One speaks of hyperesthesia when the cat suddenly manifests unusual behaviors in the evening and morning hours: during these episodes, it is as if it were prey to hallucinations and begins to run without a goal. This behavior should not be confused with the normal races that cats do every so often in the evening or in the morning: if it is hyperesthesia, the cat has a fixed gaze and glazed eyes, looks insistently at some parts of its body (the tail, the sides, the hind legs) and it is as if he did not recognize them, so much so that he tries to attack them and bite them.

Symptoms. Hyperesthesia is skin hypersensitivity of neurological origin. In the case of cats it corresponds to the rolling skin disease, so called because one of the symptoms is the appearance of movements of the skin, in the region of the back, which suggest a sequence of waves. In the most serious cases there is also uncontrolled loss of feces and urine, and the animal behaves as if it were in a completely foreign environment and does not recognize anyone: in this state it emits strong meows and growls and can even attack people, animals and even objects neighbors.

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It does not respond to the demands of the environment (call of the owner) and it is therefore difficult to intervene during crises, which are periodic (once a month) and leave no traces between an episode and the next. Not all crises have extreme manifestations and even the intensity of symptoms can be very different from one episode to another, but the rolling skin accompanied by runs and meows must prompt you to request a veterinary consultation.

Therapy. The cause of this disease in felines is still unknown: it is considered a compulsive disorder, perhaps linked to stress (due for example to insufficient environmental stimulation or radical changes in the daily routine) and it is possible that it has a genetic basis. The diagnosis must include a behavioral visit and a clinical visit to rule out any dermatological (allergy) or neurological (seizure) problems that may confuse the clinical picture. The therapy involves the administration of drugs and a behavioral therapy consisting of environmental modifications (to identify the causes of stress). In addition, it is good to completely ignore the cat when it manifests the crisis, to avoid reinforcing those behaviors thanks to unusual attention.

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