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My cat licks his belly bald and scars himself

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
My name is Dean and I have a 6 year old male cat named Fibannacci. Fib was born a barn cat, but taken from his mom a bit too early and my ex brought him to NYC. After we broke up it became abundantly clear she could not take care of him so I took him. A few years ago my roommate had a cat that would lick her belly bald. After that he started to as well. He has always been a suckler (I figure since he was taken from his mother too young), but he seems to go after his nipples (which are a bit large for a boy and misplaced) alot. However, from time to time he'll just lick an area until he scars it and won't let it heal. Now I've taken him to the vet a few times for this condition specifically and the vets had no particular answer besides it could be a variety of things. I've also read a variety of things about feline mowing as a condition, but it could also be a variety of things. I try using a cone on him when he starts (which he still seems to be able to get at the area anyways and use an oil treatment called HyLyt (from the vet) on the affected area, but to no avail. I'm at my wits end and need to know what others think I should start for further investigation. It could be feline alergies or it could be a psychological condition or even something else I'm totally missing. I'm not sure where to start at this point...
post #2 of 4
It could definitely be stress related licking -- my first step would be to try Feliway diffusers.

If that does not seem to help, another likely culprit is food allergies. What is he being fed currently?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I though food allergies too! I switched him off dry food and have tried a variety. The only thing that seemed to have an effect is pure tuna (or other wet foods with no wheat-ish additives). Stress is a possibility, although i try to make his environment chill. What are Feliway diffusers?
post #4 of 4
Awww, poor baby.

Feliway is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats' cheeks. It was originally designed to help curb inappropriate peeing and scratching behavior, but it REALLY helps reduce stress. Basically, pheremones in cat's scent glands in their paws, their bum, and the scent of pee are all "territory" type markers. But the scent glands in their cheeks are "happy" "homey" markers. So while the idea was to help places that aren't the litter box or a place to appropriately scratch smell "wrong," to discourage the inappropriate behavior - but it turns out that the "friendly" marker smell also helps calm stressed or scared kitties. Just make sure you don't spray near the litter boxes or scratching posts.

It may also be worthwhile purchasing some Bach's Flower Essences - I'd go for Rescue Remedy. It doesn't work for all cats, but when it works, it works. Dab it behind his ears, at the base of his tail, and put a good dab of it under his chin so it wafts up into his nose. Add a few drops to his water when you change it every day. Can't hurt to try. It is available in most health food stores, but so you know what you're looking for, you can check it out at http://www.catfaeries.com

And if you can stand it, you may want to purchase harp music for your cat. I know it helps de-stress feral cats. http://www.musicmypet.com/

If you want to determine if it's food allergies, just start an elimination diet. Many cats are actually allergic to grains, so check in the health forum, and find some grain free foods.

Give it a month, and see how he's doing. If that doesn't do it, start eliminating different meats. Some are allergic to chicken, etc. Some have had to resort to a food that only has duck or lamb....

You're in NYC - there have got to be cat specialists there, maybe even in Brooklyn. I'd give a search, and get a second opinion on your kitty.

As to the suckling.... You may want to consider purchasing some honeysuckle toys and dipping them in warm sugar water to see if you can transfer the suckling to those instead of himself.
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