Feline Hyperesthesia: A Diagnosed Exclusion Coming to terms with this neurological disorder

Feline Hyperesthesia: A Diagnosed Exclusion

Thumbnail of Gabapentin Capsules

Gabapentin Capsules

Arthritis & Pain
{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS) is a poorly understood neurologic disorder of cats. But it is not just an over-exaggeration. The lack of understanding arises from scarce research in the area. But many parallels can be drawn from human hypotheses that can help reach the root cause of the disease.

There's been a lot of hype about feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which is commonly referred to as "twitching disease." Some people claim that their cat has it, while others have written blog posts that claim they've cured their cats using homeopathy pet meds online or supplements. But what really is it? Is it an actual disease? And if so, how do you treat it? This article will break down the facts about feline hyperesthesia and help you figure out whether or not your kitty is suffering from this rare condition. 

A Poorly Understood Neurologic Disorder Of Cats

Feline hyperesthesia is characterized by repetitive, spontaneous, involuntary movements or postures called hyperesthesia. The disease is characterized by a high level of anxiety and irritability. Cats may become irritable and anxious, or experience increased aggression toward people or other animals in their environment. These behavioral anomalies can be managed with the help of some pet meds online. 

Causes Of The Disease

The causes of feline hyperesthesia syndrome are unknown. There is no evidence of an underlying disease, and it is not caused by a virus, parasite, bacteria, or fungus. Although, doctors have found a connection between the disease and peripheral neuropathy in humans.

The basis of this disease has been identified to be an increased sensitivity to certain stimuli that can cause hyperactivity or OCD. The syndrome can get so extreme that the involuntary movements that it causes might even be painful. You should identify a go-to pet pharmacy for emergency cases.

Depending on the body part that has been rendered oversensitive, the syndrome could affect variously:

  • Olfactory hyperesthesia impacts the sensitivity to smell.

  • Optic hyperesthesia affects the sensitivity of sight.

  • Tactile hyperesthesia leads to touching sensitivity.

  • Acoustic hyperesthesia impacts hearing sensitivity.

  • Muscular hyperesthesia affects spasmic sensitivity. Cats can typically have intervertebral disc extrusions that are not easy to diagnose.

  • Gustatory hyperesthesia leads to tasting sensitivity. 

Symptoms Of Hyperesthesia

Hyperesthesia is a symptom, not an illness. Various illnesses and injuries can cause it, so a veterinarian must check your cat out to rule out other possible causes.

If you think your cat may have hyperesthesia, look for these symptoms:

  • Twitching or trembling of the skin

  • Excessive grooming (overgrooming)

  • Licking at the affected area excessively

  • Pacing or other repetitive movements such as jumping back and forth in one spot repeatedly

  • Stereotypy (repetitive behaviors such as pacing) Note that if your cat is exhibiting this type of behavior, it could also be due to anxiety or depression caused by stress in their environment. The most common cause of hyperesthesia is cancer, although many other causes include trauma and infection. Autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances are also major causes that can be managed with Iams cat food, which helps boost immunity. 

Treatment Of The Twitching Disease

The most common medications used to treat feline hyperesthesia are fluoxetine for dogs, clomipramine, and gabapentin. In addition to medications, the veterinarian will recommend lifestyle changes such as reducing stressors in your cat's environment or changing its diet.

  • Eye drops for cats are beneficial when the syndrome has impacted their vision. It could soothe their iris and calm them down.

  • Exposure to toxins such as brain opiate levels or an imbalanced diet could cause hyperesthesia. So, include nutritional supplements like Nulo cat food plush with probiotics and Purina indoor cat food.

  • Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein for cats with muscular spasms proves pretty beneficial for their strength and longevity.

  • A sore throat, if left untreated, could also sometimes lead to complications that can be treated with Benazepril.

  • Cats suffering from other digestive imbalances that could be causing a loss of smell or taste can be administered cat dewormer to get rid of the underlying causes.

  • It is also advisable to feed cats in a fixed routine to keep them feeling safe and worry-free. An automatic cat feeder can do the trick for you if you have a busy or non-uniform routine. 

Evidence Of Support Or Reallocation Is Lacking

The evidence base on feline hyperesthesia isn't conclusive, and the disease is poorly understood. Still, some research suggests that it may be an organic disease or of neuropathic or autoimmune origin. A study in 2005 looked at 30 cats with symptoms similar to those of feline hyperesthesia, including anxiety and self-mutilation. The researchers found that 23 out of 30 cats had abnormal EEG readings. However, this does not prove that these abnormalities were responsible for their symptoms. Other reports have suggested that feline hyperesthesia represents an organic disease, possibly of neuropathic or autoimmune origin. But these reports are largely based on case studies rather than scientific experiments. The rolling skin disease is now increasingly linked to food sensitivity due to the evolving lifestyles of pets. The disease is found to be more prevalent in oriental cats

Feline Hyperesthesia Might Not Be An Actual Disease

Theories about the cause of feline hyperesthesia are plentiful. Some blame an infection, others a parasite or other microorganism. Some think it's caused by a trauma to the nervous system, while others believe that stress and anxiety have something to do with it. In some cases, hyperesthesia may be connected to neurological problems such as epilepsy or vestibular disease (a disorder affecting balance).

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline hyperesthesia, you don't have to give up hope. There are plenty of treatment options available. Pet supplies such as interactive cat toys could be a savior in controlling an anxious kitten. 


The main takeaway is that feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS) is a poorly understood neurologic disorder in cats. There is no evidence that FHS represents an actual disease; it might just be a misdiagnosis for other health problems. With this in mind, it's important for cat owners to take their pets to the vet if they notice any unusual behavior or symptoms like twitching or shaking.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for What Is Feline Hyperesthesia
What Is Feline Hyperesthesia

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Feline Hyperesthesia

Read More
Image for Is Your Cat Suffering From Feline Atopic Dermatitis?
Is Your Cat Suffering From Feline Atopic Dermatitis?

Help your feline friend recover from the disease

Read More