Has your cat started overgrooming, and you're worried that they are biting and pulling at their fur? Here's our advice...
Q) Since she was neutered, my young cat has been biting and pulling at her fur. She’s overgrooming, what is it best to do?
Overgrooming can be a serious problem and the main reasons for it are related to skin irritation, pain, or psychological problems.
The first thing that we must rule out is parasites — mainly fleas. Are you treating your cats against fleas? If yes, what product do you use and how often? Have you treated the house and your cats recently? Unfortunately, even if a cat never goes outside, there is still a risk of fleas becoming a problem.
Has any person in the house been bitten by insects? You can check for fleas either by combing the coat and looking for fleas, or by brushing the coat over white paper and looking for black specs that dissolve and become red after being splashed with water — these are flea dirt. If your cats have not been treated for fleas recently, I would recommend treating them all, even if you do not find any fleas or flea dirt.
If the overgrooming and biting continues, despite the flea treatment and especially if there are any wounds or scabs, the best thing is to organise a visit to her vet who will be able to fully investigate.
There are a range of treatments and preventative medications for fleas. Discuss these with your vet to find the best solution for your cat.
Advice given by veterinary expert Aga Zoltowska.