Vicky Halls Cat Behaviour Counsellor

Q: We've got 2 cats and over the past four months I've noticed one of them repeatedly grooming her back legs, so much so that most of the fur has now come out. I've taken her to the vet who has given us some cream to apply, but this only seems to work temporarily. We don't know why she suddenly started to do this but it's very distressing for all of us.

A: Over-grooming is a fairly common problem and it can cause fur loss and skin damage to the affected areas. Most cases have a dermatological cause for this, the most common being an allergy to flea saliva. I would suggest you return to your vet for further investigation; you may need a referral to a dermatologist. Some over-grooming cases have a stress component attached to them so it's possible that your vet may refer you to a cat behaviour counsellor to establish further details regarding your cat's lifestyle and relationship to the other cat in the household.

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