How To Stop Your Cat From Over-grooming

How to Stop Your Cat From Over-Grooming (11 Proven Methods)

Kittens are well-known for their proclivity for grooming themselves. They normally keep themselves reasonably clean, so we don’t have to spend much time cleaning them. They do, on the other hand, keep themselves a touch too clean at times. They may have hair loss and possibly get sores in these circumstances. The tongue of a cat is fairly abrasive, and excessive grooming can cause major harm to the cat’s hair and skin. This can result in secondary infections, which can be life-threatening in nature.

They’ll most likely do it while you’re not around, and if you try to physically prevent them from overgrooming, they’ll most likely just move.

These approaches are discussed in this section.

1.Figure Out Why Your Cat Is Overgrooming

Image courtesy of Pixabay There are a variety of reasons why your cat may be grooming excessively. It’s possible that they’re stressed. In order to relax, they may engage in calming habits like as grooming or bathing. An excessive amount of grooming, on the other hand, is not beneficial, even if it helps your cat relax. Itching is frequently caused by food allergies. Your cat’s skin and hair may suffer as a result of this itching, which can lead to excessive grooming and biting tendencies. Although it may appear that your cat is overgrooming, he or she is really itching.

  1. This is a little more uncommon since cats, when bored, may choose to get themselves into trouble.
  2. It is critical to understand why your cat is overgrooming in order to put a stop to this behavior.
  3. If your cat appears to be bored, it may be necessary to provide him with toys and other interesting materials.
  4. Related Reviews of the Best Cat Grooming Gloves in 2021 can be found here.

2.Make Your Home Less Stressful

Image courtesy of SJ Duran/Shutterstock.com Cats will groom themselves in a variety of situations when they are anxious. They may, on the other hand, groom a bit too much at times. Managing some of the tension in your home might help to prevent this over-groomed appearance. Cats are often agitated by things that appear to be normal to us. Cats, for example, may be prone to seeing odd creatures outside the window when they are within. Cats, being smaller creatures, are frequently protective when they encounter canines or even other cats.

If your cat is frequently agitated by passing animals outdoors, shut the windows so that your cat cannot see them.

Some stressful events, on the other hand, are unavoidable.

Some felines may be stressed out by loud noises as well.

Something that they can climb and hide in, like as a cat tree, is an excellent choice for this purpose. As a rule, it should be placed in a calm area of the house, ideally near where their food and litter box are kept.

3.Increase the Number of Resources

Image courtesy of Pixabay If you have numerous cats in your house, they may become agitated as a result of a “lack of resources,” which is defined as a shortage of food and water. Cats are not aware of the fact that there is a full bag of food in the laundry room, despite the fact that you are aware of this. If there is just one food dish that is shared among three cats, they may become anxious due to the possibility of running out of food. This might result in territorial guarding behavior, where one cat is in charge of the food dish on a regular basis.

  • With several cats in the house, you should provide various feeding and watering stations for your feline friends.
  • It also lessens the impact of any guarding that may occur, since the other cats may easily go to other food dishes if they feel threatened.
  • Putting two food bowls next to each other isn’t really useful, since cats will often refuse to eat when two food bowls are placed near together.
  • They should be separated by a large distance so that cats may eat at the same time without interfering with their eating habits.

4.Put the Litter Box, Food, and Water in Appropriate Locations

Image courtesy of Nils Jacobi/Shutterstock.com The placement of our cat’s resources might often be a source of anxiety for him. Your cat may get unduly anxious if his or her food dish is placed in a high-traffic area when guests arrive to visit, for example. If your cat’s litter box is located near the dryer or washer, he or she may become alarmed when attempting to use it. The majority of the time, all of your cat’s essential supplies should be kept in a quiet, easy-to-access location. You should try to position feeding stations and litter boxes on different ends of the home in calm areas if you have more than one.

Depending on the size of your home, this may not always be possible to accomplish.

However, you should make certain that there is at least one feeding dish and one litter box in a secure location.

5.Introduce Other Cats Appropriately

Image courtesy of Pixabay Introducing a new kitty into your household should be done in a calm and orderly manner to prevent either cat from being overstimulated or agitated. Simply bringing a new cat into your home will result in tension on both sides of the equation. Instead, you should confine the new cat to a separate location so both animals may become used to the scent of the other cat. This also provides the new cat with a “safe zone” that they may retreat to once they have been introduced to the rest of your feline family.

They will probably continue to use their “own” food and litter box even after they are both allowed to wander freely throughout the home. In this way, you can prevent tension since each cat will have their own place where they may hide if required.

6.Introduce Hiding Places

Image courtesy of Pixabay Cats are excellent at locating safe havens to hide in. Cats frequently hide under tables and on the tops of cupboards because they have no where else to go. But in certain cases, they are unable to conceal themselves, which might result in anxiety. This is a regular occurrence in corridors, since there isn’t generally much in the way of furniture. If you can offer your cat with a safe haven while living in these cramped conditions, their stress levels may be lessened.

If two or more cats are trapped on the same level, they may find it difficult to communicate with one another.

7.Consider Medication

Pixabay is credited with the photo. When it comes to hiding, cats are excellent concealment specialists. It’s common for cats to hide under tables and on the tops of cupboards since they have no where else to go. The fact that they are unable to conceal themselves in some situations might be stressful. Hallways, where there isn’t much furniture, are a popular place for this to happen. If you can offer your cat with a safe haven while living in these cramped confines, their stress levels may be reduced significantly.

