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(12 Posts)
mumof2teenboys Mon 17-Dec-12 09:48:42

Does anyone have any experience of their cat over-grooming? I think that our little cat is doing this. She has developed balding patches along her spine, there is no sign of fleas, mites etc. She has not had a different type of food or been in contact with any chemicals as far as we know. She isn't distressed in anyway although she isn't keen on being handled by anyone other than me.

She has been through a difficult time this year, my son (her proper person) killed himself and she was alone with him for 3/4 days until he was discovered. So she has lost her primary person, moved house, been spayed and had to get used to 3 older cats. (they are very good and tolerant of her)

She is eating well, enjoys going outside to play, is using her litter tray as normal. She has a dedicated place that is all hers to sleep, eats separately to the others so isn't stressed by mealtimes.

Any ideas wise people?

mumof2teenboys Mon 17-Dec-12 09:49:49

Sorry, meant to add, she is a moggy but has siamese in her. She exhibits a lot of siamese traits, don't know if this may have some relevance.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Dec-12 10:05:00

So very sorry about your son mum. Difficult for everyone and you have the added problem of keeping 'his cat' well.

Have you taken her to the vet? You need to do that first to rule out any underlying medical condition for the baldness.

tabulahrasa Mon 17-Dec-12 14:41:04

Could just be stress - especially if she's siamesey and her person's gone (sorry btw sad), I've been told overgrooming can be a sign of pain...

I'd take her to the vet and go from there tbh.

Nigglenaggle Mon 17-Dec-12 21:23:24

So sorry for your loss, and hers. It isn't surprising she is overgrooming given the stressful year she has had. The loss of her person and the move of house will have been extremely stressful for her, but while she may always miss your son, time will heal these things for her. Likewise the trauma of the spay will fade. Getting to know other cats can also be very stressful even when these cats are quite tolerant (and bear in mind aggression between cats can be very subtle - even just staring can be the equivalent of fisty-cuffs for them), especially for cats which have previously only lived with people. You can make this easier on her by making sure she has places she can hide, both dark holes and high retreats, and also by making sure she can avoid the other cats for food and toiletting needs. One more litter tray and food bowl than there are cats is a good rule of thumb, and ideally these should all be in separate rooms (otherwise you may as well just have one). Even though she doesnt have toiletting problems, it will reduce her stress to have an option.

There are several products on the market that may ease her stress and ease the transition - although they cannot bring back what she has lost they may still be of use. Kalm-Aid, Feliway and Zylkene are all worth a go, and all can be bought over the counter or online. It is probably worth getting a vet to look at her, but the most likely cause given the other things that have happened is stress. Hope you both have a better year in 2013 sad

Nigglenaggle Mon 17-Dec-12 21:24:02

Siamese cats can be more stressy, so while you can't do anything about that, it probably is a factor.

mumof2teenboys Tue 18-Dec-12 10:50:17

Thanks Nigglenaggle

She does eat seperately to the other cats, she is the only one to use a litter tray (which is only really at night or in bad weather now) She has a radiator bed which is off the ground and is solely hers. The older cats hate them so don't go near it!
She does take herself off upstairs or on top of the computer when she needs a bit of 'time-out'
Does it sound as though I'm doing enough to provide the peace and space she needs? is there anything else I can do?

cozietoesie Tue 18-Dec-12 11:27:22

I'm reasonably versed in Siamese, mum, having had a long line of Siamese boys. tabulah as well (if I recall) has a Siamese girl. My gut feeling, particularly if she exhibits Siamese traits, is that it's probably stress, knowing that if any of my Siamese boys had had to go through what she's gone through they'd have been extremely disturbed. She's got some good yeoman stock to help her out but still - it's been a lot for a wee cat.

Unfortunately, over-grooming (if that's what it is - and it likely is) can become compulsive behaviour even though the initial stressor(s) may have passed but you really do need to get her vet-checked just to ensure that she has no underlying medical conditions.

Then pop back and we'll maybe suggest some additional strategies. If she's very Siamese-y, it may in fact be that she doesn't need space as you understandably thought but additional closeness to a person. Let's see.

tabulahrasa Tue 18-Dec-12 18:58:05

Yep I've got a Siamese girly...she tolerates the other pets, but she does need space from them. To be honest though her space from them mostly involves more sitting on me, lol

cozietoesie Tue 18-Dec-12 18:59:53

Well that's the thing, tabulah. They're not much on other cats unless they've been raised with them but they're the very devil on humans. (Their humans that is.)

tabulahrasa Tue 18-Dec-12 19:12:05

I actually got my other cat to keep her company...the dog had cancer, I was supposed to be working full time shortly and a neighbour had kittens she was trying to get rid of, so I took wasn't my brightest idea, they're ok now, but that took a long time.

I also got a puppy (2 years after the dog died, and I'm not working full time, lol) and I thought she'd not be bothered as he'd lived with a dog all her life, wrong again.

Poor thing wants nothing more than my undivided attention and I keep foisting this other animals on her.

She is very easily stressed anyway - and that's a massive amount of change, mine would be obviously upset by all that going on.

Like I said, I'd start at the vets to rule out other causes and then just give her time and lots of affection.

Nigglenaggle Tue 18-Dec-12 20:17:36

I think it sounds like you are doing all the right things - time will heal

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