Grooming is part of life for cats. However, excessive licking and chewing could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. If you are concerned that your cat is grooming too much, here is what you need to know.
What Are Signs That Your Cat Is Grooming Too Much?
Whenever a cat is over-grooming, the signs will be noticeable in its behavior and appearance. If your cat is over-grooming on a regular basis, it is likely that you will notice it through daily observations.
Physically, your cat's over-grooming can cause a number of signs, including missing fur in places or red and irritated looking skin. Depending on the severity of your cat's over-grooming, it can even partially amputate its tail through constant chewing.
Why Is Your Cat Over-Grooming?
There are a number of reasons that your cat could be going overboard with the grooming. It would have dry skin that is causing itching or pain. The constant licking and chewing is an effort to ease the condition.
Your cat could also be suffering from stress or boredom. For instance, if your cat has recently experienced a change in environment, the change could have proven to be too emotionally overwhelming for it.
Over-grooming could be a sign that your cat is suffering from allergies. Cats tend to respond in a similar fashion to humans when exposed to allergens. This could mean itching and irritation that causes your cat to over-groom.
What Can You Do?
The most important step you can take is to have your cat assessed by a veterinarian, like one at Coastal Carolina Animal Hospital. He or she will assess your cat to determine if a medical condition is the cause of your cat's over-grooming. For instance, if allergies are to blame, your vet can prescribe antihistamines to help prevent an allergic reaction. If dry skin is at fault, he or she might recommend increasing your cat's fatty acids intake. Fatty acids can help to naturally keep your cat's skin lubricated.
However, if there are no medical conditions that seem to be causing the cat's over-grooming, your vet might recommend focusing on decreasing your cat's stress and boredom. For instance, taking your cat out to exercise can potentially be effective in alleviating boredom. Getting outside can also help to increase your cat's overall mood.
You should never ignore the signs of over-grooming. Without proper treatment, your cat's over-grooming could result in even more damage to its skin and fur.