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Cat Licking Herself Bald

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi. I have a five year old white cat who happens to be deaf since kittenhood when I found her abandoned. She has a history of a couple REALLY bad episodes with a cat cold that compromised her health and could have killed her. I just thought I'd mention that in case anyone thinks it is related at all. The vet checked her for feline leukopenia and she's negative.
Okay, so... half a year ago she started licking bald areas around her body with some raw areas and little black plugs coming out of the pores near her tail. So the vet treated her for fleas and he thought it was an allergic reaction to flea bites (although we didn't see any or know she had them)`. She's been on flea treatment ever since and was on oral steroids for two months duration during the initial balding. Well, she kept on licking and balding herself in all sorts of areas: her front legs, belly, neck, tailend, back legs... wherever she can groom and reach. So he gave us topical antibiotic stuff to put on any raw areas and said it's probably now behavioral and to keep an eye on her and try to distract her. We've done it all, we've showered her with attention, try to distract her when she's licking (it does NOT work, she just gets more voracious!), tried putting lemon juice on her fur to stop her (she obviously LIKES lemon, cuz she kept on licking!)... She just keeps on licking. She's not stratching herself, not acting stressed at all. She's still behaving like her normal, happy self, except that she's licking too much. Her condition pretty much remains constant, but not much worse or better.
Anybody have ANY ideas on how to get a cat to stop licking itself? What can we be trying here? The vet is out of ideas besides a painful and expensive skin biopsy but he still thinks it's behavioral, not some medical condition. Help please!
post #2 of 8
Ask your Vet about Prozac or Amitriptyline. These are both used in cats for behavior modification and to treat OCD.

Are you sure she's not itchy at all? The fact that she's creating sores, makes me think she could have a food allergy.

What is she eating?
post #3 of 8
Ouch! Poor kitty.
I have two suggestions. The first worked well for me when Morris had itchy scabs on his back. I applied pure jojoba oil to the skin and fur for just a few days and it healed right up. It has not re-occured. From all that I read, jojoba oil is not toxic to cats. I used organic, 100% pure jojoba oil that is used for skin care in humans. It is the only ingredient.

The second is to put an e-collar on her, to at least give her balding areas time to recover.

If she is allergic to something she ate, as opposed to a flea bite, you should look at changing her diet.

I've heard that simpler foods, like those with one grain and one meat (chicken & rice) can help, as can changing protein sources. If she's eating chicken and rice, switch to a venison and pea. sharky can give you much better advice than I can on this as most of what I've learned has been from reading her posts.

Good luck with your baby!

post #4 of 8
Can I third the it could be a food allergy club??
What are you feeding .,... Tops for food allergies in cat s are SOY WHEAT and white FISH
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
The top two ingredients in her kibble is chicken and corn products. This is what she eats on a daily basis.

What is an e-collar and where can you get one?

Thanks for the advice, I just want her well and fluffy again!
post #6 of 8
I understand where you're coming from.

I have a four year old cat who was put in a box and abandoned in a busy parking lot as a kitten. She started to do a fabric sucking sort of thing from a young age - and still does to this day - and later it started to escalate into her constantly licking herself and pulling out her own fur on her stomach and lower back - near her tail.

When she was about two, the vet decided that she most likely has psychogenic alopecia. The first thing they tried was an e-collar and she couldn't stand it. When that didn't work, they put her on some sort of medication that didn't help either.

She still pulls out her fur, and she still does the fabric sucking. She has her good and her bad times with it - sometimes she'll pull ALL of the fur on the lower half of her body out, and it will grow back in [for the most part] and she won't be really obsessive about it for awhile. But she is the nicest and most friendly little cat - she's very overly-attached though, and I guess that's a symptom of the disorder.

She's bitten herself up before but not to an extreme - it's mostly just the fur pulling. I don't really know the disorder or anything and I'm sure the people that posted above me are much more informed on cats. But good luck with everything - it's tough watching them and knowing something isn't right. We've been in that boat.
post #7 of 8
Just wanted to add this in. This was taken almost two years ago - she was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the new kitten we had that would not leave her alone, as you can see. You can tell that she pulled and licked a lot of her fur out. This was probably one of her worse times - the fur on her back is gone, and so was most of the fur on her stomach and the inner parts of her legs.

Not trying to sabotage your thread - sorry! Again, good luck with it all.
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by Lintroller View Post
The top two ingredients in her kibble is chicken and corn products. This is what she eats on a daily basis.

What is an e-collar and where can you get one?

Thanks for the advice, I just want her well and fluffy again!
Try to find a food without corn as it is the 4th top allergen in cats ... chicken is about 8th.. what food is she eating so we can help
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