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My cat is doing a strange nervous twitch licking thing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My cat is licking himself in a nervous twitch kind of manner. He'll lick his paw, and then quickly turn around and start licking his back, and then jump around and start licking his tail, and then get up and run off quickly and then start licking again. What is this indicative of?

post #2 of 11
Get your cat to the vet ASAP - this can be an episode of mini-seizures or an allergic reaction to something!
post #3 of 11
After you call the vet, can you check to see if he has fleas?
post #4 of 11
As already mentioned, it could be anything from fleas, food allergy or environmental toxin in his sytem that he ingested. If the skin on his back does a rippling motion, it could even be something called feline hyperesthesia.

A vet visit is important to get a correct diagnosis. Keep a journal of the time these episodes take place, how long they last, the number of 'attacks', physical symptoms etc. Also, have you started using anything new in the house? Cleaners, sprays, burning candles etc? That could also be a source of the problem.
post #5 of 11
My Siamese cat has had the same problem for about 11 years, he has only grown out of it lately. I have had him checked by the vet, his skin checked, blood tests and tried various different foods and adding fish oil to his diet. Nothing has worked and the vet finally put it down to a nervous condition, Siamese can be highly strung. Get it fully checked by your vet and if you get the same results as me, you will just have to keep him away from anything that streesses him. Heat can sometimes bring it on to. Mine just got used to things over the years and it happened less and less frequently. Always make sure that the cat has somewhere to go and hide if it is a stress problem. Good luck
post #6 of 11
Spunky did this for months. The vet had no idea what was causing it. They had ruled out allergies. Finally he developed something they could treat. He had a several gum infection. It was horrible. We thought we would have to put him down. After several months of treatment he was healed and no more twitching. We still don't know if they are related but whatever the treatment was he is cured. I would have to ask mom how they treated him. I know a biopsy was sent to Uni Penn & they were stumped at how bad the infection was & how to treat it.
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by gilbertthegreat View Post

My cat is licking himself in a nervous twitch kind of manner. He'll lick his paw, and then quickly turn around and start licking his back, and then jump around and start licking his tail, and then get up and run off quickly and then start licking again. What is this indicative of?

I know this is a bit late, but I just now read your thread, my spookie, started doing this after he had is yrly vaccinations in November. So I did some research
and I came upon this website called Shirleys Wellness Cafe, I think that's right?
I started reading and I'm telling you it scared me, the side effects from
yearly vacc. well you'll just have to read about it, actually I was looking for
the dangers of vacc.s for your children, and through that I saw the article
about vaccinations of animals. Like why can a humans vacc. last a lifetime, and we are told to bring our beloved pets in yearly. Also, vaccinations of the young cats, they said, the vaccines have so many things of the diseases, that it could overstress the system. That is why they want you to keep a close eye on them after the shots. I have noticed that my cats don't feel
up to parr after being vaaccinated, some have even run a fever.
And it said to never get the injections that are all combined! Go to that website, you can than make your own judgement! I just found it interesting
that some of the replies said that they're vet. didn't know what it was!!!
If they do know about the vacc. they sure aren't going to tell us because that is repeat business for them. Something else, they give the same doses
to a adult cat as they do for a 6 mos. old kitten or (whatever the age is to start shots, I forgot right now for some reason)
I hope more people happen to read this even though I responded so late to your thread!
post #8 of 11
My cat received some vaccinations in November of 2009. One of the vaccinations was for feline leukaemia. There was distemper, rabies, and the regular vaccines given to him too. One hour after I got him home he couldn't walk. He cried and cried. He started frantically biting the area of his lower back where he was injected with the vaccines. Then he would jump like something bit him and run around the house like he was being chased. I never once saw this behaviour before the vaccines. I rushed him back to the vet. He was placed on Prednisone for 6 months which helped reduce the pain and issues greatly. However he's never been the same. 9 months later he developed melanoma in his left eye. He still licks his paw, then switches to his back in an abrupt manner like he's being attacked. He's an indoor cat. Definitely does not have fleas. Fleas love me and I've not had a flea bite in 20 years nor do I see them in the house or on the cat. I don't see any bugs. His bathroom is always normal and he eats well. It seems whatever was in the vaccine - it damaged his nervous system. The vet says this is not so, but there's too much evidence for it not to be. Living alone where my cat is my main companion I notice when something's not right with him.

He was 1 year old when this happened. He's almost 5 now and he still has a session of frantic licking like he's being bitten and he will jump in the air then run out of the room. This behaviour started after his vaccinations and has never ended. I blame it on those. I don't bother getting him vaccinated anymore as a result. November 2009 was his last needle. The vaccinations did something to his nervous system. The reason why I'm here right now is because my cat just took another frantic session and left the room. I did a Google search and found this site. He takes a frantic session once a day from what I've observed. It's quite possible your cat also had a vaccine that was bad which destroyed his nervous system.
post #9 of 11
Hi.. I realize this thread is years old, and I'm not sure if you even check back at this site anymore but I'm very curious what the outcome was? I know you said he/she was going to be going to the vet and I'm interested in what the vet had to say about it. The behavior you have described is the exact behavior my cat is all of a sudden showing today. I have to work today so I won't be able to get him into the vet until tomorrow morning, unless I come home from work tonight and things seem worse in which case ill need to take him to a 24 hr emergency vet hospital..
post #10 of 11
I am not the poster, but it sounds like the cat has FHS. This is an article about it, there are several rather recent threads about FHS.
I am all too familiar with FHS and suggest you start a new thread.
post #11 of 11

I've recently discovered a wonderful site called animalEO for Crow River Animal Hospital in MN.  The "EO" is for "essential oils."  Dr. Shelton is a well-known vet (see her bio).  She uses & sells essential oil mixtures to treat her animal patients.  She sells something called Kittyboost that can be used for all kinds of conditions.  It smells wonderful.  She has done years of research using essential oils on her patients and her own cats.  I've used Kittyboost twice on my two precious cats and they have responded very well - playful, affectionate, relaxed.  I, too, hate giving my cats vaccinations.  I just had to the other day in order to get them groomed.  The Distemper shot made both cats extremely lethargic for a full day.  About 10 yrs ago, I spent $90 for a Titer test done for one of my cats to determine if the antibodies for rabies (?) in his system from previous vaccinations were still at a sufficient level so he didn't have to get another vaccination.  They were. I showed the test results to other vets and grooming facilities and they didn't require updated vaccinations.  I think it's now more expensive - $150? - but I think I'm going to have it done next year for my cats.  I agree that we shouldn't have to give our cats vaccinations every one or three years!  I noticed the skin twitching and rippling on my big white Maine Coon cat yesterday - the day after his Rabies vaccination and three days after his Distemper vaccination.  I'm going to put some more drops of Kittyboost on his back and that of my little 10 lb Tabby again because it has oils that boost their immune systems and see if it helps.  I sent my current vet the info on animalEO and Kittyboost in hopes that she will order some to keep in stock.  

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