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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20866
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My 11 yr old male has licked/pulled a good part of s right

Customer Question

My 11 yr old male has licked/pulled a good part of his right hind fur. We have been to the vets twice. Vet has never really ran into this problem yet, so we did skin tests,had flea drops put on him, anal gland cleared, ears cleaned, and changed his food back(details follow)his weight hasn't changed in at all this yr. oh and also vet referred to his vet books trying to find a solution.( he's suggesting a slow release shot for something I can't even remember now that may or may not work.. It wasn't for stress though, maybe allergies?)
I was trying to avoid kitty depression drugs... Unless nesessary.
The history of chopper the since sept.2014-present
Chopper is the runt of a litter of2. mother was a stray, we took in both kittens and let them be indoor/outdoor.
The bigger cat was boss, both had lots of love and attention.
Aug2014 went camping on vancouver island, brought back a cytococcos spore! (Which only are found in certain areas of V. island found in soil or pigeon poop and in Australia was what I was told)
The cat got very sick it was so horrible! vet test after test he just got sicker, while getting so expensive. vet hospital and everything... Finally found after a monthish someone figured it out, but Dr.screwed around too long before we got meds and he passed away so tragically after 2 doses. (I had taken so much time off of work to care for him. Chopper was tests for cyrptococcos, tested negative)
I was so heart broken, the day after found out my grandma was very sick( then my passed away 3 days later. )
I had to go, chopper had to wait a couple of days before my husband got back to look after him.
While I was gone we sold our house, I came back home to pack a whole house while so disconnected and depressed. (This happened within 2weeks)
Chopper noticed my depression and perhaps that his litter mate was no longer.
Anyways moved 13 hrs away by car(which freaks him out) into a farm house with lots of mice terrorizing him, also coyotes and wolves howling all night which he did not feel at ease.
Both husband and I worked everyday 8-10hrs for 2 months then moved again to a really small condo.
At this time I was pregnant and sick the whole 9months.(we took a vacation for 7 days while poor chopper was in a kennel for that period. He was non responsive for May be 1 week, then he was normal?..)
We started renos on the condo. Soon after baby arrives.(july13/2015) My mother visits every couple months w her 3 papillons that roam his house and sit on his couch so he is uncomfortable the whole visit.(the dogs are sacred of him, chopper does spray when they visit)-mother not particularly found of cats. I'm sure chops senses this.
Then more renos, again! (March-april)
Chopper warms up to baby until he gets louder(he's a screecher!) and more Mobil.
(He was on chicken soup for cats for a couple of yrs,(their fur was thick, soft and healthy, now not the same since the first move) changed to grain free iams chicken soon after we moved into condo jan2015)
Around maybe feb-March gave him a different grainfree(didn't have the gf iams when I went to get more food)
About a month after changing food/Mobil vocal baby/renos/dog visit he started pulling fur in april-ish 2016. (All at same time)
That's when I took him to a vet(after about a month of pulling)did tests etc.
Stopped that gfsalmon back to iams gf again to see if there was allergies. Nothing changed so far.(had second vet visit, and suppose to go back in a week to figure a new plan..)
I have found some calming treats to give(head to tail) and some homeopathic feline anxiety relief drops. It's been 3 weeks no change.
I believe its stress, I'm stressed with baby making this uncontrollable screaming for no reason(it's demanding, temper tantrums I cannot get under control and its wearing very thin on me which doesn't help me comforting chops)
Not sure what to do??? Find other vet that has had some experience with cats with this issue, or just go to drugs?
(I try not to go see my mother instead of her bringing the dogs to my house)
So it's almost babies yr bday, that means there will be both parents here(my mother will probably stay w us. As much as I don't want the dogs here(just because of situation, she'll most likely bring them..argh)
I have major guilt for choppers brother dying so tragically and now not being able to give the same attention as before. I really want/need to help him.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Cher replied 4 months ago.

Hello, Danielle and welcome.

Wow! You, hubby and Chopper have certainly been through many changes and much stress over the past few years!

My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Chopper's brother and your grandmother. Very sad.......

I agree with you that his excessive fur licking/pulling is due to stress. This is an OCD condition called feline psychogenic alopecia. Here is more information:


If you have already tried cat calming pheromone products like Feliway and oral homeopathic products like Rescue Remedy for Pets, even though it is also always my last resort suggestion, I think it's time to discuss with your vet, trying a prescription anti-anxiety medication. There are many options, but ask about Clomicalm; here is more information:


If you're anticipating a full house to celebrate baby's 1 year birthday (congratulations to the whole family!), it might be best to keep Chopper in his own room, with food, water, litterbox, toys, scratching post, bed, etc. so he doesn't have to deal with all the noise and people. Also, ask your mother if it would be possible for her to not come with the dogs and get a pet sitter to take care of them in her house. Don't mention that you're asking ONLY for Chopper's sake, but tell her, there will be so many people and so much noise, it will not be healthy for them. I know this is a sticky situation.

I hope everything works out and Chopper will be fine. Again, Happy 1st Birthday to your son, in July.

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Warmest wishes,