Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Why Does My Cat’s Back Twitch

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Why Is My Cat Twitching His Back

Cats back twitches

A sore back, tail, or anal glands can result in muscle twitching on your cats back. Skin conditions that are itchy such as allergies or parasite infestations, can also cause muscle twitching. There is a syndrome known as Feline hyperaesthesia which results in muscle twitching due to excessively sensitive skin.

Is It Normal For Cats To Twitch

Yes, it is normal for your cats back to twitch.

If you observe your cat closely, youll notice that your cat twitches at different times. Your cat may twitch while its sleeping or when you pet your cat.

These twitches are entirely normal, especially in the cases I just mentioned.

Rarely is your cats twitching connected to pain. I know you may get startled when you first see your cat doing it, but youll quickly learn your cats habits, and it will all become normal with time.

What Does It Mean When My Cats Back Twitches

If your cats back is twitching, it may be because you pet your cat or because it has a flea, for example.

If you go to pet your cat, you might notice that his back starts to twitch, either in anticipation or right after you start stroking his fur. This twitching usually is just caused by the feeling of getting pets from you.

Your cats back might also be twitching if your cat has fleas. I mean, imagine if you had a flea crawling up your back! The sensation and thought of it alone probably has you twitching. If your cat has become more restless than usual and you notice more twitching, check your cat for fleas. That could be the culprit too.

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When To Be Worried

While it could be possible all youre seeing is your cat dreaming, its also possible it could be more. You should be worried if involuntary tail quivering is associated with pain.

While cats, like dogs, are excellent at hiding physical pain, there are several cues you can be on the lookout for.

  • Alterations to their routine

Cats thrive on routine. They typically even memorize it. Youll know this when they come yowling in your ear, letting you know its time for dinner. However, with a cat in pain you may start to see them caring less about or changing their routine.

This takes the form in less grooming, over-grooming, less activity or interest in moving around, a lack of appetite or thirst, as well as choosing to use the floor instead of their litter box.

  • Physical changes

The easiest physical changes to spot would include limping, swelling, cuts, or missing fur. There are other signals, however, such as dilated eyes and/or heavy breathing, much like panting.

  • Behavioral changes

While cats are known for their temperamental attitudes, this behavior could escalate if theyre experiencing pain.

If your feline family member is typically more tolerant of being touched and suddenly becomes overtly aggressive or irritated more easily by interaction, you should bring this up to their veterinarian.

Why Does My Cats Body Twitch

Veterinary Practice: Feline Twitching Back

A sore back, tail, or anal glands can result in muscle twitching on your cats back. Skin conditions that are itchy such as allergies or parasite infestations, can also cause muscle twitching. There is a syndrome known as Feline hyperaesthesia which results in muscle twitching due to excessively sensitive skin.

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Possible Causes Of Rippling Skin Disorder In Cats

It is important to first rule out other potential physical causes:

  • Pansteatitis Pansteatitis is a disease caused by an excess of unsaturated fatty acids, combined with a lack of sufficient Vitamin E. It is most often caused in cats by frequent consumption of red tuna, and some experts have blamed it on non-nutritional homemade diets. The resultant “sick fat” deposits can be very painful to cats.
  • Brain InvolvementParticularly with FSH cats displaying seizures, a potential brain infection, skull trauma, or tumors should be investigated by a veterinarian.
  • Itchy skin due to flea bites could be cause for erratic behavior in cats, and this potential cause should be relatively easy to rule out by examination of the skin under the coat.

Ways That Cats Talk To Us With Their Tails

I wish I had a tail. Dont you think it would be absolutely wonderful to be able to swish it from side to side, point it up in the air, tuck it between your legs or even wrap it round your best friend and cuddle up! I wish I could make rude gestures with it, actually! A cat has the most amazing tail. Flexible and mobile, its a very important part of its anatomy. I mean, can you imagine a cat without one? Wouldnt be a cat, would it? But you never see a motionless tail so why do cats tails twitch? Lets find out!

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Why Is My Cat Shaking Twitching

Hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is one of the most common reasons for why your cat is shaking. Hypoglycemia is a deficiency of glucose, which means your cats low blood sugar and the shivers or shakes might both be symptoms of the disease. It is often caused by them not eating for an extended period of time.

What Is Twitchy Cat Syndrome

Why Do Cats Ears Twitch A Lot?

Twitchy cat syndrome, also known as Feline hyperesthesia syndrome , is an uncommon condition in cats that causes cats to bite or lick their back and tail.

Twitchy cat syndrome sounds like one of the scariest conditions that youve never heard of. Thankfully, twitchy cat syndrome isnt common in cats, so you dont have to worry about your cat falling victim to it.

If your cat has twitchy cat syndrome, then youll notice that your cat will go through episodes of biting or licking itself. Its called twitchy cat syndrome because your cats back may also twitch as it happens.

