Excessive licking/grooming

kuklachica

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine
One of my cats, Doe, is approximately 4 years old. We have two other cats, 4 and 11 years old. Doe started licking her stomach about 2 years ago. It started with a very small spot on her stomach, which turned into a sore because she kept licking. We have battled it on and off for two years with breaks in her licking here and there. The vet didn't know what it was so gives her a Depo shot each time. I know the drawbacks of Depo, that it why I am trying to get to the bottom of this. She is a jumpy cat and pretty intense, so I think much of it may be psychological. She is currently eating Wellness Chicken wet food twice a day and a little dry food during the day.

Over the last 6 months she has started licking her whole chest and inside of both her back and front legs. She has let peach fuzz grow back over the past couple of months. However, she has started licking everything over the last couple of days, with fervor.

I am not sure what to do at this point. Every time I look at her she is licking some part of her belly or legs. The vet keeps saying he is not sure what it is and gives her a Depo shot. We can't keep doing this.

Has anyone else had this problem to this extent? What have you done? I've included a picture so you can see her stomach (I was not able to get a leg shot, but trust me, the insides are bare).




Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

white cat lover

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
22,206
Reaction score
31
Have you ruled out food allergies?

If so, perhaps an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant would help? I have had a cat on Amitriptyline & then switched her over to Buspar.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

kuklachica

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine
I have considered food allergies, but wouldn't know where to begin to "test" that theory, and the vet hasn't given us any direction.

I am about ready to try some sort of anti-anxiety/anti-depressant at this point. She definitely is high anxiety/arousal level. Not sure about depression though.

We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow and will mention both things to him. I will also consider getting a 2nd opinion from another vet since he doesn't seem to be doing much.
 

kai bengals

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
3,931
Reaction score
17
Location
North Carolina
What type and brand of litter are you using?

I've had 4 or 5 cats that have been allergic to the litter we were using, and the symptoms were excessive grooming, to the point of making sores and removing any fur they could get to by grooming.
 

piikki

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
297
Reaction score
1
Location
NY
Poor Doe


I am interested in the allergy tests and what are people's experiences in the success rate of actually finding out something through them too. My vet/s have not been particularly hopeful about them.

I see that Doe is eating the same wet food (I assume the grainfee Wellness?) as our Ossi. What is the dry food you feed? Do you feel the Depo shot is doing anything at this point? Ossi is getting relief from steroid pills and his vet seems to think a low dose steroid is low risk to stay on. (You can see more about Ossi's Pink Belly in this thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=221630)

However, I would like to find out the reason and put an end to this licking altogether. I am going to go and see yet another vet, and am planning to place Ossi for another restricted diet trial. I just need a better idea how to do it - and I want to make sure I do not fall into another pit like increasing a risk for UTI:s etc.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

kuklachica

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine
Thank you for your replies. I am feeding the grainfree Wellness wet food, and a mixture of EVO Turkey and Blue Buffalo Chicken dry food (both are grain free). We switched to these this summer after doing research and realizing we needed to be feeding wet food.

I never considered the litter. We use BJ's brand clumping litter, which is probably very cheaply made. What would be some good litter to try? We also use an odor powder to keep the smell down. We have 4 boxes for our 3 cats, so they *should* have enough "going space".

My husband is bringing her to the vet tomorrow. I do notice that she generally does better after the Depo shot. Usually from 2-6 months her licking becomes less and she looks more relaxed. Also her sores heal over.
 

kylew

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
203
Reaction score
3
Location
NYC
The place to begin a food allergy test is by feeding a hypo allergenic food, like Hills z/d, for 4-6 weeks. The structure of the protein is altered so that the cat's body cannot see it as an enemy/allergen. If it is an allergy her itching should diminish.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

kuklachica

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine
Update:
We went to the vet's yesterday. He gave us amitriptyline (sp?) for depression/anxiety. He didn't want to do another Depo shot, and wanted to try the next possibility, anxiety. He wanted to do a food trial after these pills, if they didn't work. However, I told him that I wanted to try both now. I am pretty sure that the food has something to do with it. She became MUCH worse when we began the new food this summer. Went from one small patch to her whole stomach and legs. She may be a jumpy cat anyway, but something is making her itchy and uncomfortable on top of it. He was a bit reluctant to try both interventions at once but finally agreed. I'd rather make her comfortable and try both things at once, then go backwards and see IF food does actually effect her. She is now just on Hills z/d and LOVES it. She used to scratch her other food as if trying to bury it, but she chowed this down right when we put it down. We mixed some water in this morning to keep a "wet" food routine (since she won't be getting the Wellness anymore and we can't afford the Hills wet food) and she LOVED it wet. I can't believe it. It makes me wonder how much she really hated the other dry food and was stressed out about it. We will also be changing the cat litter today and using Arm & Hammer to see if that helps.

I've also unplugged my Christmas scent polug-ins to see if that helps. She was noticeably licking less last night (not licking EVERY time I looked at her like before). I know it's really too early for these things to be kicking in, but something seems to be working, or not irritating her.
 
Top