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Hairless Tummy and Hind Legs

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

A month after I moved into a new place, one of my cats started to lose the hair on her belly and hind legs. I took her to a vet for yearly shots a couple of months after it started and he said he thought it was anxiety from the move. Well, maybe, so I gave it a few more months.

 

 Several months later, I took her in to see a different vet, who thought it was the old carpet and suggested I replace it. I did that at the end of December. She is not better. Over the course of the past few months, my cat has had three cortisone injections. She does fine while they work, no licking or scratching, hair even starts to grow back, but as soon as the medicine starts to wear off, she is right back to licking her tummy and hind legs. I don't want to continue the cortisone shots; it isn't good for the long term.

 

I took her to another vet who ordered blood work to see what all my cat is allergic to. No to dust mites, fleas (my two are kept strictly indoors), mold, etc. Yes to peanuts and several types of grasses. The vet thinks it is a food allergy, and we have tried Science Diet D/D and Purina E/N (my other cat vomits those foods right back up). Currently, we are trying Science Diet Z/D, which my allergy cat doesn't like, and has thrown it up a couple of times. I use to feed them Science Diet Optimal, which seemed fine, and I have been feeding them Purina One for Sensitive Skin and Stomach, which both of my cats seem to tolerate fairly well, except I've noticed my allergy cat's stool is a little bit softer that usual. My vet's other recommendation is to take my cat to see a dermatology veterinarian.

 

I am admittedly at a loss as to what to do. The specialist is a two hour drive one way, my cat does not tolerate riding the 6 miles up the road to see the vet without vomiting and mewing so loudly as if I am killing her. I cannot imagine what a 4 hour round trip ride would be like. Financially things are tight for me right now.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what other brands of cat food for allergy cats are good; any ideas what else could be causing the hair loss besides food? I have changed cat litters, cleaners, replaced old carpet, and am going to switch laundry detergent. When I adopted her, she was a kitten and lost a little bit of hair on her belly. I lived in an apartment with old carpet at the time. I moved to a different apartment complex that had brand new carpet, and her hair grew back, so it made sense to me when one of the vets recommended replacing the old carpet in my house.  Thank you in advance. :)

post #2 of 44

Did any of the vets check her thyroid levels?  My cat Mittens pulled all the hair off her belly and the inside of her hind legs and after some testing they discovered she had hyperthyroidism.  As soon as I started the medication for it her hair grew back. 

post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hi JDollPrincess,

 

No, they have not, and none of the vets brought it up.
 

post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 

Is that something that can be checked for with a simple blood test, like with people?
 

post #5 of 44

Is she scratching a lot?  Getting sores on her anywhere?

post #6 of 44

Yes they draw a little blood and usually send it to Idexx labs. How old is the cat?

post #7 of 44
Thread Starter 

She is going on 6 years old. She had two sores back in October/November, one on her side and another on the back of her neck. The vet checked to see if they were ringworm, but it wasn't. She hasn't had anymore sores since.
 

post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 

After reading tons online about cat food allergies, I've started mixing in Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet dry food in with what I have been feeding my cats to wean them over on it. Can't say my allergy girl is a fan, but we'll see how it goes. I've also switched as of today to Tide Free - no perfume or dyes. I hope this makes a difference and she stops licking and scratching. think.gif
 

post #9 of 44

Has switching her food helped? 

post #10 of 44

Our 10 year old has quite severe food allergies and we feed him on ZD (he does fine except for a loose stool)... nevertheless, before that, he was scratching his face and tummy pretty raw. The food has fixed the face rubbing, but our vet has said the stomach and hind-legs cleaning is more a symptom of anxiety than allergy.

He suggested that our cat feels uncomfortable due to the allergy, and obsessively cleans his tummy, even though it doesn't irritate him (apparently this is not where skin allergies manifest)

 

His suggestion was Feliway (also called Comfort Zone) to make the cat more at ease. While our cat still washes his tummy and it is still a little bald, he is getting better all the time and seems less likely to keep licking himself. So I would suggest that first, and see if it helps your cat :-)

post #11 of 44
Hello everyone,

I have two pedigree female persian cats, and we feed them on Royal Canin Persian cat food it is small biscuits and you feed a set amount a day. It is the best food to have, we have tried all the foods and this is the best by far. Having said that the one in the last month has started losing fur all over, leaving her with huge patches of bald spots, some with a little fur others completeley bold. We took her to the vets and he said due to her being spade it was hormones and gave an injection, this has not worked. She is a clean cat, she's not storing it away, and so far not eating it, in a week she is to be shaved, but I hugely disagree, because im worried its more serious. Can anyone help me
post #12 of 44

