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Bald spots on cat's legs.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domesic Shorthair Si
Age: 8-11 years
I moved from Los Angeles to St.Louis with my cat. For a few months now I've noticed my cat is obsessively licking her hind legs and now her front legs. She's licked the back legs to a point where they're red blood bruised. I've also noticed on occasion red mucus/blood in her stool. I've changed her litter brand, started giving her fish oil and try to spray the areas with wound spray but she's still going at it. I also started giving her half a small can of wet food to help with stool. Her dry food is Natural Balance Indoor Cat. I don't know what else to do. She's an indoor cat, very skiddish, hides under the bed most of the time. I've never taken her to vet. She will be 8 soon. I rescued her from an animal shelter at 3 years old (they estimated her age). She is fixed. I will try to send a picture so you can see her licking.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are a few things that can cause symptoms like this.

bald legs on a cat

The scabs on the legs are likely due to self trauma. But the question is what is causing her to do this. An allergy certainly is possible. It is often difficult to know what a cat is allergic too. It is unlikely to be the food. Fleas can do this, although the distribution of the lesions is not typical for a flea allergy.

Some cats can do this as a result of "stress". It's often difficult to know what the cause of the stress is and most cats in which I see this actually lead pretty non stressful lives.

There are some conditions such as immune conditions that can cause lesions like this too.

This is something that is not likely to go away on its own. I would highly recommend a veterinary visit. The vet may decide to do some tests to rule out immune conditions like eosiophilic dermatitis or even fungal conditions like ringworm.

There is a good chance that this will go away with steroids. These are safe to give to cats in the right dose.

If your vet thinks that this is due to stress then they may prescribe some antianxiety medications.

I do hope that things improve soon.

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.