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OopsCat is 17, he's been doing this for about six months, not every day but a few times a week. We think he's just scratching, but it just seems very odd - he starts by just grooming, then licks more and more vigorously then does this full-body shaking thing - but he's still licking and gnawing at one spot. Then he sort of collapses and 'huffs' a deep sigh.
Is he just scratching really vigorously and wearing himself out? He's arthritic so he can't really groom very well, so we are hoping thinking it is just that he can't quite reach an itchy spot. It just seems a bit odd, especially the way he is a bit 'vacant' afterwards.
Are you grooming him yourself as well, oops? With that coat and his arthritis he almost certainly needs help with it - he may indeed have some awkward clumps that he can't tackle properly which could be the cause of the 'atttack'. (Just my initial thought.)
Yes, we groom him a lot - almost every day. Surprisingly, for a longhaired cat, he doesn't get the 'lumps' of fur that some longhairs get, his coat is in really good condition - even the vet said he is in excellent condition for a cat his age.
Well despite taking precautions, whenever one of mine does this, a flea has been the reason! Luckily the cats are pale coloured so it's not hard to root around and find/catch the culprit. Do you think that may be the case here?
Sounds like fleas to me too. Or mites. What flea treatment are you using? Frontline has stopped working for lots of people recently as the fleas seem to be becoming resistent to it. Adovcate kills fleas and mites. Worth a try?