February 2012 Issue

Diagnosis: Feline Hyperesthesia

This condition — also called “rolling skin syndrome” — is in some ways similar to a seizure disorder.

You’re nestled comfortably in your favorite chair with your cat dozing peacefully in your lap. You’re petting her gently, stroking her back. You’re happy, she’s happy — but suddenly she lets out a horrific howl and springs violently into the air with her claws out, furiously throwing her head about and trying to bite her own backside as if it had attacked her. Then the episode stops as suddenly as it began — she abruptly flops to the floor and, with a few convulsive jerks, passes out.

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