  • Having cats locked on the same level as one another might make it difficult for them to coexist peacefully and effectively.
  • Synthetic pheromones may be a viable alternative.
  • There are synthetic versions of this available on the market that have been shown to have a soothing effect on adult cats in some instances.
  • These pheromones are undetectable by humans, and there are little adverse effects associated with their use.
  • Another alternative is the nutritional supplement Zylkene, which is available in capsule form.
  • It is classified as a nutraceutical, which implies that it is not a medicine but has the potential to create drug-like benefits.
  • It usually takes 7 days for this supplement to start working, however you may see improvements practically immediately after using it.

This supplement must be administered to a cat for a period of 4-6 weeks in order to break bad behaviors such as overgrooming. It is most effective in short-term, stressful situations, like as boarding a flight or becoming acclimated to a new infant.

Zylkene is a dietary supplement that offers another possibility. Made of milk protein, it has been shown to be effective in relaxing cats. As a nutraceutical, it is not a medicine, but it can have effects that are similar to those produced by drugs. As a result of its nutritional value, it has the potential to be very beneficial to cats. Although you may experience effects almost immediately, it is typical for this supplement to take around 7 days to act. In order to break bad behaviors in cats, such as excessive grooming, this supplement must be given to them for 4-6 weeks.

8.Change Their Food

Another alternative is the nutritional supplement Zylkene, which is also available online. It is composed of milk protein, which has been shown to relax cats. It is classified as a nutraceutical, which implies that while it is not a medicine, it has the potential to create drug-like effects. As a result of its effects on felines, it is considered to be a dietary supplement. It usually takes 7 days for this pill to start working, however you may see improvements practically immediately. This supplement must be administered to a cat for a period of 4-6 weeks in order to break bad behaviors such as excessive grooming.

9.Check for Parasites

Image courtesy of karpova and Shutterstock. Parasites can also trigger an allergic response in certain people. Certain cats are sensitive to the saliva of fleas, while ear mites can also cause allergies in some cats. You may check for these parasites on your own, however you may need to take your pet to the veterinarian to be sure they are totally ruled out. In order to reduce overgrooming, it is necessary to treat parasites. Often, once the parasites have been eliminated, the cat will quit scratching and grooming as much as she did before.

10.Check for Other Medical Problems

karpova, Shutterstock is credited with this image It is also possible for parasites to trigger an allergic response. It has been shown that some cats are sensitive to the saliva of fleas, however ear mites can also trigger allergies. However, you may need to take your pet to the veterinarian if you suspect that they have these parasites in their system. It is critical to treat parasites in order to reduce overgrooming of the animals. A lot of the time, once the parasites have been eliminated, the cat will no longer scratch or groom as much.

11.Add Stimulation

Featured image courtesy of Tony Campbell/Shutterstock Some cats brush themselves excessively because they are bored. The fact that they are overgrooming is not as frequent as the numerous other reasons for which they may be grooming is, though. You may wish to start by checking for health concerns and attempting a few more measures. However, providing your cat with additional stimulus to keep him from becoming bored is both affordable and time-consuming. It is incredibly beneficial to have puzzle toys.

Both are really effective.

Training can also give mental stimulation for those who participate.

We can’t always be sure that our cats are getting the activity that they require, even though they typically have lots of space to roam around the home.

Are you looking to provide your cat with even more excitement in your home? Tall Cat Scratching Posts are a great option! Featured Image courtesy of TeamK and Pixabay.

Reasons Why Cats Overgroom and How to Stop It

Psychogenic alopecia is a term used to describe excessive grooming practices in cats that are not caused by a medical condition. Despite the fact that your cat does not have to deal with office politics and sleeps for 16 hours a day, stress and cat behavior problems are often associated with one another. When faced with an excessive amount of stress, many cats become neurotic wrecks. Stressed cats, on the other hand, may resort to overgrooming rather than developing ulcers the way some people do.

What Is Overgrooming in Cats?

Psychogenic alopecia is a term used to describe excessive grooming in cats that has no medical cause. Cat behavior problems are often associated with stress, despite the fact that your cat is not subjected to office politics and sleeps 16 hours a day. When faced with a great deal of stress, many cats become anxious wrecks. Stressed cats, on the other hand, may turn to overgrooming rather than developing ulcers, as some humans do.

Why Do Cats Overgroom?

Chronic stress, such as permanent changes in routine and environment, is the most common form of stress that results in psychogenic alopecia. It is likely to be a combination of a number of stressors, such as permanent changes in routine and environment. For example, a family member’s absence due to death, divorce, longer work hours, vacation, or leaving for college, as well as the absence of a specific family member due to the following reasons:

  • When it comes to psychogenic alopecia, the widespread sort of stress that is most likely to cause it is chronic and comprises of a variety of coupled stressors, such as persistent changes in one’s routine and surroundings. For example, a family member’s absence due to death, divorce, longer work hours, vacation, or leaving for college, as well as the absence of a family member due to the following reasons:

Other cats may brush themselves excessively due to medical reasons. For example, if your cat becomes itchy as a result of anything, it may overgroom in an attempt to ease the irritation. Cats can develop allergies to a variety of things, including food, fleas, and other parts of their surroundings. Take into account any recent dietary or environmental changes that may have contributed to this behavior. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from an allergy, schedule an appointment with a qualified veterinary dermatologist who can do tests on your cat to discover if this is the source of the problem.

