Q: Why is my cat chewing the fur off her legs?

Original Question: "Hi my cat seems to get in these moods every few months where she chews the fur off her back legs then starts on her front legs. We haven’t changed anything so I don’t believe it could be allergies. How can we help her stop doing this? I also don’t think it could be stress as I don’t know what she could be stressed about as her schedule has remained the same. Please help stop this chewing/excessive licking." - Sheena

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: August 5, 2017

Hi Sheena,

There could be many reasons why your cat is doing this. Allergies are a good first thought. This can be difficult to figure out, and will require consultation with your veterinarian to discuss possible sources of allergens. Cats can be allergic to foods, pollens, dust, and many other things in the environment.  I noticed you said you don’t think your cat is stressed. This is actually something I hear quite frequently – because cats don’t give us very good outward signs of stress, sometimes we have to rely on the more subtle cues. You also need to consider that there may be things in the environment that may not seem stressful to you, but are upsetting for your pet. This might include a barking dog next door while you are not home, or a large predatory bird or other animal that comes by her favourite window seat. You may also want to consider parasites like fleas or mites as a potential cause – it would definitely be something your vet would want to rule out. A thorough physical exam, and perhaps sampling the affected areas and looking at them under the microscope, may provide the clues to help your kitty.

Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Kim Hester

Disclaimer: and its team of veterinarians does not endorse any products or services mentioned in any responses and answers. All advice presented by our veterinarians is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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