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Cat is licking out fur!

My cat, Frankie, has been licking out all his fur! It started about 6 months ago with a small patch on his back. Since then he just always had a random small patch of fur missing, usually on his back. It has gotten much worse recently & he's missing a lot of fur now. At first, I thought he was just over grooming cause he's a bit...neurotic. However, about a week ago I notice my other cat, Cicero, has a patch missing on his back. It looks just the same as Franks patches, a hunk of fur missing with a tiny scab. Could it be worms? Our other cat & 2 dogs seem fine. Which is why I assumed Frankie wasn't sick with something contagious. Both of the cats don't like when I try to inspect or even pet their backs where the fur is missing. Frankie has become a very skinny cat over the last year, especially compared to the two fatties the other cats are. I took him to the vet a while back because I was concerned about his weight, but my vet didn't think anything was wrong. This seems weird and unrelated, but worth mentioning. Frank's back hips seem to poke out more than usual, as well. Could the skinniness and/or pokey out hips be related to the pulling out fur? All the cats eat and drink normally. Cicero is still above normal weight, but I think he just developed the problem. I heard that excessive cleaning could be from fleas. They don't get treated for fleas, but they don't scratch like animal with fleas do, so I really don't think that is the problem. They are all indoor/outdoor cats, but stay mostly in my back yard. Thanks for your help!
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560293 tn?1218715761
NewLeaf is right, My Vet told me that it was either an allergy to the food their eating or anxiety! We have many cat's and we are renovating a little so it's really hard on them to feel relaxed. Imagine 6 cat's 4 of them vying for your attention and wanting to lay with you at once? My cat was licking the fur right off her back (tail area) I wasn't sure what was going on but then I noticed my cat Trixie kept doing it... that's when i asked the vet! She had gotten better and the hair has grown but sometimes she will start the licking again? I guess just stress because we haven't changed their food?
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Avatar universal
Missing fur in patches can also be a sign of ringworm. A cat will lick there because it is a parasite and mostlikely makes them itch. Like you said, it may also be fleas - check for black specks on their skin. Belly skin is usually easiest. If there are fine specks of black then it may be fleas. I use Reveloution on my cats as it works for fleas, ticks and other parasites like worms. The weight loss is also a cause for concern. I would change vets if at all possible because a cat with missing fur patches and losing weight has SOMETHING going on.   Hope you figure it out...  
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Avatar universal
Well, I would suggest that the usual culprit for over-licking is anxiety and stress. My cat started doing the same thing when my toddler began chasing him around the house too much. He just got too stressed out. Licking is a self-soother in cats. And, my vet told me that he was likely doing it at night after we all went to bed.

Your cat may be licking himself during the day, and then began licking your other cat bald at night. It's a comforting sensation.

Try to find what could be causing him stress/anxiety and try to fix it. My cat actually gets stressed out when the house is messy...goll, guess he's like my husband in that regard. :P

I don't know about the hips though. Loss of muscle tissue from not eating enough protein?? I'd take him back to the vet...a different one.
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