Licking at base of tail, loss of hair.

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

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Where's the hot- cheese??! :)
Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 1:06pm PST 
We had M&M to the vets and he told us that she might have arthritis, fleas, or some discomfort so she is licking the closest place she can reach or get to.

Anyone else's kitty do this? I have put vaseline on it because it looked so dry.

Thank you!

Blade- (2000-2010)

Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 1:16pm PST 
I'm not a vet (obviously - I'm a cat!), but quite often this is a flea allergy symptom. I'd go and get some proper flea treatment from the vets. A cat who lives near us gets this loss of hair at base of tail. She comes in our garden and we can see her gnawing at it. My mum puts flea treatment on her and it clears up. (her own family just leave it until her skin ends up raw)

Carmen- Louise

All hail the- Queen!
Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 1:55pm PST 
One of the first suspicions is fleas. Something else to consider (if you don't find fleas or a skin ailment) is anal gland issues. If I get uncomfortable with my anal glands (which have to be expressed by a doctor) then I start to lick at my tail a lot. I'll also start scooting across the carpet...
it's gross but what else can you do?

Willow- 2000~2014

Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 2:13pm PST 
I have a flea allergy and if I don't get frontline or other real (aka not bought at the grocery/drug store) flea meds I loose the hair at the base of my tail, too.

One month I squirmed away and only got a half dose of my flea meds and I still lost almost all the hair at the base of my tail!

Some really good ones are frontline and advantage/advantix. You can get them at your vet or at Petco/Petsmart and some other pet stores.

Beatrice- (Miss You!- '94-'12)

The very Beast- of all

Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 2:29pm PST 
I lick and bite the fur off my lower belly. I went through all sorts of tests and trials to see if it might be an allergy but it's not. I don't have fleas. Eventually, the vet realized that in my case it's psychological. It makes me feel better, especially when there's some kind of stress.

Hope you're feeling better soon!


Devilish- Darling!
Purred: Sat Mar 25, '06 5:11pm PST 
I'd say you need to treat for fleas no matter what, even if you cant find any fleas then its always a good idea to update the treatment, cant do any harm.

Also stress can cause this sort of action too, has anything changed within the home?

If there is any signs of arthritis then I would assume there to be some pain if pushing on any parts of the spine of lower limb area.

Good luck


Just eat it!
Purred: Sun Mar 26, '06 2:27am PST 
I had an experience with missing hair, which seemed to be caused by my overgrooming (but hard to be sure, as I wasn't 'caught' doing it!). This was the conclusion the vet came to really as a result of elimination of other possible causes.
In my case I went to a vet that uses natural remedies, and the verdict was that it was a behavioural type problem, and got some homeopathic treatments.
After a few weeks of treatment I am now growing all hair back - yay!!!


Mr. DeMille, I'm- ready for my- close up..
Purred: Sun Mar 26, '06 8:16am PST 
That sounds a lot like something called "Stud Tail" also known as feline tail gland hyperplasia.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1338&articleid =195

Baby~In- Loving- Memory

Sitting Pretty
Purred: Sun Mar 26, '06 8:44am PST 
When my forever adopted me, the base of my tail, back legs and tummy were bare because I had licked off the fur, due to flea bite sensitivity.

I was an indoor cat from that point on, but would still scratch and lick off my fur during certain times of the year, even though I was no longer exposed to fleas. A vet told my mom that a sensitivity to dust, pollen, mold, etc. could have been the reason.

My mom's "gut feeling" said it was a combination of allergens that I was exposed to in our home and a behavioural problem, possibly to do boredom from being an indoor cat.

Anyhow... after a year or two of mom clapping loudly at me or spraying water towards me every time I scratched and licked, the urge to do it went away.

So, my advice would be for your mom to spray a mist of water in your direction every time she sees you licking (sorry!) to see if that solves the problem. It's worth a try and beats going to the vet for tests and being given medications... bleh!

I don't know if this will help you any, but I thought I'd share my story.

Oh, by the way, cortisone shots help in cases like this. I used to get them and they took away the urge to scratch and lick, but only for a little while. The vet told my mom that unlike dogs, cats are able to tolerate cortisone much better, but my mom noticed that over time the shots weren't making me feel very good for the first 24 hours after getting them. That's when she decided to come up with a "natural" solution to my problem and tried the clapping-spraying-water routine.

Edited by author Sun Mar 26, '06 8:48am PST


Azurine- Ambrosia

Purred: Sun Mar 26, '06 10:01am PST 
my vet calls it referred itching, when a cat can't reach what is really itching they itch the best spot they can find.. it does sound like an allergy, and also stress can cause this,, I would have your vet look at it,,, mommsie takes me every time I scratch myself once. what a silly woman.. Bluie

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