Why Is My Cat Shaking and Shivering?

As a pet parent, you've most likely witnessed a ton of odd behaviors from your cat. But if you've noticed your cat shaking and shivering recently, it may have caused you to ask, "Why is my cat shaking?" There are many different reasons a cat may shiver or shake, but regardless of the cause, it can be alarming to see your cat in physical distress. Let's break down some causes of cat shivering and shaking so that you can best take care of your feline friend.

Cat Shivering Causes
Cats of all ages and breeds may shiver from time to time. Humans normally shiver when they're cold, but according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, shivering is not always a sign of a cold body temperature in cats. If you and your cat have just come from outside where the temperatures are cooler, then there's a good chance that your cat is shivering because they're cold. However, your cat may be shaking for a few other reasons.
Fear is a common cause of shivering in cats. Cats enjoy stability, and generally speaking, when their routine is altered, it makes them anxious. Shivering during a veterinary visit or a car ride is fairly common in cats. An anxious kitty may also try to hide and assume a curled up posture very low to the ground with a tucked tail. Make sure to use caution when approaching a cat who's giving off these body signals; if a cat hisses and pins back its ears, it's best to give them some space.

Why is my cat shaking? Pain is another very common cause of shivering in cats, according to Pet Health Network. Despite their reputation of being somewhat spoiled and dainty animals, cats usually don't show signs of pain until the pain is quite severe. Identifying your cat's source of pain is not something to attempt at home, both because a painful kitty is likely to lash out at you in attempts to defend themself, but also because isolating the source takes expert veterinary training. Although the average pet parent won't be able to accurately interpret that pain, if your cat begins open mouth breathing, appears reluctant to move or has a broken limb or large wound, it is essential to seek immediate veterinary care — even if that means an emergency visit.
In addition to these causes of shivering, the list of reasons a cat may shiver or tremble is seemingly endless. Anything that can make a cat feel ill can theoretically cause a cat to shiver or tremble. On any given day, you may wonder, "Why is my cat shaking?" If your intuition tells you something is off, trust your gut and consult with your veterinarian.