Have you found out what has caused the hair loss?  My male cat of 2 1/2 years started losing hair on his hind legs back in November 2012.  He was licking excessively.  Gave the shots, stopped, then once worn off, started up again.  Changed to Royal Canin pea & duck dry, hypoallergenic.  Great for his coat, but really hasn't done anything for the hair loss.  Also have the calming collar by Sentry (has the pheromones) and that has helped some.  But still licks and still slight hair loss on belly now.  Thought it was nerves, but can't pinpoint that really. 

 

Someone else mentioned the thyroid issue -- anything with that?  Vet hadn't mentioned it, but I'm willing to look into anything at this point!!!

post #13 of 44

my cat Bella has been losing her hair on stomach and legs .  I have other cats that have not lost any hair.  The vet diagnosed it as hormone defishensy.  I have been giving her meds for over a month and none of it is coming back,  Is there something i can feed her that may help.?  I'm open for any suggestions.  thank you

post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Overley View Post

my cat Bella has been losing her hair on stomach and legs .  I have other cats that have not lost any hair.  The vet diagnosed it as hormone defishensy.  I have been giving her meds for over a month and none of it is coming back,  Is there something i can feed her that may help.?  I'm open for any suggestions.  thank you

 

You said it's not growing back yet, but is it getting any worse?  It may take awhile to grow back, but if it's not getting worse, then I'd say you're on the right track.  Do you notice her licking as much? 

 

One thing that is always good for their skin and coat is any type of Omega 3 oil, like Salmon Oil, Krill Oil, Anchovy Oil...that type of thing.  Some cats like it, some don't.  One of mine loves Salmon Oil and the other two absolutely HATE it rolleyes.gif.  One loves Krill Oil, and the other two will only tolerate it, but only a few drops.  And forget about using just regular fish oil (I'm talking about in MY house laughing02.gif)

 

Here's just one of many threads concerning Omega 3's:  http://www.thecatsite.com/t/248944/fish-salmon-oil

post #15 of 44

white cat has been doing the same things and the vet thinks it is food allergies.  Did changing the food help and what did you end up choosing 

post #16 of 44

CatsRule40: did you ever figure out the cause?  My cat is losing hair on his belly and legs, too.  Otherwise, he acts perfectly normal.  Vet wants me to spend a bunch of $ on tests.  I'd rather not support her research if not necessary.  Thanks.

post #17 of 44

Hello,

 

I have 2 persian cats, and the one has had a hysterectomy and since then has started losing hair all over, all you have to do is brush and it comes out in abundance. We are still trying to sort this out but the one thing we do use which we swear by is Royal Canine Persian Cat, it is specially formulated for their breed, and hair. But Royal Canine has other choices for cats and kittens whether it be wet food or dry. This food is in mind the best, and I have tried many, everything your cat should need is in it! It is also highly recommended by our vets too. We buy ours at our local pet world, and it should be avaliable at your local pet stores, I am not sure about supermarkets, but they may! 

 

I promise you, this food is definately something to look into, if you need more information just ask, and Ill get back to you!

post #18 of 44

Dear CatRule40,

 

Hello,

 

I have 2 persian cats, and the one has had a hysterectomy and since then has started losing hair all over, all you have to do is brush and it comes out in abundance. We are still trying to sort this out but the one thing we do use which we swear by is Royal Canine Persian Cat, it is specially formulated for their breed, and hair. But Royal Canine has other choices for cats and kittens whether it be wet food or dry. This food is in mind the best, and I have tried many, everything your cat should need is in it! It is also highly recommended by our vets too. We buy ours at our local pet world, and it should be avaliable at your local pet stores, I am not sure about supermarkets, but they may! 

