Advanced search

Very worried about my cat

(28 Posts)
GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:05:29

Exactly one year ago, I adopted two one-year old cats (not littermates). So they are both now two. They don't go outside unsupervised.

One of them is a long haired tabby and she is in perfect condition.

The other is a black cat called Watson.

They get along fine. Watson is super active and playful and the more dominant one.

In July I went away for a week and when I came back Watson had a small patch of hair missing between his shoulder blades. There was no skin irritation whatsoever.

From that point on, he began to lose hair on his lower belly and hind legs. He still has the missing patch between his shoulder blades. The hair at the base of his spine has seemed to turn a greyish brown shade.

Its now January so 7 months on, and he is not losing anymore hair but neither has it seemed to grow back.

I gave him worm and flea medication in July when I got back from holiday. Since then and his hair loss, I wormed and defleaed him last month and again this month.

Initially the vet said she thought he was licking himself bald as a result of some unknown external trigger. Then she said she though he might have a flea allergy.

I've noticed he grooms himself really intensively and much more so than my longhaired cat. Whats weird is that when I first adopted him, its like he had never been taught by his mother to groom himself because he never did it. He learnt it from my longhaired cat and now its like his obsession!

The vet told me to do one last month (month 3) of worming and fleaing which I will do. If nothing has improved I will then take him in to see her, but in the meantime, do you have any idea what the problem could be?

Like I said, my longhaired cat is just dandy. And Watson is in fine form otherwise, really sociable and energetic - its just his fur 😣

Any thoughts welcome, I'll now post some pics

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:07:03

The bald patch between shoulder blades

user1467976192 Tue 23-Jan-18 19:07:09

Could be stress try feliway

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:08:01

Hind legs

retirednow Tue 23-Jan-18 19:08:12

Ismit the flea treatment, did you apply it between his shoulder blades.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:09:08


GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:12:22

Greyish brown fur at base of spine

Wolfiefan Tue 23-Jan-18 19:13:44

What flea treatment do you use?
What food is he on?
Is the skin sore at all?

NoMoreUsernames Tue 23-Jan-18 19:17:18

I would be asking for a dermatology referral if your vet's not going to do any investigations. Could be anything from parasites to allergies or a hormonal problem or yes stress. Skin doesn't look irritated which is good.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:17:42


I've forgotten the name of the flea treatment but I got it from the vet and will go back for more this week ans report back.

Food again I buy from the vet, it's Royal Canin Sensitivity Control. The skin isn't sensitive at all, no redness or irritation or welts - simply licked bald.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:20:22


Exactly, zero irritation which is why I haven't taken things further. Plus it hasn't worsened. When they settle down in bed with me, my longhaired cat will give herself a quick groom and start napping. He on the other hand will groom himself for literally about 15 minutes - not in an aggravated way but he just keeps at it.

Could it be fleas (still???!)? But then wouldn't I have seen my longhaired one react, or seen skin irritation?

NoMoreUsernames Tue 23-Jan-18 19:26:36

I'm guessing not parasites actually, they can get mites that live under the skin but both those and fleas would likely cause irritation. Could just be overgrooming, as pp said you could try feliway for a few weeks before spending £££ on investigations. Next step would maybe be skin scrapes and blood tests.


Sounds like psychogenic alopecia.
Sort of like OCD of grooming for cats.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:29:51


Thanks for replying. Next month I'm moving them into a much bigger place with lots of safe outdoor space and was going to feliway in the new place to help them with the move. Do you think its possible its as a result of boredom? And if so, shall I wait to move them + feliway before taking him to the vet?

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:30:21

That's my suspicion too...

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 19:32:24

Harry was like this a few years ago. We think it was stress as the neighbours had scaffolding in the alley between our houses and it was back in the day before we cat proofed the garden. He had a pink shiny belly and a couple of patches on his legs but the skin was never sore or irritated.

The fur eventually grew back and it hasn't happened again.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 19:34:20

Very interesting, thank you for sharing. So what do you think the link to the scaffolding and garden was? You mean because he couldn't go out?

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 19:38:59

Then and now

NoMoreUsernames Tue 23-Jan-18 19:40:43

A move will definitely cause stress so yes to the feliway, now and when you move. Psychogenic alopecia is highly likely, if it doesn't calm down once you're all settled a behaviourist might be a good idea. Your vet should be able to recommend one. Pinpointing stressors in cats is quite difficult as they can be very subtle, could even be low level bullying from your other cat.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 19:41:53

Hmm, I posted some pictures but they don't seem to have uploaded!

He was still allowed out so I presume it was because there was something on his normal route that wasn't usually there. He's a sensitive soul! Also the builders were quite loud and very clumsy so it could have unnerved him.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 19:42:50

Strange, the pictures are there now! In the first one the fur is starting to grow back, it was pinker than that at one point.

BulletFox Tue 23-Jan-18 19:58:59

I got my cat in 2009 and she'd always had a bald spot on her lower tummy.

Weirdly enough it sorted itself out last year and grew back and she's like a fluffy little black teddy now.

Hope Watson's fur comes back shortly.

Weedsnseeds1 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:43:38

Only thing that would confuse me with the overgrooming theory is the bit between his shoulder blades, is he raking away with a back paw or something, as I can't see how he reaches it otherwise?
My guess would have been flea allergy, but a vet supplied treatment should work.
Old girl had flea allergy and steroid injections sorted it when she got a flare up. Even on a good flea treatment as an outdoor cat, she got the odd bite and reacted, even though that was the death of the flea!

Want2beme Tue 23-Jan-18 23:44:03

My longhaired cat did this to the upper part if her tail last year and I was dreading that she'd take it further, thankfully she didn't. The only thing I could think was causing it was a time when the weather was terrible and she wasn't going out mych, so spent her time over grooming her tail, in between snoozing. Do you use Stronghold flea treatment? I find it's the best one. Watson's very sweet looking.

TimeIhadaNameChange Wed 24-Jan-18 15:21:39

My cat lost fur like this a good few years ago. Tummy, 'arm pits' and one patch on the back of the tail. It was odd - there was still very short fur all over, it was never really totally bare skin (as far as I can remember) but less than a mm in length. I asked the vet who said I could get her tested for allergies but he wouldn't bother, so I didn't.

I've tried Feliway, which made no difference, and put her onto a grain-free diet, which, similarly, didn't seem to help. Bizarrely, she's been having more Dreamies and treats similar to them recently (rather than the dried-meat Thrive) and her tail seems to be almost back to normal. But her other patches are just the same.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: