Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking by Anita Kelsey

In the realm of feline behavior, grooming serves as a multifaceted activity, often employed by cats to maintain hygiene, alleviate discomfort, or manage emotional distress. It’s not uncommon for cats to engage in grooming rituals after meals or as a means of self-soothing in response to moments of embarrassment or minor mishaps.

However, attentive cat guardians may notice a stark difference when their feline companions begin to excessively groom themselves. Persistent over-grooming can result in noticeable hair loss, the formation of bald patches, and in severe cases, damage to the skin.

Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking

What distinguishes feline over-grooming from routine grooming is the frequency and intensity with which it occurs. While occasional grooming bouts are normal, excessive grooming that becomes compulsive in nature often signals an underlying issue, typically rooted in stress or anxiety.

Initially triggered by a stressful event or environmental disturbance, feline over-grooming can quickly transform into a compulsive habit, persisting even after the initial stressor has been resolved. Identifying the root cause of your cat’s stress can prove challenging, requiring a nuanced understanding of feline behavior and psychology.

Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In cases where the underlying cause of feline over-grooming eludes detection, seeking the expertise of a specialist cat behaviorist is advisable. We possess in-depth knowledge of feline behavior and can conduct a comprehensive assessment to uncover potential stressors and develop tailored intervention strategies.

Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking

By addressing the underlying sources of stress and providing appropriate behavioral interventions, cat guardians can help alleviate their feline companions’ over-grooming tendencies and promote overall well-being. Remember, while feline over-grooming may initially manifest as a response to stress, it’s essential to address the behavior proactively to prevent long-term physical and psychological consequences for your cat.

Some reasons for over-grooming are:

  1. Stress
  2. Habit
  3. Skin condition
  4. Illness
  5. Allergies

Contact me if you need help: info@catbehaviourist.com 

All enquiries regarding Understanding Feline Over-Grooming: Unveiling the Complexities of Excessive Licking are welcome

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About this author:

unexplained feline aggression Anita Kelsey holds a first class honours degree in Feline Behaviour and Psychology (work based BA Hons) and runs a vet referral service dedicated strictly to the diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats. She is also a qualified cat groomer and specialises in grooming aggressive or phobic cats. Anita writes for Your Cat Magazine and is on their experts panel answering readers questions on cat grooming. She also advises on feline behaviour for the CFBA (Canine and Feline Behaviour) magazine as well as being a full member. Anita, a strong advocate of a vegan lifestyle, is based in London but consults all over the UK as well as international requests. She lives with her husband, a music producer, and one Norwegian Forest cat, Kiki.

Her first book ‘Claws. Confessions Of A Professional Cat Groomer‘ was published by John Blake in 2017 with her second book, Let’s Talk About Cats released on Amazon US and UK 2020. Her third book about cats will be announced this year and will be available to buy soon!