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Pulling out hair

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by apricot, Oct 4, 2013.


  1. apricot

    apricot PetForums Member

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    One of my ginger boys started pulling out hair along one side of his back when he was about 6 months old. He still does it now and again. I used a pheromone diffuser and Zylkine tablets and they made no difference.
    He is happy and calm, it just seems to be something he wants to do (like me biting my nails). No skin problems or parasites.
    Has anyone managed to stop a cat doing this?
     
  2. JordanRose

    JordanRose Master of the Whingey Cat.

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    My Spooks is a fur plucker, too.

    For him, I think it's got 3 levels to it:

    1. Boredom/ Attention-Seeking

    2. Over-stimulation [especially when grooming. He just gets carried away!]

    3. Stress


    As such, I have had Feliway plug-ins- as you are doing- and have also made an effort to stimulate him more. His interactive treat feeder's been a great purchase as it means I can put bits of dry food in there (not everyday, as he's on an all-wet diet on the most part) for him to 'hunt' out:

    Great deals on cat toys and accessories at zooplus: Trixie Cat Activity Fun Board

    He also has other toys that he can play with on his own. Best ones I've found are door hangers such as this:

    Great Bargains on Cat Toys only at zooplus: Cat Toy Bird for Door Frames

    Also, Catit tracks/ Undercover Mouse/ Cat Cheese Corner/ Tunnels...

    I've upped the predatory play, too, and have made sure I play with him for at least a good half an hour everyday.

    Spooks still plucks every now and again- sometimes he gets carried away with the grooming and other times, he wants attention- but generally, it's diminished considerably with the extra stimulation.

    I think once they pluck, they're inclined to do so for the rest of their lives. Spooks seems to genuinely like doing it sometimes, I'm sure! It's just trying to establish their motivation for plucking and trying to eliminate triggers. Only way you can prevent it, really!
     
    #2 JordanRose, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  3. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Apricot, I am surprised that Zylkene made no difference, as I had heard reports of great success with it for over grooming problems. It needs to be given every day for at least a month before you would see any benefit. If nothing has changed after a month then you may as well discontinue it.

    As well as the reasons that JordanRose mentions, another one, applicable only in multicat households is a tension in the relationship between the overgrooming cat and another cat. The overgroomer may feel anxious or threatened in the presence of one of the other cats. I had a situation like this myself with one cat, and part of the answer was to give him his own space where he could go to get away from the other cats. The others are not allowed into his space whilst he is there.

    The other part of the answer is to give him Yumega drops every day in his food. These contain Omega 3 & 6 in the correct proportion. They have given him an even thicker and more glossy coat than he had before. The fur grows back really quickly on any little bald patches.
     
  4. apricot

    apricot PetForums Member

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    Thanks for replies. George has plenty of play, is predatory in the garden and likes his brother. He is a over-enthusiastic groomer and there seems no reason for pulling out his hair, I just wonder whether there's anything I can put on him to deter him?
     
  5. Cookieandme

    Cookieandme PetForums VIP

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    I don't know if this will help but JR started this thread http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-health-nutrition/312865-spooky-woes-2.html and Bach Remedies were recommended.

    I tried the Crab Apple on my April as she was grooming alot but not pulling fur out and chewing things like lampshades. I don't know if the Crab Apple was responsible but she no longer chews stuff.
     
  6. katscat555

    katscat555 PetForums Junior

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    Have you checked his fur in case he has anything from outdoors lodged in there?
    I only say this as my Cat started doing this in the early summer although he had never done it before.
    I soon realised that when he was out especially on the fields his fur was picking up grass seeds and all sorts of weeds and plants that had dried out due to the heat this year.
    The grass seed especially was irritating his skin and as he was trying to pull them out he was pulling clumps of fur out with it.

    So i now comb him every time he comes in, although he has eased up on the pulling somewhat now that autumn is kicking in but is still doing it on the odd occasion although its not really a big problem.

    But i guess you probably have already eliminated this if he has been doing it since quite young
     
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