Cat Freaks Out

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by Jen (WI)

1 cat freaks out? I have 2 adult cats that are brothers. I adopted them both from the shelter as kittens and they are both fixed and up to date on shots. They are both indoor cats and have never been outside.One cat, which is usually sweet and cuddly, sometimes freaks out. He will run around the house and hide under things acting like he’s scared of something. While he’s doing this he constantly licks his body very fast and twitches his skin. He feels warm (not sure if that’s from running around the house). It also seems like he doesn’t want me to touch his back near his tail, however, he wants me to pet his head. He usually loves to be pet everywhere. I don’t know if he’s in pain or if he’s scared of something. He’s done this about a dozen times, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night. Sometimes he’s like this for an entire day and sometimes it’s only for a few hours. Nothing has changed in the house and I haven’t changed his kind of food or kind of litter. I really hope someone can help. I’ve called the vet and they don’t have any clues and I can’t find anything similar online. Thanks in advance for any insight!

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Thank you all! by: Anonymous Thank you all so much for your help! I did look up Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome and watched videos of cats with the diagnosis and it looks to be what it is. It?s scary because I don?t know what caused it (I adopted them when they were babies). The only thing I can think of would be their regular shots. I hate to think that trying to keep them healthy by bringing them in for shots actually made them sick. Both cats have symptoms but one (Jinx) is way worse than the other. It seems to be up and down- he?ll be fine for awhile but out of nowhere he?ll start acting that way again. In my research it seems that there really is no cure. And I guess I?m not sure what to do next. I have an appointment scheduled and when I asked the receptionist about Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome she had no clue so I?m pretty concerned. I don?t want them to have any more shots if it?s a possibility that it is what caused it in the first place. Maybe I?ll bring them in for an exam and some testing, but no shots. Again, thank you all so much for your help! It would have taken me much longer to figure out the cause. Thanks!


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My cat does the same by: Jen Hello Jen (great name, by the way!),My cat Alice started doing the same thing last year after I took her to get shots and Frontline. I found her under my boyfriend’s car at five months so I don’t know her full history, but this was after I had her for over a year. She’s since been diagnosed with Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome and I was given lithium pills. When she started having these attacks, they REALLY freaked her out, and she did not move from her “safe” places for three months. I ended up having to deck out a closet for her to stay in, because she was just terrified of everything. I was never able to get her to take the pills (they probably tasted really bitter), but after a few months she began to settle down. She still has “episodes” from time to time, but not nearly as severe. I haven’t taken her to get shots or Frontline since.


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Revision by: Liz I looked it up again, and it is more commonly called “rippling skin disorder” or “feline hyperesthesia.” For sure bring him in to get it checked out – the craziness could be dismissed as normal cat behavior, but the twitching skin, warmth, and him not wanting you to touch him near his tail on his back are what indicate the disease.


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Twitching Skin by: Liz There is a disorder in cats called “twitching skin disorder.” I just found it once in my searches for weird cat behavior explanations. You should definitely look it up, and have your cat examined by the vet, as it can be a dangerous condition. I hope this helps.


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MAD DASH by: CALEBS MUM Nothing to do with fleas, my cat has a mad five minutes of madness all the time, looks like he’s possessed at times, he crouches down, ears go back, his pupils dilate and twitch and he bounces off walls bombing around the house lol:) Wouldn’t worry about it at all. Its just like when you see a dog having a mad dash and they go nuts. They’re just having fun 🙂


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Re-Cat Feaks Out by: Jen Hello again Roz, Thank you very much! I tried a powder for fleas but I will purchase frontline plus since it’s probably better. I had never heard about the plug-in Feliway, it’s seems like a great product and I found it online at a good price. He still seems to be acting a little strange. He’s eating and playing like normal but also will hide and act nervous. He doesn’t seem like he’s in pain anywhere on his body as he’ll get very lovable and want his whole body to be pet. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the heat lately.(It’s been pretty warm here in Wisconsin) Or maybe he hears the animals outside with the windows being open. We sometimes have bears trying to eat our garbage and coyotes howling at night. Thank you again for the recommendations. Hopefully they will help!


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CAT FREAKS OUT by: Roz Driffield England Hi JenI buy Frontline Spot on for fleas, it just goes on the cat’s neck onto the skin. very good and highly recommended. you can buy it from yr vet or order online at various companies(cheaper than from vets) PETPLANET.CO.UK PETMEDS.CO.UK PETDRUGSONLINE.CO.UKThese are the companies I use. As I said much cheaper than the vets. I also use Feliway plug-in, it has Pheremones that the cat has and calms them. One refill lasts a month. Again very good and since Iv been using it Sweetie has stopped the awful yowling she did.If you just google these that I use Im sure you will find companies in the states will have them. Let me know how you get on. Bye for now.Roz


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Re-Cat Freaks Out by: Jen Hi Roz, Thanks for your help. I will have to try to find Defurr-ums or something similar because Jinx (the one that is having this problem) is long-haired and is constantly grooming himself. I did find some flea powder and plan to try that today. The other thing I’m thinking is maybe it has something to do with his nerves because he had been pretty jumpy when he was acting like that. If only they could talk and tell us what’s wrong! Thanks again! Jen


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CAT FREAKS OUT by: Roz Driffield England Hi have been thinking about your problem all night! The reason they eat plants or grass is so they can be sick to get rid of the fur that collects as they groom themselves. I give my cat Defurr-ums which stop the fur collecting inside. (my Sweetie Pie loves them). Not sure if you can get these as I’m in England but sure you would find something similar where you are. Think it would be a good thing to deflea them all as fleas do nasty things(can kill young kittens and old cats as they suck the blood out). Just wish I could solve the problem for you. Roz


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Re-Cat Freaks Out by: Jen Hi there. A bug bite could be it, however, he does this every so often..I’d say about a dozen times since I got him as a kitten about 3 years ago. I haven’t de-fleaed them, the last vet appointment didn’t recommend it but maybe I should anyway. They are both indoor cats and are the only pets that I have in the house. They’ve never been outside. I do see him trying to eat house plants so maybe it has something to do with that? I can’t find anything online about the symptoms he’s having. His back near his tail is warm compared to the rest of his body but he’s constantly licking and twitching it.He is better now but I would love to figure out what it is in-case it happens again. Thank you very much for your input and if you think of anything else please let me know. Thanks again!


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CAT FREAKS OUT by: Roz Driffield England Hi having read yr comments I wondered if something has bitten him. I assume you De-flea them every 4 weeks? It does sound as if hes been bitten or something like that.