e wrong?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is likely she has dermatitis of the skin of her back and or ears; the most likely underlying reasons are bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections. Skin scrapes and hair samples can be used to identify the underlying factors and guide treatment as regards parasite meds, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Some anxious cats can also become habitual overgroomers and can cause irritation to the underlying skin (would expect to see short, broken hairs in affected areas)

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The classic symptoms of FHS are episodes of skin twitching or rolling that can escalate into excessive grooming and chewing at themselves. The cat will usually appear distressed, with dilated pupils or staring into space. Episodes may last a few seconds or several minutes.
A sore back, tail, or anal glands can result in muscle twitching on your cat`s back. Skin conditions that are itchy such as allergies or parasite infestations, can also cause muscle twitching. There is a syndrome known as “Feline hyperaesthesia” which results in muscle twitching due to excessively sensitive skin.
What Is Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome? Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS) has also been called rolling skin syndrome and twitchy cat disease, which should give you an idea of what signs to look out for in your cat. FHS generally involves muscle contractions that your cat cannot control, along with changes in behavior.
A change in behaviour implies something`s not quite right. The stress of moving home, a new baby, or being left alone for long periods of time can all trigger antisocial behaviour. If those things have been ruled out you may need to arrange a visit to the vet, especially if your cat is growling or biting when touched.
Talk to your veterinarian about possible therapeutic treatment options such as massage or acupuncture therapy. He or she may also recommend an antianxiety drug to cats with severe cases of the condition, but there is no known treatment method for curing twitch-skin syndrome in cats.
If your older cat twitches with their eyes wide open and suddenly starts scratching themselves repeatedly, it may signal a condition called hyperesthesia syndrome. The symptoms, which also include uncontrolled urination and frequent vocalization, are the same as some symptoms of FCD.
Tail Wags and Twitches: What Cats Mean to Say

If her tail is twitching back and forth at the end, she most likely is feeling alert and interested in something that is happening. If, however, her tail is switching strongly from side to side, she is most likely feeling angry, excited, or irritable.

Occasional head shaking is perfectly normal but if your cat suddenly starts shaking their head a lot more than usual it`s likely to indicate a problem such as: Ear infection. Aural haematoma. Ear mites.
Just like humans do, cats go through sleep cycles, which generally consist of non-REM (rapid eye movement) and REM sleep. It is when the cat is in a REM sleep cycle that you will likely notice them dreaming and twitching, and this can happen every 25 minutes or so.
Other triggers that could cause a cat to shake or twitch are pain, stress, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or low or high body temperatures. The bottom line: If you`re not sure if your cat`s twitching is normal, dreamy-time activity, or a medical issue that needs attention, check in with your veterinarian.
In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11-14 years and super-senior cats 15 years and upwards.
Older cats tend to be less active and playful, they may sleep more, gain or lose weight, and have trouble reaching their favorite places. Don`t chalk up health or behavior changes – often gradual – to old age, however.
Toys or other objects of stimulation may help distract your cat during a compulsive grooming episode. Your vet may also prescribe medications that modify behavior, such as clomipramine and fluoxetine.
In another similarity to humans, aging cats experience these changes uniquely. Many cats begin to show age-related physical changes by the time they are between 7 and 10 years old, and most will have by about 12 years old.
The most common changes are weight loss, poor hair quality, halitosis (bad breath), and variable appetite, which may be associated with mouth ulcers, lethargy, and depression. Less common signs include increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.
If your cat is sneezing more than normal, it`s more than likely that your feline friend has an upper respiratory infection or URI. The most widespread respiratory infection is Feline Herpesvirus or FHV. It`s estimated that as many as 80-90% of all cats are infected with FHV.
You may notice your cat`s back twitching. This is a symptom of end stage cat kidney failure. Back legs are also important to keep an eye on – if your cat suddenly develops a stiff-legged gait or has rear-leg weakness, kidney problems are likely prevalent within your pet.
Hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is one of the most common reasons for why your cat is shaking. Hypoglycemia is a deficiency of glucose, which means your cat`s low blood sugar and the shivers or shakes might both be symptoms of the disease. It is often caused by them not eating for an extended period of time.
Hyperesthesia is an extreme sensitivity in an area of a cat`s skin, almost always on the back, and often in the area right in front of the tail. This condition is often noticed when owners go to pet this area and their cat suddenly reacts.
Intention tremors are a specific type of tremor that occurs when the animal focuses on something, such as food or a toy. The cat may be at rest, but as a stimulus, such as a toy or bowl of food is offered, the cat experiences tremors in the neck and head. The tremors themselves are constant and obvious.
Muscle twitching is caused by minor muscle contractions in the area, or uncontrollable twitching of a muscle group that is served by a single motor nerve fiber. Muscle twitches are minor and often go unnoticed. Some are common and normal. Others are signs of a nervous system disorder.
“If you`ve had them for many years and haven`t noticed any other changes in your muscle, there`s likely nothing to be concerned about.” If muscle twitching is new and you`re experiencing additional symptoms, however, Dr. Ondo says this is when muscle twitching becomes more concerning.
Involuntary movements and twitches can be related to neurologic conditions such as Tourette syndrome. This can be accompanied by involuntary verbal tics as well. If you are experiencing involuntary muscle movements, seek the advice of your doctor to determine the cause.
Once cats reach about 11 years old they are considered senior citizens. They are now the equivalent of a 60-year-old human. Around now, your cat may begin to show signs of aging, such as a decline in physique, graying fur, and changes in their eyes, teeth, and coat.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.