See also:  How To Tame A Wild Cat

Signs

If your cat is overgrooming, you will see a line or stripe of very short stubble that resembles a buzz-cut on its face. Cats can get it anywhere on their bodies, but the most typical places to get it are on the foreleg, inner thigh, or belly. Occasionally, if the behavior is extreme enough, the skin beneath the fur may get injured, appearing red or irritated on the surface.

How to Stop the Overgrooming

In order to rule out any medical issues and establish the diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia, you’ll need to see a veterinarian. Try to figure out why your cat is feeling worried as you wait for the problem to be resolved. If you can pinpoint the source of the problem and eradicate it, the behavior may eventually cease on its own. You may also try the following suggestions to help alleviate your cat’s nervousness and excessive grooming:

  • In order to rule out any medical issues and establish the diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia, you’ll need to consult with a veterinarian. Try to figure out why your cat is feeling worried while you wait for the situation to resolve itself. The habit may eventually disappear on its own if you can discover and eradicate the underlying reason. A few other suggestions to help alleviate your cat’s nervousness and excessive grooming include:

An examination by the veterinarian will rule out any medical causes for your cat’s overgrooming during the appointment. Allergies, flea infestation, skin mites, ringworm, bacterial or fungal infections, or metabolic problems such as hyperthyroidism are examples of what you can experience. Skin biopsies, laboratory testing, and a complete physical exam can all be beneficial in assisting your veterinarian in determining the correct diagnosis. Any medical therapy will be tailored to the specifics of the veterinarian’s findings.

  1. Typically, the cat does not need to be on these meds for the rest of its life; rather, they are prescribed for a short amount of time to assist the animal in dealing with stress.
  2. It will take time and patience to observe any positive results from either medicine or instruction for this habit.
  3. Your cat’s inclination to overgroom may resurface at any moment and might be a sign that your cat is experiencing stress once more, so keep an eye out for it.
  4. If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

What To Do if Your Cat Overgrooms.

An examination by the veterinarian will rule out any medical causes for your cat’s overgrooming during the appointment. Allergies, flea infestation, skin mites, ringworm, bacterial or fungal infections, or metabolic problems such as hyperthyroidism are examples of what you can encounter. In order for your veterinarian to provide the most accurate diagnosis possible, skin samples, blood tests, and a thorough physical exam are all recommended. It will depend on the veterinarian’s findings whether or not medical treatment will be provided.

  • Cats are often not need to be on these meds throughout their lives, but rather for a short amount of time to assist the animal in dealing with stress and anxiety.
  • It takes time and patience to observe results from any medicine or instruction for this behavior.
  • If your cat has a proclivity to overgroom, this behavior may resurface at any moment and may be an indication that your cat is experiencing stress once again.
  • Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet’s needs and circumstances.

Raising Your Paws Podcast – Episode Number 42.

A cat flicking its tongue out when there is no food around is an indication of discomfort in the same way that a dog licks its lips when they are feeling uneasy. I’ll explain what this motion can tell us about a cat’s current state of mind. Afterwards, in the second half of my interview with Steve Pearson, a former police officer and SWAT commander who is now the owner and trainer of Performance Kennels Inc., he shares anecdotes about the police K-9 canines who are trained to track down, seize and imprison offenders.

So, what is the key to canines being able to detect explosives and drugs even though smugglers routinely conceal them in stronger-smelling items in order to mask their scent?

I’ll use the example of a pot of stew simmering on the stove to illustrate my point.

Additional Resources.

Performance Kennels, Inc. is owned and operated by Steve Pearson, who also serves as the company’s trainer.

The Facebook page for Performance Kennels, Inc. The source for the report regarding dogs sensing drugs was not disclosed. “How Do Dogs Think?” is a book on how dogs think. Written by Stanley Coren. Podcast: Open in a new window|Save as a podcast

Overgrooming Cats

By Lisa Maciorakowski, DVM www.angell.org/generalmedicine 617-522-7282 www.angell.org/generalmedicine The over-grooming cat is a pretty typical, if not especially annoying, predicament to find yourself in because there is rarely a quick and simple remedy to the problem at hand. Over-grooming can be caused by a variety of factors, including behavioral or medical. Psychogenic alopecia, also known as “behavioral over-grooming,” is a source of stress-relief for many cats that brush themselves excessively.

  • Medical conditions that induce a cat to over-groom are often those that make the cat itchy or uncomfortable.
  • Cats, like people, can develop allergies to foods, fleas, or anything else in their environment, whether it is natural or artificial.
  • A veterinarian can assist you in looking for indications of fleas, recommending flea preventatives, and discussing diet trial choices.
  • If the cat responds positively to a treatment with a steroid or an anti-histamine, this may provide weight to the notion that he has an allergy, which may be the source of his excessive grooming behavior.
  • These are less prevalent in cats that solely spend their time inside, but they are not impossible.
  • The process of grooming itself can be painful for many over-grooming cats, causing harm to their skin.
  • The eosinophillic granuloma complex is an example of a primary skin lesion that is rather prevalent among people.

These lesions can be identified by a skin biopsy or by the response to a steroid treatment trial, among other methods.

The skin may or may not get infected with germs as a result of the over-grooming, depending on the underlying reason.

In order to assist in breaking the cycle of licking while the skin is being treated and the source of irritation is addressed, it is generally recommended that cats wear an Elizabethan collar while the treatment is taking place.

Because any sickness may cause stress in a cat, which can result in over-grooming, it is necessary to assess the overall health of the feline before treating it.

Following the exclusion of all medically related factors, excessive grooming might be classified as a behavioral problem in some cases.

In this case, the cats get obsessed with themselves and become incapable of stopping themselves from licking or gnawing on themselves.

There are several sources of potential stresses for cats to contend with.

The stressor is sometimes difficult to recognize, and it is crucial to remember that stressors are unique to each individual cat in the household.

Some OCD behaviors can evolve from something that began out as self-soothing grooming in response to a specific scenario and continue to develop even after the initial stressor has been removed.

The development of psychogenic alopecia can occur in any cat, while it may be more common in cats who have a very high-strung nature.

If the over-grooming is observed, the cat should not be penalized, since this would just serve to add to the stress of the cat’s environment.

However, we would be worried if the cat’s grooming habit became so distracting that it interfered with his other daily activities (eating, playing, interacting, sleeping).

Psychogenic alopecia can be treated in a variety of methods, each of which is discussed below.

Because it is not always evident, this may need a great deal of consideration (to anyone but the cat).

Plenty of toys, engaging playing, and playmates are all examples of how to do this (unless the playmates are the initiating source of stress).

Maintain as much consistency as possible throughout the cat’s day.

It is a synthetic version of the face pheromones that cats employ to mark their territory and maintain their calm.

It will almost certainly be recommended that a behaviorist be called in order to provide more advice and specific strategies that may be used at home if the problem has progressed to this degree.

However, unlike the physical causes of excessive cat grooming, which can typically be resolved or controlled, psychogenic alopecia is a chronic condition that lasts for the rest of a cat’s life.

There are periods of time when they will have bald patches, and there will be periods of time when their over-grooming will increase and decrease.

The Angell General Medicine service may be reached at 617-522-7282 or at the website www.angell.org/generalmedicine. Angell also provides behavior services for cats, which may be found at www.angell.org/behavior.

How to Stop Stress Induced over Grooming in Cats

For further information, call 617-522-7282 or visit Angell Animal Hospital’s website at www.angell.org/generalmedicine Because there is typically no fast, simple remedy to the problem, the over-grooming kitty is a highly frequent, if not especially annoying, predicament. A behavioral or physical reason for excessive grooming may exist. Many cats utilize the act of over-grooming as a sort of stress-relief, which is known as “psychogenic alopecia.” As a result, all other possible underlying medical explanations have been ruled out, resulting in an exclusionary diagnosis in this case.

  1. An allergy is one of the most prevalent reasons for this.
  2. Consequently, if your cat suddenly begins to groom more, or if there are patches of missing or barbered fur (where chewed hair shafts have formed stubble) that imply he is licking or plucking more, check for fleas and search for any changes in his diet history or surroundings.
  3. Allergy testing can be done by veterinary dermatologists.
  4. Skin mites and fungus, for example, can cause itching in cats in addition to other pathogenic agents (ringworm).
  5. Skin scraping techniques and fungal cultures can be performed by your veterinarian to rule out the possibility of a fungal infection.
  6. When it comes to cats, this can be mistaken with primary skin lesions that develop on their bodies and subsequently drive them to lick themselves…which raises the issue of which originated first, and which came later.
  7. Skin biopsy or the response to a steroid treatment trial can be used to determine the presence of these lesions.

The skin may or may not get infected with germs as a result of the over-grooming, depending on the underlying reason.

In order to assist in breaking the cycle of licking while the skin is being treated and the source of irritation is addressed, it is generally recommended that cats wear an Elizabethan collar while the treatment is being administered.

Any sickness can cause tension in a cat, which might result in over-grooming as a result.

Affected regions should be inspected for probable discomfort, such as arthritis in a joint or a bladder infection.

Following the exclusion of all medically related factors, excessive grooming might be classified as a behavioral problem in some cases..

In this case, the cats get obsessed with themselves and become incapable of stopping themselves from licking or gnawing themselves.

Stressors for cats can come from a variety of different sources.

The stressor is frequently difficult to recognize, and it is vital to remember that stresses are unique to each individual cat in this situation.

Grooming for the purpose of self-soothing in response to a specific scenario can sometimes grow into OCD behavior even when the initial stressor is no longer a problem.

The condition known as psychogenic alopecia can affect any cat, however it may be more common in cats who have a high level of anxiety in their lives.

It is not necessary to reprimand the cat if over-grooming is observed, since doing so would just create an additional cause of stress for the animal.

Areas of baldness, damaged or shorter fur shafts, and abnormally shaped skin are all signs of potential trouble.

First and foremost, if at all feasible, remove the stressor.

It is also critical to give a sufficient amount of environmentally beneficial enrichment.

Aside from enough scratching and stretching opportunities, cats should also be given with a sufficient number of warm resting spaces and hidden hiding places.