Your cats twitching back doesnt automatically mean that it has twitchy cat syndrome, so dont get scared if you see your cats back twitching. This is a rare, severe disease that you may never run into.

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Do Cats Have Nightmares

While it seems likely that cats can dream, we dont know anything about whether they can have bad dreams or nightmares. However, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that cats can wake up and appear frightened, indicating a bad dream.

According to T.J. Banks writing for Petful, your cat probably can have nightmares. Banks wrote that sometimes her rescue cat would jolt awake out of a deep sleep with wide eyes and appear frightened. Additionally, there are other incidents where cats have been through traumatic events and would make stressed sounds whilst sleeping and would suddenly wake up and display noticeable signs of distress.

If your cat is extremely anxious when theyre awake too, read our article on how to spot and treat cat anxiety for valuable help and advice.

Anatomy Of A Cats Tail

If you contrast a cats tail with a dogs, youll see that they are two quite different animals dogs tails are very expressive, but they are infinitely less able to do the kind of gymnastics a cats tail can. A cat can express itself so well because of the way that its tail is made. Its a masterpiece of biological engineering. A tail is an extension of the spine, and the number of vertebrae in it accounts for 10% of the total number of bones in the cats body. The tail has between 19 and 23 vertebrae, all held together by a network of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Its length ranges between 9.9 and 11 inches. Its used for all sorts of things balance, communication, and sometimes even keeping itself warm!

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Catching The Signs Of Hyperesthesia Syndrome

When cats experience hyperesthesia syndrome, their backsides become extremely sensitive. Feline hyperesthesia syndrome causes abrupt episodes, during which cats will display one or more symptoms for seemingly no reason. These episodes can last between a few seconds to a few minutes long, after which the cat will typically return to their normal behavior pattern. The name of the disorder, hyperesthesia, is mostly related to this hypersensitivity of the muscles and skin in the rear, which triggers the episode.

One of the main symptoms is a significant twitching of the skin, which can look like rippling or rolling. Experts believe this may be caused by a muscle under the skin responding in an oversensitive way.

Another key symptom is the sudden occurrence of intense scratching, biting and/or licking of the back, tail and rear legs. Cats may do this in response to the itching, twitching feelings they experience under the skin.

Some cats show other symptoms during their episodes, including:

  • Intense swishing of the tail
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loud and abrupt vocalizations
  • Frantic running throughout the home

Cats experiencing a hyperesthesia episode might also appear agitated and erratic, acting very unlike themselves for a few minutes.

Your Cat May Be Overstimulated By Your Petting

Ask the shelter: why do my cat

Your cats back may be twitching because she is overstimulated while being petted. It may also be due to stress or frustration such as when your cat sees a bird outside the window. Cats may vary in their reactions when they are overstimulated. Some may twitch their tails while others may have escalated reactions such as biting.

If you notice that your cats back is twitching and she becomes agitated, stop petting her at once before any adverse reactions may occur. You may also check our earlier article on why do cats arch their backs when you pet them for more insightful information.

Signs that indicate overstimulation among cats:

  • twitching tail
  • ears are turning back or flicking back and forth
  • her head is turning or moving toward your hand
  • the skin in her back is rippling and twitching when you pet her

If you notice the above signs, stop petting your cat and let her sit quietly on your lap or allow her to jump away. Use food as a reward if you intend to prolong your cats tolerance for petting and if she tends to be overstimulated offer her bits of tuna or chicken. Practice light petting while you offer her bits of food and eventually she will learn to enjoy petting for a longer period. However, if she manifests aggressive behavior, stop the petting at once.

Other possible reasons for back twitching among cats are due to a sore back, tail or anal glands.

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Why Is My Cats Body Twitching

A sore back, tail, or anal glands can result in muscle twitching on your cats back. Skin conditions that are itchy such as allergies or parasite infestations, can also cause muscle twitching. There is a syndrome known as Feline hyperaesthesia which results in muscle twitching due to excessively sensitive skin.

Symptoms Of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

Generally, cats with FHS will suddenly stop what theyre doing, look startled, and their tail will start swishing back and forth. They typically swing around towards their tail as if something is biting them on the back end. The muscles of the lower back often twitch, causing the skin to appear as if its rippling. Some cats will begin frantically licking or biting the skin around their tail, then take off running as if theyre trying to escape from whatever sensations theyre experiencing.

The video below shows a cat apparently in the midst of an episode of FHS:

Other symptoms of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Self-mutilation, including pulling out clumps of hair and/or biting their own skin
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Apparent hallucinations, resulting in chasing things that arent there, or running away from an imaginary threat
  • Fixation with the tail, including tail chasing or vicious attacks directed at the tail
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, especially down the back and around the tail area
  • Frantic self-grooming directed along the flanks or tail
  • In some cases, drooling and uncontrolled urination

Its very common for cats to experience seizure-type behavior immediately after an episode of FHS, which supports the theory that it may be related to epilepsy.

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What Do I Do If My Cat Has Hyperesthesia

Recommended treatment for a cat that is diagnosed with hyperesthesia syndrome is likely to include a behavioral component aimed toward reducing any anxiety that the animal might be experiencing. Regularly scheduled feeding times and play periods, for example, may help keep an insecure cat relaxed and well exercised.

Why Is My Cat Muscle Twitching

Cat Twitching/ seizure?

A sore back, tail, or anal glands can result in muscle twitching on your cats back. Skin conditions that are itchy such as allergies or parasite infestations, can also cause muscle twitching. There is a syndrome known as Feline hyperaesthesia which results in muscle twitching due to excessively sensitive skin.

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When Do Dreams Occur

For humans, dreams occur during the REM sleep state, usually starting 90 minutes after you drop off to sleep. During this time, signals are sent to your brain which are important for learning and memory, but some of these signals are random, and it is these signals which are responsible for dreams. When your brain tries to interpret these signals and piece them together, it results in your brain creating a sort of story of sorts in other words, it creates a dream.

Why Does My Cat Keep Twitching On Her Back

Another common reason for twitching in a cat is itchy and irritated skin. The skin can get irritated when the cat has fleas or mites. The cat will continuously scratch, and it may use the muscles under its back to move the skin in a twitching motion in an effort to be more comfortable. Should I see a vet?

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Does Your Feline Companion Suffer From ‘twitchy Cat’ Syndrome

Felines are unique creatures. Your cat’s physiology is distinctive, as are her nutritional requirements. Even the way her body is constructed — her incredible physical flexibility — is distinct from most other creatures.

Another thing that is very unusual about cats is their tendency to develop a weird disorder called feline hyperesthesia. This is a medical term for what is more commonly referred to as “twitchy cat syndrome.” Other technical names for the condition include neuritis and atypical neurodermatitis.

Symptoms of Feline Hyperesthesia

Hyperesthesia is a condition in which the skin on a cat’s back ripples from the shoulders all the way to the tail. The rippling is even visible in some cats.

What many pet owners notice first is their cat turning toward her tail suddenly as though something back there is bothering her. She may try to lick or bite at the area. Many cats with this condition take off running out of the blue as though something scared them or is chasing them.

Kitties with hyperesthesia also have muscle spasms and twitches, and twitching of the tail. If your cat has the syndrome, he may show sensitivity when any point along his spine or back is touched. He may chase his tail, bite at himself, turn toward his tail and hiss, vocalize, run and jump. He may even seem to be hallucinating – following the movement of things that are not there.

One of the first things you should do if your kitty is having symptoms of hyperesthesia is rule out other causes.

What Does Chin Rubbing Mean

Veterinary Practice: Feline Twitching Back

Another aspect of feline body language is chin rubbing or head butting. These actions make cat parents smile because they signal a happy, affectionate cat.

Cats have glands on different parts of their bodies that secrete tiny amounts of pheromones. Pheromones are vital to cat communication.

A person cant smell the scent, but another cat can, and this marking behavior is like leaving messages for other cats wherever they go. A cat uses pheromones to attract a mate, define territory, promote comfort, and let other cats know where theyve been.

Cats may not be able to speak our human language, but they sure can say a lot just with their body language.

Does your cat talk to you with body language? Do you instinctively know how your cat is feeling? Let us know in the comments below!

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Signs Of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome In Cats

Hyperesthesia often starts with itchy skin . The cat bites the itchy spot and maybe it hurts. Then her tail thrashes. Soon she’s associating touching in that spot and her thrashing tail with pain.

What cat caretakers typically see with FHS, according to Radosta, is a thrashing tail and dilated pupils that indicate arousal. They may also notice rippling skin. When petted, your cat may startle, jump, or even run away.

  • A demonstration of pain when petted
  • Excessive twitching, almost as though they’re having a seizure

Your cat might also bite or show other signs of seemingly aggressive behavior, but it’s important to keep in mind that she’s actually not acting out. Haylee Bergeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT, is the founder and executive director at Iowa Human-Animal Bond Society and Daily Paws’ health and behavior expert. She says this adverse behavior is another symptom that your poor kitty doesn’t feel well.

“Touching a cat during a feline hyperesthesia episode can cause them to react aggressively because they’re experiencing so much distress, confusion, and discomfort,” she says. “A touch can actually make the symptoms more severe, or just add more confusion to them.”

Bergeland’s 3 year old domestic shorthair, Bluebell, has FHS, and she’s made frequent trips to their family vet, hoping for a solution.

Why Does My Cats Hind Leg Twitch

Experts believe this may be caused by a muscle under the skin responding in an oversensitive way. Another key symptom is the sudden occurrence of intense scratching, biting and/or licking of the back, tail and rear legs. Cats may do this in response to the itching, twitching feelings they experience under the skin.

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