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Strange changes to my cat's belly fur

(11 Posts)
Itwasmybirthday Fri 15-May-15 18:10:25

Hi, hopefully someone can help with this...

Today my female, approx 6 year old indoor cat was showing me her belly for a tickle. I then noticed that a smallish patch (maybe 3 or 4 inches squared in area, but it's not a square shape) of her white fur has what I can only describe as a pinkish hue to it. I stroked her there and there's obviously no pain, as she didnt react.

I then noticed that the hair around that patch is noticeably shorter than the rest of her belly hair. The rest of her belly hair is fluffy, soft and normal length, this patch looks as though it was shaved off and has grown back a bit!

I havent noticed this before, so don't know how long it's been like this. I really don't want to take her to the vets unless necessary, it's a real pain trying to get her in a box, she hates going there, we have to get taxis there and back and sometimes the drivers can be arsey about taking an animal.

Of course I will take her if it is needed, just explaining why I don't want to make an unnecessary trip. There's no pain or discomfort there from her reaction, I just can't think what it could be?

Has anyone seen anything like this before?

Itwasmybirthday Fri 15-May-15 18:12:54

Just to add, my DP says he noticed it a good few weeks ago, but didn't think too much of it. So it's been like that for awhile, and doesn't seem to be bothering her, but what could it be?!

SoldierBear Fri 15-May-15 18:14:32

Yes. My cat had the same. Vet said it's not unusual - the cat basically plucks the fur with their teeth. Mine looked like we'd shaved her pubes!
Best get her checked out in case there are skin issues though
Cat continued plucking for about a year and then stopped . No idea why

Itwasmybirthday Fri 15-May-15 18:20:22

Thanks for replying so quickly! That would make sense. And it is down towards that lowerr part of the belly, but not quite her pubes! I've been sat here wondering how her fur could've been shaved without us knowing about it!

I guess the pinkness is due to the self-plucking too? It doesn't seem sore, I gave it a really good stroke to watch her reactions and nothing.

Thanks sooo much! I love MN, you can find out anything here!

RubbishMantra Fri 15-May-15 19:49:13

Could it be ringworm, or another type of fungal infection? That causes patches of hair to fall out.

Plucking is part of over-grooming. They do it when stressed. Grooming has a soothing effect on cats.

Good idea to let the vet have a look.

Itwasmybirthday Fri 15-May-15 20:13:00

Hmm that's a worry, will Google that. I don't know if indoor only cars can get ringworm?

I can't see it right now as she's sat firmly on my lap, but it looked very even, just like a patch had been shaved and was growing back at the same rate.

I can't think what she might be stressed about, she has a very easy life with no big changes in the last few months.

Will definitely phone the vets when they are open, see if they say to bring her in.


RubbishMantra Fri 15-May-15 21:19:15

As an indoor cat, does she get lots of interactive playtime? Laser pointers and Flying Frenzy type toys? Cats need to satisfy their prey drive, otherwise they get bored, which can lead to stress.

Itwasmybirthday Sat 16-May-15 01:11:01

Oh yes she gets loads of play time - my DP works from home and is always chasing her about and playing with her. We also have another slightly younger cat and they chase each other up and form the stairs all the time.

Her behaviour hasn't changed at all, she's still the same lap loving, cheeky, affectionate happy cat.

Which makes me think it cannot be anything serious? But we love our cats to bits so we would never take any chances- will get her to the vets next week. I'm dreading it as she really won't like it, but it has to be done.

Itwasmybirthday Sat 16-May-15 01:20:24

Oh and I forgot to say- our flat is full of cat toys, DP makes houses for them out of cardboard boxes, there are rubber balls and wind-up bugs all over the place and several fishing rod type toys (including a very bedraggled parrot one that she's had since she was a tiny kitten - it's disgustingly mangled but she loves it.

We (especially DP) play with her loads. When she wants DP to chase her she goes up to his desk, squawks at him and then runs away for him to chase her the moment he looks at her!

SoldierBear Sat 16-May-15 08:25:04

Able to respond more fully now I'm not on the bus on my phone!
Our vet said that some cats pluck due to stress, or as a comfort/boredom activity, but also that a lot just start for no apparent reason, e.g. when there have been no changes in their routine. Which was the case with ours. He did check general health and take a skin scraping just in case, but like you it was limited to a particular area and the results were negative.
I would take the cat to get checked out for possible skin issues, but it sounds as if the situation is almost identical to my cat, right down to the position of the plucked area and the fact it was a two cat household. Oh, and our cats did get outside, so not like it was vitamin D deficiency.
Good luck!

Itwasmybirthday Thu 21-May-15 19:56:54

Hi, updating now as we're just back from the vets...

Well it was pretty traumatic getting her there and back as she was pretty scared in the box, and poor thing did a wee on the way home, went on my DP's leg rather than on the bus seat!

The vet checked her for parasites, skin problems etc but nothing. He said it is definitely over grooming, and mentioned possible causes of stress, but we drew a blank there. So it could be what you mentioned, Soldier, just licking away in the same spot for no apparent reason. We have to take her back in a month to see how she is then and sort out her tooth:

The vet also found a broken tooth which will have to come out at some point.
He (vet) said that if we asked Fluff how she was, she'd probably say "well yes I do lick my tummy a bit sometimes, but what's really bothering me is my sore tooth"!

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

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