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Does my cat have FHS/Rippling skin disorder?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, this is my first post here I have two gorgeous cats, and the other day I was fiddling around on the internet looking for stuff on tail communication and happened across an article on FHS/rippling skin disorder (not sure which one is talked about more). Some of the symptoms (particularly the spine sensitivity, rippling flesh on the lower back, mood swings and eye changes) struck me as behaviours my older cat has exhibited for a long time that I just brushed off as weird.

Smudge is about four years old, fairly obese (22 pounds- we're working on it but even on a diet the best exercise we can encourage is her moving from one room to another) and has a history of food problems- we went through six different foods, including sensitive stomach and anti-hairball and prescription allergy food and home prepared diets, until we found one that doesn't make her throw up daily (Science Diet Indoor Cat). She's always been very sensitive on her spine and lower back, and maybe 50% of the time when you pet her she'll get very agitated if you touch those areas, and occasionally she'll attack our hands if we accidentally brush by. She doesn't do anything odd with her tail, but she can't quite reach it, and she is often licking at her hind legs disproportionately more than the rest of her body.

Normally I'd take this to the vet, but we just had our yearly check up two months ago, and the vet noticed the rippling and hissing when she pet Smudge and commented that some cats just don't like their backs being pet, so I want to get some other opinions first before we go back. Do you think my cat has FHS or is she just fat and cranky? Thanks so much for help in advance
post #2 of 6
Well, only a vet is qualified to say for sure, as you know, but it does sound like the symptoms associated with FHS. I would also be interested in hearing from any members who have experience with this problem.

My impression is that we have a lot to learn about this syndrome. It seems that some think it is a neurological issue, others behavioral; I think I also remember reading somewhere that it could be related to allergies. If your vet isn't familiar with the problem, maybe he or she would be willing to research it for you or refer you to a specialist.
post #3 of 6
As far as I know, it often related with food sensitivities - so if your cat tends towards food intolerances, I wouldn't rule it out. Tends to be more common in Oriental/Siamese and related breeds, and these breeds do tend towards allergies. My opinion is that it is likely a mix of genetics and allergies (and susceptibility towards allergies has been shown to have a genetic input in humans - if one parent has asthma/excema/hayfever then there is an increased risk of a child suffering from an allergy within that group), but I am not a specialist in any way shape or form.

But then my cats all go through their "funny five minutes" which actually last for an hour or more, racing around with dilated pupils, ultra-sensitive to touch, hunting dust particles that I can't see, and shrugging off contact and affection while they are being 'hyper' - but that is normal cat hunting behaviour, when they wake up and start acting like predators before settling back down on your lap for a snooze and nothing to worry about!
post #4 of 6
I'd not read up on this disease before, but I did some digging because I do have a cat that has always had rippling skin. It's obvious to me, and when I've asked my vet about it, she shrugs it off because there are no other physical symptoms. But this cat is also very OCD. Thank you, but I think you've just identified what my Koko has.

If you think your girl is in discomfort, then insist that your vet do some research to find out if she should be treated, or ask for a referal to a specialist. There's no way that anyone here can possible diagnose your girl.
post #5 of 6
Here is a link to one of my articles about this

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everyone! It look possible that she has it, so I'll call the vet and see if they know anything about the disorder- otherwise I'll try to find one which does so they can check her out :/ Will update when I find out what's going on.
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