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Cat licking off fur

Have you noticed bald spots on your cat's body? This could be because the cat is licking its fur away for various reasons. Although this may sound like an odd behaviour, there may be quite clear explanations for why your cat licks itself so much. It doesn't matter if the spots are just very thin or if they have gone so far that they are completely bald.

Why bald patches in cats?
What really causes bald patches on a cat's body? Well, in most cases it's simply because the cat licks itself so much that the hair eventually disappears. It may then look like the cat has lost its fur or the fur has been torn off at some point. However, this is quite rare. If you feel unsure about what is actually causing it, ask a vet to check it out. If it turns out that it is the cat's licking that has caused the spots, it may be useful to know why the cat is behaving in this way.

Why does the cat lick its fur?
As strange as it may sound that a cat licks itself so much that its fur disappears, there are actually a number of reasons for this. Many times it has to do with the cat experiencing some kind of itch or discomfort, which then leads to the cat licking itself to try and relieve the sensation.

However, the intense licking may also be due to the cat experiencing pain. For example, this may occur when the cat has pain in its back, urinary tract or abdomen, where licking may also be a way for the cat to counteract the discomfort. In some cases the licking may be due to stress or a tumour (very rare).

How do I find out the cause?
The very first thing you should do to find out why your cat has this type of bald patch on its body is tohave a vet investigate how they actually came about - they can give you an answer as to whether the cat created them himself or if they came from something else. However, if you are sure that the cat has been licking itself and that this is what has caused the spots, there are a number of things to look out for. As we mentioned earlier, in many cases the cat is trying to alleviate some kind of discomfort, such as itching, irritation or pain.

Reasons for this can be:

  • Attacks or reactions by parasites, mites and fungi

  • Problems with the back, abdomen or urinary tract, for example

  • Hypersensitivity and/or allergies

However, this is an investigation that must be carried out by a veterinarian as it is very difficult for you to determine on your own what the root cause of excessive licking of fur is. In other words, if you find that your cat is licking itself more than usual, and if it leads to bald patches, you should always see a vet for an examination!

Can I prevent licking and bald patches?
Unfortunately, if your cat is affected by or experiencing problems with something that causes more intense licking, it may already be too late for you to do anything about it. However, it is always a good idea to check and examine your cat's coat and skin on a daily basis. Make sure the cat looks nice and clean, and address the problem if you don't think it does. Other things that can help prevent some skin-related problems are food and weight. The cat's home environment can also be important to its overall well-being.

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