Recognizing and Treating Over-grooming
There are several medical conditions in cats that may seem like they don’t harm the cat, but in actuality, they can take a toll on a cat’s health. One such disorder is over-grooming, which is a stress-related condition that can be compared to obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans. Over-grooming can be very dangerous, so if you see symptoms of this disorder in your cat, talk to your vet right away to find out what you can do to help.
Over-grooming usually starts when there has been a big change in your cat’s life, such as a new baby or pet in the house or a move. Cats naturally groom themselves often, and this activity is like a massage that cats love to do. Therefore, if your cat is stressed out about a change in his or her life, your cat may groom in an attempt to remain calm. Over-grooming takes place with the cat excessively licking or pulling out fur, resulting in bald spots. Commonly, the areas affected by over-grooming at the inner thighs and forelegs.
If you see bald spots on your cat, your first step is to call your vet and schedule an appointment. There are, in fact, over things that cause balding in a cat, and these other medical conditions can become quickly fatal if left untreated. Thyroid problems, allergies, fleas, mites, ringworm, and bacterial pyoderma can all cause bald patches in the fur, which your vet can examine to diagnose your pet.
If your cat is suffering from over-grooming, there are several things you can do to her him or her heal. First, identify what has triggered this reaction in your pet and eliminate this if possible. However, this may not help, as the cat’s behavior may be a habit by now. Try to take your cat’s mind off of grooming by regular play and stimuli. Consider a cat video or a fish tank, which can entertain your cat when you have to leave for more than an hour, and when possible, bring your cat wherever you are going.
Your vet can also recommend certain medications to help your cat stop over-grooming. Anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications could do the trick, and your vet can help you learn positive reactions for your cat when you see that he or she is over-grooming. Together, you, your vet, and your cat can put an end to your cat’s health problems.