This is the most in depth guide on how to stop your Cat from over-grooming
The best part?
I’m going to show you how you can save your Cats fur and ensure your Cat is not suffering due to excessive grooming
In short: If you want your Cat to have a healthy shiny coat then you’ll love this article
Let’s get started
Cats are very clean
Very very clean!
They are probably more cleaner than us humans (Even though you probably shower everyday!)
It’s natural behavior for Cats to groom themselves.
You see, Cats don’t need to stress about getting through their 9 – 5 or about what they have to cook for dinner however when they do stress then they tend to bite their nails or pull at their hair or what we may call it over grooming.
When Cats groom they do nibble which is normal however when they are stressed then they do it out force and you’ll notice this.
You would be able to see the difference when your little feline friend is grooming or over grooming
What Is Over-Grooming In Cats?
Before we talk about over grooming we need to understand what is over grooming.
Cats are constantly grooming themselves.
As I mentioned earlier they tend to spend 30% of their waking hours as grooming themselves.
If your Cat is spending more than 30% of their time grooming themselves then we need to be concerned.
I know this might be difficult to spot this because every time we look at our Cat he’s always grooming which we may consider to be normal but there is one important thing to consider when you see your Cat grooming.
What you need to consider is – Is your Cat losing hair?
It is not considered normal if your Cat starts to develop bare patches on the skin because of self grooming. If this does happen then you should seek professional help.
What Causes Excessive Grooming In Cats
One of the common reason a Cat will over groom is because of fleas. If this is the case then you should treat your Cat immediately with medication for fleas. I would recommend getting Frontline Plus for Cats 3 Month to treat fleas for your Cat.
And if you have a large Cat then you can check out my review of Advantage ii For Large Cats Flea treatment by clicking here
It’s important you treat him immediately because your Cat will feel irritated with the constant licking and scratching.
Imagine having mosquito’s bite you constantly! It can become really frustrating.
I remember when I went India and the whole night I constantly had mosquitos biting me. I forgot to purchase them cream to treat mosquito’s so that whole night I was scratching myself! It was not a very great night of course.
Now, when I put myself in my Cats “paws” I can imagine how frustrating it can be to have fleas bite them continuously.
We love our Cats and there is not doubt about that so that is why once we see or realize our Cats has fleas then we should treat them immediately.
Other common reasons why Cats will over groom themselves are
- Your Cat may be stressed and in order for him to relieve himself he will over groom. Whether it is severe stress or mild, Cats will resort to licking them selves excessively.
- There could be a skin disease or an allergy that may be causing an itch that leads to over grooming.
- Parasites or mites can be a reason for your Cat to over groom
Psychogenic Alopecia – Excessive Grooming
What is psychogenic alopecia?
psychogenic alopecia is a condition when the Cat excessively grooms themselves which then becomes an obsessive behavior. This is usually bought on by stress or anxiety.
Grooming for Cats can be calming for them so when they are faced with sudden changes to their environments or a sudden conflict or even a perceived threat they will groom themselves in order to feel calm.
In most cases, once the threat has gone the Cat will stop with this behavior.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for this because once that threat is gone but your Cat continues to lick and groom themselves in a irresistible manner then it is likely that your Cat now cannot control himself and has become compulsive behavior.
How To Treat Psychogenic Alopecia & Stop Your Cat Over Grooming
If your vet has diagnosed your Cat with psychogenic alopecia then it is vital that you try and find out what environmental changes or social changes that has occurred which has led to your Cat to being stressed.
You need to ask yourself
- Have you recently moved home?
- Have you introduced a new Cat?
- Has there been an additional member to your family?
- Litter box problems?
- Change in litter box location?
These are some of the questions you need to answer and only you as a Cat parent would know because you know your Cat more than anyone else
If your Cat is stressed out then you need to make your Cat relaxed
Check out my article on How to calm a stressed Cat down
Your vet may provide some medication but I believe both medication and environmental change will help your Cat
Here are some tips to help your Cat if he is suffering from psychogenic alopecia
- It’s important that we give our Cat some play time otherwise they will get bored and this may result in them over grooming. We should at least give them 10 – 15 minutes of playtime. Your Cat will love the attention and this is a way of keeping your Cats mind off over grooming
- Try to keep your Cats daily routine the same as possible. Keep their play time and eating time the same time as possible.
- Introduce new play areas for your Cat. Maybe buy some new toys or some cat nip pack toys. You could also get them a scratching post, they love that! Change the toys often as this will keep them interested.
- Avoid punishing your Cat or shouting a them as this could make the problem worse. In reality we should never shout or punish them.
How To Stop Your Cat Over Grooming
If your Cat does suffer from over grooming then it is very important that you find out what is causing this problem
Look at the possible causes and once you have identified what the cause is, you can make the necessary changes
Try all the above methods and work on it consistently and in good time you have will have a happier and healthier cat!
If you notice fleas on your Cats then you should get this treated immediately
You don’t want your Cat to be infested with fleas
I personally have had much success with both although it’s easier to put drops on your Cats then give tablets
For example, my Cat is very clever, I would mix the tablet in his food so he’d eat it
But what he does is, eats everything and leaves the tablet out!
Here’s a quick video showing you how to apply spot on treatments
As mentioned earlier, I would recommend checking out Frontline Plus For Cats
You can read my review of this flea treatment by clicking the link below
Don’t forget to get your whole house cleaned from Fleas
We can’t see them but they could be everywhere and it’s your little Furball that will suffer
A sign of fleas on your Cat means fleas in the house
The worst part?
You can’t even see the fleas or where they’ve laid their eggs
They lay eggs everywhere and that’s it – Your house is infested with fleas
And this is obviously not good for your Kitty
So you need to kill the fleas on your Cats and also kill the fleas and eggs that are in the house
You can use Knockout Area Treatment By Virbac
This is a spray that quickly kills adult and larval fleas in your house
It also prevents flea infestations up to 4 months
Make sure to vacuum your whole house too (I know it’s hard work, but our Cats deserve to be itch flee!)
Let’s make sure our Cats stay flea free
And if you do see any signs of fleas on your Cats, then to make sure to act immediately
How Can I Relieve My Cats Stress?
One of the main reasons your little furball is excessively grooming themselves is because they are stressed
That’s right, Cats can get stressed just as how we get stressed too
And one way of your Cat is dealing with this stress is to over-groom themselves
You must be wondering how can you calm a stressed Cat down?
I actually have written a in-depth article on how you can relieve your Cat from stress
You can check it out by clicking the link below
One thing I would recommend for you to do is to get yourself a Feliway Plug-In Diffuser Refill, 48 mL, 3-Pack
It’s important to keep your Cat stress free because you don’t want any problems
And not only that, it’s not fair on them to be stressed right?
If they’re stressed they’ll also mark their territory and spray all over the house
The price is not too bad as well
It can be tricky to actually realize if your Cat is over-grooming so make sure to pay special attention when they are grooming themselves?
Do you notice your Cat licking himself more than usual?
If your Cat is grooming excessively due to boredom then play with your Cat. You should spend at least 15-20 minutes per day playing with your Cat
This will keep your Furball active and will also build love and a strong connection between you two
If you’re in doubt then pay a visit to the Vets just to make sure everything is okay with your Kitty
Also, if you do notice fleas then make sure this is treated immediately
You don’t want to wait around too long because fleas can reproduce