Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew

Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew

Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew
Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew

Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew

Cats and Their Need to Scratch- Lick- and Chew . The vast majority of cats are quite fastidious when it comes to their grooming, but what happens when this tendency goes into overdrive? Certain activities in cats, like as licking, scratching, and chewing, may become obsessive for a number of reasons, which can irritate you as well as cause harm to your pet’s skin and hair.

If your cat engages in obsessive behaviours such as scratching, licking, or gnawing oneself, it is probable that you catch them in the act on a frequent basis. But if you don’t, the first sign may be that your cat’s hair is falling out, often in strips down their back, tummy, or the inner side of the hind legs. If you don’t know what’s wrong, the first thing you should do is take your cat to the vet. Cats with self-mutilating tendencies have the potential to develop red, irritated regions on their skin known as hot spots, although this is far less likely to occur in cats than it is in dogs.

Even though obsessive habits like cat scratching, licking, or chewing may occur in any animal, Siamese cats and other Oriental breeds are more likely to display these types of behaviours than other animals. It is more common for female cats than it is for male cats to lick, chew, or pull on their hair.

Because there are a variety of medical conditions that might be causing your pet’s scratching and licking tendencies, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can assist you in determining the reason and the most effective course of treatment.

Why Do Cats Have This Obsessive Need to Chew, Lick, and Scratch?

Fleas are often to blame for obsessive grooming habits in cats, such as excessive licking and scratching. Because cats are such skilled groomers, it is possible that they will eliminate any and all evidence of fleas. If you observe that your cat is licking their lower back compulsively, regardless of whether or not there are scabs on the neck, this is a clue that fleas might be the cause of the issue. Scratching, licking, or chewing may also be a response to an infestation of ticks, mites, or ringworm.

Allergies. Cats may have itchy, irritated skin if they are allergic to anything in their surroundings. This is similar to how specific foods or environmental triggers may cause skin irritations in certain individuals.

Dry skin. If your cat has dry, flaky skin, which may be caused by the dry air during the winter or nutritional deficiencies, it may start licking or scratching itself in an attempt to find comfort.

Pain. If you observe that your cat is licking or biting at the same region over and over again, it’s possible that they are suffering pain or discomfort in that area. If you see this behaviour, consult your veterinarian.

Disorders related to obsessive behaviour include anxiety and boredom. Cats who are bored, under stress, or nervous are more likely to develop compulsive habits such as chewing, scratching, or licking themselves compulsively. These mental illnesses are more likely to arise in indoor cats, which may be because indoor cats have less opportunity for physical activity and less stimulation in their environment than outdoor cats do. Changes in a cat’s environment, such as the introduction of a new pet or child into the household or relocation to a different area, may often trigger the onset of compulsive disorders in felines. Additionally, it is very uncommon for behaviours that originated as a reaction to a medical illness to continue as compulsions after the ailment has been cured.

What You Can Do About Your Cat’s Habits of Itching, Licking, and Chewing

Eliminating parasites. Because it can be difficult to determine whether or not a cat has fleas, some veterinarians suggest giving flea control products that are reliable and can be purchased from a veterinary office a try for six to eight weeks to see if they reduce the number of instances in which the cat licks, scratches, or chews on itself. Treating your cat for mites or other parasites, if they are present, will alleviate the pain that your cat is experiencing and the abnormal behaviours that it exhibits.

Altering the meals. A useful technique to determine whether or not the issue is caused by food allergies in cats who are scratching or chewing is to put them on a diet that excludes certain foods for a period of up to 12 weeks. It’s possible that you won’t discover a diet that works for you until you try many different ones. If your cat’s skin is dry, a veterinarian may also recommend adding certain fatty acids or other nutritional supplements to your cat’s diet. This is done in the event that dry skin is the cause of your cat’s compulsive itching and licking. During the course of an exclusion diet study, participants should not be provided with any additional foods or snacks.

Taking medical treatment. Your veterinarian may recommend the use of steroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics in order to treat the skin damage caused by your cat’s excessive licking, gnawing, or scratching. This recommendation will be based on the severity of the skin damage. And certain compulsive cat behaviours that are driven by psychological issues may be treated with pharmaceuticals like as amitriptyline (which helps combat anxiety and also serves as an antihistamine), clomipramine (a medication that is used to treat anxiety), and fluoxetine (an antidepressant).

addressing feelings of unease or boredom In the event that you and your veterinarian come to the conclusion that your pet’s behaviours are not caused by any medical condition, there are actions that you may do to enhance your cat’s mental health. It is essential that you take measures to ensure that your cat is secure, loved, and comfortable in your house. Additionally, it is essential that you provide sufficient mental and physical stimulation. You could discover that desensitising your cat to the things it is afraid of by gradually and cautiously introducing it to those things is helpful. If you decide to give this a go, be sure to take it slow and not overwhelm your cat; doing so might make the obsessive licking, scratching, or biting much worse. Counterconditioning, which involves teaching your cat to link something nice, like a reward, with something they dread, may also help reduce their tension and anxiety. This may be accomplished by educating your cat to associate the feared stimulus with the treat. Boredom licking, also known as psychogenic alopecia, is a condition that may often be alleviated by the introduction of a second cat or pet. However, there is always the possibility that the addition of a second cat may introduce a new source of stress into your pet’s surroundings, which may cause the hair loss to become more severe.

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