Cat licking off fur

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Hoping I can get some feedback. Havent called the vet yet..its on my list.
14 yo female short hair 'cat' (no specific breed) has been licking the fur off the inside of her back legs. She also is missing hair on her spine at the base of her tail - approximately 4" in length, 1/2" wide. This area has scabs, like she has been scraped. (what I would think if a person scraped their spine - looks like that)
It is possible out 1 yo cat has been "playing" with her, but the scabs are increasing in qty in the last few weeks. No evidence of bite marks from the other cat.
The hair inside the legs was just noticed yesterday. Totally bald on the inside of her heels. She has had numerous hair ball incidents recently, which would be explained by all the missing hair on her body.
She eats SD feline maintenance, is current on vaccinations, hasnt been outside recently.
No changes in routine, smells, detergents, habits around the house etc. No evidence of fleas.

Thanks in advance

Thumbnail by minnesippi Thumbnail by minnesippi
Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

She itches for some reason. The scabs are the result of her licking. A cats tongue is rough enough to like their skin right off. Fleas are a posibility as is some kind of skin fungus.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

The licking could also indicate painful joints. Like us, animals can get arthritis too. Her hips and "knees" may be hurting her and she's "rubbing" them to ease the pain. Has she had any difficulty walking or getting up when she's sitting or lying down? Don't you wish they could talk and tell us what's going on? But then again, it is kinda nice loving someone who doesn't talk back to you. LOL

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

She has been more "clumsy" the last few months, but nothing that would indicate she is hurting.
No indication of dry skin or flaking. Wonder if I have an anti-histamine I can give her.
Im gonna hafta break down and bring her in I suppose. Just spent $400+ on two other critters this week...and another $400 coming up for spay & shots in 2 weeks...maybe I can sneak her in on another office visit

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

My Holly is an "over groomer" and it got much better when I got her on meds for her arthritis. I also think that giving her Lysine in her food helped the over grooming, too. I don't know about the scabs though.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

My dog licks his fur off when allergies kick in. If I don't get him on steroids quickly, he ends up looking like he has the mange. The warmer it gets, the worse it is for him. But at least we can treat it with cheap meds. Maybe that's all it is for your cat too. If so, the vet bill shouldn't be much. Good luck! And let us know what the vet says.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Careful with a senior cat and meds. The old liver might not be what it once was. Also vet may ck her for diabetes - another reason to itch.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Licking like that is almost always allergies... most common allergy is a flea allergy, but if you are 100% there are no fleas whatsoever, then that rules one of about 500 possible allergies. Most of the rest are environmental (pollens, house dust mites, food items etc., usually in that order of frequency). Finding out what a cat is allergic to, if not fleas or food, is nearly impossible as most testing on them is extremely hard to interpret. Most of the time we treat these cats with antihistamines, or if the sores are bad enough, or the cats are obviously miserable or vomiting tons of hair, we give them cortisone. Most common antihistamine is chlorpheneramine (about 2mg per cat two times a day). Antihistamines are not very strong meds, but seem pretty safe. Add some fatty acid supplements, and many times the combination can curb most skin allergies that are not flea or food related. Flea and food related allergies will rarely if ever be helped with that treatment however. Good luck

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

Over on the Nah-Nah Brotherhood of Manly Cats thread we just had two "Brothers" with food allergies who changed to grain free food and got amazing results. So you might give grain-free a try if you aren't already doing that.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Yankee- not a cat story, but we had HORRIBLE HORRIBLE problems with Rosie's anal glands. ( pointer mutt) so much so our vet wanted to remove but no guarantee she wouldn't become incontinent and have to be put down. So I said ' no way' we will deal with it.'. But dealing with it was so bad on so many fronts........
Anyway, he called me and said....let's try grain free.......

Within a month..give or take.....no more issues! Not an issue for the rest of her life!

I am not a vet - but I do treat humans - and the older the human is the less likely the culprit is allergy if no allergy history earlier. That is why I said check it all out with vet and give vet first pass at diagnosis since the cat is elderly and OTC meds should be overseen.

Lyndonville, NY


As Yankee said above...I am one of the "moms" who was having horrible issues with sick cats. Franky was constantly licking, he had scabs all over his head, chin and back. We did special baths. We did flea treatments. NOTHING. Vet said feline acne.

Well, our other baby "Huck" was sick with vomiting, Vet and I talked about switching to grain free. It has been almost 3 weeks. AND not only has Huck stopped "accking" after almost every meal....Franky no longer has scabs or itching, and has become a cuddle bug, with a beautiful black velvet like coat. I am just amazed how well this has helped all of them.

Finding a good "grain free" food....that they will eat, good luck. We went through Wellness (not a chance) and Evo (nope) and found they will not eat any Pate'. BUT they are eating Merricks grain free right now...and so far so good, except for Dex who can't eat any seafood we find out. But he is eating the others and liking them. For the hard food we have found they like "Wild" with salmon and venison and also "Blue" chicken & turkey.

Good luck.

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