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MJ
January 26th 09, 10:29 AM
When a cat scratches himself because of stress, are there usually
certain parts of the body he scratches or licks? Could the scratching
be limited to just the face and head? The vet said that cats that
scratch themselves because of stress usually scratch and lick more
than one place on their body. Like they would scratch or lick their
stomach and would have bald spots. Does anyone know anything about
this? I can't imagine that every cat would react the same way to
stress.

jmc
January 26th 09, 03:20 PM
Suddenly, without warning, MJ exclaimed (1/26/2009 4:29 AM):
> When a cat scratches himself because of stress, are there usually
> certain parts of the body he scratches or licks? Could the scratching
> be limited to just the face and head? The vet said that cats that
> scratch themselves because of stress usually scratch and lick more
> than one place on their body. Like they would scratch or lick their
> stomach and would have bald spots. Does anyone know anything about
> this? I can't imagine that every cat would react the same way to
> stress.

Nope, it does vary. My cat licked her belly bare for a while from
stress; I suspect she's sometimes licking the back of a hind leg but not
as bad - just a bit thinly furred there.

In some circles it's called fur-mowing. My cat's stress was treated
successfully with amytryptyline; in some countries the preferred med is
ClomiCalm, but Meep reacted badly to that.

The best treatment, of course, is to remove the cause of the stress, but
sometimes that's impossible (in our case, it was because we moved, once
again).

Feliway diffusers also seemed to help.

Good luck with your kitty!

Jodi

Poe
January 26th 09, 04:19 PM
MJ wrote:
> When a cat scratches himself because of stress, are there usually
> certain parts of the body he scratches or licks? Could the scratching
> be limited to just the face and head? The vet said that cats that
> scratch themselves because of stress usually scratch and lick more
> than one place on their body. Like they would scratch or lick their
> stomach and would have bald spots. Does anyone know anything about
> this? I can't imagine that every cat would react the same way to
> stress.


I had a cat who licked a bald spot on her butt, especially during the
winter when she was cooped up inside. It was kind of comical - she
looked like a baboon during stressful periods of her life. I guess it is
pretty common, according to the vet who cared for her at the time.

Rene S.
January 26th 09, 08:15 PM
On Jan 26, 3:29*am, MJ > wrote:
> When a cat scratches himself because of stress, are there usually
> certain parts of the body he scratches or licks? Could the scratching
> be limited to just the face and head?

Cats that "stress scratch" generally do so on the inside of legs, the
stomach, and ocassionally the back. Scratching around the face and
head is most likely a result of inhalant (cigarette smoke, dust, mold,
etc.) or food allergies. If you're feeding dry food, especially any
that contains corn or wheat, the first thing I'd do is eliminate that
completely. Feed the cat a strictly canned, grain-free diet such as
certain flavors of Wellness, Innova Evo 95%, or Nature's Variety. It
can take several weeks to see a difference, but generally changing the
food is the first thing you want to try for allergy-related scratching
issues.