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Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21382
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My girl is 12yrs. with diabetes. She pulls out her fur. We

Customer Question

My girl is 12yrs. with diabetes. She pulls out her fur. We have used viti. and calming pills for cats.
I understand it is from the change in life. My mom died 2yrs. ago. Then we moved to apt. that does not have stairs or a lot of to run. We play running games before bedtime.
What can I do dismiss this. She looking sad.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Terri replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I am so sorry about your mom. I send my sincerest condolences for your loss.
Please tell me more about your kitty.
How long is she pulling out her fur?
Is it one specific spot or all over?
Does she take insulin for her diabetes?
Is she an indoor kitty?
Thanks,
Terri
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hello, and welcome.
I'm so sorry that you had to wait so long for an answer. Various experts are online at different times and your patience is appreciated!
Terri asked me to stop by and see if I could help.
My name is ***** ***** I will be glad to help with your question about your furry girl.
My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your mom. This change and the fact that you moved, could have set off this behavior in your kitty.
The hair pulling is most likely caused by an obsessive-compulsive condition called feline psychogenic alopecia. You can read more about it, here:
http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/psychogenic-alopecia-in-cats/
If this is the case, the vet could treat it with a steroid shot and sometimes, antihistamines are prescribed to decrease the sensitivity of the skin, if it is itchy. However, in the case of your girl, because she's diabetic, steroids would not be a good idea, so the calming pills should help. Were the calming pills prescribed by the vet or did you by them in a store? What is the name of the medication?
If this has not helped, and you did buy the pills over the counter, discuss with the vet, a prescription calming medication that should help. Part of the reason for fur pulling is stress/anxiety, and there are many choices of medication to choose from.
Treating her stress and enrichment of her environment will help with this problem. Even though you have less room in your apt. than where you used to live, I'm glad you're playing running games with her before bed! Here is a list of toys she should love, including a cat dvd:
http://www.catdvd.com/
http://www.frolicat.com/
http://www.batarat.com/
http://www.cattoys.com/kong-kickeroo-cat-toy.html
http://www.shopfatcat.com/cattoys.html
http://www.pawswhiskersandclaws.com/pwc%20foraging.pdf
Also, if she doesn't yet have one, get a kitty condo with multiple levels, shelves and 'hidey' holes. These are great for scratching (they're covered with carpet), playing, and also sleeping.
You can also try a cat-calming pheromone called Feliway. You can find both the spray and plug in forms of this product at major pet supply stores. Here is more information:
http://www.feliway.com/us/
Her skin and fur may be dry, so add some Wild Alaskan fish oil, rich with Omega 3's to her food. You can find this in pet supply stores:
http://www.petco.com/product/109074/Wild-Alaskan-Salmon-Oil-Cat-Food-Supplement.aspx
Also, make sure she doesn't have any external parasites like fleas or mites. Even if she's an indoor kitty, these can still be brought inside by humans.
I hope all will be well with your kitty and please let me know how she's doing. Thanks!
Please kindly rate my answer with positive feedback and if you have any additional questions, just click Reply and I will always be here for you and and your furry girl. Rating will not cut off our ability to communicate. This question will always be open for you to reply to me.
Warmest wishes,
Cher