Cat Licking and Chewing Fur
From Pet Health Learning Center
Cat Licking and Chewing Fur
We all love our pets and hate to see it when they are unhappy or unwell. You know your cat better than anybody else and if it begins to act strangely then you will need to find out why. Cats tend to suffer from Cat Stress and Anxiety quite easily and when they do, they lick and chew on their fur. Although this is the most common reason there are also plenty of other reasons as to why your cat is losing his or her fur.
Signs and Symptoms
Hair loss in cats can be caused by several reasons; either stress or allergies are the most popular. If you are at all worried about your cat, and why they are chewing their fur, then you should take you cat in to see a veterinarian. Hair loss in cats can mean that they are ill, and seeking help straight away can diagnose the illness and get it treated immediately. A vet may not know your cat personally but they will be able to find health problems that you may have over looked.
Excessive licking by your cat can be a behavior problem; they might just be over stressed and need calming down. If they have had a shock recently or a change in their daily routine, then they may lick their fur far too aggressively causing it to fall out. If you can identify that there has been a change in routine recently, such as a vacation where someone else was caring for your cat whilst you were away or maybe a new family member was introduced into the home, then you will need to ensure that you simply give your cat a lot of affection and love and they will soon relax and become less stressed and lick their fur less.
Fleas and Parasites
Cat Fleas and ticks can also cause stress in your cat, they will become itchy and this will cause them to chew at their fur. If your cat spends a lot of time outside and you think that they maybe have fleas then you need to treat the problem as soon as possible. Once the biting stops then your cat will calm down and stop chewing and licking its fur so excessively, it will also be far more comfortable once it has been treated. Often cats who are allergic to flea bites suffer from Cat Flea Allergy Dermatitis and their fur will fall out even if it isn't biting and chewing its fur. Your cat may also have other parasites such as Cat Worms or ringworm, if you think the fur is falling off in only certain places then a trip to the vet may help. They will be able to identify if your cat has any other parasites and infections.
Medical conditions, are a big reason why cats chew on their fur, they will lick themselves because they are unwell and uncomfortable. Cats can suffer from a number of conditions including Cat Hyperthyroidism and Cat Hypothyroidism, as well as Cat Addisons Disease and Cat Cushings Disease. These can be treated and once your cat has the correct medication then they will begin to feel better.
The key to all of the problems surrounding your cat licking and chewing its fur is that you need to recognize the symptoms, and get them treated as a soon as possible. Your cat is part of the family and you want it to be as happy as possible.