Is your cat overgrooming? When felines start to exhibit overgrooming behaviors, the precise motive will be exhausting to pinpoint as a result of overgrooming is a symptom of quite a lot of circumstances.
From behavioral points to medical considerations, overgrooming is linked to many points in cats. If you happen to discover your cat is licking, nibbling, or biting themselves extra typically than common, then it’s time to uncover the basis reason for the issue.
Whereas there is no such thing as a fast repair for overgrooming, determining the rationale why your cat is exhibiting that habits within the first place means you possibly can assist your cat soothe themselves in different methods. Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at overgrooming!
What’s Cat Overgrooming?
Cats groom themselves each day. Self-grooming is essential because it helps cats take away grime, free hair, and parasites from their coats. Nevertheless, this regular habits can typically turn into extreme, turning your cat’s grooming habits into one thing problematic.
So, why is your cat overgrooming? When cats lick themselves, endorphins are launched, which contribute to the soothing sensation that grooming creates for his or her our bodies. These endorphins are neurotransmitters launched by cats’ brains, and when launched, these transmitters present a comforting feeling.
In case your cat has any behavioral points stemming from stress or medical points corresponding to allergic reactions, then they may resort to this habits as a strategy to self-soothe.
Why Do Cats Overgroom?
Cats overgroom for quite a lot of behavioral and medical causes. The very first thing you’ll want to verify for is any underlying medical circumstances, together with:
As soon as these medical circumstances have been dominated out, it’s secure to imagine that your cat overgrooming is the results of stress or behavioral circumstances. As an illustration, psychogenic alopecia is a stress-related dysfunction that causes cats to begin grooming themselves obsessively.
Psychogenic alopecia will be triggered by an array of stressors, together with however not restricted to the next:
- Transferring to a brand new house
- Rearranging furnishings
- Transferring the litter field
- Introducing a brand new member of the family
- Lack of enrichment
- A chaotic family
- Modifications to your work schedule
It would be best to attempt to determine the stressor that’s inflicting your cat to really feel anxious as a result of then you possibly can both remove the stressor or assist your cat alter to the stressor in more healthy methods. If in case you have made any adjustments to your cat’s atmosphere or routine lately, a few of these adjustments may very well be the rationale behind your cat’s newfound self-soothing habits.
Indicators of Cat Overgrooming
It’s regular for cats to groom themselves for about 50% of the time that they’re awake. In spite of everything, they’re working exhausting to maintain their coats clear and tidy. However should you discover that your cat reveals any of the next indicators of overgrooming, then it may be time to take a deeper take a look at your cat’s grooming habits.
Feline hair loss is without doubt one of the commonest uncomfortable side effects of overgrooming. The affected elements of the pores and skin are sometimes across the stomach and the thighs of cats, and these areas will typically exhibit redness and hair loss. You may also discover scabs or rashes.
One other frequent reason for overgrooming is a cat’s itchy pores and skin, which in the end causes cats to scratch themselves nonstop. Fixed scratching and biting on the pores and skin can additional the irritation to the purpose the place your cats would possibly scratch themselves till they bleed.
Feline hairballs are one other giveaway. Whereas hairballs is usually a regular signal of grooming, a rise within the variety of hairballs that your cat coughs up will be a sign that overgrooming is at play.
Lastly, watch your cat’s habits all through the day. Is the fixed overgrooming disrupting every day actions? In case your cat reveals little interest in enjoying and solely desires to groom themselves, it’s a warning signal that shouldn’t be neglected.
Cease Cat Overgrooming in 5 Steps
Your cat would possibly want your assist with a view to cease overgrooming themselves. It is going to take work in your half, however it may be finished with time and endurance. Listed below are just a few steps you can take to remove your cat’s habits.
Step 1: Rule out any medical circumstances.
