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I am sorry to hear you are worried about Puffin. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
Hair pulling like this can be caused by many things. Does he go outside? The first thing I would do is check for fleas and use a good flea product such as Advantage or Frontline, even if you do not see fleas. When cats become hypersensitive to flea bites, they can set off itching and hair pulling from a single flea bite.
Sometimes cats do this if there is pain in that area, such as back pain, arthritis, or kidney pain.
Since he is a long haired cat, he may be pulling at fur mats. If he has any matted fur, you could try using a Furminator on him to remove excess hair and prevent and remove small mats.
Let me know if this helps, and what other questions you have.
Where in CO are you? If he goes out, and catches mice, he is at risk for fleas. The cat flea does not live at high altitude but fleas on rodents are common at higher altitudes (I am at 7000 feet in NM). Middle lower back is the spot most often irritated when cats are sensitized to fleas bites.
If he is pulling hair out on one spot, and there are no mats or fleas, then there may be pain at that site. You could try pain medication but there are few that are safe for cats. If you give him anti inflammatory medication and the hair pulling stops, then it may be that something in his lower spine is irritating or painful.
The safest anti inflammatory in cats is a prescription called Onsior. You would have to see Puffin's veterinarian to get a prescription. The only other safe anti inflammatory is 1/2 of a baby aspirin (only aspirin; Tylenol is pure poison to cats) given once or twice a week.
One other thing to try is a calming/itch diet by Royal Canin called Calm.
Let me know how he is doing and what else I can answer.
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