Smoky's "fits" definitely sound like seizures. There are different kinds.
It's true that they do not have any idea of what's going on except that they are very fearful during a seizure (tail usually fluffed, eyes dilated) and what is truly happening to their brain is that it is literally frying a little bit each time which is actually very painful and their temperature will be exremely high.
If this happens again, note if the cat doesn't know who you are - a big sign of seizures. Because of this, they are apt to bite, scratch or anything to get away from the pain of literal brain-fry.
"Squint" has not seized since on medicine. Her first seizure was about 3 minutes (anything over 3 minutes is a true emergency); and she was spazzing everywhere, my other cats were chasing her thinking she was playing, I grabbed her up and she was burning, and got cool, wet cloths on her. Second seizure a week later was a grand mal seizure - she was just frozen, staring up, unmoving - these are even more dangerous.
If it happens again and Smokey feels hot, immediately have cloths at hand that you can wet with cool water (NOT cold), drip over head and back and place cloth over head and back. If it lasts more than 3 minutes (some say 5, but that seems like a lifetime as I'm guessing you know just from the shorter time your Smoky had a seizure.
I highly recommend a second opinion as most vets know just from your explanation of what happened if it's seizures or not.
It sounds so much like seizures, and if it is, Smoky needs to get on the Phenobarbital. Keep the house as stress-free as possible (a trigger).
Each seizure fries a little more of the brain - important to get it checked out completely.
If your cat’s tail fluffed up, was foaming at the mouth and either staring up for 2+ minutes, he/she may very well had a Gran Mal seizure.
If it was one of those wild seizures where they run around the house wildly (because they are truly on fire inside their brain – temperature way above normal) and not knowing who you are (in either seizure case), not knowing the other animals or people in the house, this is another form of seizure as well.
The brain does literally fry during a seizure (human or cat), and if it’s not due to poisoning and the doctor who x-rays your cat’s head finds that you happen to have a seizure cat, your cat will need to be on Phenobarbital, probably 16.2mg, 2x/day for life.
I would also ask for an oral syringe of Valium to keep on hand (which has to go up the… a-hem…. Bunda (Portuguese for Butt), to slow down the seizure much quicker. Phenobarbital is VERY Inexpensive. I got a 150-day supply for $6.29 at Costco. (for 2x/day, and as close to 12 hours apart as you can pill your cat or use Greenies Pill Pockets).
I am so sorry this sounds so tragic, but it will be if left unattended and without medicinal intervention.
Sorry this sounds discombobulated(sp?), but if Smoky IS having seizures and is on the medicine, he can lead a completely normal life with a much lesser chance of ever seizing again, or will have very few seizures compared to if he were not on medicine.
Wishing the best of health for Smokey! He'll be okay if it is seizures if he gets on medicine sooner rather than later.
Red-Cross Certified in Dog and Cat First Aid
Retired Volunteer/Foster/Adopt-a-Pet-er for Kill Shelter
Owned by 9 Beloved Indoor-Only Kill Shelter Felines, 6 w/Special Needs >^..^