 

I promise you, this food is definately something to look into, if you need more information just ask, and Ill get back to you!

 
post #19 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I apologize for taking so long to respond. Since my initial post, I've taken my cat to another vet and she prescribed Atopica in July, to no avail. Sabrina also had two rounds of antibiotics for the bacterial infection on her tummy and hind legs. She's on her third bottle and I still have to give it to her every other day. For the price ($125 a bottle), the possible side effects, and the fact she is still licking herself bare on her belly, hind legs, and now one of her front legs and front paw, I need to do something else. 

 

I've tried several brands of food, even Limited Ingredient types, which haven't seemed to help. I did more reading today and found a food called Nature's Variety which seems to have good reviews and I will try that. I currently feed my cats Science Diet Optimal dry food, which they both like.

 

I tried the Feliway spray and haven't noticed much of a difference. I think I should perhaps try the plug-in Feliway as I cannot entirely rule out psychogenic alopecia, even though she lives the good life. :lol3: Other than the licking and scratching at her ears (which are clear), she's perfectly happy and healthy. kitty.gif

post #20 of 44

CatsRule, did you ever have her Thyroid checked, as was mentioned above?  Also, have you considered maybe switching her over to all wet food, perhaps even a raw diet?  Of course, if it's truly a psychological issue, diet won't help, and trying to change hers could even make it worse I suppose, but in case it's really food allergies, it might be worth a try dontknow.gif

 

One other thing that is supposed to be calming to cats is harp music.  Don't ask why, it just is.  So if she has some underlying stress, you could try putting on a harp CD for her, especially when you are away at work or whatever.  You can ever google "music for cats" and find all kinds of interesting things. 

 

:vibes::vibes::vibes:

post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 

No, the vet didn't check her thyroid in the latest blood work. I didn't think to ask. disa.gif

That is my next step...the limited ingredient food, then raw. I bought a bag each of Nature's Variety yesterday in dry and raw. She isn't too keen on eating wet food, but if my other cat didn't eat dry again, he'd be perfectly happy.

:banana1:

post #22 of 44

Please, if you can, continue to share your results with the various strategies  you are using. I am in the same boat with my cat Scooter--she has been to the veterinarian for 4 visits over the past 6 months to try to find out the cause of her licking stomach/hind legs.  I have tried various prescription diets, different cleaners, and cat litters.  He ruled out fleas, diet, allergies, thyroid and feels her licking is psychogenic (anxiety). She was a feral cat, and does not like the presence of our other two cats (also ex-ferals, male).   She is taking Elavil 5m twice daily, and is doing a bit better, but not entirely.  I am starting her on a liquid formula of the Elavil today (the pills stick to back of her tongue since they are broken in half).  She sometimes looks so miserable...it is so sad and frustrating.

 

Thank you for starting this thread and for sharing your experiences.

post #23 of 44

I know this is an old thread, but wanted to share that I also have a 7year old cat, Sammy, that chews and licks all the hair off his belly, hind legs and some on his front legs.  This has been going on for several years.  When I took him to my former vet....all he would even consider was "flea allergy" and kept giving him the steroid shots...a shot then another two weeks later.  As others have said, this did help for a month or so.   I'd take him back for a round of shots about 3 or 4 times a year.  Last year, I kinda lost faith in this vet.  I'd used him for maybe 20 years and thought he was great, but several things started piling up in my mind and doubt grew.  The fact that he wouldn't even consider food allergy and said testing was too expensive and not conclusive just added to it.  About the same time, I started reading more about food and nutrition and I switched his food from the Kirkland brand to a grain free dry (Wellness Core) and started feeding alot more canned food...all grain free.  His hair all grew back, he had a beautiful full coat of hair all over his body and he stopped licking and chewing himself!  I was elated....Joy, problem found and solved.........NOPE!   After about three months of no licking, he has started licking and chewing again.  He's no where near as bad as he was, but he is licking and chewing enough that I figure it's just a matter of time.  All the food is still grain free.  So, I'm thinking it's something else new besides just grain.  I haven't taken him to my new vet yet.  I won't let her give him more steroid shots though.  I've read too much about  the long term negatives of doing that and he already has had "long term" use.   So, I'm interested in this topic for sure and apologize if I shouldn't have replied to an old thread.

post #24 of 44
My cat had the same problem with alopecia. She would groom constantly and literally pull her hair out. Tried Benadryl...not so good. Had 3 months of Revolution, finally the vet put my girl on Prozac. After 6 weeks she is a new cat!! All her hair on her legs, belly and sides is all grown back. She is beautiful girl now!
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoocat View Post
 

