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My cat is licking himself Bald!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I hope someone can help me; I don't know what to do. My cat, Orion (male 5 years), is licking himself so much he is licking all of his fur away. I have just moved to a new house with a roommate (who has a 7year old little girl) and a cat. I've been here since Christmas. Orion has never really been around children before or any other cats. The move was fine, Orion stayed in my bedroom for 2days then explored the rest of the basement that I'm renting. Then he met the other female cat and the little girl. The 2 cats play together, but Orion does not like the little girl, he hisses at her when she gets too close.

Orion licked under his arms a lot, thinning the hair there on and off in the past. He had done this before when I was working and going to school so I was never home a lot. I started staying up late playing catch with him and spending time at night with him. This seemed to work.

He was fine until 2 weeks ago, now his under arms are bare and he is working his way to bald spots on his legs and stomach. I think he finds licking relaxing and calming. I have tried to spend more time with him again thinking this would work, I don't know that it is. I work during the day then come home and spend all the time he wants with him, although the little girl is there too sometimes.

Sorry for the length of this, I though a little history might help. Am I going to have to go to the extreme and not allow the little girl in the basement? Oh, the female cat has not been spade yet so we have had to endure her yowling. Orion is nurtured and tries to mount her when she goes in heat but can't do anything. Does anyone think this has added to his problem and when she is spade he will get better? Should I keep the little girl and the other cat away from him and see if that works. I don't want to keep the other cat away though, I think they like playing together and Orion would get lonely. If anyone has any ideas please let me know! I’m so worried I think I am going to take him to the vet next week.
post #2 of 5
Taking Orion to the vet to make sure there is no physical problem causing him to lick his fur off (just to rule that out) is a good idea.
It does seem that Orion has a few things that could be causing him stress. He might just need more time to adjust. I have seen others on this site recommend Bach's Rescue Remedy as an herbal answer to calm cats down (it comes in a drop form that you can add to food or water). Also, there are products out there, like Bitter Apple, that you can apply to your pet to keep him from licking his fur off (they're supposed to taste bitter enough to act as a deterrent).
If you want to allow the little girl to be around the cat, maybe you could have her try and play with Orion when you're there and have her give him some food/treats (so he associates her with good things). Otherwise, for her safety and your cat's sanity, it might be best to keep them apart.
post #3 of 5
Our cat Elvis did this when we got Kali. He constantly cleaned himself. All the hair on his back ws sooo thin. But, once him and Kali had sorted themselves out he stopped it. The vet told us it was a stress thing.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your advice, I am going to take Orion to the vet, he needs his shots anyway. I will try Bach’s Rescue Remedy and see if he calms down a little. I think the Bitter Apple is a great idea for his “problem†areas.

I just have to say that this is one of my most favourite sites on the Internet. It has probably made life a lot easier for cat and human relationships. Helped to understand our feline friends so we can help them and help them understand us! In getting advice or ideas from great people who take the time to help, this site has possibly saved people from having to resort to extremities that are not necessary. Or steered them in a direction they otherwise would never have thought of. In almost all cases one should consult a veterinarian but it is nice to discuss troubles (and good stuff!) with others as well so seek ideas the veterinarian may not know or haven’t thought of or just for reassurance.
post #5 of 5
I am replying to your cat Orion, licking himself bald.
I too have a cat Millie, that used to do this and I was always worried about her. Fortunately, she has stopped doing this now.
But the vet did say it was stress. I went to a pet store and bought a small dog coat to put on her, this helped for a while, but cats get depressed if they can't clean themselves, so I only put it on her when I wasn't able to watch her.
I don't think living with a little girl helps Orions situation, my two dislike children too.
Some cats get stressed more than others.
Have you checked whether he has any fleas, as this may be the cause?
Or like us humans, he could be allergic to modern day living, with all the things we use these days.
Well I do hope Orion grows out of this worrying habit, and I do hope all this has been of help to you.
Good luck.
With kind regards,
Cynthia Roast.
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