? Pants is pulling out her fur

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by membeth, Mar 16, 2019 at 12:04 AM.

  1. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Does anyone have suggestions for dealing with a cat pulling out her fur? It seems to be behavioral, not medical, but so far, Feliway isn't helping, and I'm not sure what else might.

    If it helps, here's the background:

    My kitty, Pants, has always pulled out bits of her fur, but in the past it seemed to be a game to her -- she gets bits of her undercoat out, and then plays with them as if they were toys. But the behavior has escalated recently and she's making bald patches.

    We went to the vet, and she doesn't have any medical reason to pull her fur out. She's not chewing on the skin underneath the fur, so the vet is pretty sure she's not itchy. She also doesn't have fleas or any other parasites. She's got multiple medical issues in addition to the diabetes (EPI, IBD) but likely not linked to this behavior. It's not limited to one place on her body, so it's probably not pain either.

    The vet thinks its stress, but nothing's changed in her life recently and overall she seems to be in good spirits. The only thing that I can think of that is stressful to her is that she has to wait with her food out for half an hour while the enzyme to treat her EPI does its magic. She hates waiting to be fed, but there's not much I can do about that. The behavior happens when she's got fresh food, so I'm not sure that's even it anyway.

    The vet suggested the Feliway plugin, and I got that a week ago, but it doesn't seem to be making any difference. I also sprayed some of the Nature's Miracle pheromone spray on her favorite sleep spots. That didn't work either.
     
  2. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Not sure if you saw this? Since you and vet don’t think it is medical, this talks about psychological reason why cats might pull out fur.

    https://www.cathealth.com/cat-health/skin/1330-cat-psychogenic-alopecia

    Also you know how cats are creatures of habit? Possible it was triggered as a self-soothing mechanism at one time by something that happened in the past and cat just continues behavior even though stressor that triggered it may not be around.

    Have you tried brushing or petting cat more to give her a soothing substitute for the fur pulling? They mention sometimes anti anxiety meds can help, but seems the Feliway should help too, give it a few days and make sure it is near an area she spends a lot of time.
     
  3. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Thanks for the link. I've been trying to play with her more to distract her from over grooming, so it's good to have that validated as a strategy.

    The Feliway is by her favorite spot, but it's not where she engages in the behavior. I'm not sure if maybe I need to move it closer to where she's been pulling her hair out? Or maybe I just need to wait longer for it to do its thing?
     
  4. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    When Idjit came to live with us he pulled out huge patches of hair from his back. He was very stressed because his previous pet parent had died, he had been taken on a long car trip to a different house with lots of kids and other animals for a few days, then came to us. He eventually stopped that and got used to being here, setting up his little kingdom and training his new staff. He still does pull out bits of fur, probably that undercoat, when grooming. We brush and comb him every day, and use the shedding tool when the weather warms trying to prevent the fur swallowing and resulting hair ball upchuck.
    It does sound like a stress thing with Pants now, and hopefully she will calm and stop it. Could you ask the vet about perhaps using an anti-anxiety med or even CBD oil to see if that might work? I know seeing those bald spots is disconcerting and hope you can find a solution.
     
  5. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Thanks for the input. She doesn't seem to be swallowing the hair, thankfully, so no increase in hairballs. I just find little tumbleweeds of her fluff that she's pulled out and left behind. The vet didn't think it was serious enough to warrant trying medication yet, especially since there's no immediate obvious stressor like a move that coincides with the increase in hair pulling.
     
  6. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Paws crossed for Pants. I love her name!
     
  7. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Bella’s sister was doing that and vet put her on .25mg of Xanax, I break in half and give her half in am and half in pm but she only weighs 6lbs, she has stopped the hair pulling
     

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