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Excessive grooming

Myrrh
October 10th, 2010, 04:34 PM
Hi all!

My senior cat Zoey had a mammary mass removed in December of 2009. She recovered from the surgery well.

She had been mowing the fur off her front legs prior to the surgery and still continues to do so, and now it seems she has started to lick her belly where it was shaved for the surgery, resulting in some bleeding.

She is older and doesn't play much anymore and she is also a little difficult (aka her nickname is The Brat :) ) so trying to get her to play more can be a challenge. But I've been reading how over-grooming can often be from boredom. There have been no changes in the household, and I work from home all day so I am always here with her.

We just switched to Feline Fresh litter, as I thought maybe her skin was being irritated by the clumping clay litter, and have also been introducing more canned food into her diet the past few days (Natural Balance & Wellness).

Any tips on how I can get her to stop licking her belly so it can heal? Is it normal that her fur did not grow back there? Thanks so much!

Edit: I forgot to mention we also feed her Eagle Pack dry food. http://www.eaglepack.com/product-original-cat.aspx?product=95

catlover2
October 11th, 2010, 12:01 AM
I had a cat that used to be an obsessive licker. It started out because she was stessed by changes in the household. She too licked the inside of her front legs and belly. Then it developed into an addiction like OCD. To keep her from licking her tummy, a stretchy tube top (perhaps a child's size) or top part of panty hose should do the trick. Snug enough that she isn't going to get it off her belly area, but not so tight it will inhibit her breathing or eating. She may not like it very much at first, but it would keep her from irritating her incision, and maybe giving it a chance to grow back her fur there.

As far as her food is concerned, a good quality canned food, such as the Wellness you're already feeding, is preferable to any dry kibble. If you're feeding a little dry, make sure it is high in protein and has "no grains" (no corn, soy, rice, wheat).

Hope this helps. It's always nice to hear updates.

Myrrh
October 11th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the advice! I am definitely going to switch over to grain-free dry food and up her canned food. Do you know of any grain-free cat treats?

catlover2
October 11th, 2010, 11:54 AM
I did have some grain free ones "Kiwi", I think they were called made in New Zealand, but cats detested them and refused to eat them.

I found some other treats they're really crazy for that are "grain free" called "now! FRESH" treats, made by Petcurean Pet Nutrition, and I bought them in a "Pet Valu" store.

Love4himies
October 11th, 2010, 11:57 AM
I also buy the NOW treats as Jasper has horrible allergies to grains and he loves them :lovestruck:.

sugarcatmom
October 11th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Freeze dried treats like Pure Bites (http://www.purebites.com/) are the best. Just pure meat, no filler.

Also, what sort of cleaning products and laundry detergents do you use? Many of the common commercial ones can cause contact or inhalant allergies in cats because of all the chemicals and added scents. If you can switch to fragrance-free, more natural products (vinegar and baking soda are great for most needs), that could also help your kitty (and you!).