Why does my cat keep licking its fur off?

  • Date: September 18, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

If you’ve ever noticed your cat licking its fur off, you might be wondering why. Cats are known for their meticulous grooming habits, but when they start excessively licking themselves, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. In most cases, excessive grooming is the result of an underlying medical issue, such as allergies, parasites, or skin infections. In rare cases, it can be a sign of psychological distress. It’s important to determine the cause of your cat’s excessive licking so you can get them the help they need. Read on to learn more about why your cat might be licking its fur off, as well as potential treatments.

What to Do If Your Cat is Licking Its Fur Off

Do you notice bald spots on your cat, especially around the neck and shoulders? If so, your cat may be excessively licking its fur off. This behavior is known as psychogenic alopecia, which is a type of psychological disorder that causes cats to lick their fur obsessively. This article will discuss why cats may engage in this behavior and what you can do to help your cat.

What Causes Cats to Lick Their Fur Off?

There are a variety of factors that may cause cats to lick their fur off. It is important to remember that this is a psychological disorder, so the underlying cause is usually stress-related. Some of the most common causes of psychogenic alopecia include:

  • Boredom: Cats need stimulation and interaction in order to stay mentally and physically healthy. If your cat is not getting enough stimulation, they may start licking their fur off as a way of coping with their boredom.
  • Change in environment: A sudden change in the environment can be stressful for cats. Moving to a new home, the introduction of a new pet, or even a change in routine can all be sources of stress for cats.
  • Loneliness: Cats are social creatures and need companionship in order to stay mentally healthy. If your cat is left alone for long periods of time, they may start licking their fur off as a way of dealing with their loneliness.
  • Illness: Cats may also start licking their fur off if they are feeling ill or in pain. This is usually a sign that something is wrong and you should take your cat to the vet for a checkup.

How to Treat Your Cat’s Licking Problem

If you suspect that your cat is licking its fur off due to stress or boredom, there are a few things you can do to help.

  • Provide a stimulating environment: Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. This will help keep your cat mentally and physically active and reduce the chances of them engaging in destructive behaviors like excessive licking.
  • Increase social interaction: Spend more time playing and interacting with your cat. This will help reduce their feelings of loneliness and give them an outlet for their stress and anxiety.
  • Visit the vet: If you suspect that your cat’s licking is due to an underlying medical issue, take them to the vet for a checkup. This will help ensure that your cat is healthy and any medical issues can be addressed.

When to See a Vet

If you have tried the above steps and your cat is still licking its fur off, it is important to take your cat to the vet for a checkup. Your vet may be able to diagnose any underlying medical issues and provide treatment to help your cat stop licking its fur off. If your cat’s licking is due to psychological issues, your vet may also be able to refer you to a specialist who can help you address the underlying cause of your cat’s behavior.

It is important to remember that psychogenic alopecia is a serious condition and can be very difficult to treat. However, with patience and the right treatment plan, you can help your cat stop licking its fur off and live a happy and healthy life.

## Common Myths about Cats Licking Their Fur Off
1. Myth: Cats lick their fur off because they are bored.
Fact: Cats may groom themselves excessively due to medical issues, such as fleas, mites, allergies, or skin infections. If your cat seems to be licking its fur off more than usual, it may be worth having them checked out by a vet to rule out any medical problems.

2. Myth: Cats lick their fur off because they are stressed.
Fact: While stress can be a factor in cats over-grooming, it is usually not the sole cause. Other medical issues should be checked out before concluding that stress is the cause.

3. Myth: Cats lick their fur off because they want attention.
Fact: While cats may groom themselves to get attention, it is usually not the primary reason. More often than not, cats lick their fur off due to medical issues or other environmental triggers.

4. Myth: Cats lick their fur off because they are trying to self-soothe.
Fact: While cats may groom themselves to help self-soothe, it is usually not the primary cause. It is important to check for medical issues and environmental triggers to help determine the cause of the excessive grooming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my cat keep licking its fur off?

Answer: This could be due to medical issues, such as skin allergies or parasites, or due to stress and anxiety. If the licking persists for more than a few days, it’s best to take your cat to the vet for a check-up.

What can I do to stop my cat from licking its fur off?

Answer: You can start by ruling out any medical causes. If there are none, then you can try to reduce your cat’s stress levels by providing plenty of enrichment activities and playtime. Additionally, you can try using a bitter-tasting spray on the areas your cat is licking to deter them from continuing the behavior.

Conclusion

Cats may start licking their fur off due to stress, boredom, loneliness, or illness. To help prevent this behavior, provide a stimulating environment and social interaction for your cat. If the problem persists, take your cat to the vet for a checkup. If the issue is psychological, a specialist may be able to help. With patience and the right treatment plan, your cat can stop licking its fur and live a happy life.

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