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Licking himself bald?!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quick history: Simba was due to be neutered. Two nights before the date, he ran away. He was gone for almost 3 weeks. I looked everywhere. I finally found him a whopping 4 houses away pining after a female. I brought him home and noticed he had obviously been in a cat fight. I treated his cuts and got him into the vet to be checked out and get neutered. They couldn't get him in for about 2 weeks. He was healing up well and right before we went to the vet he started licking his left foot, to the point there was no hair in a spot about the size of a dime. The vet looked him over and said he was fine and that he was healing well. He was fixed and came home. That was a week ago. He has licked himself stupid. He is working his way across his toes and up his leg. There is nothing wrong with his foot, i've checked and rechecked. I have used mouthwash to keep him from licking...that doesn't last long. I have even used teatree oil, that doesn't last long either. I don't know what else to do. I have read a lot about stress...is that the problem? He is freaked out over being "lost"? He has always been an inside cat. He is just now a year old. Any suggestions? I don't know what else to do. Thanks for hearing me out, I know it is a lengthy post.

Michelle
post #2 of 7
I'm not sure about the licking thing..but I just noticed in your thread you mentioned tea tree oil and I'm pretty sure someone on this website told me it is toxic to cats..Just so you know..

Good luck with the licking problem
post #3 of 7
They do have a spray called BitterYuck that we've been using on our cat (vet finally decided she's OCD, poor thing)

Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.

Its possible that he has a food allergy? Or if he was an outdoor cat and then came inside something in the house is irritating him? There's also the possiblity that there's something [outside that's stressing him, like another cat. Also, there's the possibility of some small critter that's annoying him, which he could have picked up.

I wish I had something more concrete for you (I feel your pain on this one) but the best advice I have is to talk to your vet. They'll probably do a test for the critters. If that doesn't turn anything up, you can start eliminating things one by one. Hopefully something will work for you.

Just a note, if you switch to a new food, that's supposed to take 3-6 weeks to make a difference.

Hope something works, and keep us updated! (Esp. me, cause I'd love to know if something works for your kitty that might work for mine.)
post #4 of 7
This isn't exactly a cure I am posting but perhaps its a start. Now some of you may have heard of this lick disorder in dogs but never anywhere have I heard anyone say it couldn't happen with cats. I am not sure if cats do suffer from this but I guess its possible. My mothers dog does this to his foot. He licks and licks until it becomes irritated and well itchy from licking, which in turn makes him lick. This sounds like what your cat is doing. First of all if your vet says the cat is healthy and you can rule out an allergies then it is most likely psychological. For example, separation anxiety, change in environment....etc.

The link doesn't really give any solutions other than ointment which the above post mentions. Thank you by the way. But at least you can compare this behavior with your cat. Let us know what you think.

http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=2304
post #5 of 7
Have you given him a flea treatment lately?

We took Cynthia to the vet for excessive grooming to the point of creating infections. The vet said she could have an allergic reaction to a flea, that it could only be one flea and we would never see it, but it would cause her to itch and therefore she would lick. Vet recommended Advantage or Revolution once a month.

Vet said it could also be a food allergy, or allergy to anything, just like humans get allergic.
post #6 of 7
I would consider this to be stress related.
I have experienced this with 2 of my cats where 1 licked her tummy bald to the point of irratation of the skin and the other would lick his shoulder area bald.
I spent plenty of 1 on 1 time (no people no pets just me and the cat) with each cat. playing, loving, providing them new toys etc. Lots of rewards for their actions with treats.
anything to rebuild their confidence.
Both stopped after a week or so.
post #7 of 7
The disorder puppycat mentions *does* occur in cats. As others have said, the vet is the best place to go for advice, as excessive grooming can be a sign that Simba is experiencing some kind of anxiety, perhaps brought on by his time away from home.
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