Post # 1
My cat Bosco has had some skin issues for a bit. He licks off all the fur on his back legs and his belly. I switched his food to venison with no grains and he was doing better until a few months ago he started it all up again. I’m bringing him to the vet next week but I’m wondering if this could be something not food allergy related. He’s a very dependant cat and always wants attention. He’s also active and I feel like get’s bored easily. I’m wondering if this could be anxeity related? I am almost 100% positive it’s not fleas because I feel like I would have seen one by now or gotten bitten. He’s a strictly indoor cat. Anyone have any experience with this?
Post # 2
Definetely do allergy testing.
I took in a stray and for the first couple of years he seemed fine. Then all of the sudden he kept licking/biting/scratching fur off. Found out he was allergic to house dust mites.
Post # 3
Licking is a self-soothing mechanism. My mum’s cat did this (but only on legs and belly), and it turned out he had cancer- take your cat to the vet asap!
Post # 4
Vet bee here!
Do you use regular flea prevention? If not, then you can’t be sure it’s not fleas. Those little buggers can jump, and come home with you from other animals, and not seeing them doesn’t rule them oout. Flea allergies are extremely common in cats, and one flea bite can set off an allergic cat.
How is his skin aside from the hair loss? If it’s not inflamed or scabby then he’s possibly doing it due to stress. Any changes at home recently?
Post # 5
Following because my cat does this too. I’ve taken her to the vet numerous times and they can’t seem to figure it out. I think mine at least is probably anxiety related somehow as her over-grooming was accompanied by her peeing outside her box.
Post # 6
My parent’s cat did this and it turned out she was allergic to fleas! They had reular flea drops but she would go outside and get bit occasionally.
Post # 7
Aww poor Bosco! My cat was losing her hair too and we found out it was a food allergy but can also be triggered by anxiety and stress. When something upsets her she gets it back again. I would definitely investigate whether something is causing Bosco anxiety.
I would look into getting him another cat as a companion. Especially if he is a cat that gets bored easily. A friend can do wonders as they can play together and comfort each other.
My fiance’s cat was also pulling out his hair but we found that he had fleas and was distressed by them and uncomfortable. He was fine after having flea treatment.
I understand about it seeming unlikely that Bosco has fleas because of him being an indoor cat. But I was horrified to find that my indoor cat had fleas recently, as a pp said that can be brought home by another animal and many other reasons.
All the best to you and your precious fur baby!
Post # 8
With cats it’s harder to see if there’s fleas or not because they keep themselves so well groomed, and clean all the flea dirt off (that you’d normally see on a dog.) first thing id do is get some flea treatment on him and see if it goes away! I know down south here we’ve had a bad flea problem due to all the rain. They get in the house even with indoor pets!
Post # 9
LunaLake: I definitely wouldn’t rule out fleas and it’s great you have a vet appointment set up, but it sounds like it’s an anxiety/stress/neurotic response to me.
When our sweet cat was a kitten, it was recommended she be kept as a solely indoor cat for the first 6 – 8 months (not that common in NZ). We played with her constantly and she wasn’t alone that often since I frequently worked from home, but she developed a problem with fur balls. Our vet said it was likely that she was grooming more from boredom while being cooped up inside. Sure enough, she hasn’t had a fur ball since she started venturing out into the great outdoors!
I’m not suggesting you should suddenly let your kitty outside, but making sure it has sufficient toys and perches by windows etc. to keep itself entertained might be beneficial. We used to set up things like cat biscuits hidden in a box with a small opening to keep our one occupied. Hope the vet helps rule out anything serious!
Post # 10
If it’s stress-related, you could get a pheremone collar – they work fantastically and have changed my cat’s lives. They’re really awesome at helping a cat ‘calm down’ and become more affectionate and less edgy and more relaxed.
If it’s food, try feeding a natural but varied diet. Raw eggs, mince, chicken (all raw), etc. If your vet suggests you stick to pellets – find a holistic vet instead or speak to an actual pet nutritionist.
If it’s fleas or sensitive skin, there are natural measures you can use. A lot of the chemicals we put onto our pets to rid them of fleas and ticks can make them incredibly sick (it gets absorbed into the skin and can start damaging their organs).
Good luck with your precious pet!! I hope you find a decent solution soon <3
Post # 11
LunaLake: I have no advice but poor little Bosco! Hope the vet can help him ASAP. Very worrying for a cat mumma!
Post # 12
LunaLake: It definitely could be either allergies or stress. (Even seasonal allergies! Yes, I had a cat that was allergic to most of the outside world, oh…and human hair! My cat was allergic to me?!) Anyhow, if it ends up not being allergies, I have seen cats lick from stress too. My friend’s cat licked his fat little belly bare anytime he felt stress…and he was in a VERY comforting home. Good luck and I hope you can find out if you can do anything to relieve this for him!
Post # 13
Thank you all for your advice. He was at the vet back in February for his annual and he didn’t have fleas then but I will have the vet check that out for sure. There hasn’t been any changes at home recently. I’m wondering if cats can have seasonal allergies? It seemed to get worse once spring started.
Post # 14
LunaLake: Hi, my baby has the same issue. This started happening a year ago and her hair has still not grown back. She was eating Friskies and we recently changed her to a much healthier diet and it seems to be helping.
1. If you haven’t checked for fleas that is the first thing the vet will say it is. This is most common when they have fleas and lots of kitties are allergic to flea bites themselves.
2. Could she be bored? At first, they put my kitty on fluoxetine which is an anti depressant and we started playing with her more (this still didnt help)but a vet may very well say it is Psychogenic alopecia
3. Since with my baby, it was not fleas, or psycogenic alopecia they put her on a steroid to see if that would make it stop. She quit licking but the hair still hasn’t grown back and the steroid made her fat.
We are still dealing with this issue and I hope your vet has some good advice! I would love to be updated with what your vets opinion is since, like I said, we are having the same problem! (Although switching to a healthier food has helped a little)
Post # 15
KatieJo82: have they suggested putting her on alprazolam (xanax)? From my experiance this and peeing go hand and hand with anxiety and when I used to work at a cat vet they would put kitties with anxiety on this all the time (usually because they were abused when they were little, so very common in shelter cats)