fur licking

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
User avatar
shadow-puss
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:19 am

fur licking

Post by shadow-puss »

Hi I wondered if anyone could help me with a problem I'm having with my poor cat, she's about a year old now and recently has started to lick all the fur out from between her back legs. We have taken her to the vet who said it was most likely allergies and she was treated for fleas despite not having any, we have changed her litter to wood pellets, we have changed her food as well so I'm now stumped what it could be? We have had our dog checked and treated for fleas also but she's also got the all clear.
The only other thing I could put it down to is that she has recently become the only cat in our family as her father has sadly gone missing :( we have been hoping he might still turn up but he's been gone for two months now. Her behaviour has changed slightly in that she seems to have become more shy with us and sometimes seems a little confused about what she wants (meowing for something and looking at me like I'm stupid but her food bowl is full,she has water,her litter tray is clean.) I just wondered if there's anything I can do or perhaps haven't thought of?
Any help would be hugely appreciated!! :roll:
User avatar
meriad
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Surrey

Re: fur licking

Post by meriad »

Hi and welcome to CatChat

first off how old is your cat? Just wondering if the confusion part is age related vs missing her feline friend. Have you tried things like Feliway, Zylkene, Pet Remedy or something similar. All three being a form of natural calming but working in different ways; Feliway is a pheromone, Zylkene is milk protein and Pet Remedy is Valerian based... but they may well help with your cat if she's over grooming due to stress caused by the missing cat

Then onto the food - what have you tried to rule out / changed? it could well be a food allergey but it really can be a very time consuming process trying to figure out what the culprit may be; so it would help if you could say what you used to feed, what you're feeding now and what you've cut out?
User avatar
shadow-puss
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:19 am

Re: fur licking

Post by shadow-puss »

Hi, thank you for your post

Shadow is 1yr 3months old, I have thought about using the feliway plug in but I don't really have any experience using them and the reviews I've read seem quite mixed but perhaps it's worth a try if it makes her feel happier. As for food she has always been a fuss pot shes strictly a biscuits cat of her own accord, as a kitten she was on royal canin but she went off that, she then went onto iams for quite a while and same thing happened and she started to prefer eating my dogs food :roll: she had whiskers which she loved but it's like MacDonalds for cats from what I can understand and now I've just started to feed her applaws which she really enjoyes and from what I have read it's a better quality food for her.

I have just been on the phone to my vet this morning who seems to think it's highly unlikely it's due to our boy going missing, as cats don't get attached to eachother I'm not sure what anyone else thinks about that? but she always seems to sleep on his old spot on the back of the sofa. she's also been booked in to have skin swabs done next week so I'm hoping they might shed some light on the problem.
booktigger
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 2405
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:36 pm
No. of cats in household: 3

Re: fur licking

Post by booktigger »

Personally, I think your vet is wrong, cats can get attached to each other, and stress is the biggest reason for overgrooming. The miaowing could be missing him, and looking for him - I lost one of my cats a few years ago, and another cat I had at the time would walk round crying at 6am every morning, she'd never done it before I lost Sam.
User avatar
meriad
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Surrey

Re: fur licking

Post by meriad »

Gosh she's still young - lovely name! - but her age rules out feline dementia

Moving her onto Applaws definitely is a step in the right direction. It's a very good cereal free dry food and cereals are one thing that cats often do have an allergy to. Are you feeding fish or chicken? Reason being is that some cats have an intolerance to one particular protein group as well. But it can take a good few weeks for the allergen to leave their system so if you've only recently moved her onto the Applaws then stick with it a bit longer and stick to the same kind.

Regarding the Feliway I don't think it'll do any harm at all giving it a go. Some people have reported huge success and others not so much, but I think a lot depends on what is up with the cat and it's not something to dismiss until you've tried it. I personally prefer using Pet Remedy which is valerian based diffuser, but quite a few people complain about the smell of it - and yes, it has a certain aroma, but I dont' mind it. But I definitely would invest in one or the other and give it a go.

As for cats not getting attached to each other - I'm loathe to say this and disagree with a vet, but I do think they can get attached and as Booktigger said stress is a huge factor in overgrooming. Could it be that Shadow is bored now that she doesn't have a playmate? Is she indoor / outdoor? Does she have things to play with, does she keep active? Do you interact with her? Would getting another cat be an option?
User avatar
shadow-puss
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:19 am

Re: fur licking

Post by shadow-puss »

Ok brilliant, well I'm glad I've got the food right. It's actually chicken and salmon as this was her favourite with the iams biscuits, it's funny you should say that though as our dog is actually allergic to chicken!

I'll have a look at getting a diffuser as well, and I share your opinions when it comes to cats missing each other. I mean Shadow would follow Louis everywhere, she is quite a shy, skittish cat and is also very small, whereas he was a big, black fluffy male so I think it helped her confidence having him around, they did used to go out together but since he's gone missing I just don't want to let her out, we live next to a busy road and I hope to God Louis has just found himself another home with a more comfortable sofa! I've done all the phoning around vets and left my number but nobody has seen him, I have noticed a few posters up recently though for missing cats :?

I don't think Shadow is really bothered about the fact she can't go out, she only ever would with Louis and for short amounts of time. She hasn't even hinted once that she wants to go out.

As for toys she does have a few balls, toy mice and pen lids she likes to flick about but she's not one for fuss or being petted, I talk to her and put my hand out for her to sniff and she will occasionally come and sit somewhere close to where I am but that's about it. She seems to mimick the dog sometimes and tries to play with her but there is a huge size difference but that again would say to me she's lonely. Another cat is an option I have thought about but I also wouldn't want to cause her more stress if that's why she's licking her fur out.
User avatar
meriad
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Surrey

Re: fur licking

Post by meriad »

She sounds adorable. As for another cat, if it is an option then I'd go for a younger male and then have both as house cats. But saying that Shadow may well, in time, be content being a single cat.

See how she does with a diffuser and if that makes a difference - hopefully that will sort any issues.
User avatar
shadow-puss
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:19 am

Re: fur licking

Post by shadow-puss »

Ok, thank you so much for your help! another cat is something to think about for the future for sure my heart says yes but my head says give it a bit longer. I'll buy a diffuser over the weekend and see how she gets on with that along with that hopefully it helps her to feel a bit more relaxed.
Post Reply