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Cat overgrooming and losing fur

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by scatatonic, Nov 11, 2020.


  1. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Member

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    My gorgeous, but highly neurotic, cat has started chewing the fur off the base of his tail... He is up to date with jabs and is wormed and flea'ed regularly (in my vets pet health club) he's tabby and white - a lot of white so I'm pretty sure I would notice if he had fleas.. I've brushed him thoroughly and no sign of flea dirt. He doesn't mind me touching the area so not sensitive. Literally the only thing I can think of, that has changed, is his best friend has disappeared recently (possibly relocated for lockdown or not allowed out because of fireworks) he definitely seems a little lost as they usually call for each other and play together... I will take him to the vet but my vet totally maxed out my policy last year then when the money dried up said they didn't know what was wrong and said I would have to be referred to a specialist... Never got to that as I asked for him to be treated for Guardia (his symptoms were similar) and within a few days he was normal again... I have no idea whether that was the problem or not but I think my faith in the vet, who wanted to do x-rays and scans etc, before considering lest costly measures, has been shaken a bit... my policy wouldn't allow me to up the cover this year because of his history so I'm wary of risking a trip that again results in costly procedures... Any ideas? Could it just be stress related? He is really a very sensitive cat! He does go outdoors but not much further than our garden and always comes back when I call. He is in overnight (4pm until 8am) and cuddles me all night... I'm not itchy or scratchy I also have a 12 yr old cat and she doesn't appear to have any issues. Any ideas?
     
  2. jasmine2

    jasmine2 PetForums Member

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    When I shifted twice in a span of few months time, one of my cats started over grooming and hiding in the litter tray. She had sensitive digestive problems too. It took her eight or nine months to be back to normal. So yes I think it’s stress related mostly give him some time. Cuddle him, give him treats and play with him with teaser toy he will be ok
     
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  3. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Member

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    Thank you. I will absolutely closely monitor but having runout of insurance last year i want to conserve that for emergencies and not overreact... He doesn't seem distressed or in pain he's just ruining his beautiful bushy tail
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @scatatonic - I am sorry to hear this about Pablo.

    Stress as the cause of over-grooming should only be considered once other possible causes have been ruled out.

    Flea bite allergy accounts for the highest percentage of feline itching and over-grooming. But if Pablo is always treated every month with a good flea preventative (e.g. Advocate, Stronghold or Advantage) or every 3 months with e.g Bravecto, then as you say it seems unlikely he has a flea allergy. (As long as he is not treated with any flea product containing the insecticide fipronil which is no longer effective in all parts of the UK).

    Once a flea bite allergy has been eliminated as a cause, the next possibility to consider is a food or environmental allergy. These kind of allergies develop from frequent exposure over a period of time. So for example, he could have become allergic to a food he eats every day, or to a chemical used regularly in the home, such as a laundry liquid.

    Have you noticed Pablo scratching his ears or his face? Or licking his abdomen? Or the insides of his front or back legs? Those are areas that tend to be typical of a food allergy in cats. But actually a food allergy can cause itching in any part of the body, including the tail.

    Actually I am just wondering if Pablo might possibly have Stud Tail. It doesn't affect only entire cats, but can affect neuters too. It makes the fur at the base of the tail greasy and itchy, so missing fur in the area is not unusual.

    https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_stud_tail_supracaudal_gland_hyperplasia
     
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  5. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Member

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    I've had cats for years with nothing more than routine trips to a vet their entire lives.. starting to think I should erect a tent outside with Pablo! It doesn't seem to be causing him distress so I'm going to sit it out for a bit. I can't think of anything he's been exposed to in the house being different... He does scratch his neck (he's always done that) but I think that's mainly because he hates wearing a collar... I've worked out he's costing me £2.50 a week in collars I wouldn't rule out a food allergy considering that's something we wondered about previously... Will also check out the stud tail thing. Thank you x
     
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  6. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Member

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    Heck I just had a thought... I bought him Encore as it was on offer in Asda... Just checked the ingredients and it contains rice... After all the gastro problems previously I had ditched applaws and encore and switched to seriously good (similar but grain free) and Mjamjam... Could just be a coincidence but also not... Have used all that up now anyway but note to self literally not worth the risk!
     
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