It is also possible to employ synthetic pheromones to soothe cats, such as Feliway, which comes in spray and diffuser forms.

Psychogenic alopecia can be treated using anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs in combination with behavioral modification strategies in some severe cases of the condition.

As soon as they feel more at ease in their home environment, the ultimate objective would be to gradually wean the cat off of any drugs.

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Over-grooming will always be a characteristic of these cats when they are stressed.

Consequently, it is critical to continually have their sensitivity in mind and to provide continuous consideration to providing them with proper environmental enrichment.

The Angell General Medicine service may be reached at 617-522-7282 or at the website www.angell.org/generalmedicine/. Additionally, Angell provides cat behavior services (see http://angell.org/behavior/ for more information).

  1. By Lisa Maciorakowski, DVMwww.angell.org/generalmedicine 617-522-7282 www.angell.org/generalmedicine The over-grooming cat is a pretty typical, if not especially annoying, predicament to find yourself in because there is rarely a quick and simple remedy to the problem. Over-grooming may be caused by a behavioral or physical condition. Many cats engage in behavioral over-grooming, also known as “psychogenic alopecia,” as a method of stress-relief. As a result, all other possible underlying medical explanations have been ruled out, leading to this diagnosis of exclusion. Medical conditions that induce a cat to over-groom are often those that make the cat uncomfortable and scratchy. An allergy is one of the most prevalent reasons for a rash. Cats, like people, can develop allergies to certain foods, fleas, or anything else in their surroundings, whether it is natural or not. So if your cat suddenly starts grooming more or there are patches of missing or barbered fur (where chewed hair shafts have formed stubble) to imply he is licking or plucking more, check for fleas and search for any changes in his food or environment. A veterinarian can assist in looking for indications of fleas, recommending flea preventatives, and discussing diet trial choices. Allergy testing can be performed by veterinarians that specialize in dermatology. A favorable reaction to a trial with a steroid or anti-histamine can sometimes be used to support the hypothesis that the cat’s over-grooming is caused by an allergy. Other possible causes of itching in cats include infectious agents such as skin mites and fungus (ringworm). These are less prevalent in cats that solely spend their time inside, although they are not unheard of. Skin scraping techniques and fungal cultures might be performed by your veterinarian to rule out the possibility of infection. The process of grooming itself can be painful for many over-grooming cats, causing harm to the skin. This can be mistaken with primary skin lesions that erupt on the cat’s body and subsequently cause them to lick, which raises the issue of which happened first: the licking or the main skin lesions? The eosinophillic granuloma complex is an example of a primary cutaneous lesion that is rather frequent. Although the exact source of these inflammatory lesions is uncertain, it is thought to be related to an allergy or immune-mediated response. Skin biopsy or the response to a steroid treatment trial can be used to diagnose these lesions. Skin biopsies can also rule out a variety of other skin illnesses in cats that are not as frequent. If he over-grooms for whatever reason, he may or may not develop a secondary bacterial infection, which may or may not necessitate the administration of topical or oral antibiotics. In order to assist in breaking the cycle of licking while the skin is being treated and the source of irritation is addressed, it is generally recommended that cats wear an Elizabethan collar while the treatment is being performed. General laboratory testing is also typically performed to rule out any metabolic underlying reasons, such as hyperthyroidism, that may be present. Because any sickness may cause stress in a cat, which might result in excessive grooming, it is necessary to assess the overall health of the cat. If the over-grooming is concentrated on a single body part, the underlying regions should be examined for signs of discomfort, such as arthritis in a joint or a bladder infection. Following the exclusion of all medically related factors, excessive grooming can be classified as a behavioral problem. Psychogenic alopecia is a kind of hair loss that occurs as a result of stress. In this case, the cats get obsessed with themselves and can’t seem to quit licking or gnawing on themselves. Because grooming causes the production of endorphins (hormones that make the cat happy), cats will frequently engage in this delightful and calming habit to help them relax and unwind. There are a limitless number of potential stresses for cats to contend with. As a result, everything that is new, relocated, or modified in their surroundings has the potential to be distressing to our feline companions. Often, we are unable to identify the source of the stress, and it is crucial to remember that stressors are unique to each cat. Cats with specific characteristics may find themselves in a stressful setting if their surroundings is typically chaotic or monotonous. Grooming for the purpose of self-soothing in response to a specific event can sometimes grow into OCD behavior even after the original stressor has passed. Despite the fact that they may groom everywhere, cats suffering with psychogenic alopecia are more likely to concentrate on combing or plucking away fur from the belly, inner thighs, and strips down the front legs. Psychogenic alopecia can occur in any cat, while it may be more common in cats who have a high level of stress in their lives. It is crucial to remember that many cats groom themselves while their owners are not looking, and as a result, the actual over-grooming habit is often overlooked, leading to the false conclusion that the cat’s fur is just coming out on its own. If the over-grooming is observed, the cat should not be penalized, as this would simply serve to add to the stress of the cat’s situation. It’s crucial to remember that grooming is normal and natural for cats, and that some cats brush excessively – which might be considered normal. However, we would be worried if the cat’s grooming activity interferes with his ability to do his other daily activities (eating, playing, interacting, sleeping). Areas of baldness, damaged or shorter fur shafts, and abnormal-looking skin are all indications that something is wrong. There are a range of approaches that may be used to try to treat psychogenic alopecia. First, if at all feasible, eliminate the source of stress. Because it is not always evident, this may need a significant amount of consideration (to anyone but the cat). The second most crucial thing to do is to ensure that there is enough of environmental enrichment. Plenty of toys, engaging playing, and playmates are all examples of how to do this (unless the playmates are the initiating source of stress). Aside from enough scratching and stretching opportunities, cats should also be given with a sufficient number of nice resting locations and covert hiding places. Keep the cat’s day as normal as possible by providing him with food and water. Synthetic pheromones, such as Feliway, which is available as a spray and a diffuser, can also be used to help calm cats. It is a synthetic version of the face pheromones that cats employ to mark their territory and maintain calm. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs can be used in combination with behavioral modification strategies in some severe cases of psychogenic alopecia. If the situation deteriorates to this stage, it is probable that a behaviorist will be consulted for more ideas and specific strategies that may be used at home. As soon as they feel more in control of their home life, the ultimate objective would be to gradually wean the cat off of all drugs. While the physiological causes of excessive cat grooming may typically be resolved or managed, psychogenic alopecia is a chronic condition that lasts for the rest of the cat’s life. These cats will always have a proclivity to respond to stress by over-grooming themselves. Throughout their lives, their bald patches will come and go, and the extent to which they over-groom will fluctuate. Therefore, it is critical to keep their sensitivity in mind at all times and to consider whether or not they are receiving appropriate environmental enrichment. Visit www.angell.org/generalmedicine or call 617-522-7282 for more information on Angell’s General Medicine service. Angell also provides cat behavior services, which may be found at www.angell.org/behavior.
