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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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My cat has been licking the fur off of her back legs and one

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My cat has been licking the fur off of her back legs and one front leg. Why would she do that and what can I do about it?

Hi there,

I am sorry your baby is having trouble.

How long is she over grooming?

Is she nervous or high strung?
Has there been any changes or stress in her life lately?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has been doing it since about September. She is high strung and I was away for much of September and a neighbor, whom she knows, was taking care of her. Since then I have been at home most of the time although I have had visitors occasionally and she usually hides when new people, especially children are around. She is afraid of children and hisses at them. I have two cats and the other although also afraid of new people was not bothered.

Thanks so much for the additional info. It is very helpful in showing me the problem.

Please give me a few minutes to type detailed answer for you.


Dear friend,

I am so sorry she is having trouble.

This type of over grooming is called feline alopecia. It is usually stress related. The cat licks to comfort herself, much like a baby uses a pacifier.

Read more here:


You are her security blanket. Even though she knows the neighbor, she became very worried when you were away.

Now that you are home, she feels better but visitors and children are still stressing her out.


Here are ways to help her cope:


Get a feliway plug-in. It goes into and outlet like glade and is very calming to cats:


Put a few drops of rescue remedy in her water.This will also calm her.


Feed her canned food with turkey or fresh turkey. It contains l-triptophan and is sleep inducing.

If she has cat condo, encourage her to climb up. It will raise her confidence.Cats that hide under things feel small and insecure.

She can take benedryl @ one mg per lb for calming and to relieve allergy symtoms. It will take several weeks for her fur to grow back once the licking stops.


Have visitors just ignore her. They should stay as calm and nonchalant as they can muster.


You can have a stranger or child sit quietly with a piece of cold cut. To a cat, food is love and they CAN be bribed. If she takes food from someone, she will warm up to them.


Please let me know how things go. If you hae any questions along the way, I will always be here for you.


Warmest best wishes,





Terri and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your ideas. I suspected anxiety as a possible cause and will try your suggestions.

You are more than welcome!

It is my pleasure to help someone as wonderful as you!

Thank you for your accept.

There is no charge for follow-up so please let me know how things go.

Your kitty is VERY lucky to have YOU!


Warmest regards,