Here’s what a veterinarian, not layperson in a forum, says about what might be causing your cat to lick off its fur.

Does your cat frequently lick off its fur, sometimes even in patches?

I asked this question to Jean Hofve, DVM, who has 20+ years’ experience in both conventional and alternative veterinary medicine, and author of the eBook, “What Cats Should Eat.

Dr. Hofve names 10 situations that could cause a cat to lick at its fur. They are as follows:

–   Fleas/fleabite allergy

–   Mites (scabies, Cheyletiella, Demodex)

–   Ringworm

–   Endocrine disease (Cushing’s disease, other hormonal disturbances)

–   Contact dermatitis (allergy to bedding, detergent, etc.)

–   Food allergy

–   Atopy (inhalant allergy)

–   Diet (fatty acid deficiency)

–   Pain

–   Behavioral: anxiety, stress, OCD

As you can see, a few of these causes of excessive fur licking in a cat have sub-causes.

Solutions for a Cat that Keeps Licking off Its Fur

Dr. Hofve explains that “for parasites and medical conditions, treat the cause. Note that scabies, mites and ringworm are highly contagious to other pets and humans.

“For diet, give supplemental fatty acids (EPA, DHA, evening primrose oil).

“For psychogenic causes, environmental enrichment, flower essences, homeopathy, calming herbs, drug therapy (Prozac, etc.).”

Now retired from veterinary medicine, Dr. Hofve has researched pet nutrition and the pet food industry since the early 1990s. She has written dozens of articles and has been interviewed for print, radio and television around the world.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Phoenixns