  • These stresses might be as basic as spending the day away from home, the arrival of a new infant, or a neighboring cat stalking about your cat’s area
  • They can also be as complex as a relationship breakdown.
  • 2Recognize that cats are sensitive to their surroundings and will react accordingly. Cats are also quite sensitive to their environment, so if there is a lot of unrest, screaming, or disputes going on around them, your cat may feel very upset and start grooming herself excessively. Advertisement
  • s3 Take into account any modifications that have been made to your cat’s daily routine. Try to keep your cat’s stress levels as low as possible. If you’re not sure what’s causing your cat’s worry, think about anything that has changed recently in his environment.
  • 2Recognize that cats are highly sensitive to their surroundings. Cats are also quite sensitive to their environment, so if there is a lot of unrest, screaming, or disputes going on around them, your cat may feel very upset and start grooming herself excessively to cope with the tension. Advertisement
  • s3 Take into account any modifications to your cat’s daily routine. Stress should be kept to a minimum whenever feasible for your feline companion. if you aren’t sure what is causing your cat’s worry, think about anything that has changed recently in his environment
  • 4 Keep the number of cats in your home to no more than five. It is necessary to take into consideration the size of the house when performing this procedure. For example, a one-bedroom apartment should not have more than two cats in it, although a mansion might easily accommodate five cat residents. At least one cat will show indications of stress in a house with five or more cats, such as improper urinating or excessive grooming, according to statistical evidence.
  • When you have numerous cats living in the same house, tension can be caused due to a competition for resources such as food and water, even if there is enough of food and water available. Cats are territorial creatures by nature, and their distinct feline personalities might clash if they are forced to coexist with a large number of other cats.
  • (5) Provide a plethora of materials for your cat (or cats). In the eyes of a cat, resources are those things that she requires in order to live comfortably. These resources include access to food, water, restroom facilities, and a safe place to sleep, among other necessities. A good rule of thumb is to supply one of each for each cat in your home, plus one extra.
  • When cats have to share a place with one another, the stress that results from this can be alleviated by providing each cat with their own resources.
  • 6 Identify the most ideal placements for your cat’s food and water dishes. Consider where you intend to allocate your cat’s resources. For example, in a household with many cats, the food bowls should be placed in various rooms. As a result, the top-cat will not be able to hog all of the food bowls, making it simpler for all of the other cats to eat without feeling rushed or under pressure
  • Maintaining a clear separation between the food and water bowls is recommended since most cats like to maintain them at a safe distance from one another
  • Maintain a safe distance between your cat’s litter box and anything that might cause her worry. The placement of the litter tray near to a noisy appliance such as the washing machine or dryer may cause your cat to get agitated everytime she wants to use the litter box while the machine is running. The fear of going to the bathroom will cause your cat to link going to the bathroom with going to the bathroom, resulting in her being in a state of conflict every time she wants to pee or defecate.
  • Place litter pans in peaceful locations where your cat is unlikely to be disturbed in order to alleviate this dread.
  • 8 Allow your cat to have her own room. If a cat perceives that another cat is violating his or her territory, he or she may become agitated, as previously described. In the event that another cat, particularly an unusual one, walks into your cat’s territory, your cat may experience feelings of insecurity and panic.
  • Provide your cat with plenty of room. If a cat perceives that another cat is violating their area, as previously stated, the cat may become agitated. In the event that another cat, particularly an unusual one, ventures into your cat’s territory, your cat may experience feelings of insecurity and panic
  • 9 Scent can be used to prepare your cat for the arrival of a new cat in the house. An further invasion of territory occurs with the introduction of a new cat or kitten into your home. To avoid this stress, introduce the new cat gradually, beginning with a smell introduction as a first step. Keep the kitten in a different area where he will not be able to unintentionally bump with the established cat, and provide him with his own food, drink, toys, and litter box tray. Stroke the kitten, and then stroke the established cat to impart his scent to her. Your cat will eventually become used to the thought of a new cat being there as a result of this.
  • When the cat first encounters the kitten, place the kitten in a cat box so that the cat may choose whether or not to investigate without being pursued or attacked on by the kitten during the encounter. The goal is to familiarize the cat with the concept and teach her that the kitten poses no threat to her resources once again
  • 10 Provide hiding spots for your cat. An even a well-equipped single cat who has enough of resources may become worried if it appears that she has nowhere to go for protection. The majority of anxious cats are those who are continually “on display,” meaning they have no place to go to get away from the crowds.
  • Provision of cardboard boxes, a space behind the sofa, or a climbing tree with hidey holes may help your cat feel more secure in the knowledge that she has a safe haven.
  1. 1 Feliway can be used to soothe your cat. pheromones (also known as chemical messengers) are released by a mother cat to ensure the safety of her offspring. Feliway is a synthetic version of the feline pheromone that is used to make kittens feel comfortable and secure in their new home environment. T It is offered in two forms: as a room diffuser and as a pet bedding spray. This aroma will gradually calm your cat and help her to believe that your house is a secure environment. This is especially useful if you have recently relocated and your cat is having difficulty adjusting to the new environment.
  • Feliway is not a quick remedy
  • In fact, it may take up to two weeks to notice any signs that your cat is feeling less anxious after administering the medication.
  • 2 Administer Zylkene to your pet. Zylkene is a nutraceutical that operates on the same part of the brain as diazepam, causing it to be less effective. When it comes to food supplements, a nutraceutical is a dietary supplement that has pharmaceutical-like action but is not a medication. Researchers have discovered a milk protein that activates the same portion of the brain that diazepam operates on in order to calm a cat
  • Zylkene is a drug that is composed of this milk protein.
  • Within seven days of administering Zylkene, you may notice a difference in your cat. In most cases, Zylkene will be administered to the cat over a period of four to six weeks in order to guarantee that the over-grooming tendency is eliminated.
  • 3Make use of natural medicines. It has been suggested that the use of skullcap and Valerian, a natural treatment, can help cats and dogs deal with stress and anxiety more effectively. However, because the mechanism of action is uncertain and untested, consult your veterinarian before administering this herbal medicine to your cat. 4 If none of the measures listed above work, take your cat to a veterinarian for prescription medicine. If all of the following techniques have been attempted and the cat still appears nervous and over-groomed, prescription drugs may be required to relieve the tension. There are other options available, but the only one that is approved for use in cats is clomipramine, which is discussed more below. 5 Get a prescription for Clomipramine from your doctor (Clomicalm). Clomipramine is a medication that is used to treat cats that suffer from obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as excessive grooming or grooming too much. It is a member of a class of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants, and the precise mechanism of action is still being investigated.. Neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin, among others, are thought to be prevented from being reabsorbed.
  • Clomipramine is administered orally once day at a dosage of 0.5 mg/kg. Clomicalm, a veterinary version of the drug, is available in 5-milligram tablet dosage forms. A half-tablet once a day is sufficient for a 5 kilogram cat.
See also:  How To Make My Cat Happy

