Is there a way to stop cats from excessive licking and scratching?

We have a two year old cat who scratches to the point of creating huge sores all over his body and licks all of his hair off. We have taken him to the vet numerous times and they have tried various treatments for allergies, fleas, mites, among other things. We have even tried changing his food. Nothing is working to keep him from causing these self-inflicted wounds. He has to wear a cone all the time to prevent him from scratching and licking, but I know that he must be miserable. Can anyone help with some suggestions????

Asked by Member 1132756 on Sep 26th 2012 Tagged scratching, licking, skin in Skin Problems
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Only one flea can start this chain-reaction. Had the same problem with my cat Twirpy. The only thing to make the itching stop now is a cortisone shot, and that is only a temporary fix and not good on the cat's kidneys as a long-term solution. Keep the cone on her head until she heals and stops scratching...and never let a flea bite her must be flea-free. Fleas can come in on your clothes, so spray your yard too. I also thought it was mites, food allergies, blah blah blah, tried it all. I wish I had sprayed my yard and kept her indoors. She died from getting too many cortisone shots; kidneys gave out and the shots also stopped working. Poor baby itched so badly... I wish I would have understood the condition better at the time.

Member 1132776 answered on 9/26/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Joey (In Memory)

It's very possible that this is not medical but behavioral. It is not uncommon for animals to lick and scratch at themselves from anxiety - they can over "groom" as a form of self-soothing. I would ask the vet about treatments for anxiety that may be appropriate for your kitty. Or try alternative treatments such as calming collars. As long as anything medical has been ruled out I would bet your kitty has some anxiety issues. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Joey (In Memory) answered on 9/26/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

One of the reasons that cats over-groom, which is what your cat is doing, is from stress. If you've had him tested for allergies, fleas, mange mites, etc. and all these tests have come back negative, then stress might be his issue. That doesn't mean that you are a "bad pet parent" and are doing something to stress him out. Like some people are, he may just be overly sensitive to stressful situations, changes in his routines, etc. Ask your vet about a short course of anti-anxiety meds. Make sure his world is calm, orderly and no one is harrassing him, including other pets. I know it sounds weird that a cat could be "stressed out", but it does happen more than you'd think. I hope this works. I know how uncomfortable you all must be.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 9/27/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer