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  • Kitty issues

    My parents have to cats, siblings, one is a total fatty and the other is a bit on the thin side. She has always been a bit pudgy but she started stealing his food and now he is licking himself bald out of stress. They have set up the crate they got for their Bernese Mountain Dog and have put Ivy (the fatty) in there with a shelf bed and litter box. She is locked in over night and he gets all the food he can eat over night. In the morning they each get a small meal, then nothing the rest of the day and she gets to roam the house and be social. Putting bad tasting stuff on it doesn't work (tried bitter spray and hot sauce). If I can't think of anything else I may have to crochet him some kitty pants with suspenders.

    So, how do you get an obsessed kitty to stop licking?

  • #2
    You need to consult your vet. Compulsive grooming may require meds and behavior modification. Also, you need to rule out any other possible causes. Good luck!

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    • #3
      We did take him to the vet, and physically he is fine (on the thin side of healthy but healthy) and we were really hoping that making sure that he had plenty of access to food without competition would ease his stress. He doesn't seem to have any issues with our other pets and has plenty of places he could go to be left alone when/if he wants to. We stopped his Advantage since it is a common allergy and could be making him itchy. We are still hoping to avoid the med route if at all possible and since his skin isn't raw and he isn't having problems with hairballs we are looking for other options to try first.

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      • #4
        There are literally HUNDREDS of reasons cats start compulsive grooming. I'd consult a cat behaviorist. I had a fair number of cat behavior classes in school and honestly without going to your house and seeing cat and cat's environment its hard to make a guess. Compulsive grooming could be from: medical issues, diet, access to food, access to litter box, access to water, access to favorite sleeping spot, access to vertical spaces, issue with other cats in home, issue with cats outside of home, issue with dog inside home, issue with dog outside home, noises in house, noises outside home, issue with person in the home, lol okay thats just a few to show you what I mean, and if the issue isn't addressed it will be hard to stop the licking, I would ask vet if they know of a good feline vet they could refer you to.

        OR check online or at a book store for an in depth cat behavior book, which I sure will contain chapters on compulsive grooming, and see if you can solve the issue. Best of luck whatever route you choose. The worst part of the compulsive grooming issue is that you can spend tons of money and time trying to fix the problem and cat just gets over it by itself and will just stop licking out of the blue, lol.

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        • #5
          I agree with consulting the behaviourist. In the meantime you could try the Feliway pheromone plug-ins. They help to reduce kitty's stress. Google Feliway and you'll get their website. There's some good info on there.
          "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss

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          • #6
            My thoughts on this subject maybe off the wall here but cats are supposed to clean themselves, so a detourant may not be in your cats best interest in the long run.If the cat is having anxiety issues why not give him something to calm him..maybe cat nip? yes it may hype him up to begin with making him more playful but the calming effects it has is wonderful.I used to have clients with nervous cats feed them catnip b4 a grooming and it was so much easier and much safer than sedation.His balding issues may also be diet related more than over licking, if his skin is dry he may be lacking essential oils his coat needs to keep his coat healthy.He may just be licking due to skin irritations .

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            • #7
              this is long, sorry

              His coat is beautiful, shiny, sleek, not a flake in sight. He is on Solid Gold brand cat food and his blood work and exam were both perfect. Physically there is absolutely nothing wrong with him except what he caused himself.

              We have eliminated all the stresses we possibly could. There are twice as many litter boxes as cats (covered and uncovered and all in different locations). He has access to us independent of the other animals, places he can get away from both us and the other pets but doesn't seem to have issues with either us or the other cat or the dog. Unlimited competition free food 12 hours a day and a snack mid morning. Comfy beds galore, and a gigantic climber that also gives him access to the tops of our book shelves. He has plenty of toys and also gets playtime every night (loves the laser pointer) and we do give him catnip a few times a week. He does go to a very good cat specialist vet who also did a house call. He and his sister were rescued with their mother as very little kittens so they don't have a traumatic past or anything and have been with us since they were 10 weeks old. They are a little over 2 now and this just started a few months ago when she decided that her goal in life was to be a whale.

              He is basically one of the most spoiled rotten kitties on the planet with the run of a large house. We are pulling at strings now trying to figure out what is going on inside that head of his. Maybe I just need to be patient and let things work themselves out.

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