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Missing fur at base of tail

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey folks. Please bear with me, I don't know much about cats, and I'm relying a little on memory.

I was at my stepdaughter's last night. She has two female cats (spayed) the same age who I'm guessing weigh about 7 lbs. I think they're from the same litter. One is healthy and happy, and the other, well she played with me (total stranger) while I was there, but she has totally chewed off the fur at the base of ther tail, I scritched her face and there seem to be scars on her face too. Is this some kind of obsessive thing? I can't see how it could be an allergy since they get the same food. Supposedly she chews at her tail (I didn't see it, this is what my SD tells me).

My SD says she's been to the vet, switched foods yada yada yada but I was hoping if I could get any other insight I'd pass it on.
post #2 of 7
It's either food allergies (yes, just like with people one sibling can have allergies and the other doesn't), stress, or a skin disease/parasite. The vet can do a skin scraping.

If it's an allergy, your daughter should talk to a feline nutritionist. Different things need to be eliminated from the diet to determine what it is - not just randomly switching food. Some cats have problem with grains. One cat (at least) here was allergic to chicken. Both are very prevalent in almost all food.

If it's stress, your daughter can try Feliway spray or plug-ins. This is a synthetic hormone that mimics the friendly markers in cats' cheeks and is calming to them. The directions are on the spray or plug-in. She can also try Rescue Remedy or Calm and Serene flower essences. They're available here: Extra attention and extra play can also help a stressed kitty.

A responsible vet should also do a skin scraping at this point if it hasn't been done yet. This would be to test for parasites, which is a consideration. Actually, I'd recommend a visit to a different vet - just to get another opinion at this point.

post #3 of 7
Is this a seasonal issue, increased in the winter? My beloved Pandi had horrible itchy patches that would scab and chunks of fur would fall out leaving a raw spot. She had excessive dry skin and psoriasis that flared up at the worst dry times, like winter. I started using a humidifier not only for her, but for me as well and discovered the cure for both of us.........
post #4 of 7
We have a Siamese who nips off her hair when she's not getting enough attention. She's really...I guess you could call her an attention-whore. =3 She's not nipping at it at this time, and the hair has grown back, for the most part, because my mother gives her lots of pet-time.

She also sometimes has scratches on her face, which I guess could be from the other cats, but she's the most peaceful of all of our cats and I've never seen her get into a fight where she could sustain such bloody scratches.

Our Vet diagnosed her as being "nerotic", of a kind. He said it was due to too many cats, but seeing as how she grew up with these cats (and the fact that her plucking has ended once she got more attention), I find that unlikely.

So it could be a type of "OCD", but before you assume that, check what the other said. =) Rule out everything else.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your replies. I think Katzyn could be right, at least from what my stapdaughter tells me. She seems to think that the other cat terrorizes her. But I will pass along the recommendation to do a skin scraping. I don't think it's a seasonal thing. We are in northern New England and I've manage to convince SD to run humidifier in the winter when the air is dry. I do have Feliway that I'm not using so that is an easy option.
Again, thanks!
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
I can't see how it could be an allergy since they get the same food. Supposedly she chews at her tail (I didn't see it, this is what my SD tells me).
I am allergic to fish, are you?
It could be allergy or adopy. Cats are very sensitive to environmental toxins, she may try using vinegar and teatree oil to clean her home instead of things like bleach and chemical sprays.
It could be that she is switching foods but the switches may not be the right combination to solve it.
Some animals will destroy themselves in this manner as a way of coping with anxiety. She may benefit from getting a feliway pheromone diffuser to help calm the kitty's nervous habits. I have used their dog version when i adopted Paddy. her mother abandoned her at 4 weeks and the plug ins really helped her to sleep and be okay with being alone.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
I am allergic to fish, are you?
Well no, but then again we're not littermates! Seriously, thanks for the suggestions. I even have a Feliway that I could loan her. I'll print out this thread and give it to her so hopefully she can do something to help.
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