I know this is an old thread, but wanted to share that I also have a 7year old cat, Sammy, that chews and licks all the hair off his belly, hind legs and some on his front legs.  This has been going on for several years.  When I took him to my former vet....all he would even consider was "flea allergy" and kept giving him the steroid shots...a shot then another two weeks later.  As others have said, this did help for a month or so.   I'd take him back for a round of shots about 3 or 4 times a year.  Last year, I kinda lost faith in this vet.  I'd used him for maybe 20 years and thought he was great, but several things started piling up in my mind and doubt grew.  The fact that he wouldn't even consider food allergy and said testing was too expensive and not conclusive just added to it.  About the same time, I started reading more about food and nutrition and I switched his food from the Kirkland brand to a grain free dry (Wellness Core) and started feeding alot more canned food...all grain free.  His hair all grew back, he had a beautiful full coat of hair all over his body and he stopped licking and chewing himself!  I was elated....Joy, problem found and solved.........NOPE!   After about three months of no licking, he has started licking and chewing again.  He's no where near as bad as he was, but he is licking and chewing enough that I figure it's just a matter of time.  All the food is still grain free.  So, I'm thinking it's something else new besides just grain.  I haven't taken him to my new vet yet.  I won't let her give him more steroid shots though.  I've read too much about  the long term negatives of doing that and he already has had "long term" use.   So, I'm interested in this topic for sure and apologize if I shouldn't have replied to an old thread.

 

I'm sorry that Sammy has been doing this for so long. You'd think his tongue would be tired!  :rolleyes:  Overgrooming is definitely frustrating because it could have many causes, such as flea and food allergies (as you have already explored). It can also be caused by a contact allergy, such as litter or bedding material. Have you considered the litter? In my experience, a true food allergy will cause symptoms farther up on the body, such as scratching of the face, ears, head, and neck, as well as recurrent ear infections and gastrointestinal symptoms. I have found that overgrooming of the belly and hind legs is oftentimes associated with Psychogenic Alopecia and/or a contact allergy that touches those parts of the body, like litter. Overgrooming/nibbling of the belly and nipples can also be a sign of internal/GI discomfort, which was the case with my Sebastian. Again, this is just in my experience, but I'm sure it various among cases. Here's a link on Psychogenic Alopecia: http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/psychogenic-alopecia-in-cats/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSAHMAD99 View Post

My cat had the same problem with alopecia. She would groom constantly and literally pull her hair out. Tried Benadryl...not so good. Had 3 months of Revolution, finally the vet put my girl on Prozac. After 6 weeks she is a new cat!! All her hair on her legs, belly and sides is all grown back. She is beautiful girl now!

 

I'm glad the Prozac worked for your girl! Yes, sometimes when overgrooming is severe enough and caused by Psychogenic Alopecia, anti-anxiety and anti-depressent medications can help. Other non-medicinal things that may help include Feliway diffusers, Spirit Essences, Bach's Rescue Remedy for Pets (alcohol-free version), calming treats containing l-theanine, play sessions, and eliminating causes of stress.

post #26 of 44
I tried the Prozac because she was stressed out from being a newly adopted cat. The vet didn't think it was allergies. ..more of a OCD issue. The only thing I didn't like with Prozac is she slept all day long. She is a very active cat but to see her doped up hurt me. But I figured it was better than the alternative of having a crazy bald cat. She hasn't been on her mess for 2 weeks now and her OCD seems to be at bay. Hopefully when winter comes she won't revert to her tendencies again.
post #27 of 44
Thanks GoHolistic. Yes it is frustrating...so many possibilities! He doesn't have (at this point) any GI problems..No throwing up, no loose stool or constipation, has good sized daily peeballs.
And he doesn't scratch his head or neck or ears...And doesn't and hasn't had any ear infections. So I have thought I should try changing the litter and/or getting one of those "calming" aids to see if it's anxiety. He always has one of those startled expressions on his face and big wide eyes but he isn't scared of anything or anyone...not even the vacuum! Thank you for your suggestions and thoughts. I've followed many of your threads about your sweet boy and send you my hopes for better days ahead for him and you. It's so hard when our furbabies don't feel good.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoocat View Post

Thanks GoHolistic. Yes it is frustrating...so many possibilities! He doesn't have (at this point) any GI problems..No throwing up, no loose stool or constipation, has good sized daily peeballs.
And he doesn't scratch his head or neck or ears...And doesn't and hasn't had any ear infections. So I have thought I should try changing the litter and/or getting one of those "calming" aids to see if it's anxiety. He always has one of those startled expressions on his face and big wide eyes but he isn't scared of anything or anyone...not even the vacuum! Thank you for your suggestions and thoughts. I've followed many of your threads about your sweet boy and send you my hopes for better days ahead for him and you. It's so hard when our furbabies don't feel good.

