room as me during the 8 months she lived with me before the move to Oregon. I'm usually fairly observant though so I think I probably would have noticed one of the times she happened to be drinking at the same time I was in the bathroom. Thank you for any thoughts and advice you can give - even if it's just to tell me I'm crazy and overprotective and of course there is nothing wrong with her
    Glad to know that I'm not the only one seeing / having this problem.

    My girl Sophie is about 15yo, and I've been giving her Methimazole for her Hyperthyroidism.

    One of the quirks of the liquid medication is that it has to be kept in the fridge.

    I noticed shortly after starting to give it to her (orally, obviously), that she'd do this little Michale Jackson foot dance with her front paws...usually first her right foot, and then her left foot (for a couple of twitches each). I just chalked it up to it being cold (sort of like when humans eat ice cream too fast).

    Then, I noticed an odd sound every time that she went over to the water fountain (which I have elevated off the floor on a cardboard box, so she can more easily drink from it).

    I can't see the fountain (obstructed by a small wine fridge), but I knew when she was over there and what she was over there for, because there is nothing else over there for her, and I can see the back half of her body and tail sticking out from behind the wine fridge.

    So, I noticed some "thwacking" noises when she'd go over and start drinking, but by the time I was able to get eyes-on, the twitching had stopped. This happened multiple times, so I made it a point to watch her the next time she went over to get a drink of water.

    Sure enough, as soon as she started drinking the water, her right foot would twitch forward (and thwack the cardboard support box), and then when her right front paw was finished and firmly on the ground, her left front paw would do the exact same thing.

    As one person commented below about temperature, that's what I thought when she first stated doing it with the cold medicine from the fridge, but then when she started doing it with the room temperature water, I was left kind of wondering what is going on.

    Then I started to wonder if somehow the act of swallowing was somehow triggering this reaction, but kind of dismissed that because when I feed her wet food, she has no twitch reaction.

    And fwiw, she doesn't seem to have any pain in her paws after they thwack the cardboard.

    Having said all of that, she has had an occasional seizure (maybe 4 in the last 2-3 years). I told my vet about it, and that while spacey and disoriented for about 10 minutes afterwards, she goes right back to being a cat...as if nothing has happened. My vet said that seizures in cats in the mid-teens (my interpretation, not her exact words), are not that uncommon (which surprised me), but she said that if she starts having them much more frequently, then we'd have to hunt down what was going on, but she didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about the "occasional" seizure in a cat that age (as long as she recovered in a decent amount of time...which Sophie always has).

    So, the seizures MAY indicated a neurological issue that MAY have a side effect of this little MJ foot dance she does....but I have no idea if they are related in any way.

    If somebody finds/knows the answer to why cats do this, please reply to me, I'd love to know.

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