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Feline Psychogenic Alopecia

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have two orange tabbies, sisters, both 3 yrs old. One of them recently started showing baldness on her lower belly and on the backs of her hind legs. I took her to the vet and they did a skin scraping which showed no parasite or other problems.

The vet explained feline psychogenic alopecia, or overgrooming, which appears to be the cause in this case. I'm trying to rule out any other possible issues, like allergies, and wanted to post the following question.

I have read posts on this site where other pet owners experienced similar problems which were not attributed to overgrooming and were the cause of allergic reaction to the cat litter in-use. My cats have been using the same brand of litter for all of their 3 years with no problems. Is it possible that the little one has just recently developed an allergic reaction to their litter?

Just curious. I'm certainly leaning to the alopecia now as the cause. I've been working 12 hour shifts in a new job for months and my girlfriend moved out about 5 months ago, taking her kitten (their playmate) with her. I'm wondering if me being around less and the loss of their friend is what's troubling my little buddy.
post #2 of 2
My Nikita suffered from this for a short while. She licked the inner forearm raw. It got infected and needed an steroid antibiotic ointment to heal.

This is much much more common in indoor cats than indoor/outdoor cats. The cause in my case was pretty much "indoor stress". I.e boredom and stress from not having enough to do and from the environment not being stimulating enough. I fixed it by rearranging my flat to be more cat friendly. I put scratching posts and boxes all over the place, got new toys which I rotate out to make sure she doesn't get too bored with them. Put a nice wooden ladder in front of a window so she'd have a high percing place to climb up (she loves it). Made sure to play for atleast 2 hours every day with my cat. Woke up earlier to get a play session in before I went to work. Took her outside on a harness almost every day etc. and used Feliway.

Doing all this has solved the problem (for now anyway) and she's had no bald patches for months now.

Anyway in your case, the stressors of you being away more and your girlfriend going out and taking the kitten away with her are almost certainly the cause or well that'd be my guess.

edit: Wanted to add that now that she's stable and hasn't had any licking problems for a while. I only take her outside around twice a week (on the weekends) and I don't time my play sessions with her anymore to make sure it hits atleast 2 hours but I still play lots and lots with her.
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