Cats groom all the time, but it is important to watch how much it is happening. The grooming helps you to ensure that your cat has good hygiene but there is also too much grooming that happens sometimes. Cats are going to spend around 50% of their time grooming. But it can be destructive if it is not being watched. You need to know if your cat is grooming too much and think about how you can help him or her.
What Are the Signs of Over-Grooming?
Grooming is very important since it helps with the removal of all the loose hair and parasites. But cats also are known for doing it too much and that can become a problem. You will see that when there are lots of furs missing. This will happen on the belly the back and along the legs. This has been dubbed as “fur mowing” by vets and is a serious issue when it happens. You may see that the fur is barely there or that it has become simply stubble. When there is also a very high number of hairballs that is an indication that you have an issue.
When Does a Cat Start Grooming Too Much?
When you realize that you have over-grooming that is happening you need to work with your vet to figure out why the problem happened and what you can do to fix it as soon as possible for the health of the pet. Here are known reasons that lead to overgrooming typically.
- Allergies or Infection – This happens when there is an issue in the skin that comes from food, or parasites or other issues. There will be a hair loss problem that is present that may share that the source like.
- A problem with fleas, which will show that there is a problem with irritation on the tail.
- Mites in the ears which come from the hair loss and the scabbing that shows up on the neck and the ears.
- Allergic responses to pollen may also come about from the chewing on paws.
Pain and Overgrooming
One thing that is also very important to realize is that there may be a lot of pain associated with an area of the body that your cat is overgrooming. That may be an area that causes him or her pain that can show that there is an internal issue as well.
Your Pet Might Be Stressed or Bored
If your cat is bored, he or she may use overgrooming as a way to cope with that. There is a release of endorphins that happens when a cat is grooming, and this lets them feel better and that means that the cat is going to find relief in the licking that they are doing. That licking brings about comfort and ensures that there is going to be a habit made from it because of the good feeling that it causes. The compulsive grooming as it continues to happen is known as psychogenic alopecia and it comes about when there is a change in the daily life of the cat. That can happen when there is a new person or a new cat. Cats feed off of their owner’s stress. They are also very smart, and they get bored if they do not have the daily enrichment that is required to keep them going. That means that this can happen a lot as well with cats that are alone and inside for large portions of a day.
Cats that require a lot of attention such as oriental kinds have very high attention demanding personalities and can be a problem.
What Do I Do with a Cat Who is Overgrooming?
If you have a cat who is overgrooming you need to figure out what is causing it and then fix the issue. You need to look at all the behaviors that are a part of the situation and go from there.
Figure Out What the Main Cause Is
When you work with your vet you are going to be able to figure out what it is that is causing the problem. It could be an infection or an allergy. You also may need to look at other issues that are causing the problem.
You Need to Look at Your Routines
You may have a routine that is causing an issue. You need to ensure that you have a predictable schedule and that your cat knows what to expect. You need to change the litter box every day and you need to always feed the cats at the same time of the day. When you are making changes, you need to do so slowly so that you know that you are not going to stress out your cat.
Physical and Mental Stimulation for Your Kitty
Your kitty needs your attention as well as play which is going to keep them feeling loved and will help them to not groom so excessively. You need to think about all of the things that you may be able to do to calm him or her down.
Try Medications and Products That Are Calming
When you are working with your cat you may need to work with your vet too in order to get him or her some supplements or other kinds of medicines that are going to be calming. This could be treated, and it could be other kinds of suggestions based on the recommendation of your vet. You may also want to try some synthetic cat pheromones out there that are going to be something that will help too. You need to talk to your vet about all the options.
Remember Your Patience
You need to ensure that you are being patient with your pet. The overgrooming is annoying, but it is important to not punish your cat for the issue. It will only make the problem worse when you yell at the cat. You need to work with your vet, and you will see positive change and growth from your cat.