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excessive grooming

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My 9 yr old female tabby has begun to groom herself excessively. She has the fur almost licked off parts of her legs and stomach.
does anyone have any experience with this behavior?
post #2 of 7
Oh, do I! Red Cat has been doing this for almost a year now and we don't have the problem solved yet. His belly is totally bare, red, and he has had secondary infections there, as well, from licking it just plain raw. There can be a number of things, from flea allergy to fungus to bladder problems to allergies to psychological problems which can cause it. I can't even remember how many tests we did with Red Cat nor how many times I took him to the vet. We had reached the conclusion that for Red Cat it was likely an anxiety problem triggered primarily by my husband's death last year, when I remembered that we had changed brands of food for the cats about that same time. So now we are trying a different food. If that doesn't work, we'll go back to working on the basis that it must be a psychological problem.

You really should take your tabby to a vet first to rule out some of the physical things. A lot of times that will identify the cause. If those tests are all negative, then you can move on to the other possibilities.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. She has been to the Vet who seems to think it is anxiety problem and prescribed a Prozac ointment applied to the inside of her ear. However, the results have been less than satifactory. All it seems to do is make her sluggish and prone to weight gain and has not helped much with the licking.
I will look into a possible food allergy.
post #4 of 7
I had a cat who started doing the same thing when she was also around that age. She began after we adopted a dog, so it was definitely a stress thing.
Have there been any big changes in your household? Are there are any cats hanging around your windows or doors? Some cats are very thin-skinned and easily stressed.

Give her some extra attention and try and distract her whenever you see her beginning to lick. Some catnip might help ease her tension, if she favours it.

My cat stopped doing that after she adjusted to the dog.
post #5 of 7
Isis has done that numerous times to the point that she will make herself bleed. It is always when she is stressed. She is a former feral and is very shy and skittish, so she is easily stressed so I try and make her life as stress free as possible. She managed to lick off all the hair on her stomach and now she has peach fuzz there and nothing more. The vet told me also that she might need Prozac but I am absolutely against it. I think she just needs quiet time.
Is your kitty adjusting to anything new in your house? kids, cats dogs???
Is there something outside like a cat that she sees and you don't that might be bothering her like a tomcat?? Food allergys could be possible as well.
My is that you might want to take her off the prozac. Hissy might have a Holistic way to help her, you can always ask her. Prozac isn't good for kitties IMO, I've seen what it can do, a friend had a cat that was put on it because she was really stressed and wasn't eating and things of that sort. ok they put her in it and it helped, until they had to wean her off of it and then she went right back to her original ways only worse. To me it isn't fair to the cat unless you've tried everything else. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, it's just my opinion. I'm very anal about my cats so I try and research any remedies they give to my cats or I just question the vet to death about it and if there are any alternatives. They love me there, they know me by my voice on the phone! LOL!(and are probably thinking, oh on she's BACCKKKK!!!)
post #6 of 7
I wonder if Feliway would help.


post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by marty goetz
My 9 yr old female tabby has begun to groom herself excessively. She has the fur almost licked off parts of her legs and stomach.
does anyone have any experience with this behavior?
I have the same problem with one of my little girls (Lucy). I have three female cats and Lucy is actually the first and was considered the alpha; then came Shelby, who is Lucy's age (6 yrs old), and then last year Chrissy came into our lives. Chrissy is only a year and my husband and I seem to think the root of Lucy's excessive grooming comes from stress caused from Chrissy challengeing her for the alpha position. Lucy never had this problem till Chrissy came along, even though all three of them get along perfectly, we seem to think that this would be the problem.
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