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  1. ITV Report

How "Tom and Jerry Syndrome" can affect your cat

Vets in Hitchin have discovered that some cats can be sent into fits by high pitched sounds, such as jangling keys, cutlery or even crisp packets.

It's known as Tom and Jerry Syndrome and it can seriously affect your cat's health.

Mark Lowrie, of Davies Vetinary Specialists, who led the research, said owners might notice their cat jerking or twitching when they are startled.

Vet Mark Lowrie, who did the research Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's often known as Tom and Jerry syndrome because Jerry tries to scare Tom and give this jerk through his body. These seizures can then progress and become more pronounced, and often occur several times a day leading into full seizures.

– Mark Lowrie, Davies Vetinary Specialists
The Birman cat breed is the most likely to be affected Credit: ITV News Anglia

The condition can be very distressing, but the research team say they are finding treatment with anti-epileptic drugs can be effective.

The next step is working to understand more about why the condition develops.

Mark Lowrie hopes that the research that has been done into seizures in cats could go on to help those investigating the treatment of epilepsy in humans.

Watch Elodie Harper's report...