So, the other day I noticed that my cat, Henry is ripping his own fur out. As in, taking his little cat mouth, reaching around and grabbing a hunk of fur and spitting it out. Needless to say my first call was to the vet to make an appointment. My second call was to Frasier Crane to see if he could meet with Henry to discuss what the hell is going on and why he would want to willingly shave himself and opt to then go by the name “Patches.” Okay, that second part didn’t happen.
He has only done this twice and has no other symptoms (lethargic, constant itching, throwing up) so while we wait for our vet appointment to arrive, I decided to use this as a Raise A Paw opportunity. Therefore, let’s get down to business and find out, Why Is My Cat Ripping His Own Fur Out?
In my case, as I stated above, my cat has no other symptoms. It’s just like he got really pissed off that he realize he was covered in fur and said, “Oh, forget this!” and tried to remove it. However, this can actually be a really serious condition and while I make light of it, you should really keep a close eye on your cat and look for symptoms like constant itching, frequent urination, lethargic, throwing up, runny eyes, etc. These can all be indicative that your feline might being going through a bout of allergies which means that its probably really uncomfortable. Imagine how you would feel running through a hay field with no Zyrtec to combat your needs. Not cute. Additionally, it could be that your meow has developed an allergy to something it its food which can often traced back to preservatives and the grains in dry food. Of course, check your litter to make sure that there aren’t potential allergens in the mixture. Some allergies are environmental and some allergies are food related so it’s important to have a good idea of everything you use for and on your cat before heading to the vet to give your doctor the full scope of what your kitty is coming in to contact with.
Another possible culprit is of course the dreaded fleas. If you notice that your cat is constantly itching along with the pulling out of the hair, be sure to check for fleas, especially if you have more than one pet in the household or live in an apartment building full of four-legged friends.
There is a disorder known as Feline Hyperesthesia (or Rolling Skin Syndrome) that could be the culprit. While there is not a lot of understanding about this syndrome what doctors do know is that this is a condition in which felines are overly sensitive to their back and flanks and will lick and rip at their hair and have somewhat obvious ripples over their back. Next week, Raise A Paw will take a longer look at this particular disorder.
Lastly, it’s possible that your kitty is suffering from some psychological upset that is actually much more common than you would think. Cats who pull at their fur or excessively groom their fur despite the fact that their skin doesn’t itch can be a result of stress or anxiety. Stop and think about changes that might have been going on in your home and how it could be effecting your pussycat. Since grooming is a behavior that cats use to relax themselves so if they are overly stressed it is possible that that your feline will excessively groom to help quell its anxiety.
So, make sure you cover all these bases with your vet when you take your cat in for a visit. Your vet should be able to help you determine if any of these factors are what is causing your cat to suffer from the ultimate bad hair day. Hopefully whatever the cause, you’re able to solve and cure it quickly so that your pussycat isn’t suffering more than it needs to.