If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.

For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.

Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. Cat is 10 years old. She is acting not herself. She is having twitching of the back and ears. She hisses when back is rubbed??? What could be wrong?
ANSWER : A. It is likely she has dermatitis of the skin of her back and or ears; the most likely underlying reasons are bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections. Skin scrapes and hair samples can be used to identify the underlying factors and guide treatment as regards parasite meds, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Some anxious cats can also become habitual overgroomers and can cause irritation to the underlying skin (would expect to see short, broken hairs in affected areas)

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. I want to know from a veterinarian that has owned indoor cats if they agree with declawing? Also, is the whole digit still removed?
ANSWER : A. I am not a veterinarian, but a certified dog trainer. I have studied cat behavior as well, so I have some knowledge in that area. Cats need their claws in my opinion. When a cat is declawed, it can sometimes cause serious anxiety and frustration in the declawed cat. This is because the cat can not de-stress by digging at a scratching post, and a cat feels defenceless without its nails. It is a sad sight to see when a cat who is declawed is dealing with anxiety. I’ve met declawed cats who seem very unstable. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the cats would be so unstable had they not been declawed, but I’ve never seen a cat who has all of its nails act the way a declawed cat acts.

That’s just my two cents.

Read Full Q/A … : snopes.com: Declawing cats

Q. I have two problems with my 16 yrs old dog: he’s constipated and has a ear ache. What can I use to relieve these?
ANSWER : A. Constipation is a common problem in dogs that can be due to a number of things. However it is a good idea to make sure the constipation is not actually diarrhea, as some dogs can strain after a bowel movement, making it look like such. If constipation is present, adding a little pumpkin puree or plain yogurt to the diet can help make digestion easier and make stools easier to pass. However if symptoms do not resolve after a few days, it is best to speak with your vet.

For ear aches, it is best to have your vet examine the ear as many things including allergies, ear infections, mites and more can cause ear problems. If the ear is just dirty, then cleaning the ear gently with cotton balls or a clean washcloth and a dog ear cleaning solution can help. Do not use Q-tips as a dog’s ear has a 90-degree turn in it and placing Q-tips in the ear can cause damage to the canal or inner ear. However if the problem persists or cleaning does not help, it is best to seek care.