First, begin along with your veterinarian. Schedule a vet appointment to make it possible for there aren’t any underlying circumstances inflicting your cat to overgroom. If you happen to determine allergic reactions, pores and skin illnesses, pests, or different medical circumstances, work along with your vet to discover a appropriate answer that can ease your cat out of their overgrooming habits.
Step 2: Establish stressors.
Understanding the reason for your feline’s stress is the subsequent step. Transferring, redecorating, or introducing a brand new pet are all examples of situations that may make your cat really feel burdened.
If you happen to’ve lately moved, begin introducing your cat to your new house by maintaining them in a single room at first. Add all the assets they should really feel snug, like play toys in addition to meals, water, and a litter field.
Slowly increase their horizons and provides them the choice to discover different areas in your new place. Don’t stress your cat to get snug with their new environment. They’ll come round when they’re prepared.
If you happen to’re introducing a brand new member of the family or pet into the equation, accomplish that slowly. Give your cat loads of time to get acquainted with the brand new member of the household, and be sure you give them methods to flee the scenario in order that they’ll get away in the event that they need to.
If the absence of an individual who’s normally in your house is inflicting your cat to really feel burdened, ask the particular person to go away behind a chunk of their clothes. Give this to your cat as a stress reliever in order that they nonetheless have the scent of the particular person they love even when that particular person is away from the house.
Step 3: Incorporate play remedy into your cat’s schedule.
Cats love consideration, affection, and play time. So, be sure you put aside time all through the day to offer your cat a bit additional play remedy. Be sure your cat has entry to loads of toys, scratching posts, and comfy locations to sleep. When attainable, work together along with your cats and play with them utilizing participating toys like laser pointers or mice on strings.
Step 4: Create a constant routine.
Cats thrive in environments the place there’s a number of stability and consistency. They want areas the place they’ll really feel secure, too.
Cats must also have an space to eat and drink with out worrying that they’ll be interrupted or bothered. When your cats know that their house is a safe and secure space, they are going to expertise little to no stress, which is able to cut back their must self-soothe by way of overgrooming.
Step 5: Search assist from a behaviorist.
In case your cat has been overgrooming themselves for a very long time, it’s probably going to be a behavior that’s exhausting to interrupt. Similar to folks type habits, cats develop routine patterns of habits as effectively.
The behavior of overgrooming, in addition to the emotions that the endorphins create, may cause your kitty to maintain grooming themselves even when they’re now not burdened. It is because overgrooming has turn into a behavior, and habits will be actually exhausting to interrupt.
A certified behaviorist may help you modify your cat’s behaviors. It’s essential to do not forget that you shouldn’t punish your cat for this habits as a result of that can solely result in extra stress and a fractured relationship between the 2 of you.
As a substitute, do your finest to encourage them, play with them, and keep a peaceful atmosphere for them when you work with knowledgeable to kick the behavior.
Be Affected person Whereas You Seek for the Explanation for Cat Overgrooming
When was the final time your cat took a journey to the vet? If it has been a short while otherwise you’ve observed that your cat is exhibiting new signs corresponding to overgrooming, then calling the vet and scheduling an appointment is worth it. That approach, the veterinarian can rule out any and all underlying medical circumstances.
After you’ve taken your cat to the veterinarian, think about what the attainable stressors may very well be in your house so to discover the underlying motive for the habits of overgrooming. However keep in mind to be affected person. The overgrooming problem is not going to repair itself in a single day.
It is going to take time on your cat to cease this habits, similar to it is going to take time for his or her hair to regrow or their pores and skin to cease itching. Discover methods to maintain your cat completely satisfied and engaged at house as a approach of distracting them from their tendency to overgroom themselves.
Present new locations for them to take a cat nap, corresponding to a enjoyable piece of cat furnishings, or buy new toys for them to play with and search leisure from all through the day. It doesn’t matter what you do, do not forget that endurance and love will assist them recover from their behavior of overgrooming as you’re employed collectively to cease this habits!
Cowl photograph by Joyful on Unsplash