Is your cat over-grooming? Pulling out and eating it’s own hair?
- First make sure your cat has been examined and tested for parasites.
Barbering can be a response to intestinal discomfort or a flea allergy, an inhalant allergy, a food allergy or a combination of allergies. It may also be caused by a hyperthyroid.
- Once you have determined there is no medical cause, you can move on to trying to remedy the situation using methods for each possible cause. This will help determine why and how to make some permanent decisions in order to stop barbering.
- If your cat is allergic to something and this is the reason for barbering, steroids may help. However in older cats steroids may prove to be problematic so you might try a prescription hypoallergenic diet for a few months.
- If the barbering is a result of a behavioral issue, there are also some solutions you might try.
- It might be a good idea to try enriching your cat’s environment. You can do this by providing toys. No need to spend a lot of money. Try wine corks or plastic pop bottle lids as chase toys. In fact, a plain box will suffice. After a few days you can spice up the box by adding a hole, a few days later sprinkle some catnip inside the box.
Feeding meals in food puzzles can be a fun way to entertain your cat and provide for the natural hunting instinct. These too can be made inexpensively using various household items. Such as this bottle.
A simple hole in the side to allow food to fall out while your cat bats the bottle around.
Increasing indoor enrichment can be inexpensive and fun for both cat and owner.
If barbering does not improve after employing enrichment activities you may want to consult a veterinary behaviorist.
- If the over-grooming is a compulsion, your cat may be suffering from anxiety.
- If the barbering is a result of anxiety they may try some anti-anxiety medications for your cat.
Sometimes there is no answer as to why the barbering occurs but it may be helped by trying some of these great options.