Pet Behavior Problems Expert Forum
pulls out hair
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pulls out hair

My 13yr old female cat washes compulsively and pulls out her own hair.  Sometimes she pulls all the hair off her legs and her belly.  Her skin looks fine.  Could it just be an obsessive compulsive disorder?  She has been doing this off and on for maybe four or five years.  We had another cat that died 2 years ago at age 19.  Almost a year ago we got another female cat thinking cat companionship might be good for her.  After all this time they still do not get along. They just stay away from each other.  
Type of Animal
:  
cat
Age of Animal
:  
13 years
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
domestic short hair
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
October 21, 2007
State/Province
:  
mn
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When there are no skin lesions, usually the problem is an allergy, stress, or an underlying discomfort (arthritis or urinary infection).  If your cat has not been to the veterinarian lately it would be good to have a complete exam and basic testing done (blood and urine tests).  You may need to try a hypoallergenic diet and add canned food if she does not eat it regularly.  Your vet may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication if all tests are normal.

Make sure that you are providing a stimulating environment for the two cats.  A cat tree or window seats are good, you may notice them start to use them at the same time even if they don't sit right next to each other.  Feed them and give them treats next to each other and try to engage them both in play daily.  Cats like a routine and they need stimulation from you even if they do sleep most of the day.

I hope this will help.

Judy Karnia, DVM
Scottsdale Cat Clinic
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