Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

My cat is schizophrenic. Or, at least, he has the feline equivalent of it. A Google study yesterday turned up evidence that he most of the symptoms of feline hyperesthesia syndrome, for which there is no cure, only drug treatment or holistic care. He doesn't overgroom or self-mutilate, but has all the other symptoms.

We've long wondered about this cat, who would seek affection, rubbing against human or horse legs, only to turn and attack if the human (or horse) returned the affection, leaving the humans greatly confused. It progressed to unprovoked aggression, pissing him off by merely having the audacity to walk past him. Was he afraid?

Outside, he would be sitting by you and suddenly, madly dash off and run up a tree, run down, dash across the yard. I thought it was playfulness.

Petting was allowed on his head, but no one, NO ONE, was allowed to touch the back of this cat. He would hiss, and vocalize if you even looked like you were thinking about it. His recent back pain is symptomatic of this condition as well, it seems, as is the twitching skin near his tail. I found one expert online, a Dr. Dodson, that says anesthesia can be a trigger, which explains why this cat went from being very nice before neutering, to being a mean one after. The cat becomes hypersensitive also to being touched, particularly on the back.

The prognosis is not great, as it can continue to escalate to seizures. I guess I owe the neighbor a mental apology, for I'd blamed him and his son for poorly socializing the cat as a kitten. Yet, it seems that the cat has a progressive neurological disease. And, it's easier to forgive the cat for his behavior when I know he can't help it.

1 comment:

pita-woman said...

Interesting. I know a few people like that and they haven't even been neutered.
Sometimes I'm like that, but usually dismiss it as PMS. ;)


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