How To Stop Overgrooming In Cats?
Have you noticed that your cat is licking its fur so much it is becoming bald in some spots? Overgrooming is not actually your cat being super diligent about taking a bath; it is likely the sign of a deeper-rooted issue. Excessive cat grooming without a known medical reason is called psychogenic alopecia.
Cat excessive grooming causes are more than often linked to stress. Psychogenic alopecia in cats can be caused by bullying from other cats, exposure to loud noises, trauma, a change in your pet’s environment, and more. If you want to know how to stop cat overgrooming, keep reading to learn what you should look for and what steps you need to take to protect your feline friend.
What Is Overgrooming In Felines?
One common health issue in cats is a tendency to over-groom. You might think this seems harmless. After all, your cat is probably super clean, right? The problem is more serious than it may seem.
Physically, your cat may suffer hair loss. Emotionally, your cat might be dealing with some serious stress and anxiety that needs your attention.
Cat overgrooming is different from normal grooming efforts, so you need to be aware of the differences. When a cat is licking its fur, this releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that release a good feeling.
With normal cat grooming, endorphins allow your pet to feel comforted and safe. If your cat is overgrooming, it is probably looking to feel comforted and is taking extreme measures to do so.
It is crucial not to punish your cat for overgrooming. If you notice this behavior occurring, investigate what could be making your cat feel uncomfortable, and take immediate steps to rectify the situation.
Why Do Some Cats Over Groom?
Cats overgrooming causes range from a variety of reasons from the emotional to the physical.
An excessive licking cat is problematic, and since your pet is part of your family, you will want to know what is causing the issue. Common factors might include:
- The arrival of a new family member. This may be human or animal, cats, do not necessarily take in new people or pets easily so take time to slowly and carefully introduce them
- Something as simple as moving the litter box or overcrowding of the litter box might be enough to completely stress your cat out
- Cats need space and time to experience stimulation from activities like exercise and play. Without it, your cat might feel anxious and turn to overgrooming
- A chaotic household with loud parties or a lot of movement can be difficult for cats. Be sure your cat has space and bed to call their own where it can escape to for some much-needed cat naps and time to relax
- Moving to a new home is stressful for anyone, including your cat. Start slowly by keeping your cat in a secure space with his familiar objects and food, water, and litter box
If, after careful evaluation of the environment, you can not seem to identify cat overgrooming causes, speak to your vet about your concerns.
Your cat is trying to tell you something by overgrooming, and you might need a little help figuring that out.
Signs Of Cat Overgrooming
How can you recognize hair loss in cats? If your furry pal is engaging in overgrooming, there are a few telltale signs to identify.
Check your cat for a line or strip of very short hair. This may look similar to a buzz cut. The most common areas for overgrooming are on your cat’s inner thigh or leg, though it can occur anywhere.
If your cat has been overgrooming for a long time or is doing so in a severe manner, you will probably notice sores and red patches on the skin as well.
How To Stop Overgrooming In Your Pet
As a responsible pet owner, there is no doubt you want to know how to best treat health issues in cats swiftly and effectively. Here are some tips for how to stop your cat from overgrooming:
- If you or a family member go on a trip, leave your cat with an unwashed shirt or blanket belonging to the person they are missing. This can help ease their anxiety and separation
- Sometimes a plug-in pheromone product can help cats to feel more calm. Simply rub it on objects or get a plug-in so the aroma can drift in your house
- Make time for play and exploration. This can help to build your cat’s self-confidence, as well as keep them engaged and stimulated. It is also great for releasing pent up and anxious energy
- Introduce a new family member slowly. Keep your cat safely separated and allow for time to become used to the new smell and behaviors of the family member. Eventually, you can let them meet and become more comfortable with one another in person
Pet owners know that taking care of your beloved furry friend is incredibly important. After all, cats are part of our family and deserve to live a healthy, safe, and happy life.
Cat health insurance is one way to ensure your pet is always able to gain important access to medicine, veterinary care, surgery, and more.
Most importantly, understanding cat overgrooming and other common issues will empower you to become a better owner to your sweet feline friend.