I have a 10 year-old, orange, shorthair, indoor (though we could have tracked anything indoors on our shoes), female cat.
Approximately 2 months ago she started licking her back legs a lot. Over a few weeks she licked her inner back legs and lower belly completely bare. About 2 weeks ago I noticed very faint pink dots on the bare skin. They were not raised bumps. They were not there before. One week ago she has licked the pink spots so much they are much more noticable now, though still not raised even as much as acne bumps to make a comparison. This week she has licked a spot or two to rawness. She is also licking small bald areas to her front legs.
She has NO FLEAS. I do not think it is ALLERGIES as her diet/environment has not changed. I've seen her go hours and hours without licking her belly but then I'd come into my bedroom some afternoon and she's licking her belly and legs again. None of my other cats as of yet have begun to lick their fur off.
hi and welcome I hope we can help...
first of all your kitties symptoms are classic 'allergic' reaction, nothing needs to have changed in her diet/environment b/c allergies can develop at anytime d/t long time exposure just as with us. When we are in contact with an allergen we being to sneeze or get runny eye/noses, with cats the reaction shows up on their skin!!
the spots she is getting are called granulomas or ulcers and there are several types under the family of eosinophilic plaque. this can be caused by -contact allergy -inhaled allergy or ingested.(very commonly chicken or grains in the diet)
often stemming from a single flea bite...whether or NOT she now has fleas she could have at some point been bitten by a flea. OR commonly since the spots are showing up near her back legs and lower belly its often d/t a contact allergy to her litter, I would recommend trying to change the litter to something with as few additives as possible, and NON SCENTED...
rather than me typing in tons of info, it would make more sense to direct you to a good website that goes more into detail and shows photos that you can compare with.
I do want to add though I DO NOT AGREE with the treatment option of steroids for any reason!!! this treatment can lead to many nasty health problems for kitties.
Do the reading than post again and we'll talk, see if her spots resemble the ones in the photos....
I too had a cat with extensive eosinophilic plaque (EGC or eosinophilic granuloma complex)
Except that we do not have bed bugs OR fleas. All our cats are treated monthly with flea medication from our vet and are not outside animals.
I have changed her litter box to an unscented variety. Her food is Royal Canin Indoor Cat food. I find it hard to believe though that she could have an allergy to the food she has been fed since she finishing kittenhood.
Well her spots have disappeared and her flesh is now its normal pink, but she is still licking her belly and legs. Her bald spots are getting licked larger and she is now working on one of her front legs. Right now she's sprawled out on the carpet giving herself a wash as I type.
have you changed anything in your home like carpets? furniture? cleansers?....something new that she is reacting too....could even be scents. hairspray, candles, room freshners....etc etc.....stop using ALL household cleaners and polishes, anything with a scent...it can be slow process to find out what is giving her this reaction, remember it can be either -ingested, inhaled or just touched. if you don't suspect her food that it has to be one of the other two...:(
We don't really use cleaners in this house, I've long been a fan on water/vinegar spray for cleaning and I don't have anything fancy the would require polishing. She doesn't play in the bathtub where we use the foamy commercial cleaner. It think it has to be then the air freshener spay my sister uses. She doesn't like the "cat smell" and likes to spray the couches and her bedroom with it, a ferbreeze or something like it. If I stop her from using it how long until I could see results, when would my cat stop licking herself? I'm worried that it'll be a habit for her by now and she'll keep licking even if we get rid of the irritant.
I have 7 cats only one licks all her hair off. they all use the same litter and eat the same food. We have used other foods, other litter and have moved. She mostly does it in the warmer months. Her belly is bare and she is licking hair off behind her front legs now. she does this every year. I was told it is allergies. I gave her medication from a vet for allergies once and it did work. I have since purchased childrens allergy pills and cut them in half it helps but not a cure. I am not suggesting you try this. I am trying this as a more inexpensive remedy. Hope it helps to know it is an allergy and not always what you are doing wrong.
I have a cat that has the same problem. He was trapped as a feral to be integrated into my feral colony. There was something in his eyes that told me he just needed love & I was right! It was obvious he had been in a lot of fights & had led an unhappy life. He's now leading a charmed life, which he so richly deserves!
Anyhow, he has OCD. I only pet him around his face & belly. If I pet his back in the slightest, it will trigger him to lick. I use aromatherapy to keep him calm (you can also use a tincture in her water). Redirection also helps, using a favorite toy & then rewarding with a treat. The main thing is to get her focus off licking & be diligent in order to modify her behavior. Hope this helps! Keep me posted.
I have a kitty doing the same thing. We have moved from Phoenix to Norhtern Nevada, and he is still doing it. Tried un scented clay litter and that wasn't it, either. Tried switching to a grain-free food and it got worse. I understand grain and chicken a the main things cats develops an allergy to, so my next step is to try NO CHICKEN. Ugh. Good luck to all of us!!
My cat is doing the same now.. She started about month and half ago, maybe two. Hair on belly is gone, now she is working on outer hind leg. It almost seems she is hellbent to do it, even after I stop her. She also would only allow you to pet her head and never lay on me or by me. However, about a moNth ago, She started to occasionally lay by me. Two weeks ago, She started to lay by my side on couch constantly. My other two are fine, and I haven't changed anything from my normal routine around the house. ??
I am just chiming in to let you know my cat has food allergies. I was told to put her on Natural Balance Duck or Venison soft food as well as their hard food for treats.
You cannot allow your cat to have anything other than these 2 things--no treats, table scrapes, tuna juice etc.
This will take at least a month to 3 months before you know if it is an allergy. You need to give it time. My cat has now developed IBD and Pancreatitis so she is on the Prescription Hills Diet Z/D. Yuck! The wet food is like pudding, but she eats it and really likes the dry food.
I gave her some antihistamines (Zyrtec) 1/4 tab to cut down on the itching. You should not try any antihistamine until you speak to your vet for advice as to which one might work for your specific cat.
It is not easy watching these little guys scrath themselves raw--so try one of those satellite dish collars--they have soft ones now, just until the meds kick in.
I agree with ZQ in not giving steroids , that is a road you do not want to start if you can help it. Just not good for their bodies.
Good Luck and keep us posted
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