Cat Tips

Why Is My Cat Shaking? 

June 23, 2022

Why Is My Cat Shaking

If you’ve noticed your cat is shaking uncontrollably, it’s normal to be concerned. Your cat’s whole body trembling is nothing to ignore and can be a side effect of many different issues, ranging from emotional to physical. If your cat is shaking, it’s important to figure out what the reason is so that you can help them in the best way possible.   

Common Reasons Your Cat May Be Shaking 

There are a surprising number of reasons you may find your cat trembling. The first step to helping them gain control back is to figure out what is causing the shaking in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons for uncontrollable trembling in cats.   


One of the most common reasons your cat could be shaking is hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. This is caused by your cat not eating frequently enough. Low blood sugar is especially common in young kittens because they require more nutrients and calories than older cats. Their tiny bodies are still learning how to process glucose.   

If hypoglycemia is the cause of your cat’s trembles, try putting honey or syrup directly onto their gums. If this doesn’t help stop their shaking, take your cat to the vet to see if there’s a more serious issue.  

Stress or Fear 

Cats are similar to humans in that they will often shake or tremble when they are in a frightening situation. However, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what is scaring your kitty because they can be more sensitive to their surroundings than humans are. Any change to their normal environment can be stressful to a cat who thrives on routine.  If you find your furry friend is scared in an area, they usually aren’t, consider any recent changes such as new furniture or a new scent.   

If possible, remove your cat from the stressful environment to allow them to calm down. However, if you aren’t able to remove them from the area or undo the change they are fearful over, take the time to gently reassure them and calm them down. Speak to them in a low, soft voice and pet them gently if they will allow you to. This can help your cat calm down, which will slow down their trembling.  

Body Temperature Issues 

Your cat’s normal body temperature is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cat experiences an extreme body temperature change in either direction, it can lead to them shaking uncontrollably.   

If your cat’s body temperature has risen dramatically due to a fever, they are experiencing hyperthermia. They may also experience this if left in an overly hot environment, such as a hot car. When your cat is experiencing hyperthermia, they will likely shake and possibly pant as well. If you see these symptoms, take your cat to the vet right away.  

On the other extreme is hypothermia. This is where your cat’s body temperature drops dangerously low. This typically occurs in cats who have been in cold temperatures for an extended period of time or are left in cold water. Kittens are especially at risk because their bodies are so tiny. They haven’t fully learned how to regulate their temperature yet. If your kitty is shaking due to extreme cold, it’s important to get them to a warm area and take them to the vet for a full examination.  


Cats are notorious for not letting us know they are sick or in pain until the issue has progressed significantly. However, if your cat is experiencing pain from an injury, tumor, or other types of internal issues, it may begin shaking uncontrollably. If your cat begins trembling for seemingly no reason, pain could be what is causing the tremors.   

It’s important to take your cat to the vet for an examination if they are shaking for a reason you can’t find so they can get relief quickly. If the pain or illness is left untreated, it could progress.  

Plus, if your cat is already shaking from the pain, it may progress into full-blown shock, which is a much more serious issue as well. If your cat’s gums as pale and its heart is beating rapidly, these are signs your feline is going into shock and should be taken to a vet immediately.  


If your cat has been exposed to any type of toxin, it’s possible it may begin shaking. Some toxins are well known, such as cleaning chemicals or other products we keep locked away from small children. However, there are toxins that are specific to cats that you may have in your home without even realizing the dangers they pose to your furry friend 

Certain plants that many people have in their homes are poisonous to cats, including poinsettias, tulips and lilies. If your cat ingests even one bite of these flowers, it can lead to poisoning. Other common toxins for your cat include garlic, onions and grapes. These normal foods for us can spell certain danger for your cat if they ingest them.  

If you suspect your cat has ingested any type of toxin, it’s important to get them to the vet right away for proper treatment. You may also want to call the Animal Poison Control Center Hotline to get proper advice on how to help your kitty while you’re on your way to the vet.  

Preventing Your Cat from Shaking 

Sometimes you can take steps that will help keep your cat from shaking uncontrollably. If they shake due to stress, keeping them in an environment they are comfortable with that doesn’t experience changes is a great way to keep them calm and relaxed. If your cat has issues regulating their blood sugar, you will want to make sure they are able to eat meals on a regular basis.   

Other preventions include making sure your cat isn’t exposed to any poisonous materials like plants or chemicals that can harm cats. Make sure you are always keeping your kitty in an environment that is a comfortable temperature so they don’t get too hot or too cold. Both of which can lead to shivering.  

What Should You Do if Your Cat Is Shaking? 

Because there is such a wide range of possibilities, it’s important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if they are experiencing uncontrollable shaking. Although many of the causes can be minor and just require an environmental change, some other causes can be more serious and will need more intensive treatment so that your kitty can fully recover.   


Seeing your cat shaking is a scary experience for any cat owner. However, with the right knowledge, you can have the tools you need to help your kitty stop shaking quickly. It’s important to examine both your cat and their environment when they are shaking to determine a potential cause. If you aren’t sure what’s causing the shaking, it’s vital to take your cat to the vet for a full examination. Taking the right steps quickly will help your cat recover in no time! 



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