11 year old male manx twitching lower spine and tail.

by Lisa Horvath
(Grand Forks,B.C.)

Our 11 year old male manx has been diagnosed with arthritis, but...he is now beginng to kneed with his back feet while twitching his lower spine and tail ( tail is about 2 and a half inches long).

He has never ever done this before and he has been on anti-inflamatory for 2 weeks or so now and seems to be way better with pain relief except for this new twitching problem. He always seems to do it right before he lays down to sleep or nap.
He also opens his hips as he is twitching, it almost looks like he is going to spray or go poop... but he doesn't and he has never done anything like this in 11 years of owning him. HELP!

Sincerely, Lisa & Steve

Um this does sound odd and is a little difficult to diagnose. When i first read your question my first thought was that it was some sort of parasite problem as the rear end is a common place for them to gather and also twitching etc can be a sign of them biting and causing irritation. So you could check this area for signs of fleas and if you have not treated him recently may be a good idea.

However considering his other medical problem i am wondering if it is just another symptom of his arthritis., Ie feeling the need to stretch out this area. The anti inflammatory may have made it easier for him to do this now and this is why you are seeing it for the first time.

All i can suggest is that if he does not have fleas or another skin problem in this area and if he does not appear to be in any pain of discomfort and shows no other signs of illness then perhaps do not worry about it at the moment but mention it to your vet on the next visit.

I do have a web page about cat arthritis which you may find of further interest here


best wishes kate

Comments for 11 year old male manx twitching lower spine and tail.

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Jerking cat
by: Anonymous

My 10-year old male buff tabby rescue with IBD and asthma just started doing this a few weeks ago. I was concerned and was going to mention it to the vet, but apparently it's normal. The jerking is, quite literally, "jerking." He does it on my stomach when I'm in my recliner. Apparently I'm comfortable to him. From what I've read, it's a bonding thing. I haven't seen anyone mention it in intact males, so I do still have questions. Anyway, it could be that he feels better now and is just "happy" about it. That said, I've also been reading that it can be a self-soothing thing (kind of like how purring isn't always because a cat is happy and comfortable).

Jerking and Kneading
by: Pepper's Mom

My cat Pepper, male, neutered, 9 years old, has always kneaded on a blanket on my bed, or couch. In the last few weeks, HOWEVER, he has started this jerking thing as he kneads - his back is arched, and he is "humping" the blanket and/or pillow on the couch or on my bed. FREAK is all I can say and I tell him to knock it off. No pun intended. LOL I honestly believe he is having sex. It disgusts me pretty much.

They don't think it's wrong...
by: Anonymous

My male neutered cat has done this since he was 5, it's cat masterbation. For the first 5 years or so I had no idea what it was, (now 14) I went to a friends house and their boy cat was doing the same. They told me, to prove it they picked him up and flipped him over and sure enough the kitten maker was out. Did the same check on mine next time I saw it... I've since asked vets and googled it. Apparently it's normal for neutered boys to do this as a form of bonding, they don't have social stigmas on these things like humans so he's happy to do it anytime!

Hope this helps

manx problems
by: Marci

@sara, manx cats are a tail-less breed, most are born with a short tail(3-7 ish bones), a stub (stubby) which is usually only 1 or 2 bones, or no bones at all (rumpy). some are born with full tails though.

@lisa & steve: Manx actually have a tendency to get nerve issues later in life either in the hip region or the shoulder blade region. This is mostly due to the extra curving of their spine. I have a rumpy female who is 13 and she is exhibiting twitchiness in her hip area, but thankfully so far she is still doing all her normal stuff. I spend a lot of my petting time with her massaging around the hips on top and the top/sides of her hind legs. my thought on this is it may help keep the nerves stimulated longer. I spend a lot of time around her shoulder blades as well because she has an extra deep 'dip' here. oh, sometimes manx with the deeper 'dip' can develop breathing problems as they age too due to compression of the nerves there.

We call it a "Danny Dance"
by: Danny's Mom

I just read about your Manx and thought I'd share that our 8 year old neutered male, Danny, does a similar behavior. We call it a "Danny Dance". He will jump on the bed and grab a bit of the bed spread with his teeth and walk around in a circular pattern, twitching his hind quarters with his tail slightly elevated as though he is going to urinate, the tail twitching every so often as well. He usually coos as he does this, too. We believe it is of a sexual nature as it is similar to male behavior when mating. In any case, Danny has done this since he was about a year old and he is a happy, healthy - though spoiled rotten - fur child.

Twitching tail
by: Anonymous

My cat Stimpy started doing this when he was about 7. He would get in the bed and start kneading/milking the blankets and his tail and lower spine would twitch. My hubby would try to shoo him because he thought Stimpy was getting ready to poop, but he never pooped, just kept milking until he made his spot 'just right' so he could lie down. He wasnt diagnosed with any joint problems, but we suspected he might have some pain in his hips by the way he started hesitating to jump down from high places. Nothing ever developed from the twitching.

by: sarah

how did the tail get to 2 1/2 inches?That is odd that your cat is twitching it's lower spine and tail.

nice cat thanks Sarah

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