My 11 year old spayed female cat has been licking the fur off of her stomach. She's nearly bald underneath. Any ideas why and how I could help her to stop?
Age: 11; Female; Breed: Cat Domestic shorthair
Try to feed a decent food (Iams Indoor, Weight control, Hairball). Hairball treatment (ointment) because of the extra fur she is ingesting she seems to have more frequent hairballs.
This behaviour can be due to behavioural problems or skin issues and can be quite distressing.
- has their been any changes to her environment recently
- does the skin look normal or can you see any sores or irritation?
The skin looks normal. Nice and pink, not red or irritated. No sores or scabs. She's been doing this for about 3 to 6 months, so I can't think of any changes in her environment other than the change of the seasons. We have had an occaisional visitor cat, but that not consistant and the licking is.
If you're fairly sure that she hasn't got any irritation on her belly, she's otherwise bright and healthy and you treat her regularly for fleas then I'd start to suspect a behavioural issue.
Cats can get stressed by the smallest things- a new cat in the neighbourhood, a grandchild coming to visit, even a change in where they eat.
You might want to try a Feliway diffuser- it releases an odourless pheremone which is analogous to the cat's natural facial pheremone they use to mark their territory. If they can detect this pheremone in their environment then they can start to feel more secure and less stressed:
However if you notice any irritation, or the problem persists, then you should get your vet to have a look and make sure there's no medical problem.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to post again if you need more information.
MA VetMB MRCVS
Thank you. I will be kepping an eye on her.
Best of luck- if anything else comes to mind please don't hestitate to let me know.