MCFH S7E4 - DYSFUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP, CAT ATTACKING HER OWN TAIL, FELINE HYPERESTHESIA SYNDROME (FHS)
Show: My Cat From Hell Season 7, Episode 4
Episode Title: Scary Tails
Skylar (female, black and white) was found in a garage after being abandoned by her feline mother at just a few days old.
Kristy recently lost her job and is struggling with depression; she lives in Northridge, CA.
How Bad Is It?
Skylar is attacking her own tail at least 30 times a day! She is also scratching, clawing, and biting her guardian, which is making an already depressed Kristy feel even more down. Kristy has marks and scars all over her body from the attacks.
- Cat suffering from Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS).
- Guardian is being scratched and bitten on a daily basis.
- Codependent relationship causing a chain of cyclical dysfunction.
The first action to take when you have a pet displaying odd behavior is to get them examined by a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that may be the cause. From there, you will have more information on whether medication would be helpful or if you should explore other options.
Skylar was attacking her own tail at least 30 times a day, and also twitched and swished her tail, which are all signs of a condition called Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS). Symptoms of FHS usually appear in episodes, which include twitching skin, violent swishing of the tail, and biting or licking of the back, tail, and pelvic area. Cats may also have dilated pupils, appear agitated, and show erratic behavior during an episode. Unfortunately, FHS can sometimes be difficult to treat because there is no distinct known cause, but a veterinarian can run many tests to determine what may be most helpful for each individual cat. Skylar was thoroughly examined, and was then prescribed a medication that helped reduce her episodes from 30 a day to about 3 a day!
It is also a good idea to observe what else might trigger your cat’s episodes, such as certain noises or activities. Kristy realized that she would say Skylar’s name repeatedly in a high pitched voice, and it would make her lash out. Once she stopped doing this, it helped decrease Skylar’s aggressive behavior towards her. She also built a “Cat Superhighway” with wall shelves, from which Skylar could observe the world outside, to keep her positively stimulated and less obsessed with her tail.
Jackson often compares animals to sponges, because they absorb the energy around them. Kristy was going through a very tough time – no job, depressed, and feeling rejected by the world. She admitted that she had developed a codependent relationship with her cat as a result, and had a “my cat is my life” attitude, which is actually unhealthy.
She was looking to her cat for affection and was actually overstimulating her, so Skylar would lash out towards her with aggressive behavior. It created a vicious cycle of dysfunction. Once Kristy began to work on herself and became socially involved with her community, her negative energy and attitude soon dissipated. She began daily meditation and volunteering at her local animal shelter to help her develop a new, positive attitude, and from there, she was motivated enough to get the job of her dreams! Skylar definitely appreciated this positive, grounded energy, and it showed with the change in behavior.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, JACKSON ALSO USED SPIRIT ESSENCES:
Hyper Helper is formulated to balance out-of-control energy with softer, integrated actions. This formula can help calm the hyperactive, high-strung animal, but also those who just need to instill a brief pause between thought and action. Jackson used Hyper Helper as a base formula for Skylar - to create an energetic moment of “stop” between impulse and action. Jackson believes that Hyper Helper can work equally well for FHS as it would for the average hyperactive animal. Our formulas are very versatile, and can be helpful for both traditional and unusual cases.
In addition to Hyper Helper, Jackson states that Stress Stopper is crucial in cases of FHS because he believes that stress can trigger the episodes/attacks. Stress Stopper is formulated to help animals adapt and cope with unusual or stressful situations, such as thunderstorms, boarding, remodeling, visitors, or similar situations. This formula is designed to help animals feel grounded and protected. Stress Stopper can be a great complementary solution to a base formula (in this case, Hyper Helper), and was very helpful for Skylar.
EVERY PET IS DIFFERENT, AND HAS DIFFERENT NEEDS AND HEALING RESPONSES. SOME OTHER POSSIBLE SPIRIT ESSENCES SOLUTIONS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL IN THIS TYPE OF SITUATION ARE:
Factors such as food, inhalant and environmental allergies, as well as everyday stressors can lead many animals to believe that they are under attack from their own skin. Constant itching, licking, pulling out fur (including "bald belly syndrome"), self-biting, and in cats, Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome are too often the result. Skin Soother can help to break the cycle of anxiety and balance the energy system, allowing healing to begin from the inside out. This formula can help control symptoms of FHS along with proper veterinary care.
Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences™ work best when part of a more holistic program, that may include proper veterinary care, diet, behavior modification, and other holistic modalities. Consult your veterinarian before adding any new product to your pet’s care regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.