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Overgrooming cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: FERAL SHORT HAIR
Age: 2-5 years
I RESCUED THE CAT FROM THE STREETS 10 MONTHS AGO. HES 20 POUNDS, EATS WELL, I GIVE HIM ADVANTAGE FOR FLEAS, IUSE ERADAMITE IN HIS EARS, GIVE HIM OMEG-3 AND BRUSH HIM DAILY, YET HE SPENDS ALL HIS WAKING TIME GROOMING AND KNAWING AS IF HE HAS FLES OR BUGS. I HAVE ANOTHER CAT WHO ISN'T BOTHERED AND NO EVIDENCE OF BUGS IN THE HOUSE..
WHAT CAN I DO
THANK YOU..


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Richard, thanks for your question!

I just have a few questions about your cat before I answer:

Does your cat have any lesions (red spots, flakiness, etc) anywhere?
Where does he seem to be the most itchy?
When did he last receive Advantage? How many times has he had advantage?

Thanks!
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.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Rich...just wanted to remind you that your question is here...You can click on the link below to reply to my questions.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

DR. MARIE ASKED IF MI AMIGO HAS BEEN ON ADVANTAGE VERY LONG, AND MY ANSWER IS THE LAST TWO MONTHS; ALSO THERE ARE NO SKIN IRRATATIONS THAT I CAN SEE.
THANKS


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for that information!

It certainly sounds like your cat is quite uncomfortable. I wish I could examine him to see if I could have a better idea as to what is going on. However, I can give you a few ideas.

You may be seeing signs of an allergy. While the most common allergy is fleas, we can probably rule this out because your cat is on Advantage which is an excellent flea product. It is also possible that he is allergic to his food. If so, he may need a trial of hypoallergenic food to see if this helps. By far the best hypoallergenic foods are those available at the vet's office. If this is working it may take 6-8 weeks for him to be better.

It is also possible that he is allergic to something in the environment which is harder to deal with. Most cats with environmental allergies need a small dose of steroids prescribed by the vet.

Another possibility is a parasite called Demodex Gattoi. However, if this were the case I would expect both cats to have it.

And then, we see some cats who can overgroom due to stress. Often the source of stress is never found. However, these cats are not usually chewing to the extreme that you have mentioned.

Ideally it would be best to have your vet take a look at him. They may be able to administer a steroid injection which should work for 4-6 weeks and if they feel it is warranted they will prescribe a hypoallergenic food. Or, you can try changing his food and see how things go and if there is no improvement in a few weeks then take him to the vet.

If you have more concerns, just hit reply below, scroll down and you can ask me any more questions you have about this concern!

Dr. Marie.



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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.