Pet Behavior, Pet Care

Why My Cat Over Grooming it Self?


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Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits. Watching your feline friend meticulously clean itself can be a mesmerizing sight. However, there comes a point when grooming crosses the line from healthy hygiene to a concerning behavior known as “cat overgrooming.” In this article, we’ll delve into the world of cat overgrooming, exploring its causes, symptoms, and what you can do to help your furry companion.

What Is Cat Overgrooming?

Defining the Issue

Cat overgrooming, also referred to as psychogenic alopecia, is a condition where a cat excessively licks, bites, or scratches its fur and skin, often leading to hair loss and skin irritation. While grooming is essential for cats to maintain their cleanliness, this behaviour can become problematic when taken to extremes.

Understanding the Causes

Stress and Anxiety

One of the primary reasons behind cat overgrooming is stress or anxiety. Cats may resort to overgrooming as a coping mechanism when faced with environmental changes, conflicts with other pets, or even changes in their daily routine.


Allergies, both food and environmental, can trigger overgrooming in cats. The constant itching and discomfort they experience can lead them to excessively groom themselves in an attempt to alleviate the irritation.

Medical Conditions

Underlying medical issues such as flea infestations, skin infections, or hormonal imbalances can also contribute to overgrooming. It’s crucial to rule out these potential health concerns with a veterinarian.

Recognising the Signs

Visible Hair Loss

One of the most apparent signs of cat overgrooming is significant hair loss, especially in localized areas.

Skin Inflammation

Frequent grooming can lead to skin inflammation, redness, and even open sores.

Behavioural Changes

Cats experiencing overgrooming may exhibit changes in behavior, such as increased restlessness, aggression, or withdrawal.

How to Help Your Overgrooming Cat

Consult a Veterinarian

If you suspect your cat is overgrooming, the first step is to consult a veterinarian. They can diagnose any underlying medical issues and recommend appropriate treatment.

Reduce Stressors

Identifying and minimizing stressors in your cat’s environment can help alleviate the behavior. Providing a safe and comfortable space is crucial.

Environmental Enrichment

Interactive toys and mental stimulation can help divert your cat’s attention from overgrooming. Playtime and companionship are essential for their well-being.

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Cat overgrooming is a complex issue that can be distressing for both you and your feline friend. Understanding the causes and recognising the signs is the first step toward helping your cat overcome this behaviour. By consulting a veterinarian, reducing stressors, and providing a stimulating environment, you can make a positive difference in your cat’s life.


1. Is cat overgrooming dangerous?

Cat overgrooming can be harmful if left untreated, as it may lead to skin infections and other health problems. It’s essential to address the issue promptly.

2. Can overgrooming be a sign of a serious medical condition?

Yes, sometimes overgrooming can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions. Consulting a veterinarian is crucial to rule out any health issues.

3. Are certain cat breeds more prone to overgrooming?

While any cat can develop overgrooming behavior, some breeds may be more susceptible due to their sensitive nature. However, it can affect cats of all breeds.

4. Can I treat my cat’s overgrooming at home?

It’s best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Home remedies may not address the underlying causes effectively.

5. How long does it take to see improvements in my cat’s overgrooming behaviour?

The timeline for improvement varies depending on the cause and treatment. With proper care and management, you can expect to see positive changes in your cat’s behaviour over time.



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