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What Is Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome?

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Hyperesthesia refers to increased sensitivity, and, as such, feline hyperesthesia syndrome is the term for the condition of an extremely sensitive area on your cat’s back. More often than not, this area is found on the back, almost always right in front of your cat’s tail.

In this article, we’ll look closer at feline hyperesthesia syndrome and its potential effects on your furry friend.


Identifying Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome in Your Cat

This condition is often noticed when a cat suddenly reacts to their owners going to pet this particular area on their skin. The response may vary by each cat but will often have some or multiple of the following characteristics:


  • Scratching the area themselves

  • Trying to bite or becoming otherwise aggressive

  • Uncontrollable drooling

  • Rippling of the skin

  • Dilation of the pupils

  • Digging at other spots on the skin

  • Chasing their own tail

  • Urinating

  • Vocalizing


In addition to many of these responses being unpleasant for both the car and the owner, it’s important to understand the underlying issues with feline hyperesthesia syndrome.


Underlying Concerns of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Some veterinarians believe that hyperesthesia syndrome often has associations with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in cats.

Seizure-Type Problems

Dr. Alexander de Lahunta, emeritus professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and a renowned pioneer in veterinary neurology, believes feline hyperesthesia syndrome could be representative of a seizure-type problem.


Treating Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

If you believe your cat might have feline hyperesthesia syndrome, you should bring them to their regular veterinarian for evaluation. Treating the underlying causes is always the best approach, but when that is not an option, your vet may opt to treat the condition symptomatically.

Because stress and anxiety tend to contribute to a cat’s reaction to hyperesthesia syndrome, behavioral aspects are often considered as treatment plans.


How Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Can Help Your Cat’s Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

Here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, our primary focus is reducing your pet’s level of stress and anxiety. That’s why it’s a part of our business model to treat your pet from the comfort of their own home. That’s right. We come to you!


If you’re interested in learning more about how Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture can help your cat’s feline hyperesthesia syndrome, take a look at the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. Dr. Kho is happy to discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture.


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