Over grooming cat

(9 Posts)
SlightlyMystified Sun 16-Mar-14 21:49:35

My lovely cat, who is 3, grooms and licks herself until she bleeds! She has scabs all over her sides where she "over grooms" and they are often open sores. The vet recommended a calm cat plug in thing but that has done nothing! We have a cone that we put on her until all the scabs have healed totally and she is looking reasonable. But within 2 days of taking it off she has these sores again! She can't wear a cone permanately, it makes her so sad and distressed but we have no idea what else to do, the vet has no useful solutions either, just says it is her way of coping with stress.

It has got so bad I am considering giving her to someone who has a less "stressy" home (we have 2 children, 2 dogs and another cat). But she was born in this house and my daughter (let alone me) would be heart broken.

Anyone have any ideas at all?

NaturalBaby Sun 16-Mar-14 21:54:33

I have a very nervous cat and thought/think he is over grooming but the vet thinks it's flea flea contact dermatitis. He's been on feliway which works quite well for him and are now trying different flea treatment. We've also had to wash all his bedding at 60 and spray soft furnishings with flea spray.

SlightlyMystified Sun 16-Mar-14 22:02:33

Thank you NaturalBaby, that is very interesting. Nothing like that has been mentioned to us but I might try and change her flea treatment and see if that makes any difference. She doesn't really have bedding (prefers what ever i plan to wear the next day to curl up on) but I will have a think about what else could be hiding fleas!

GreenMouse Sun 16-Mar-14 22:23:47

It could also be a food allergy thing: lots of cats are gluten-intolerant. Try giving her some food that doesn't contain cereals.

By the way I also have an overgrooming cat, he takesvhis hair out. Tried everything: changed the flea control product, changed his food, use feliway plug-in, all of which improved things somewhat but he still does it. I guess it's just his temperament, he's quite a nervy cat. Short of counseling I don't know what else to do!

NaturalBaby Sun 16-Mar-14 22:34:26

My vet only mentioned it because he is a dermatologist so it was the first thing on his mind. He's reviewing it after 2 months of the new treatment.

He also mentioned food allergy, and their wet food has changed in the last year so that could be a factor. He's also an incredibly nervy cat and hasn't coped very well with the arrival of my dc's in the home.

timtam23 Mon 17-Mar-14 00:34:22

My old cat has always had fairly awful skin - very dry & flaky - and on quite a few occasions has ocer-groomed to the point of having a red raw weeping patch on his chest or under his front leg. He's quite an anxious cat so I had always attributed it to nerves/stress but I was a bit horrified when , on the last occasion, the vet showed me a flea in the cat's coat (and so he said it was almost certainly flea-allergy dermatitis)

The treatment for my cat - which has worked really well each time - is an injection of steroids, this has produced a marked improvement within 24 hours usually and it breaks the cycle of itching/inflammation/overgrooming. Only problem is that the cat can't have the injection too often because of possible side effects, I think we have been allowed it again every 6 months or so (although he hasn't needed it for about a year now). He also had a cone collar on one occasion but it was all a bit traumatic and he kept trying to run backwards down the stairs (this was before we had the DCs so we were able to devote 24 hours to following him around and making sure he still had the collar on - not a chance of that now! It did work quite well though on the one occasion he had it on)

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 17-Mar-14 07:52:38

Investigation for allergies a large proportion of these cats I investigate are allergic to house dust mites and need immunotherapy.

akachan Thu 20-Mar-14 11:22:48

When I adopted my cat she had this and it was a result of stress as it cleared up quite quickly in my home. She wasn't being mistreated but she's tiny and shy and there were two dogs and 3 other cats in the house. She was having her food stolen and not being allowed in the litter tray.

I don't want to upset you and it may be other reasons but with her it was definitely the stress. She had awful scabbing and not much hair at all and 2 months of being the only animal in the house she had a lovely thick coat again.

Fuzzymum1 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:00:58

If it is stress rather than allergy it might be worth trying rescue remedy - we have a paranoid and terrified very timid cat who is gaining confidence and has stopped peeing on the kitchen worktops since we started her on it. She's still timid but doesn't hide under the bed 90% of the day any more.

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