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When you go to pet your cat, you notice that your cat’s back begins to twitch. Other times, your cat’s back twitches randomly. You are concerned that your cat is injured, but your cat shows no signs of distress other than back twitches. So this made me wonder, why do cats twitch backwards?
The cat’s back contracts due to the involuntary reflexes caused by the skin muscle when you pet it. Feline hyperesthesia syndrome, flies, muscle spasms and neurological disorders can also cause muscle twitching in cats.
Luckily, backtracking isn’t something you should worry about. Cats’ backs twitch when they are petted or when they have a flea crawling on their skin. On some infrequent occasions, your cat’s twitching can be a rare medical condition, although it’s likely not to happen to your cat. So let’s talk more about this strange habit of many cats.
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What does it mean when my cat’s back is shaking
If your cat’s back is shaking, it may be because you are petting your cat or because it has a flea, for example.
If you go to pet your cat, you may notice her back begin to tense, either in anticipation or right after you start petting her fur. These contractions are usually simply caused by the feeling of having pets on your part.
Your cat’s back may also shake if it’s flaccid. I mean, imagine if you had a flea crawling on your back! The feeling and the thought alone probably make you tremble. If your cat has become more agitated than usual and you notice more contractions, examine your cat for flas. That could be the culprit too.
Is it normal for cats to twitch
Yes, it is normal for your cat’s back to tense up.
If you observe your cat closely, you will notice that it twitches at different times. Your cat may twitch while sleeping or when you pet your cat.
These jerks are completely normal, especially in the cases I have just mentioned.
Your cat’s contractions are rarely related to pain. I know you can start when you first see your cat do it, but you will quickly learn your cat’s habits and everything will become normal over time.
Why Does My Cat Shake When I Pet It
Your cat trembles when you stroke it because of the sensation it feels.
Every time I pet my cat, especially on her back, her back twitches, her twitches don’t mean she’s in pain, just that she’s a little startled by the petting and the feel of my hand against her fur.
If you are gentle with your cat and caress it properly, then the contractions come by surprise. You may notice that your cat may arch its back happily once you start petting it.
Never fear the jerks when petting your cat!
Why is my cat shaking while sleeping?
If your cat is shaking while sleeping, it’s probably dreaming.
Cats, like you and me, dream in their sleep. Cats do not have periods of dreamless sleep. They may daydream about events that have happened to them, or you may notice that they appear to be running around in their sleep. Although it may surprise you the first time you see it, it is completely normal.
The contractions you see are just part of their dream. After all, I’m sure you woke up tossing or shaking from a dream you had. The jerks you see will range from gentle motions to full-blown kicks.
What is Nervous Cat Syndrome
Nervous Cat Syndrome, also known as Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS), is a rare condition in cats that causes them to bite or lick their backs and tails.
Nervous Cat Syndrome sounds like one of the scariest conditions you’ve ever heard of. Fortunately, nervous cat syndrome is not common in cats, so you don’t have to worry about your cat falling victim to it.
If your cat has Nervous Cat Syndrome, you will notice that your cat will go through bouts of biting or licking. This is called nervous cat syndrome because your cat’s back may also twitch when this happens.
Your cat’s back twitching doesn’t automatically mean she has nervous cat syndrome, so don’t be scared if you see your cat’s back twitching. It is a rare and serious disease that you may never encounter.
Is hyperesthesia in cats painful?
Although episodes of FHS can be severe and cause your cat pain, the main one comes from your cat licking and biting itself.
FHS itself isn’t a painful condition on its own, but your cat licking and biting itself can cause pain. Your cat may bite its tail or back or pull its hair out. Your cat won’t be able to stop biting or licking itself, which can be hard to stop.
If you notice your cat hurting herself during episodes of FHS, you may need to purchase a special collar for your cat. Bandages may also be needed if your cat pulls out too much fur and then bites herself.
How Cats Get Hyperesthesia Syndrome
Not much is known about how cats get FHS, but there may be underlying conditions that can lead cats to get FHS.
Since FHS is a rare disease, it is difficult for scientists and veterinarians to know the exact cause of FHS. The conditions listed above are common indicators that your cat may develop FHS, but your cat having these conditions also does not mean that your cat will develop FHS.
Some scientists believe that purebred cats are also predisposed to contracting FHS, but the link is also unknown.
How long do episodes of feline hyperesthesia last?
Episodes of feline hyperesthesia last from seconds to minutes.
FHS episodes do not last very long and do not occur all the time. When your cat experiences an episode of FHS, the episode lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. Rarely, episodes can last longer, but most last less than a few minutes.
Between these episodes, your cat will act normally. This is why episodes of FHS are called “episodes”. They don’t happen constantly or for long periods of time, but they can be serious when they do occur.
Why does my cat have muscle spasms
Cats usually have muscle spasms due to other underlying neurological conditions.
If you notice your cat having muscle spasms, it may be due to a serious medical condition. For example, muscle spasms, possibly due to FHS.
Other conditions that lead to muscle spasms can include:
- Neurological disorders
- Feline dementia
If you notice your cat suffering from muscle spasms, you should consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can perform tests and help diagnose your cat. If you can diagnose your cat quickly, you can develop a treatment plan for your cat.
When you care about your cat, any strange movements like twitching or spasms are cause for concern. However, most of the time the jerks your cat experiences are just jerks you might have as a human. Rarely, twitching can be a symptom of other disorders, although these are very rare. Unless the contractions become constant or severe, you can consider contractions a weird habit.