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  • Knowing what makes a cat feel safe will assist you in determining which arrangements are best for your feline buddies.

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Summary of the ArticleXIf your cat is over-grooming as a result of stress, you may assist him or her by providing a quiet home environment. Provide your cat with a separate area, including at least one hiding hole, so that it may be alone when it is stressed. Make certain that it has constant access to food, water, and a safe place to sleep at all times. Keep your cat’s litter box away from high-traffic areas and loud noises so that your cat doesn’t become stressed when it wants to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

If nothing else seems to be working, take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

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In this article’s summary, we will discuss how you may help your cat that is over-grooming due to stress by providing a quiet home environment. Create a safe haven for your cat, complete with at least one hiding location, so that it may be alone when it is feeling anxious. At all times, make certain that it has access to food, water, and a secure place to rest. Keep your cat’s litter box away from high-traffic areas and loud noises so that your cat doesn’t become agitated when it wants to go to the bathroom in the middle of the day.

If nothing else seems to be working, take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems..

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Signs of Over-Grooming

As reported by the SPCA, a cat will spend at least 5 hours a day grooming and washing itself. This may seem like a lot, especially if you’re new to cat ownership. But it’s not. The following are examples of signs of excessive grooming:

  • Hair loss
  • Skin irritation, including redness, rashes, and scabs
  • And alopecia (hair loss). The act of grooming without a specific aim or the act of grooming when it interferes with other activities Excessive scratching is prohibited. When scratching, you may experience discomfort or irritation.

Understanding Why Your Cat is Over-Grooming

Identifying the source of your cat’s excessive grooming is the first step in resolving the situation. The underlying reason will either be behavioural or medical in nature. If a trip to the veterinarian is necessary to rule out medical issues, and if the source of the discomfort is pain, parasites, allergies or infection, the veterinarian will prescribe the right medicine to alleviate the discomfort.

Ask a Vet

When it comes to excessive grooming, we urge that you consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

JustAnswer is a service that allows you to communicate with veterinary specialists in real time for a modest price.

