What Are the Treatments for Over Grooming a Cat?

Updated April 17, 2017

Cats groom to keep themselves clean, regulate their body temperature and to relax. Ongoing stress may lead to continuous over grooming that becomes compulsive and unhealthy. Over grooming also may be a sign of something more serious like a parasite, virus or allergy. If your cat is over grooming or losing hair, take her to the vet for a medical exam to rule out any serious health condition.

Relieve Your Cat's Stress

Discover what may be causing your cat's stress and remove him from the stressful situation. Unstable routines, constant moving, small spaces and other changes may be the cause of stress in your cat's life. Regulate his feeding schedule to give him a better sense of routine. If there are other animals or people in the house that disturb him, consider moving him to another home or to a larger space.

Groom Your Cat

Spend more quality time with your cat by grooming her everyday. Grooming reduces the amount of hair she swallows regularly and can help break her cycle of over grooming. It shows your cat that you love and care about her. Grooming your cat also makes her feel more secure.

Play With Your Cat

Take more time to play with your cat. Giving your cat daily one-on-one attention makes him feel loved and acknowledged. Use interactive toys to stimulate your cat's curiosity and help him spend his energy. Playing with your cat daily helps him feel less lonely, which could be the cause of his stress. If he is alone most of the day, assure he has sufficient toys to entertain himself. Consider getting him another cat companion, a fish tank or a cat movie for his viewing pleasure.

Elizabethan Collar

An Elizabethan collar is a cone-shaped collar that wraps around your cat's neck. These plastic collars are so tall that they prevent your cat from grooming herself at all. Elizabethan collars are particularly helpful for a cat whose grooming has lead to sores and open wounds. Though they are not permanent solutions, these collars allow your cat's present wounds to heal and prevent her from creating new ones.

Temporary Medication

Consider medicine if all other methods of stress reduction and environmental changes show no positive results. Record your cat's behaviour patterns and the dates that they started. Share these records with your veterinarian to assure medication is necessary for your pet. Medicating your cat is the last option to which you should turn. Vets may offer one of a variety of medicated shampoos, antibiotics or antidepressants. Use the medicine until your cat's over grooming calms down. Then slowing reduce the medicine until she no longer needs it.

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About the Author

Jen Oda has been writing since 1999. Her stories and poetry have been published in Fordham University's newspaper "The Observer" and in "My Sister's Voices," a collection by Iris Jacob. Oda holds a Bachlor of Arts in theater performance from Fordham University.