ragdoll overgrooming

mazobear

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Our 7 year old, previously always healthy and beautiful ragdoll, Maggie, has been overgrooming. She has chewed off a large patch of hair on her lower back/tail and also on her legs. We took her to the vet twice, saw 2 different vets. One said it was a flea allergy, another said cystitis. She has had a UA and xray. A steroid injection has not helped, and while she is acting more or less normally, she still won't stop chewing at her hair.

We have 5 cats altogether, the most recent addition coming to us last August. I wondered if perhaps she is upset about the kitten, but we had him for 6 months before this started. She pretty much ignores him, and he doesn't bother her. There is some tension between Maggie and our other female T'pring, but T'pring has been with us for 2 years and it has never escalated beyond the very occasional minor spat.

I guess my question is, how should we follow up, is it more likely a physical or psychological problem, and would it help to put her on antidepressants? We are very concerned about her.
 

finnlacey

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I would try a couple of things before doing that. First, have you tried to change her cat litter to something without heavy dust and fragrances? Something like Dr. Elsey's. Also, try to stop using heavy chemicals. When I wash the floor, I only use vinegar and water now and it works so well and is non toxic. Have you tried bathing her in pet safe or shampoo or kitty allergy wipes? Pollen is REALLY bad right now and I don't care what any vet says, pets get seasonal allergies. I'm seeing this so much it's crazy, lots of pets tearing their fur out. It could be a food allergy, what is she eating? There are a lot of things to try eliminating before you go the drug route. We can go down a sort of list if you'd like and see if we can eliminate some stuff for her to see how it works out.
 
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mazobear

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Wow, that's a bunch of great ideas right there! As to her food, she is getting a mix of Wysong uretic/Max Cat weight control dry and Merrick wet every day. Her appetite is fine, thank goodness. It never occurred to me that pollen could be doing it (we are in Wisconsin, where the temps have been abnormally (and I do mean abnormally!) warm for the last several months, although this started before we got highs in the 70s - but of course everything is blooming madly way ahead of schedule.) And we would love a list. You sound like you have a lot of experience with this, and we really appreciate it!
 

finnlacey

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Okay I just looked at those ingredients in that Wysong dry and UGH!!!!!!


She needs to get off that food. Grains up the wazoo!!!! Grains are just pure sugar and all that does is cause allergies, skin problems, overwork the pancreas, etc. As far has urinary food, always the best answer is to get off dry food and go only to wet. If you HAVE to give dry food stick with something grain free like Merrick Before Grain, Evo, Nature's Variety. That food is not helping at all. Definitely pollen is causing some problems because I'm in NH and OMG I a dying of allergies. Have been since the end of Feb. But the first step to me is to get off that food.
 
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mazobear

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Thank you! I will definitely start switching Maggie over. Like I say her appetite is good - her general attitude is good too, except for the licking. (She greeted me today when I came home from work, that made me happy :) I'm glad I asked for help.
 

finnlacey

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Keep in mind too that it will take quite awhile for the food to completely get out of her system and the allergens to clear up so give it a chance, unless her symptoms get worse. If that happens I recommend seeing a dermatologist. But this is one step they usually will tell you to do anyway, so you'll be changing the food either way.
 

gloriajh

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We have one that was over grooming  - I took him off foods with grains, and that seems to have been the answer.  Wellness has a lot of variety of non-grain now, also Weruva has non-grain, and I think Merrick.  

Taste of the Wild has a non-grain dry food that I use to encourage him to eat sometimes - he's FeLV - and I never know why he doesn't seem to have an appetite, either he's being picky, or his health is a problem.  When I offer the dry food and he gladly eats it, I know he's just tired of the other food, which is such a huge relief. 
 

angels mommy

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Hi, I have a itchy boy right now too. He also over grooms, but is doing a lot of chewing. He has 3-4 dime size spots on him right now, where he has chewed to raw.

He has been on grain free for yrs, so could be the pollen (bad here in NC) or stress.  He eats Natural Balance wet & a little dry to snack on.

It seems to happen more than just around pollen time, any time I have taken him to the vet about it, she just puts him on Prednisone. It helps for the time being, but the problem persist. SO, I am setting up an appointment w/ a Holistic vet we have in town, to see if he has a better, more permanent solution to treat it naturally.

I like my vet, but I have to find a better solution. I did find some natural capsules that look really good & had good reviews on AllergicPet.com, but want to run it by the Holistic vet first.

I have also tried the Hydocortisone spray from 800 petmeds. but don't use it much, because he has to stay in my sight, to make sure he doesn't like it. (& he doesn't always stay in the room w/me. & I can't follow him around all day!)
 
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