My cat keeps licking his back and feet

redgale

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My 12-year-old cat licks this one spot on his mid-back (on his spine) and his front paws a lot more frequently than seems normal to me. He's current on flea meds, and just got an excellent bill of health from the vet (with full bloodwork and urinalysis) and he just had his yearly dental cleaning. He's not pulling out the hair or irritating this skin--he just licks those areas often. I don't think he's stressed, because our routine is the same and I'm always home with him. We go for backyard walks on the leash and play with toys multiple times a day. He's a very active senior kitty. No new pets or people in the house. No changes in diet.

What could cause this excessive licking? I'm perplexed.
 

crystal dawn

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Does he possibly have dry skin in those areas? That could make them itchy, and he licks them to get them to stop itching.
 

LTS3

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Cats can develop food sensitivities over time, even if the food has not changed in years. Flea meds can cause allergic reactions in some cats even if it's been used before. There could be something outside in the yard that is causing itchy skin and feet. You can't control what the wind might blow onto your yard or what wildlife / strays track in. Maybe keep the cat indoors only for a few weeks to rule out a possible backyard allergy of some sort.
 

stephanietx

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Have you changed litter brands recently? He could be allergic to the new litter.
 

Dillard04

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I've read that some cats lick certain areas due to pain. My cat developed back issues over the past year and I've noticed that he's started to lick his back more, although I could just be noticing it more now.
 

FeebysOwner

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I am kind of echoing the post above - but specifically wondering about arthritis, especially given your cat's age. The spine is a common area, and the front legs are not all that uncommon. You might consider x-rays if none of the other suggestions above work. It couldn't hurt to give him an arthritic/joint supplement containing glucosamine and/or chondroitin, such as Cosequin or Dasuquin. Most of these supplements take a couple of weeks before you might see some results.
 
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