What is feline hyperesthesia?

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome is a weird disorder also called "rolling skin disorder" for one of it's chief symptoms. It is closely related to seizure disorders and obsessive behavior. It is a syndrome that is not well-understood by vets, but there are common symptoms that cats display. They will twitch, often uncontrollably. Your cat may engage in excessive behaviors - otherwise normal things done over and over. That includes grooming, biting the tail, jerking and running around, and tail swishing.


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The causes are just as varied as the symptoms. Sometimes vets believe it is caused by diet issues or sensitivity to certain chemicals. Anxiety problems, diabetes, or skin problems have been known to cause it. Hormonal problems can be behind it, and sometimes it can be something far more serious such as a brain tumor or problem with the nervous system.

The onset of hyperesthesia syndrome is usually when the cat is between one and four years old.

There really isn't a set or standard treatment, because there could be so many causes. The best treatment could be anything from anti-anxiety medicine to steroids to anti-seizure medication. You may have to go through a couple of these treatments on a trial and error basis with your vet to find something that works - this is because diagnosis is just so difficult with something like this. The big problem is finding what is the cause - and you may have to try a couple of cures to get there.

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