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twitching/hiding after startle (long)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is a behaviour or health question, so feel free to move if you need to.
Chester is almost 4 this year, and I've had him since about 4 months old. He was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur at the age of 1 year, and was labeled as "stable" by the cardiologist last year. He is on blood pressure meds and asprin, which seems to be working.
A couple years ago he started doing this thing where his whole body would twitch and then he'd look up at the ceiling, his eyes would get big and he'd start running all over the house. I didn't think much of it, other than he was a weirdo because we've had other cats who have done that.
More recently he started to look annoyed during these times occasionally, and would bite his tail/bum connection like he was cleaning it during the twitchings. I still thought it was just random, and it wasn't hurting him, nor was he being hurt by it.

2 weeks ago my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment together. Chester is dealing with new surroundings, having the boyfriend around, and some new pets to boot. So far he's been dealing well with this, although he did get lost in the kitchen a couple times.
2 days ago I have been told that Chester was up on the plant stand and knocked over my watering can. The bang, water and yell from my boyfriend scared him, and he ran off. Apparently he then hid under the bed for hours (unlike him). He ate and drank normally however when I got home, but always returned under the bed. We closed the door to the spare bedroom so he couldn't go in there and he slept all night with us. Yesterday he chose to hide next to the bed, next to the toilet or in the bathtub. We also noticed an increase in his twitching.
By about 8:00 last night I gave him some rescue remedy, which seemed to work wonders. He actually started coming out into the livingroom and his twitching became less frequent. Today he has been in and out of the livingroom, but mostly sleeping on the bathmat and he's still twitching occasionally (but not biting or running). Given the improvement, I'm starting to think it was a new environment/startle that did this, but after reading some stuff I'm worried about rolling back syndrome....especially since I'm a student and just spent $1000 on my slowly dying car, and Chester's ultrasounds are $500 per year already.

All this is very strange. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 6
My kitty used to do this a lot and at one time the vet told me it was likely a form of epilepsy. However, we didn't treat for it as it wasn't a bother and only happened every so often. Since she's gotten older and slowed down, I haven't seen her do this in a very long time. As far as rolling back syndrome, here is a good article I found on it that I think will be helpful to you. Basically there is no real diagnostic test for it and the best treatment is to just reduce stress. If you feel things are getting worse and/or the hiding thing continues, I'd definitely take your kitty for just a quick check-up. Good luck!

post #3 of 6
This is probably not what your little Chester has but its only a suggestion. My little girl Cinnie, she is so allergic to fleas that if she gets one bite it starts her twitching and jumping and hiding under things. My other cats don't act like that. I try and put the frontline on her early before flea season but this year she got a flea bite before I was able to head them off at the pass and she started her twitching and hiding. I hope Chester feels better.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to let you guys know that after 2 days and 3 treatments of rescue remedy Chester is almost completely back to his old self. I've only seen him twitch once all night and it was only a split second and didn't seem to bother him.
seems like it was stress afterall.

Thanks for making me feel better.
post #5 of 6
I'm so happy he's doing better, I always say when one of my cats get stressed out that its too bad you can't make them understand that theres nothing to be afraid of.
post #6 of 6
Yea! I'm so happy for you. By the way, your two kitties are absolutely adorable!
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