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OCD in cats

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know anything about this? About meds that are helpful/not harmful, etc? It is now believed that my cat has an obsession with licking and causes her own skin irritations. It may be caused by some kind of stressor and it was suggested I try Feliway. A biopsy was taken of two of her sores and the dermatologist said there is no obvious cause.

It might be behavioral. I don't want to give her anything that might be harmful, including meds. Please, if anyone knows anything about this illness or treatment, I would appreciate your thoughts very much. If she doesn't heal up completely in a month, the Vet says we can try meds. She is wearing an e-collar in hopes she will heal and leave the area alone.
post #2 of 11
Could be food allergies .............
post #3 of 11
I have an OCD groomer, but she is not on meds at this time and frankly, we are trying our best to find other solutions before resorting to meds.
For her, the overgrooming was almost always at night.

She only creates sores on her back, just behind her shoulders.
Currently she wears a tiny t-shirt and is getting cold lasrer treatments three times a week (to speed healing).
After every vet visit, she gets two hours to completely groom before her t-shirt goes back on.

So far it seems to be working for her, and isn't stressing her as much as meds and e-collars were.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, Arlyn! I was wondering if maybe I could find some kind of garment to put on her. She licks under her right thigh. That seems the most DIFFICULT place to put anything on her, gauze, etc. Nothing stays on. Wow, your cat has to work very hard to reach the area behind her shoulders!
post #5 of 11
Red Cat has been licking his belly raw for over two years. You can see a photo and more details about the situation here:

The vet did all kinds of tests. At this point I don't even recall what they all were. We tried an e-collar but he kept banging it into everything until his neck was bare of hair and he was starting to bleed, so that only lasted about a day and a half, as I recall. We tried a homeopathy. We tried Buspar. I can't remember what else we tried. Nothing worked. He is on a hypoallergenic food, Hills Z/D, which at least stopped him from scratching his ears so much, but he still licks his belly. So I gave up. I only give him a topical spray just enough to try to keep the inflammation down. He does end up licking the stuff, which I don't like, but it at least keeps down the tendency for the area to get raw. The product I use is Gentocin Topical Spray, which is Gentamicin Sulfate with Betamethasone Valerate. It is available by prescription only and is FDA approved for dogs, but is used off-label for cats, as well.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, twofatcats! I really appreciated the link you attached because it was interesting to see what happened with your cat. The photo looks similar, my cat doesn't have quite as many red sores at once, but she started on one thigh, then they seemed to go to her belly then over to her other thigh. Her licking was only aggravating her situation. Now we have it down to one thigh, but I need to try and figure out what is stressing her. She has always been a timid cat, so it could be all manner of things! Now she is stressing because I give her a pill every day, which she hates, so her fur is shedding. Thanks again.
post #7 of 11
If you can find the source of her stress then you have a good shot at fixing the problem without meds, I would definately try that first. If you can manage the problem like Arlyn then great. If you try all that and nothing works, sometimes meds are the answer.
Just remember with anti-ansiety meds there is always a sedative effect at first, but it should only last a week or so. And these meds do not start working overnight. In most cases you won't see improvement for 6 weeks! So if you do decide to use meds, my best advice is to be patient and persist until you see results. If 6 months goes by and still no improvement- you will need to reasses with your vet.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dr. Doolittle! I would definitely prefer to just get rid of the problem and avoid meds altogether. I can't tell if she still still wants to lick the area excessively because I have to prevent her from licking it. I am also going to get Feliway and see if that helps calm her down. I figure it wouldn't hurt.
post #9 of 11
One of my previous cats had this. They licked all the hair off the base of their tail. It was stress related as she had recently lost her sister. We gave her lots of attention and she gradually improved.

One of my cats now has periods where he pulls the hair off his tail. But by keeping him calm he seams to improve.

I have tried Feliway to calm cats when travelling in cars, and had a very good effect. The feliway calms them down. It reacts differently with different cats. Once of my cats it knocked them out and they were asleep all afternoon. But he is a bit of a dopey cat anyway.

I would try feliway and see if it calms your cat. This would help if your cats licking is stress related. I'm gonna try it when my cat next starts pulling the hair off his tail.

Hope your kitty gets better soon.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, Anya! I loved hearing about your cat, he sounds like a lot of fun! I went to the pet store today and they had sold out of Feliway. I hope to get it in a few days. I hope it helps; if not, it shouldn't hurt.
post #11 of 11
You may want to try bitter apple spray to deter chewing.

Medication may also be an option. Prozac and Elavil would be the ones I would try. Based on what I know, Paxil does not seem to be very effective for chewing behaviors though it can work very well for other things.
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