Why Do Cats Fall Over?

cat sleeps on a floor 1

Cats tend to exhibit all sorts of puzzling behaviors, such as falling over. 

This is a seemingly random behavior that can be pretty amusing at times, but it could be an indication of a serious problem. If there is something really wrong with your pet, you’ll want to know about it.

A Cat’s Balance

Cats are incredibly skilled balancers, which makes it all the more concerning when they simply fall over. These animals are known for being very limber and stealthy, which has served them very well in the wild from a historical perspective.

Reasons Cats Fall Over

It is not normal for cats to just fall over. While the reason for this behavior could be something fairly innocuous, it is important to learn about some of the possible explanations. The more you know about these possibilities, the easier it will be to care for your feline friend.

kitten in a sweater sleeps

1. Neurological Problems

Cats can develop problems with their brain that can cause all sorts of unusual behavior, including seizures or simply falling down out of nowhere. These issues are often very serious and life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about neurological disorders in cats.

2. Ataxia

A condition known as ataxia can also cause cats to fall down. There are many different things that can cause it, ranging from neurological problems to cancer. An experienced veterinarian will most likely be able to identify the cause of this condition.

Sometimes ataxia can be the result of a fungal infection, in which case it can most likely be treated fairly easily with medication. Your vet will most likely run a number of tests to narrow down the possibilities.

3. Ear Infection

Simple ear infection in your cat can cause it to fall down. Infections that affect the inner ear can throw off an animal’s balance. This can even happen with expert balancers like cats.

Some of the most common symptoms of an ear infection in a cat include:

  • Wax accumulation in the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Yellow discharge from the ear
  • Swelling of the ear canal

If you notice these symptoms with your cat, you’ll want to get them to a vet right away. It is important that you get the infection under control before it gets even worse. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe special medicated ear drops to eliminate the infection.

4. Anemia

Cats that have a metabolic disorder like anemia are prone to falling over as well. This is actually a fairly common medical condition in these animals. There are different types of anemia that cats can develop, some of which are potentially life-threatening.

Some of the common symptoms of anemia in cats include:

  • Pale gums
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Black, tarry feces
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lethargic behavior

Fortunately, anemia is usually a treatable condition that can be managed effectively with the right medication. The sooner you get your cat looked at by a vet, the better off they are going to be overall.

cat falls in an leaves

5. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is yet another possible explanation for your cat’s occasional falling over. This is usually not an immediately life-threatening issue, but it does have to be addressed right away.

A cat can develop low blood sugar as a result of illness or infection. It is also possible that you are giving your diabetic cat too much insulin. This can become a problem if you forget to feed your cat.

Some of the other symptoms that your cat has low blood sugar include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors

If hypoglycemia is allowed to advance far enough, it can even cause seizures and blindness. This is just one of the reasons why you need to stay on top of feeding your cat. If your kitty has diabetes, you’ll want to inject the right amount of insulin on a daily basis.

Caring for Your Cat

If your cat has a tendency to fall down sometimes, there are some important things that you’ll need to keep in mind. Make sure that you keep them away from any stairs in your home to avoid a serious accident. You can purchase gates from a local pet supply store to block off stairways.

Those who got their cat from a shelter will want to try getting their medical history. This can provide you with insight into which conditions your kitty might have. It might make it easier to figure out why they keep falling down.

When you take your cat to the vet, they’ll most likely want to run a number of tests, including an X-RAY and blood work. This will help with narrowing down the possible reasons for this behavior.

It is definitely possible that you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate this behavior in your cat with medication or surgery. Keep in mind that your cat’s prognosis depends entirely on what is causing them to fall down.


  • If your cat occasionally falls down out of nowhere, there is most likely a serious medical issue that needs to be addressed right away.
  • Neurological problems are often to blame when it comes to a sudden loss of coordination and balance in cats.
  • Ataxia is a condition that affects some cats, and it can cause a loss of balance as well as other symptoms that can be unpleasant for your kitty.
  • A fungal infection could actually be responsible for this behavior with your cat.
  • An ear infection that affects the inner ear could also throw off your cat’s balance, causing them to fall down sometimes.
  • Anemia and other metabolic disorders have been known to cause cats to fall down. There are several different types of anemia that cats can get.
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is another possible explanation for your cat falling down. It could be a result of a missed meal or being given too much insulin.
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