Sunday, June 7, 2009

Over-Grooming Disorder

Recognizing and Treating Over-grooming

Is there such thing as over-grooming disorder? Yes.

Over-grooming is a stress related condition. Over-grooming can be compared to obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans. Damn these cats, why do they have what we have? ha.. ha.. :) Anyway, this is one of the medical condition that may look harmful, but actually over-grooming can really take a tool to your black cat's health. It is dangerous and if there's any symptoms, you need to take your cat to the vet immediately.

Why It Happens:
The main factor for over-grooming is when there's a big change in yout cat's life. New pets. A new kitten maybe? Or maybe now that you are married, there's a new baby. Moving to a new home? The key point here is change, especially your affection to your cat.

How To Spot The Symptoms:
Over-grooming takes place with the cat excessively licks or pulls out fur. Common areas are at the inner thighs and forelegs.

If you see bald spots, especially in these areas, the first thing you need to do is call your vet and set an appointment. Bald patches in the fur can be caused by thyroid problems, fleas, mites, ringworm, or bacteria. Rule these out first, as these can be easily diagnose by your vet.

If your cat is suffering from over-grooming, there is a few things that you can do. Firstly, try to identify the changes. What triggered it? Are you too busy with work that you forget to spend more time with him? Or is the new place you move in to nosier than the previous.

Secondly, try to distract him from grooming for a while. Spend more time to play with him. Get him a new toy and take him wherever you go.

You vet can also recommend certain medications to help. Like humans there are anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications for cats.

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