What are the symptoms of feline Hyperesthesia?

  • Date: January 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS), also known as “rolling skin syndrome” or “twitchy cat syndrome,” is a condition that can have a large impact on the health and wellbeing of cats. FHS is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including skin twitching, rolling skin, excessive grooming, hair loss, agitation, and aggression. The condition can be very difficult to recognize and diagnose, and it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms in order to provide the best care for your cat. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of feline hyperesthesia, how it is diagnosed, and how it can be treated.


Feline hyperesthesia is a neurological disorder that affects cats. It is a condition that is characterized by an abnormal response to tactile stimulation and includes a variety of symptoms, including vocalization, grooming, twitching of the skin, and aggression. In some cases, cats may also experience seizures as a result of this disorder. While the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it is believed to be triggered by stress or underlying medical conditions.


The most common symptom of feline hyperesthesia is increased sensitivity to tactile stimulation. This includes anything from petting or handling to a slight touch. Cats may become agitated and vocalize loudly when touched, and may lash out if approached or handled.

In addition to increased sensitivity to tactile stimulation, cats with feline hyperesthesia may also show signs of twitching skin, especially along their back or tail. These twitches are usually accompanied by nervous grooming or licking, as well as a change in vocalization.

Cats may also display aggressive behaviours, such as swatting, biting, or hissing. In severe cases, cats may even experience seizures.


Feline hyperesthesia is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to other medical conditions. In order to diagnose this condition, your veterinarian will complete a physical examination and ask questions about your cat’s behaviour. Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests, such as blood work or imaging, to rule out other medical conditions.


Treatment for feline hyperesthesia is aimed at reducing stress and managing the symptoms. Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or recommend environmental modifications, such as providing a quiet area for your cat to relax. Regular grooming and providing plenty of stimulation can also help reduce stress and improve your cat’s overall wellbeing.

In some cases, your vet may recommend additional treatments, such as acupuncture or dog appeasing pheromones. These treatments may help to reduce stress and improve your cat’s behaviour.


The best way to prevent feline hyperesthesia is to reduce stress and provide an enriched environment for your cat. Providing plenty of stimulation, such as toys and activities, can help to keep your cat occupied and reduce boredom. Additionally, regular grooming and veterinary check-ups can help to identify and address any underlying medical conditions.

It is also important to provide a safe and secure environment for your cat. Cats can become stressed when they feel unsafe or threatened, so it is important to provide a secure space where your cat can retreat if they feel overwhelmed or scared.

Finally, it is important to be aware of any changes in your cat’s behaviour. If you notice any signs of agitation or aggression, it is important to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Myths About Feline Hyperesthesia Symptoms

1. Myth: All cats with feline hyperesthesia have the same symptoms.
Fact: Feline hyperesthesia symptoms can vary from cat to cat. Symptoms may include excessive grooming, twitching of the skin and tail, vocalization, aggression, and self-mutilation.

2. Myth: Feline hyperesthesia is caused by fleas.
Fact: While fleas can be a contributing factor to feline hyperesthesia, the condition is typically caused by an underlying medical issue such as an infection, neurological disorder, or stress.

3. Myth: Feline hyperesthesia is not serious.
Fact: Feline hyperesthesia can be a serious condition and should not be ignored. If left untreated, the condition can become worse and cause more severe health problems for your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of feline Hyperesthesia?

Answer: The most common signs of feline hyperesthesia are rippling skin along the back, tail twitching, and biting or licking at the base of the tail. Other symptoms may include vocalization, dilated pupils, aggression, and self-mutilation.

How is feline Hyperesthesia diagnosed?

Answer: Feline hyperesthesia is typically diagnosed based on the presence of the typical clinical signs and ruling out other causes for the symptoms. Your veterinarian may recommend further tests such as blood work, X-rays, and a skin biopsy to help confirm the diagnosis.


(reduce stress, provide stimulation and safe environment, be aware of changes in behaviour)

Feline hyperesthesia is a neurological disorder that affects cats and is characterized by an abnormal response to tactile stimulation. Symptoms include vocalization, grooming, twitching of the skin, and aggression. The exact cause is unknown, but stress or underlying medical conditions may trigger it. Treatment involves reducing stress and managing symptoms, such as anti-anxiety medication and environmental modifications. Prevention includes reducing stress, providing stimulation, providing a safe and secure environment, and being aware of changes in your cat’s behaviour.

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