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Feline Hyperthesia Syndrome

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Found this site by accident and happened to read about symptoms that describe my kitty's problem. We rescued Rufus (son's idea of a name) last August from the streets and he is the best cat I have ever had. When he started loudly crying every morning around 5:30 I thought it was because he was lonely. Once we got up and walked him to his food dish he was fine. Recently the kids discovered it was so cute to watch him attack the tip of his tail every morning. He has never liked being pet down his back but I didn't think anything of it until I noticed his back would ripple as we pet or brushed him. I think it is amazing that I found this site and am hoping to get some advice. He is healthy and seems happy. He loves to follow me around the house and "talks" to me all the time. After losing a cat 15 years ago I am finally able to have affection for another one but am afraid of losing him also. He is a strictly indoor car and we feed him Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula. Any suggestions for my Rufus?
post #2 of 5
Well, one suggestion you'll hear again is to change to a higher quality food. Aside from that, what other symptoms does your cat have? Tail chasing and back rippling aren't totally un-catlike behaviors all by themselves. My cat chases her tail, and if you catch her just right her back ripples a little when you pet her, as does my sister's cat. She also loves having that spot above her tail scratched and makes a weird face whe you do it too. But she doesn't have this problem.

Don't go having doomsday ideas about losing another cat based on what you've read on the internet... the internet can be a dangerous place sometimes in some ways. Why not take a trip to the vet to check this out? Not urgently or anything, but to sort out the symptoms you're witnessing.

And welcome aboard!
post #3 of 5
It generally has nothing to do with food. FHS has to do with the nerves and the nerve endings. It can be maintained with proper medication, but it is hard to test for and most vets know nothing about it. If you go to the health section of the website you will find an article about this affliction. You can't even really call it a illness, and it is quite possible your cat doesn't have it, or has a mild form of it.
post #4 of 5
The article you mentioned on TCS actually says : "Some believe it is caused by a feeding a low-grade cat food" which would certainly apply to Cat Chow. Even switching to a better type of Purina would be a step in the right direction, even though your cat probably doesn't have this anyway. A good food with few grains and quality meat ingredients is better for the health of the cat even if it has absolutely no medical issues.

With the syndrome described, we aren't talking about attacking the tip of the tail, we're talking the cat becomes obsessed with it to the point of actually injuring himself. I would certainly not start freaking out until you can talk to a vet. Whisper is right, not alot of vets know about it, but you could try finding a feline specialist in your area or call around to vets and ask if they know anyone who treats it.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the advice. I didn't realize the different qualities of cat food until I recently started researching what ingredients were in them. I just ordered him some NutriPet and I will see how that does. He is due for his yearly check-up soon and I will mention his symptoms to the vet but I won't panic any longer. I had never heard of a cat's back rippling before and thought it was odd but since many other cats do it I will try not to worry.
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