Every cat owner knows that our feline friends keep themselves groomed and clean on a daily basis. That’s one of the reason why we love them. However, sometimes the cat grooming can become excessive. There are usually behavioral reasons or an underlying medical condition that causes our cats to become compulsive about nibbling their paws or grooming.

How we find this behavior?

Symptoms of excessive cat grooming include local hair loss due to licking, biting, chewing hair, bald spots, and even skin wounds and ulcers. Hair removal and skin damage are limited to the area where the cat can lick, and usually show long strips of skin damage on the abdomen, back, chest and legs, or the hair becomes shorter and thicker and thinner. Because most neurological over grooming behavior occurs at night, and will be relieved when accompanied by the owner. Therefore, this excessive sorting out behavior is not easy to be noticed at the beginning, and most of them are already serious at the time of discovery.

What Causes Excessive cat Grooming?

The long-term stress and anxiety induced transpositional behavior are over combed when the environment cannot be improved.

Skin discomfort caused by fleas, parasites or dermatitis.

Itching caused by food, dust, pollen, mold and other allergies (usually may be allergic to a certain protein).

Endocrine system diseases (such as hyperthyroidism common in elderly cats), nervous system problems, and pain caused by other diseases (such as back pain, cystitis, anal sac disease), etc.

Motivations such as moving to new house, renovating furniture, new pets or family members, separation anxiety, corporal punishment, wrong training behavior, etc. cause mental stress.

Treatment of Excessive Cat Grooming

First, Take your cat to the vet! Make sure that it is not over combed due to severe illness discomfort or pain, eliminate possible potential allergens (such as changing food) that the cat has been exposed to recently, and confirm that the cat’s skin is clean and free of parasites. When all medical problems have been ruled out or resolved, it can be considered a psychogenic “compulsive behavior”, focusing treatment on reducing stress and environmental abundance.

We need to give the cat a comfortable and evasive environment to help him ease the sense of tension; provide healthy and safe licking toys to transfer his compulsive behavior objects; based on sports and mental stimulation to help curb bad behavior, it is recommended to interact with the cat and play more. Keeping it busy is an effective treatment.

The most important thing is that because the problem of over grooming itself is caused by “prolonged stress”, the treatment process may be very long, usually taking several months, which requires you to have enough patience, and avoid attempting to roar through or Corporal punishment is used to “correct behavioral errors”.

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