Does your cat clean themselves a lot (or too much)? This behaviour might be a worrying sign. Let’s explain!
If your cat is purring, doing their business, eating and drinking correctly, you don’t expect there to be anything wrong. But if your cat cleans themselves excessively, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they like to be clean, but it could mean that they’re stressed.
Overgrooming, behaviour you need to watch out for...
Cats are naturally clean animals that spend hours cleaning themselves with their tongue. But sometimes, this cleaning can become excessive. This is known as overgrooming. Your cat finds it difficult to stop grooming itself and sometimes, they even go as far as to pull out their hair or make themselves bleed.
Before jumping to the conclusion that it's overgrooming though, you should make sure that your cat doesn’t have a parasite or skin or food allergy. When these two options are ruled out, you should consider the possibility that it could be alopecia brought on by anxiety. This is a way for the cat to destress when they are anxious or feeling oppressed.
How to treat this condition.
To treat this problem, you first need to identify what is causing your animal to feel stressed. Try to understand what could be putting them in this state: moving to a new house? The arrival of a new animal? A change in their diet? The arrival or departure of someone in your household? When you understand what is making your little feline friend so anxious, it is easier for you to help them and put an end to this problem.
If you can’t figure out what has changed or what is causing this stress, the best thing would be to consult your vet or a cat behaviour specialist. These professionals would be able to help you find a long-term solution and prevent your cat from doing itself more harm.
Keep an eye out!