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Why Does My Cat Overgroom? — 17 Comments

  1. My female cat is doing the exactly same thing and it looks the same too. The only thing that works and clears it up is an antibiotic and steroid shot the vet gives. Im starting to feel helpless because I can’t just keep giving her that shot because over an extended amount of time that can give her diabetes. Right now I just put a cone on her head. I’m leaving t there until the wounds heal up and I’ll just keep repeating that proceed I guess. I’m at a loss here. And it all started when I moved (I left home, she stayed) and when she was declawed. That was back in October 2017

    • Stephani, I don’t the full story but it looks to me like your cat is overgrooming because of stress. Firstly when you left home and she stayed (causing stress in her) and declawing the same thing. Self-grooming is calming for a cat, so to do it to excess indicates a need to calm herself.

      I would look at all things to calm her: plenty of play, interaction, company, no bullying cats, no noise, excellent environment. You can’t undo the declawing. That was a dire mistake in my book. Declawing can cause a lot of behavioral problems. Constant drugs are, a as you, say not a option.

      Sorry but your poor cat has been let down. Your vet seems to be poor and unimaginative. She’s heading for a shortened life. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Pingback:First hand experience that anxiety can cause overgrooming in cats | Pictures of Cats

  3. Perhaps his injury – the loss of one leg – is an experience that made him nervous which leads to OCD? Just a thought.

    • I thought of that right away, Michael. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can really change for him. But I think securing his environment against other cats will still help.

        • The cat flap is locked. He’ll have to ask to go out and come in. He goes to the toilet outside because he was never litter trained. We’ll just have to get into a new routine.

          • My childhood cats never used their litterboxes. They asked to go out. We never had a cat flap. Tippy sometimes came in and out through my bedroom window which was next to the deck over our garage. That worked well, but she still had to ask.

            • You could litter train him very easily, if you wanted to. Cats are very smart about that and catch on quickly. But if you have a sense of smell maybe you prefer keeping Charlie using the toilet outside.

            • Yes, I think it was similar for me. Cat flaps were not used so much 40 years ago when I was in my 20s. In fact a lot of people then “put the cat out” at night. Sounds weird now. I had thought about training Charlie to use litter but the current arrangement works well. No one complains and it is more natural etc. The only downside with a cat going to the toilet outside is you can’t easily keep an eye on his poop from a medical point of view!

              • You can if you hang out there with him like I do with Monty. I pretty much know if Monty has diarrhea inside or outside.

  4. I presume that my 5 year old Traditional Persian cat Matahari has “O.C.D” problems as she over-grooms excessively to the point of looking wet and dirty. She has no flea problems and to re-confirm the same i got her bathed in “Flea Shampoo’ just today(Tue 2-10-2012).Even after the bathe she began her habit of licking herself, thoroughly confusing and irritating to me.Otherwise, she is a perfectly normal cat with a habit of over-eating and a tendency to put on weight.Her kitten Matata, now a 3 1/2 year old tomcat is robust and never over-grooms his fur.He has an excellent thick fur coat and is a handsome specimen of his breed.Strange, the mother cat over-grooms while the kitten cat from the same lineage is absolutely normal.

    • In a perverse way I am pleased you have the same problem as me! We can console each other…I think it is about personality. Mum is more nervous than son.

  5. I’m with Kattaddorra, Michael. The cat flap has got to go. I’m so sorry to hear he has been having this problem. I have a soft spot in my heart for Charlie because he looks so much like my Monty. I hope he feels better soon! Charlie will be able to ask you to let him in and out when there is no cat flap. Monty’s doing it right now. “Meooow!”

    • Yep, I am with Ruth and you too… 🙂 I have locked the cat flap and will let Charlie out and in manually as I am here all the time and know his habits. Here’s hoping…

  6. Most definately a cat coming into another cat’s home via the cat flap causes the resident cat stress, we had the same problem years ago and it set Walter off spraying and Jozef overgrooming.It causes cats anxiety as they are always aware that other cats can invade their territory and as we know, cats are very territorial.
    We solved our problem by getting rid of the flap and encouraging our cats to come to the living room window instead, we put a high bench so we can see them and they soon learned to come and go that way. Yes it means watching out but we do anyway when they are out, it means jumping up and down too, sometimes a lot lol when Walt is in ‘yoyo mode’ but it gives them peace of mind that only they can enter their home and we don’t have to worry about them being upset or other cats bringing fleas in…..it works for us anyway.

    • Like your idea Ruth. I will do something about this stray cat. Thanks for the tip. I am going to put in one of those cat flaps that open for one cat, Charlie but not for any other.

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