Sauerkraut the cat is internet famous in part for her sour facial expression but also for her trademark dresses. While she looks absolutely adorable in her feline fashions, she doesn't actually wear them to look trendy. Sauerkraut suffers from a condition known as feline hyperesthesia, commonly called "twitchy kitty syndrome," and the clothes actually help her cope with this annoying condition.
This neurological condition causes a cat's skin to become irritated and twitchy. These results in obsessive licking, biting and chewing, usually targeted at their tail or hindquarters. These irritations usually come in episodes in which a cats eyes will become dilated and they'll appear hyper and agitated.
Twitchy Kitty Syndrome can affect any breed, but Siamese, Burmese, and Abyssinian are the breeds most affected. Without help, a kitty can do some real damage to themselves during one of these spells that can result in a bloodied backside, or even the need to remove their tail.
So what should you do if you suspect your kitty might have a twitch? First, always consult your vet. Skin irritation can happen for reasons that could include allergies, fungal infections, or fleas so rule out these easily treated conditions first. Check your kitty's skin for signs of ringworm or flea dirt that could indicate one of these conditions.
If the diagnosis is feline hyperesthesia, don't be dismayed. Many kitties live very happy lives with the condition (and sometimes they do so looking fabulous, like Sauerkraut.) Your vet can recommend some medications that can help ease the symptoms, or you can take a non-medical route and use things like pet clothing to help soothe your cat. Look for comfy pet clothes online or in pet stores that will snugly bundle your pet and fit close to their skin.
Kitties wearing clothes aren't always doing it for style!
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