balding cat

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  1. hey. so a month or so ago i realized that my cat had a bald patch on his belly. it was slightly red but more than that the hair was gone. i saw him licking it a bunch and assumed that was it. i called my vet and sent in a pic. i didn't want to take him in bc he's been to the vet 3 times this year and it stresses him and my other cat out (as well as myself). she gave me some cream to use and told me to put his ecollar on. 5 days of the cream, 2 weeks of the collar and his fur started growing back. so i took the collar off. and he's started with the licking again. now the bald spot is even bigger. the vet also told me to get him a pheremone diffuser which i did but doesn't seem to be working. i googled the other night and thought it could be allergies or something call "psyhcogenic alopecia" which is basically an ocd. i've always thought he pulled his fur out when he's stressed and now i'm even more sure. i just don't know what to do. if i take him to the vet they'd do tests but from what i read a lot of times they're not conclusive and take forever and cost a fortune. not to mention stressing him out. i would just put the ecollar on but for how long? i read somewhere about putting something on his belly that may taste bad but not sure where to get that or what it would be.

    has this happened to anyone? if so- did it go away in time? he's not in any pain as far as i can tell and if eating and acting normally. i've been home just about every night and spending a lot of time with him (which is where i think he stress came from- i was out almost all the time this summer). thanks.
  2. My cat has a similar situation with his paw. It got infected (somehow--still haven't figured that out) and he had to be on antibiotics/have an e-collar. Well, it healed but there was still a nubbin of scar/scab, and he started picking on it/licking it. The best way I've dealt with it is to just watch your cat like a hawk (I work from home and my cat pretty much hangs around me constantly, so it's a bit easier for me) and every time you see him going at it, distract him somehow. I usually just say "Hey" or "Leave it" loudly and put my hand between his mouth and his paw. If I have some extra time, I throw a toy at him to distract him. Once he stops chewing his paw, I praise him and give him some attention/a treat. He seems to have stopped, but your case does sound a little different because it's OCD vs an actual physical irritant (eg, a scab).
    Another option to look into are those more flexible collars for cats that serve the same purpose as the e-collar but aren't as bulky. If you google "alternative elizabethan collar" you can find them pretty easily.
  3. Mine has the biting at his fur as an OCD thing, if I tried a collar it would NOT last the day, or a few minutes at most. I find it's mostly related to stress, and me... so if I'm late from work to get home he'll stress out.
  4. I took my cat Fatty Warbucks when my ex-husband and I split and Fatty had some adjustment issues and I think just missed the ex. He chewed off all his fur, from the waist down...and I mean all of it! He probably stopped doing it so severely within 6 months and moved on to other OCD behaviors. I think maybe I got another cat around that time and he was happy to have more company.

    Now, every so often, I will notice a patch missing from inside his legs, but nothing as severe as what he did back then.
  5. My boy is the same, he constantly chews on his tummy and has a big bald patch there. He's also bald around his lips and eyebrow area (if kitties had eyebrows). I think a lot of times it's just how it goes
  6. ok so you don;t think i need to rush him to the vet? one of his nipples seems a bit scabby but i think it's from the constant licking. i may try the cream one more time.

    the collar he has is the soft ecollar. he likes it a lot better than the hard ones (and can't really get it off. he has but only twice). i just feel bad for the guy- he's had the stupid thing on so much this year.

    the thing i read said not to call attention to the licking as that does reward it but i don't know what else to do. i am not home during the day and can't control what he does then. obviously he's still stressed since now the spot is way bigger than it was before.

    ugh this stinks.
  7. but thank you all for the comments! so glad i'm not alone!
  8. My boy also does this thing in the winter where he scratches his neck, and he rubs it raw, we call them his "bubos" like from the bubonic plague ( I know that' really weird but that's what they remind us of) the vet gave him a cortisone shot and some anti itch cream but he HATES getting the cream and licks it all off when we put it on, so we just leave him alone now and try to just move his paw when he starts scratching. A shot might help but it only lasts for a short period of time, cats get pretty determined to scratch
  9. the vet i spoke to said they could do all these tests to see if he's allergic to anything and then maybe do a biopsy. lots of testing. this summer his eye kept tearing and she told me it was conjunctivitis. gave me something to put in his eyes. didn't work, kept tearing for most of the summer and all of a sudden it stopped. i think it was allergies. i have an ac unit i think may have mold (been having allergy related issues myself) but i'm getting it replaced very soon.
  10. I moved places last Oct and his biting of fur did not stop (so it was not an environmental thing alone...), we've had them on all metal items in the house except their water bowl (one of those water domes) as I found that plastic was causing them chin acne.

    I've had him on Science Diet but after I got my "re-awakening" on the nutritional lack of value I've had them on no-grains food since around April or so and it's been on and off.

    I've thought about testing him, but as long as I continue to dose him with hair ball medicine, and try to keep a regular schedule I just have to realize how much my "gaps" of absence affect him and keep it as normal as possible.

    He was a kitten when I got him, abandoned in a parking lot, so he bonded to me pretty hard as the mommy.
  11. It could be allergies. My boy though we didn't get a reason why and he didn't always do this, this is recent like the past 3 years every winter he starts scratching the neck. He's already starting now that summer's over, it's really weird. With his bald tummy though that's just because he gets obsessive about cleaning that spot, he just licks it and licks it and licks it. His neck I know really does bother him but the tummy is just like his hobby. If you watch your kitty when he's doing it, you might be able to figure out at least which it is like a habit or a real pestering itch type of thing. With Storm, when he does the neck he'll scratch till he bleeds, but his tummy he just licks. Here's a pic of his bald tummy:

  12. my cat got chin acne from his plastic dish too!

    he is my baby (took him when he was being weaned which was not great) and he definately gets nuts if i'm not home enough. i have been home pretty much for the past 2 weeks which is why i dont know why this seems to be getting worse.
  13. that's what sheppy's tummy looks like too. i think it's just an obsessive thing.
  14. Storm's funny with his bald spot on the tummy, I always poke him there and gives me this face like "you did NOT just touch my bald spot, mommy!" lol it's like his project
  15. Regarding taking him to the vet, I'd watch his lick area and as long as it isn't red, inflamed, and infected/bleeding, you don't need to take him. Especially if it stresses him out more to be there.
    Regarding calling attention to his licking, I'm torn. I think you just need to know how your cat reacts to different types of attention. It's true that you might teach your cat that licking leads to attention, but in my experience if you keep the reprimand/distraction low key (eg, a gentle nudge), then you should be ok.