Cat Diseases

Feline Hyperesthesia

The Hyperesthesia Felina , also called  syndrome nervous cat is a very rare disease acquired by cats . The animal feels that it is being “attacked” by something that has stood on its back or that something has penetrated its skin and tries to eliminate it with excessive bathing or biting that area.

This syndrome is a disorder that affects the neuromuscular system of the cat by abnormally increasing the sensitivity of the skin . We know that the cat feels calm when it is groomed or cleaned, it spends a lot of time bathing (licking itself) until it is satisfied. But when this activity is already excessive and more in a certain area of ​​your body, we can say that something is not right. One of those causes of this obsessive behavior can be feline hyperesthesia syndrome.

This condition is a condition where the skin on a cat’s back curls from the shoulders to the tail. This ripple can be seen in some cats, but more difficult to see in others. The areas that are most affected are: the pelvis, tail and loin. This syndrome affects cats of any breed and age, unfortunately the causes that develop this disease are not yet known for sure and there is no cure. This syndrome is characterized by showing episodes that are usually of short duration, can last seconds and even minutes. The cat behaves normal between episodes.

Symptoms of Feline Hyperesthesia

  • Agitation, stress, behavior change.
  • Periods of aggression
  • They begin to wag their tails strongly from side to side.
  • The cat tries to lick the tail and may nibble on it.
  • He starts running his tail like something is bothering him back there.
  • The skin on his back moves like waves.
  • Most affected cats will start running madly as if something is chasing them or as if they have scared them away.
  • These cats have muscle spasms, an itchy tail, and tics.
  • The pupils are dilated during episodes.
  • There is hair loss.
  • Your cat may express sensitivity when you touch him anywhere on his back or along his spine.
  • It can bite itself, attack its tail, vocalize, run, and jump.
  • The cat may appear to be hallucinating (following the movement of things that are not present).
  • In severe cases, cats can mutilate themselves.
  • They may have seizures.

Unfortunately these cats often suffer serious skin injuries from aggressively attempting to seek relief from the discomfort they experience.

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome

Attention: the video contains strong images.

Causes of  Feline Hyperesthesia

It is believed that hyperactive and nervous cats are at higher risk of suffering from this syndrome, all cases are different and it is not known what triggers it . If your cat is having any of these symptoms it is important to rule out other possible causes of nervousness and itching (it may be due to the presence of fleas).

In pets with severe flea allergies , flea bites can cause severe long-term itching and skin irritation. A severe case of FAD (flea bite allergy dermatitis) can cause your cat to start licking and scratching very aggressively, most often at the base of the tail. If your cat has dry skin, the itching that this causes can cause or aggravate a case of hyperesthesia.

A possible cause of the syndrome may be due to seizures ( if the cat suffers from epilepsy ). Experts assume that the syndrome may be caused by a problem with electrical activity in the areas of the brain that control emotions, grooming and behavior. predator. Some cats experience seizures during or after an episode of Hyperesthesia.

It is also believed that it can be a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder , which also occurs because of the seizures that cause this behavior to appear. Some breeds may be predisposed to this condition due to stress.

Diagnosis of  Feline Hyperesthesia

A good diagnosis of feline hyperesthesia is achieved through the exclusion of other diseases or situations that cause similar behaviors and symptoms:

  • Skin diseases (allergies, parasites, infections).
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Underlying painful conditions of the back, spine, joints, or muscles.
  • Pain associated with bite injuries, abscesses, anal sac disease.
  • Organ damage or cancer.
  • Brain problems (tumors, infection, trauma).
  • Poisoning.

Take your cat to the vet who will make a thorough diagnosis to know if your cat suffers from Feline Hyperesthesia or if it is a different condition with similar symptoms as those mentioned above. The more information you take to the vet, the easier it will find a solution , it would be very useful if you record a video of your cat’s behavior when you think he has an episode of Hyperesthesia to show him how the feline’s behavior is in its environment, in addition to this He will do blood tests, physical exam, and may refer you to a specialist in neurology or dermatology to rule out another type of condition and thus give a reliable diagnosis.

Treatment of  Feline Hyperesthesia

Once the veterinarian certifies that the animal suffers from Feline Hyperesthesia , he will give you a series of recommendations to avoid complications. The doctor will prescribe medications so that your cat can calm the anxiety a bit and will be able to advise that stressful situations for the cat be avoided.

It is advisable:

  • A balanced diet: consult your pet’s veterinarian.
  • Maintain the daily routine: feed him at the same time.
  • Company of other calm cats: adopt an adult cat whom the sick cat can follow and not worry about its condition.
  • Quiet place to rest, hide and climb.
  • Adequate sensory stimulation.
  • Litter Box Places – Keep it clean, cats are very clean and thorough.
  • Play routine: up to 4 short sessions a day, find different toys to entertain and exercise your cat, throw a toy at him when you see an episode about to start, or give him a snack.
  • Place near the window where you can look out.
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Sherry Fluharty, is an Activist, animal activist, community manager, and blogger at Tom Cat Wiki in order to make people aware of the responsible ownership of pets. And in charge of writing content and responsible for the project.