Cat biting its hair off his tail

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by emke, May 7, 2005.

  1. emke

    emke Well-Known Member

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    We have a young male cat. Recently he started biting the hair off of his tail, near where it meets his back. Why would a cat do this? This is the first cat we have had and he is a good mouser, so I hope it is something we can cure. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    fleas. They like it where the skin folds, and once the skin in irritated they like it even better. It MIGHT be something else, but for us it has ALWAYS been fleas.
     
  4. happycat

    happycat Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions about your poor kitty, but I just wanted to say "HI!" - this must be the same emke from F3 - right? small world...
     
  5. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    My first thought is fleas, too, but some times cats with allergies will "de-hair" themselves (though usually belly and legs are more common). If you have other cats and they aren't affected, don't rule out fleas. This cat may have flea allergy dermatitis (he's allergic to fleas). To check for fleas take a very fine toothed comb (aka a flea comb) to the cat. Look for black specks in the fur you combed off. Flea poop will turn a wet kleenex red if you rub the black specks on it. Flea poop is also commonly kind of curled up.
     
  6. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our cat did that and we finally took it to the vet. It was some sort of strange cat behavior. the vet said that cats have a lot of nerves in that area and once they start "itching" there, it becomes a compulsion to continue to bite. He gave the cat a shot there and it quit.
     
  7. emke

    emke Well-Known Member

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    HI Happycat! Yes, it's me from F³. :)

    He did have fleas and we put powder and a flea collar on him. He has been checked thouroughly and we have found no fleas. He doesn't scratch much, but just loves biting his tail. It looks silly, since he is a partially long haired cat and his tail is bushy, except for the part he is biting out.

    Could he be allergic to his flea collar? He didn't start doing it until we put it on him.
     
  8. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    We have problems with our dog chewing or rubbing the hair off his butt and tail a few times a year. Pets with allergies are naturally more sensitive to flea bites. One bite can set off a nasty chain reaction. We usually give the dog a strong dose of benadryl until we can get him to the vet, and then the vet makes sure it's not infected, and gives him prednisone for a few days.

    I'd definately check for any signs of fleas, and then see if you can treat it with some benadryl. (pills, not topical...cats lick)
     
  9. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I'd try using something like Frontline or Advantage. Also make sure you have treated all the cats and dogs the kitty is around. If he's allergic all it takes is one bite to set him off. Flea collars usually don't work all that great-sure there's no fleas on the neck area near the collar, but they frequently congregate near the tail where it's "safe." And most powders don't have much residual effect.

    Edited to add: If he is allergic to flea bites, he may well need a steroid shot from your vet to break the cycle of irritation, chewing, more irritation, etc.