 

I wish you the best of luck in figuring it out!  And thanks for the well-wishes.  :)

post #29 of 44

Hey guys, I figured would just throw my two cents in here since I had/have this issue with one of my cats. A few weeks after I adopted him last year I stared to notice he had licked his stomach raw. I was bringing him in for a check up anyway and I mentioned it to the vet that he had just started to do this. She recommended Prozac also, but I wanted to see if I could figure out the problem first before I just threw him on psych meds.  I tried switching his food and also got feliway plug-ins for my apartment but it just seemed to be getting worse. So I took him back into the vets office and saw another dr. He said it might be flea allergy and gave me flea medication for him, he said even tho he is an indoor cat I could have carried a flea inside with me from the yard. So I treated him and my apartment about 5 times with different sprays and natural powders and everything. I spent so much money trying to get rid of non existent fleas.  We went back to the vet again and I was given the suggestion of Prozac again but I still was not ready to do that. He gave me liquid steroids to give him which seemed to help a bit but not much.  So I continued my search on here and other sites for suggestions of what the problem could be and then someone mentioned their cat was licking his hair off of the same exact spots and that it was from the liter they were using.  Now at the time I didn't know too much about all the different litters and how much they can affect our cats, so I had been using a scented litter. I instantly switched to unscented, and with in 2 weeks all the bald spots were gone. But I do notice that if I run out of the feliway plug in and not realize they are empty he starts to over groom a bit again but within a week of replacing them he will stop..  it sucks because they are pretty expensive and I have two I have to replace usually once a month but I try to find them on sale and stock up on them.

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faythe View Post
 

Hey guys, I figured would just throw my two cents in here since I had/have this issue with one of my cats. A few weeks after I adopted him last year I stared to notice he had licked his stomach raw. I was bringing him in for a check up anyway and I mentioned it to the vet that he had just started to do this. She recommended Prozac also, but I wanted to see if I could figure out the problem first before I just threw him on psych meds.  I tried switching his food and also got feliway plug-ins for my apartment but it just seemed to be getting worse. So I took him back into the vets office and saw another dr. He said it might be flea allergy and gave me flea medication for him, he said even tho he is an indoor cat I could have carried a flea inside with me from the yard. So I treated him and my apartment about 5 times with different sprays and natural powders and everything. I spent so much money trying to get rid of non existent fleas.  We went back to the vet again and I was given the suggestion of Prozac again but I still was not ready to do that. He gave me liquid steroids to give him which seemed to help a bit but not much.  So I continued my search on here and other sites for suggestions of what the problem could be and then someone mentioned their cat was licking his hair off of the same exact spots and that it was from the liter they were using.  Now at the time I didn't know too much about all the different litters and how much they can affect our cats, so I had been using a scented litter. I instantly switched to unscented, and with in 2 weeks all the bald spots were gone. But I do notice that if I run out of the feliway plug in and not realize they are empty he starts to over groom a bit again but within a week of replacing them he will stop..  it sucks because they are pretty expensive and I have two I have to replace usually once a month but I try to find them on sale and stock up on them.


Which litter did you switch to?  I've decided that's what I'm going to try next.  I've been using Tidy Cat Multiple Cat and I'm pretty sure it's unscented.  From reading threads here, it seems to me the top choices might be Dr. Elsey' Respiratory Relief; Natures Miracle Intense Defense; Odour Buster; and maybe Tractor Supply's Paws & Claws.  I guess I'll see if I can find any of those at Petsmart or Petco when I go today.  I think we have a Tractor Supply but not sure where it is....will check on that if I can't find one of the higher choices.  Thank you for your input.  I think I'll also go ahead and order the Feliway plug ins and some Omega 3 supplements. 

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