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Bare Belly

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi there everyone: My cat (Joni) is about 9 or 10 years old & for the last year or so has been licking her belly clean of all fur. This is bothering me, she does not seem to have any trouble going to the bathroom or anything like that. She was having trouble with some of her teeth, but I have had them pulled out. When we were at the vet they did not say anything about her bare belly so I thought maybe it was her teeth bothering her. She has not stopped licking yet, her teeth were pulled about 8 months ago. She has been on the same food for years now & the same litter. Should I maybe try to change it up? If anyone has an answer please let me know Thank you so much. Pumpkin

post #2 of 4

I'm not an expert but this sounds a LOT like what I call Groomers Syndrome. It's a psyche thing where the cat grooms itself excessively to the point of losing fur or even scratching itself. I don't know what it's actually called but that's what I call it. Try taking her to the vet and specifically asking about it and see what your vet thinks.

post #3 of 4
My cat mittens started licking the hair off of her belly and the inside of her legs when she was 7 yrs. I took her to the vet and they ran a senior panel and it turned out she had hyperthyroidism. As soon as I started the medication her hair grew back and she stopped licking so I would ask your vet to check her t4 if changing her diet doesn't work.
post #4 of 4

Most often, when I see "bare belly" on cats, it's something to do with stress. Stress doesn't have to be something that's bothering her directly. I have seen over grooming of belly hair happening when their owners are going through change. Cats feed off your energy, so if you are stressed out, they can start to over-groom.


If her health checks out, and nothing in her environment has changed, take a very close look at what has been happening in your life. Has your schedule changed in recent month? Maybe you have been frazzled due to a new job?


I would try Feliway diffuser and spending extra one-on-one time with her. The one-on-one doesn't have to be for hours; just 15 minutes every night, just you and her, nothing else to distract your attention. You can play with her during it, but I find quiet conversation and lots of pets seem to work better. (Of course, you will be the only one talking in this "conversation" but it does have calming effect on cats, so go ahead and tell her you are worried about her, you love her and you would like her to stop over-grooming. It will relax you too. Ask her how her day was and tell her what you did that day. No, really.)

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