For the Love of Vets

For the Love of Vets

Three Possible Reasons That A Cat May Overgroom

Erin Steeves

Cats spend a lot of their waking hours grooming. When you own this type of pet, you've likely watched the cat lick itself and use its paws to wipe its body in different ways countless times. There can be certain times when the animal tends to overgroom itself, and this is often a warning sign that something is wrong. It's useful to have a rough idea of how much grooming your cat does, as this will help you to notice when the grooming sessions seem longer and more frequent than usual. Don't be afraid to contact your local veterinary clinic to explain what you've seen. Here are some possible reasons for overgrooming. 


There are all sorts of food allergies that cats can develop, and while certain allergies will result in certain side effects, it's fairly common for food allergies to result in skin irritation. When the cat has irritated skin, it will groom excessively in a futile effort to alleviate the itch or pain it's experiencing. A cat's tolerance to certain foods can change over time. Even if you haven't made any changes to the pet's food, it's possible that the cat has become sensitive to one of the ingredients and is now showing signs of the allergy.


Overgrooming can also be a warning sign of an injury to your cat. If you notice that the animal is spending a lot of its grooming time concentrating on one particular area, it's useful to assess the area and see if anything looks amiss. Cats will overgroom if they've had a scratch or a bite from another animal — something that can occasionally happen if your cat wanders the neighborhood — and may also overgroom if they've sustained a broken bone or a joint injury from a fall. Whatever the case, your veterinarian can determine what injury might be present.


Cats will also groom themselves to self-soothe, and overgrooming can occur at times when the cat has a high degree of stress. Animals can get stressed for all sorts of reasons, but significant changes in the home can often be to blame. If you've recently brought home a new baby or had another cat that died, your cat may be dealing with the stress of this change and overgrooming as a result. Even if you believe stress to be the cause of overgrooming, it's worthwhile to see your veterinarian. They'll be able to rule out potential other reasons for the overgrooming, as well as give you some advice for lowering your pet's stress.

Contact a local veterinarian to learn more.


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For the Love of Vets

Did you know that when a veterinarian graduates from veterinary school, they must take an oath before they are allowed to practice? This is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon graduating from medical school. The new vets promise that they will work to relieve animal suffering and promote the overall health of pets. They also promise to uphold their profession with dignity. If you have ever taken your pet to the vet, you've probably seen a vet live this oath firsthand. You can be confident your pet is in good hands. Learn more about vets and the wonderful work they do in the articles curated here.