9 year old female cat. Neutered. Vet can't see any physical reason for her overgrooming. It's the bottom of her tummy, towards the tail end. We can't think of any recent changes which would affect her mental wellbeing. We think it's maybe a habit she had when we got her - (rescued her last year from a shelter - one previous good owner who had moved abroad, she was in the shelter for about 3 weeks).
We've tried feliway. No change. Vet now wants to try her on a herbal remedy. But I was wondering if we could put something nasty tasting on her belly and that would stop her? A bit like painting stuff on your nails to break the habit of nibbling them?
It's often an allergic dermatitis that causes cat to over groom and it can be difficult to pin point what is triggering it. Flea bite hypersensitivity is very common and cats are really efficent at grooming fleas off so you don't always see evidence of fleas in the coat. Have you tried a fast killing flea treatment ike Comfortis tablets to rule out the possibility of contact with fleas? Also has your vet tried any antiinflammatory treatment (anti histamines or steroids) to break the itch- scratch/lick- itch- cycle
Both my cats have had issues with overgrooming in the past. The more recent one was the end of his tail - vet thought it was possibly impacted anal glands (ew ew ew) that were causing him to worry at a relatively nearby area. He did seem to stop about the time he had his glands done, so possible it actually was that. Lower belly isn't that far from the bum, but I would spent a vet to check out something like that.
The earlier one was more like it - overgrooming mostly of lower belly, moving onto hind legs. Turns out he's allergic to fleas - no actually infestation, no sign of fleas, but sufficiently allergic that if he got bitten he'd itch. He's also allergic to rye grass, storage mites and dust mit s, but the fleas are the real problem. Now wears a Seresto collar so never gets bitten, and is much better.
Putting something bad tasting on her would just be cruel if she's doing it through physical discomfort.