As a cat owner you want your feline friend to be healthy and happy. A healthy cat is also a financial bonus because you will not be taking them to the veterinarian very often. But if your cat begins to lick off its fur, it may be necessary to pay the vet fee to find out the cause. Meanwhile, there are some things you can try before consulting the vet.
Consider the mental health of your cat. If the cat has a neurotic nature, the over-licking might be caused by a mental condition. Most cats don't get problem neuroses, but some breeds could be predisposed, such as Siamese and Siamese crosses.
Examine the condition of the skin of your cat. Peel back the fur and see if there are any sores or skin rashes that could be causing your cat to lick too much. Many cats will over-lick their fur if they feel itchy or the skin is irritated. Check for redness or blotches or other signs of irritation.
Examine the skin and fur for fleas and other parasites. Fleas bite the skin and cause redness, sores and lesions. This can be far worse if they have allergies.
Check your cat's skin for signs of sunburn. Obviously, this is a seasonal issue and the cat might only be licking its fur off during summer. It may not seem likely but cats, especially lighter coloured cats, can get severely sunburned and this will ultimately cause irritation and over-licking.
Buy a veterinarian-approved treatment for the skin, such as antihistamines, allergenic shampoos or steroid cream.
Purchase a neck brace for your cat, so it is prevented from licking the treatment off its fur. This will stop them from reaching around and washing themselves and they won't ingest the treatment.
Take your cat to a vet if the symptoms persist after treatment. Long-term treatments may be required.