What to Do When Your Cat is Overgrooming


Could you picture having the alternative of licking yourself clean whenever you got unclean? Champagne sprinkled in your face? No issue. Chocolate ice cream melting down your arms? No issue. Such is the life of a cat. Their capability, and natural perceptiveness, to self-groom isn’t almost remaining clean, however–it’s about survival. Grooming rids felines of parasites, keeps them cool, and permits them to keep their glamorous coats. However what to do if your cat is a little too groomed? Overgrooming is a rather typical problem for cats that can quickly go undetected merely due to the fact that felines groom a lot. Here’s how to determine, and aid, overgroomers.

What are the indications of overgrooming?

Felines can invest up to 50 percent of their day grooming so recognizing overgroomers can be a bit tough. Pamela Perry, DVM, of the Animal Habits Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medication describes through the Cornell Feline University Hospital, “It’s a huge chunk of their day. Because cats groom frequently, owners usually don’t notice a problem until they observe significant hair loss or skin lesions.”

If a cat is fanatically licking or appears to be focusing on one area in specific, these can be indications of overgrooming. Particular indications consist of:

  • Bald areas triggered by licking
  • Sores on the skin
  • An abnormally big quantity of hairballs

Why does overgrooming take place?

Overgrooming is typically a sign of something else, and most veterinarians will encourage cat owners to search for a physical cause prior to checking out the possibility of behavioral problems.

“Cats will lick when an area of their body is itchy or painful,” states William Miller, Jr., VMD, a board accredited professional in dermatology and a teacher at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medication. “If pain is the issue, the licking is focused on the painful area, like in cases of disc disease or anal sac impaction. With itchy diseases, however, the licking is more widespread,” he includes.

What are the most typical reasons for overgrooming?

Overgrooming takes place for a wide range of factors and can even be affected by a cat’s breed (Asian breeds such as Siamese and Himalayan felines are more susceptible to overgrooming) or, in rarer cases, neurological problems. As Natalie Stillwell, DVM, MS, PhD, describes to PetMD, overgrooming is most often triggered by inflamed skin, discomfort, dullness, or tension.

Inflamed skin: “Irritated skin can result from an infection or from a cat’s allergy to certain foods, parasites or substances in the environment,” mentions Stillwell. Felines can focus licking on the location in an effort to ease the pain however those little barbs on their tongue can simply make it even worse and can even lead to an agonizing infection.

Discomfort: Overgrooming can be an indication that your cat is experiencing discomfort beyond what is noticeable to you. Stillwell points out as examples, “disc disease can cause back pain so that your cat over-grooms a certain spot on their back, while a urinary tract infection or anal sac impaction may encourage excessive grooming of the genitals or perianal area.”

Dullness or tension: All of us have various methods of handling these and, for felines, this can indicate compulsive grooming–likewise called psychogenic alopecia. “It is thought that licking releases endorphins that help relieve anxiety, so when a stressed cat finds relief in licking, it can turn into a habit,” states Stillwell. If you have actually had modifications to your family–such as a relocation, a brand-new member of the family, a brand-new family pet, or possibly a brand-new task that has you far from house more–these can activate overgrooming.

What to do if your cat is overgrooming

It is essential to very first eliminate physical problems that may be triggering overgrooming. Your Veterinarian can inspect cat for typical offenders such as parasites or allergic reactions and if these aren’t the cause, look much deeper to see if your cat might be experiencing a hidden condition. Your Veterinarian can then help with medications, skin treatments, or allergic reaction suggestions to get cat concentrated on other things.

If your Veterinarian figures out there are no underlying physical causes for overgrooming, then look to what’s going on the house. If you have actually had current modifications to your family or your cat isn’t getting sufficient enrichment, take actions to make sure she’s getting a lot of love from you. Likewise, make sure you are offering a lot of smart toys, outdoors views, and relaxing hideaways to keep her fantastic mind at ease. Another terrific concept is to buy some quality grooming brushes to provide your cat a hand. Not just is it a fantastic way to bond, however it likewise offers you a possibility to frequently inspect her coat and body for anything that may trigger a reoccurrence.

More reading:

  • The Very Best Cat Toys for 2020 According to a Couple Of Hyper, Spirited Felines
  • Do Felines Miss Their Owners? 5 Indications Your Cat Missed You
  • 7 Surprising Ways that Cats Program Love


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