Common Causes of Over-Grooming:

The most typical reasons for excessive grooming may be divided into five categories:

1. External Parasites

One of the most common causes for a cat to groom excessively is the presence of parasites such as fleas on the cat’s fur. In most cases, if the fleas or parasites are found and treated promptly, the behavior should be cured within a few weeks. There may be a flea allergy present if you notice itching near the base of your cat’s tail. Ear mites can also cause hair loss and scabbing on your cat’s ears and neck, which might be an indicator of an infection. Ensure that your cat receives flea medication on a regular basis to help prevent fleas and mites.

2. AllergiesInfections

It is typical for cats to brush themselves excessively when they are infected with parasites such as fleas. In most cases, if the fleas/parasites are detected and treated promptly, the behavior should be rectified within a few weeks. If you notice itching around the base of your cat’s tail, this might be an indicator of a flea allergy.. On the other hand, hair loss and scabbing on your cat’s ears and neck may indicate the presence of ear mites. The frequent application of flea medication to your cat can help prevent the spread of fleas and mite infestation.

3. Pain

If your cat is licking the same spot over and over again, it might be because of pain or discomfort. Pain may be relieved by licking, which could be your cat’s method of doing so. If you cannot see the wound, your cat may be suffering from bruises or internal pain, which you should investigate further. For example, if your cat is suffering from back pain, he or she may over-groom a particular area on their back.

4. Stress

If there does not appear to be a medical reason for the excessive grooming, it is possible that the problem is psychological in nature. Licking one’s own fur excessively can be caused by stress or anxiety in cats. This is referred to as psychogenic alopecia, and it is characterized by obsessive hair removal that occurs as a result of emotional or mental conflict or dissatisfaction. Some cats develop obsessive grooming in reaction to a stressful event, such as a move or a change in their environment.

Remember that cats are creatures of habit, and even apparently insignificant changes can cause them to experience discomfort.

Cats can find self-grooming to be comfortable and utilize it as a means of maintaining their own calm.

Monitor your cat closely to see whether they continue to brush themselves even after the stressful incident has gone.

5. Boredom

The over-grooming might be caused by a psychological factor if there does not appear to be any physical reason for it. Licking one’s self excessively can be caused by stress or anxiety in cats. As a result of emotional or mental tension or irritation, obsessive hair plucking results in this condition, which is known as psychogenic alopecia. A stressful event, such as a move or other upheaval in the environment, may cause some cats to become obsessively grooming. Any of the following events can be stressful for cats: the arrival of a new family member, the adoption of a new cat or dog, the relocation of the family, and a change in furniture or furniture placement.

Check to see if there have been any recent environmental or social changes in the home that might have contributed to your cat’s excessive grooming.

This, on the other hand, can grow and persist even after the stressful event has passed. Keep a watch on your cat to observe whether they continue to brush themselves even after the stressful scenario has gone.

How to Stop Over-Grooming

Once you’ve determined the source of the problem or the trigger, you may take actions to prevent your cat from grooming excessively. These suggestions can assist you in keeping your cat peaceful, happy, and stress-free:

1. Develop routines

Create a daily routine for your cat, and attempt to schedule important activities so that they occur at around the same time each day. Feeding, playing, and exercise are all important activities throughout the day. Cats enjoy routine, and thus having one might make them feel more at ease. It is critical to maintain as much consistency as possible in order to provide your cat with the stability they require. If there is going to be a change in your cat’s routine, try to implement the change gradually so that they do not feel too much stress.

2. Provide Hiding Spots and Climbing Places

Set up a daily schedule for your cat, and make sure that important events take place at around the same time each day. Feeding, fun, and exercise are all important events. This can help cats feel more relaxed since they enjoy routine. Maintaining the highest level of consistency is critical to provide your cat with the stability they require. If there is going to be a change in your cat’s routine, attempt to implement the change gradually in order to minimize the stress they may face.

3. Ensure Your Cat is Mentally and Physically Stimulated

Introduce new toys, different perching spots, and increase the amount of time you spend playing with your cat on a daily basis to provide more environmental stimulation in the home for your cat. Your cat’s tension can be alleviated by receiving more attention from you. Giving your cat access to a secure outside place, if at all feasible, can assist to excite them and provide them with an outlet for some of their natural behaviors, such as hunting.

4. Remember to be Patient

If your cat has been over-grooming for a month or more, be patient with him or her and don’t reprimand him or her for doing so. The regrowth of fur in places that have been affected by hair loss will also take some time to complete the process. Keep in mind that the behavior may be a stress response, and being irritated with them will only serve to increase the tension.

5. Medication

It may be required to provide medicine if the over-grooming is caused by parasites or allergies. If the tension or anxiety is the root of the problem, your veterinarian may also offer anti-anxiety medicine or relaxing sprays to help alleviate the situation. You may also be interested in:Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?

Hair Loss Without Excessive Grooming

If you have noticed that your cat is losing hair but have not observed them grooming themselves excessively, then the hair loss may be caused by something else other than excessive grooming. The following are examples of possible reasons of hair loss: a poor diet, sickness, and hormonal imbalance. It will be required to take the dog to the veterinarian in order to diagnose the problem. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission on eligible purchases made by you at no additional cost to you.

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