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Over-grooming cat?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My cat Ivy keeps over-grooming herself! To the point that she's basically given herself a mohawk accross her back and sides, totally licked the hair away almost... I've been putting bitter apple on the affected areas to try and stop her but I want to try and figure out why she is doing this....any ideas?

She's been with us a little over a year now and we took her in from the wild, she's really friendly but nervous and scares easily.
post #2 of 5
Welcome to TCS!

Whenever a cat has an "issue" - I always ask - has she had a vet check recently?

There can be multiple causes to over grooming. I have one who over grooms sometimes b/c of food issues. She must eat grain free foods as grains make her itchy (we sometimes call them 'invisible fleas' b/c of the way she licks herself).

I *think* they can also over groom as a stress reaction. There are some things that can be done to lower/relieve stress, so as Feliway diffusers/stray, Rescue Remedy, etc.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Welcome to TCS!

Whenever a cat has an "issue" - I always ask - has she had a vet check recently?

There can be multiple causes to over grooming. I have one who over grooms sometimes b/c of food issues. She must eat grain free foods as grains make her itchy (we sometimes call them 'invisible fleas' b/c of the way she licks herself).

I *think* they can also over groom as a stress reaction. There are some things that can be done to lower/relieve stress, so as Feliway diffusers/stray, Rescue Remedy, etc.
Not recently, but I think it's the food issue, as it does look like she has fleas but she doesn't! And her scratching seems to have calmed down a bit since we got this new food that actually has REAL CHICKEN as the first ingredient, a rare find around here. Are there any brands that have no grain at all? I usually see corn or rice on the list somewhere...
post #4 of 5
There are many grain free diets, and that may be a good way to go. Here is a link to a listing of some grain free dry foods - note it isn't all of them, but this is a good start.
post #5 of 5
My first kitty ever actually licked the fur clear off her belly - the vet said it was stress and gave me some medication to help her with it. She was getting particularily stressed because we had some family over that had little kids that kept trying to pet her and really she was just a two person cat.

Like the others I really suggest taking her to the vet and seeing what he/she says. Maybe ask if it could be stress or that you think it's stress so they have an idea on where to start looking.

Hope this helps!
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