How can I stop my cat licking himself raw?

  • Date: January 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Having a cat can be incredibly rewarding, but cats can sometimes pick up strange habits such as excessive licking. This can lead to a cat licking himself raw, which can be painful and uncomfortable for your pet. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help prevent your cat from licking himself raw. From adjusting your cat’s environment to consulting a vet, there are a number of solutions to your cat’s excessive licking problem. In this article, we will discuss how you can stop your cat from licking himself raw and keep your pet healthy and happy.

Why Are Cats Licking Themselves?

It’s normal for cats to groom themselves, but when cats excessively lick or groom themselves and cause their fur to be removed or bald spots to form, it can be a sign of an underlying issue. Cats that lick themselves raw may be suffering from an underlying medical condition, or even an environmental issue.

In order to stop your cat from licking themselves raw, it’s important to first identify the underlying cause. Common causes of a cat licking themselves raw include allergies, skin infections, fleas, or even stress.

Treating Allergies and Skin Infections

Allergies are the most common cause of a cat licking themselves raw. Cats are prone to allergies just like humans, and the most common symptom is itching. If your cat is licking themselves raw, it’s important to take them to the vet to be tested for allergies.

Once the allergy has been identified, your vet can provide you with the appropriate treatment. This could include antihistamines, steroids, or other medications.

Skin infections can also cause cats to lick themselves raw. These infections are usually caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites, and can be treated with antibiotics or other medications.

Getting Rid of Fleas

Fleas can also be a cause of cats licking themselves raw. If your cat has fleas, it can cause them to develop an itchy skin condition that leads to excessive licking.

To get rid of fleas, you should treat your cat with a topical flea medication. You should also vacuum your house and wash your cat’s bedding to get rid of any remaining fleas.

Reducing Stress

Stress can also be a cause of cats licking themselves raw. If your cat is stressed, they may engage in excessive grooming as a way of self-soothing.

To reduce your cat’s stress, you should provide them with a safe, comfortable environment. This includes providing them with plenty of hiding spots, enrichment activities, and toys. You should also make sure to give your cat plenty of attention and affection.

Conclusion

If your cat is licking themselves raw, it’s important to identify the underlying cause. Common causes of a cat licking themselves raw include allergies, skin infections, fleas, or even stress. Once the cause has been identified, you can take the appropriate steps to treat it and stop your cat from licking themselves raw.

### Common Myths About Preventing Cat Self-Licking

1. Trimming your cat’s fur will help stop the licking – While trimming your cat’s fur may make it easier to keep an eye on the affected area, it will not stop the cat from licking the area.

2. The licking is due to allergies – While allergies can cause excessive licking, this is usually not the case for cats licking themselves raw.

3. A cone collar will stop the licking – This is not true. A cone collar may prevent the cat from accessing the area, but it will not stop the behavior.

4. Cats can’t learn to stop licking – Cats are capable of learning to stop the behavior with the help of positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

5. The licking is due to a medical issue – While medical issues can cause excessive licking, this is often not the case with cats that are licking themselves raw.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop my cat licking himself raw?

Answer: To discourage your cat from licking himself raw, you can try providing distractions like interactive toys, playing with your cat more often, and providing plenty of scratching posts to relieve stress. Additionally, make sure your cat is being fed a balanced diet, and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about allergies or other medical conditions.

What can I do if my cat’s licking has become excessive?

Answer: Excessive licking can be a sign of stress or anxiety in cats, and may require treatment from a veterinarian. Your vet may recommend medication, behavior modification, or other treatments to help your cat cope with the stress or anxiety that is causing the excessive licking.

Conclusion

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Cats often groom themselves, but when excessive licking or grooming leads to fur loss or bald spots, it can be a sign of an underlying issue. Common causes of a cat licking themselves raw include allergies, skin infections, fleas, or stress. Treatment for allergies or skin infections could include medications, while fleas should be treated with a topical medication and the environment should be vacuumed and bedding washed. Stress can be reduced by providing a safe, comfortable environment with plenty of hiding spots, enrichment activities, and toys, as well as giving the cat attention and affection.

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