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Excessive grooming

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My kitty seems to be constantly grooming himself. I have given him a flee treatment though he is an indoor cat. It seemed to help for a short while but he is back to scratching, licking and chewing. He has also lost a small patch of hair on the top of his head. He has also suffered from feline acne in the past (he is about 18 months old).

Is this a habit or a problem? Any ideas what could cause it and what I should do? He is such a joy to have around and I don't what him to be uncomfortable. This is my first cat and I don't know what to try to relieve it.

Thanks very much for your help.
post #2 of 9
Are you sure it's feline acne. Feline acne is often mistaken for flea dirt. Even indoor cats can be effected by fleas if they have gotten into the house. The first thing I would do is get some advantage topical flea treatment. Once you put in on it lasts for 1 month. Cats can have very serious flea allergies which would explain the hair loss. If after the advantage there is no improvment I would look into behavior patterns or a food allergy.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your prompt reply. The feline acne was diagnosed by a vet so I am reasonable sure that was a problem some time back. One of the symptoms was excessive grooming but there were also other symptoms, which he does not seem to have now.

I have given him the advantage flea treatment and it seemed to help for a short while, by no means for a month. That is why I don't think it is fleas.

If it is a food allergy, how do I deal with that so as to find out what the problem is and eliminate it? What about dry, itchy skin? Is that ever a problem?

Many thanks for your help.
post #4 of 9
If you could give me a brief history I might be able to give you a few good ideas on where to start. What other symptoms did he have? Is there something that happened that all of a sudden stopped the other symptoms? What kind of food are you feeding? Start from when it all started happening.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Sandie
[b]If you could give me a brief history I might be able to give you a few good ideas on where to start. What other symptoms did he have?

When he had feline acne, he was not eating much and he had a sore inside his mouth and his lip was swollen, along with the excessive grooming. This happened months ago, if not a year. This time it is just the excessive grooming and I feel that he must be uncomfortable.

Is there something that happened that all of a sudden stopped the other symptoms?

I took him to the vet and he gave him a shot to curb the excessive grooming and some medicine for the acne.

I feel him Fancy Feast can food and Purina dry. I usually mix their standard dry food with either the urinary tract blend or the hairball mix. Perhaps I should not be mixing them. I have tried IAMS canned food but it is so sticky and gummy that he will not eat it.
post #6 of 9
Well, the sore and swollen lip don't sound like it was in conjunction with the acne. It sounds like it may be a food allergy. Acne and excessive grooming are 2 of the signs. The only thing is that you feed so many foods it is going to be hard to narrow it down. The first thing I would try is switching to just dry food. I would try the Purina one and if that doesnt seem to help, I would go to one of the premium foods. I know science diet has a food for sensitive skin now. I havnt gotten any feedback from it yet. Otherwise you are looking at a prescription food from the vet to narrow down the ingredients that might be casuing it. Did you make sure the bowls aren't plastic as well? I forgot to ask you where he chews and licks himself.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
He scratches himself around the ears and neck area, licks around neck/shoulder area, and chews legs. When he had the acne, I was told to switch to glass or ceramic plates, which I have done. I will look for the science diet food for sensative skin as that seems a reasonable place to start and will give him only the dry food for a while ...... what is a reasonable time to see results? At least I have some things to try.

You have been so helpful that I am attaching a photo of the patient, Gabby. You will see that he is a cutie. Your help is greatly appreciated and this site is great....espeically for first time kitty moms.
post #8 of 9
What a sweetie!! Male red tabbies are the best ones!!!
I would keep him on just the one food for about 6 to 8 weeks. In the first week, slowly mix the new food with the old until you are on the new all together. This way it wont upset his tummy and reak havoc. He may whine at you for the wet food, but don't give in. If he has anything else, it may set you back. I sure hope this is the reason and it helps him. This is the first logical step anyway.
Generally with a food sensitivity you see chewing and licking at the feet as well as hair loss on ears or itchy ears sometimes. The acne can also be linked with that.
Food plays a bigger part than we think. Although there are so many concerns and opinions over their diet (we wont go there yet) I have found that cats do better on certain foods. I had all 11 of mine on purina at one time. I noticed that they were always throwing up and the one had acne. I made the switch to science diet and after about 5 weeks the vomit stopped and the acne was much improved. You will have to keep me updated on this one. I would love to hear the progress.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your help. I will give it a try and let you know how it goes. It does sound more and more like a food problem, especially since you mentioned the vomiting. He does not do it often but about once a month he will throw up while eating breakfast, for no apparent reason (not seeming sick otherwise). I did not associate that with this problem. He brings such joy to my life and I would like to solve this problem for him. Thanks again for all of your help. If anything else arises, I will know where to look for a solution!
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