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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3911
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My female 7 year old indoor spayed cat has been licking one

Customer Question

My female 7 year old indoor spayed cat has been licking one of her nipples to the point of bleeding at times. There is no redness around the area other than the nipple itself. This has been going on for approx. 1 month. She is acting normal and eating and drinking normally as always. Could it be stress, a lot has been going on in our household.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

I'm sorry your cat is having this problem. It is very possible that stress triggered this obsessive compulsive action. Once it starts, the inflammation there makes it sore so that continued licking is more likely: a vicious cycle so to speak. There are a few things you can try at home to see if you can resolve the issue.

I would try topical 1% hydrocortisone cream applied in trace amounts to the site every 12 hours to reduce the inflammation: make sure hydrocortisone is the only active ingredient in the product you use. Distract Jazzy for 5 minutes after application to give the cream time to work. If that hasn't helped after a few days, then I would try topical lidocaine cream two to three times daily (again, only active ingredient in the cream is to be lidocaine/ spray is not recommended). Five minutes distraction after application of the lidocaine is necessary to allow it to work. If both those fail, then you can try Bitter Orange which tastes bad and may deter your kitty from licking. Finally, an e-collar may be necessary to break the habit:

Ultimately, if the problem persists, a trip to Jazzy's veterinarian is wise. She may have caused an infection at the site that will require oral/injectable antibiotics. Of course, they will also examine her fully to be sure there is no other reason why she may be licking the site incessantly. Rarely oral antihistamines or steroids may be needed for such a problem too but seeing the vet is necessary to determine that.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful. Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if you have more questions or would like additional information. It is my goal to provide you with the most complete information possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.


Dr. Karing

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