Over the past few months, my cat has been losing fur on her back legs and around her butt area. We think she might be over-grooming. None of the other cats are losing any fur and no one seems to be scratching. They do not have fleas or any other parasite that I can see. It doesn't seem to be getting any worse. She just has thinner fur back there and over part of her belly as well.
Overgrooming in cats is most commonly due to an underlying allergic cause, such as flea allergy, food allergy, or pollen/dust allergies. Less common causes include microscopic skin mites such as feline demodex, bladder pain, impacted anal sacs, and stress. Flea allergy dermatitis is an allergic reaction which can be triggered by the bite of only one flea, so it is important to make sure all pets in the household are on a good monthly flea preventative such as Advantage, Frontline Plus, or Revolution. You can talk to your veterinarian about trying antihistamines to reduce the itch/overgrooming; steroids can also be used occasionally, but due to their side effects, steroids are not a good long term treatment option. If her symptoms persist despite parasite treatment, then the next step would be a veterinary exam and if all checks out normal, a hypoallergenic diet trial for possible food allergy would be recommended. Finally, if there is no improvement with diet change, then consultation with a veterinary dermatologist (www.acvd.org) to discuss treatment options for pollen/dust allergies would be recommended.
Kimberly Coyner, DVM DACVD
Dermatology Clinic for Animals of Las Vegas
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.