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Ask the Veterinarian/cat licking fur off on tummy and inner legs


Angie wrote at 2007-03-29 01:48:53
Hi, my black and white short haired cat had this same problem! We also did the steroid shot treatment. We took him in for a shot and only did it once. It did seem to help.  He was also an indoor cat with no flea issue. I began to look at his indoor environment.  We had bought a new couch that we had SCOTCH GUARDED.  He loved to sit up on the pillow backed couch and look out the window. He slept in that same spot all day long.  After a few weeks he began chewing his hair off the inner parts of his legs and his belly. We blocked him from his new favorite spot and later got rid of that couch and HE WAS CURED!

jillca wrote at 2007-04-17 00:12:35
My cat had the same symptoms, same treatments to no effect.

Accidentally I found that the real reason was dry itchy skin. 1.5 cc of cod liver oil a day and the fur is now growing back.  It was a vitamin deficiency in her diet.

L.P. wrote at 2007-05-22 06:13:07
My cat has the same itching/scratching skin allergy situation and I do not agree with any steroid treatment. Not only does it more than likely create problems with their organs, but it increases their appetite dramatically, and it is an ongoing/never ending unnecessary treatment. I have tried the ENZYMES products and it has worked for awhile, then the allergy came back, only because I didn't double the dose the first 3 months. I am thinking it is an airbourne allergy. Food can also be the culprit as there is Soy, Corn Meal & Corn Glutten in most Pet foods all of which is hard to digest and creates digestive problems. I have switched to Organic canned foods. I also use a homeopathic HOT SPOT spray that has helped tremendously, and another product called: DERMA-IONX (This is for ALL animals skin ailments). This stuff really does work!

It's been my experience that skin allergies are the most difficult to treat. I try to make my kitty as comfortable as possible with this Miliary Dermatitis disorder. It is a miserable condition.

Pam wrote at 2007-09-08 01:13:40
The same thing happened to one of my cats; at about the age of 10 she apparently developed an allergy to the grass outside.  After the expense of several injections, the vet cued me in on Aloe vera juice, which is very inexpensive to use and is available in health food stores since it is natural and good for our health!  Cats only need 1/3 to 1/2 dropperfull per day on the days the are subjected to the allergen.

Mike Fox wrote at 2008-09-08 20:24:02
For whatever reason (probably good pricing at our local supermarket), we switched from Arm & Hammer to Scoop Away a few months ago.  It seemed fine.  A little overpowering but effective.

And then one of our two cats started to lick all the hair off her stomach, then she began to lick and scratch furiously between her claws and around her head.  After three very expensive visits to the vet, and courses of steroid treatments and flea medication, we were no further along.  The cat was constantly throwing up hair-balls (from all the licking she was doing) and getting very thin.  Then our second cat started to scratch madly and my wife and I were getting very concerned.  One day, while working from home, I cleaned out the litter tray three times just to keep it clean.  It was that day when I noticed that my arms were very itchy and I had breathing issues.  I changed the cat litter back to Arm & Hammer.

Now our cats are 100% back to normal, no more emergency visits to the vet, the hair is growing back on cat #1's stomach, and no more hairballs.

This was a scary situation.  Vets and on-line discussion boards never touched on the cat litter as a potential problem but with our experience, I am convinced that Scoop Away was the root cause.

I sincerely hope that this post helps other cat-owners out there who may be experiencing similar issues and have no idea what to do about them.

natasha wrote at 2009-11-14 04:30:33
we don't use any scented litter, which definitely seemed to be more harsh. the cheaper litters seem to be unscented...i mean really, if your litterbox smells nasty, it needs to be scooped or changed, right? there is a new litter box that rinses the litter out which i really hope to get. i think it will help the itching issue. i hope.

Jones wrote at 2010-01-31 15:38:22
Monthly depomedrol shots can harm your cat's heart. DO NOT give the cat steroid shots as a cure - my cat almost died from depo shots!

Kent wrote at 2011-10-05 14:01:15
After numerous visits to the vets, shots, hormones, special KD diet, changing litter brands, etc… I cut out two things from my house and my cat’s fur grew back.

It was Baby Powder & what I believe to be the main culprit: Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder Triple Action Relief  

Sucks cause I really liked that foot powder.  

Kent wrote at 2011-10-05 14:04:23
After numerous visits to the vets, shots, hormones, special KD diet, changing litter brands, etc… I cut out two things from my house and my cat’s fur grew back.

It was Baby Powder & what I believe to be the main culprit: Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder Triple Action Relief  

Sucks cause I really liked that foot powder.  

Merlin wrote at 2012-08-29 01:04:37
My cat started licking obsessively/compulsively at his lower belly and now it's bare. I was thinking it was psychological - I don't know his history since I got him from an animal shelter 3 months ago. But this licking only started 3 weeks ago. Since reading your answers I think it might be the kitty litter too. I use No-Name Brand unscented, but 3 weeks ago there was something different about the texture, look and feel. They've changed their formulation. Thanks for your input. I'm going to change to Arm & Hammer to see what happens.

SRS wrote at 2013-02-23 07:51:01
Recently took my grandmother's siamese mix cat to vet for heavy hair fall out and the vet noticed most evidence of  hair loss on lower belly and she said it's a sign of a urinary tract infection.  Doc gave him a 2-week antibiotic shot but he's actually started pulling out hair and is losing more. Back to the vet we go!

He's also got a sinus issue - discharge, sometimes to the point of bubbles forming at his nostrils and open-mouth breathing.

He moved with my grandma from Baton Rouge to Mena, AR about 6 months ago.

Here's hoping for a cure...I know it's driving the cat and my grandmother crazy!

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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