I think my cat may have FHS
I own an 11 months old neutered (at 6 months old) male cat that I found on the streets when he was almost 2.
Since then he lives with me indoors except once a month when I take him with me at my mother's house (15min by car).
There he can go outside at the balconies and at the tile roof and run and play all the time. We stay there for one day only. After this mini-vacation he is so tired and usually sleeps and seems calm.
Recently I have become very worried as the following very strange behavior is happening almost every day.
The first thing I noticed, approximately 3 months ago, was a snarling sound which I thought he was making when chasing flies.
Unfortunately this was not the case. When I managed to see what he was doing (while making this sound) was attacking and biting his own tail making the snarl sound and then hissing. His tail would move constantly (slashing) like when cats are angry. Also his ears would go back.
This "set" of actions happens in the order: tail slashing - snarl - bite - hiss.
He is doing it mostly when at night I go to bed and close my bedroom door and then again in the morning. When I wake up and get out of my room either he stops or he does it in a milder way.
I thing it has become more frequent and more aggressive over time. Of course I have visited two vets who found no medical problem. One of them performed an x-ray and mentioned feline hyperesthesia syndrome because of the symptoms I have described and told me there was nothing I could do about that. Only if at some point he becomes aggressive to me or hurt himself, then maybe we could try some medication.
I cannot stress enough the frustration I am into.
FHS was something I have found on the internet before the doctor mentioning it, when searching information about the problem.
Unfortunately almost all the symptoms appear to be there.
Twitching of the tail
Appearing to be annoyed with the tail
Biting at the tip of the tail
Behavior change to scared or depressed
Sensitive to touch around the tail
Dashing off madly and aimlessly
Rippling skin on the back
1) Would you suggest getting another cat after a trial period of course? And how much time would it be safe to say that he is over it?
2) Are there any supplements that could help ?
3) Would moving him to my mother's house be of any help? I could not move with him but maybe he would be happier playing and exercising more
I would greatly appreciate any advice on the matter
yes sadly it could be FHS, this is a horrible and very frustrating illness for all concerned.
i will answer your questions individually here..
i don't think getting another cat would help at all. cats are not pack animals like dogs and so there are no guarantees that he would ever be happy with another cat around, especially as you live in an apartment which restricts the territory.
As for supplements. The condition is such that supplement would have no effect. however if your vet is reluctant to give your cats calming medication there are other natural remedies which are also designed to help your cat relax. If you se my page about FHS you will see a product mentioned there called Less stress. there are also plug in sprays which are designed to help cats calm down. This sedative effect may help to reduce the severity of the attacks.http://www.our-happy-cat.com/feline-hyperesthesia.html
As for space and moving to your mothers house. Well yes it could help, because if the condition is connected with anxiety then having somewhere where he can do more exploring etc and so distracting him more could well have a positive effect. Perhaps you could could do it for a trial period to see if the symptoms do reduce.
My heart goes out to you as I know how distressing this can be to see. I hope that with time the symptoms reduce.
best wishes kate