Kitty naked butt needs ideas

  1. So we adopted this wonderful cat, about 6 years old, a year-plus ago. She was so fat she was almost spherical, and didn't much care for the board here so she lost quite a bit of weight. Not a bad thing, we told ourselves; she'll eat when she gets hungry. They always do.

    Alas, what she got was hepatic failure from autodigesting her own adiposity, and damn near died of it. Of course she was then nauseated and dehydrated... So we (and she) had a several-month ordeal to get her to recover. And by god, she did. By March or so she was fine. Running around outside, climbing trees, chasing birds, lounging in the sunny spots-- had a great little kitty summer and fall.

    That's the good news. More good news is that she finally decided that these evil people who first starved her until she felt so sick, then forced medicine down her throat and took her to the vet for other nasty things, and had other cats who picked on her-- well, they aren't so darn bad after all, and life is really OK now. She lounges by the woodstove, cuddles when there are no other cats around to give her the stink-eye, and has gained a healthy amount of weight. Her appetite is fine. She is normally active and the vet says she's made a complete recovery.

    But she is one of those compulsive lickers-- her lower belly, where they shaved her for her ultrasound, is still mostly just pink skin. The insides of her thighs, her whole bottom, and the base of her tail are denuded. I don't see any skin lesions, she doesn't appear to be scratching anywhere, she doesn't have worms or fleas. I give her butter every day and the rest of her fur looks really healthy and thick. I am sure this is a nervous thing, but I am searching for something else to help her to regrow her fur. It's winter, it's cold. And I am getting really tired of finding hairballs around the place (uuurrrgghhhh! ack! ack!).

    We stop her from licking whenever we see her doing it, and she doesn't try to get around us when we do. We are stepping up our petting and loving routines, and she's loving that. The other cats ask for attention, but she doesn't, so we have to remember to give it to her more. Maybe that will help. Other ideas?
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    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 0; Likes: 382


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Has she been evaluated by a vet for this? I had an issue with my cat doing this to herself, and it turned out she suffered anxiety when hearing the neighbor's dog barking (townhouse with shared wall, so louder and closer than detached home). Once the neighbors realized that their dog could be heard loud and clear in my house, they changed the room where they kept him when they weren't home to one on the side farthest from my house, and the problem went away on its own.

    Here's an article that might help:
    Cat Excessive Licking, Scratching, and Chewing Causes
  4. by   sharpeimom
    Our vet suggested something that helped us with our balding kitty. Emily had been set on fire and we nursed her back to health and ended up keeping her. He suggested her "haircut," lots of praise, vitamins, rocking her like a baby, and using Feliway diffusers around the house.

    At first we had no idea what her name was and just called her "Baby" until she came running into the room, all excited. "Oh Boy! You finally know my name!" The only problem was that it was an Eddie Murphy movie and he yelled, "Hey, you Mother____ you!" Oh dear... Can't very well call her that!

    We keep Emily and her brother (there had been three littermates when we rescued them) shaved. The vet tech shaves their backsides and their inner legs.

    halfshavedemily-jpg kenny-jpg
    Emily Spencer
  5. by   BCgradnurse
    I have a cat that will sometimes pull out her own fur on her belly. When this happens, I put her in a baby onesie (with the bottom part strategically cut out). Works like a charm!
  6. by   Meriwhen
    My late cat (died not too long ago at the age of 16) used to rip out the fur on her back and belly. She had toxoplasmosis when she was young and because of that ended up pretty much blind since the age of 3--she had some peripheral vision but that was it. She also hated everyone except me and would go ******* at anyone on no notice. She eventually let the rest of the immediate family in, but not after making my better half flee in fear several times. Ever see a 200lb man run and hide from a 6lb cat? It's pretty hysterical.

    The vet believed her barbering was due to anxiety. We tried feline pheremone spray which helped a little. We also tried Prozac (yes, there is liquid fluoxetine for cats) which helped a little. We got her a playmate which helped a little. I (she wouldn't let the others touch her) tried increased affection, which helped a little. We tried all sorts of things, but bothing ever really helped more than a little. After a while, we just accepted this, vacuumed up all the black hair balls and affectionately called her "moth-eaten" with her half-naked look.
  7. by   Esme12
    Hummm...maybe try spraying vinegar in her belly it would hurt her but it won't taste good. Liver issues can cause itchy skin but she is past that...cats can not go without eating like dogs can. Maybe a lactose issue....try peanut oil high in vitamin E but no milk helped my sisters cat.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from Esme12
    Hummm...maybe try spraying vinegar in her belly it would hurt her but it won't taste good. Liver issues can cause itchy skin but she is past that...cats can not go without eating like dogs can. Maybe a lactose issue....try peanut oil high in vitamin E but no milk helped my sisters cat.
    Funny you mention spray...we once tried a spray that was supposed to taste nasty and stop her from chewing on her fur and anything else. Darn cat thought it was a condiment and snarfed it down.
  9. by   Esme12
    ...too funny. Snarfed it down like it was a condiment.... I have only had one Siamese Sandy she lived to 23 years old...I loved that cat we got her when I was 1yr old. My sisters cat has all kinds of skin licking issues....he was feral. I wonder if there is a connection with anxiety and being feral. He takes Prozac and mysoline.
  10. by   imintrouble
    I have no advice, as I've never had this problem with dogs OR cats. We live a very, very, quiet country life.
    Just hoping you and your kitty find a solution.
  11. by   nurseprnRN
    I saw several mentions of Feliway atomizers, and one mention of Feliway collars. So I said, "Aha!" and sprayed a little bit on the kitty's collar (and some on the collar of the pushy girl that tends to want to push her around, too). We'll see if that helps. From all descriptions it's a psych thing, not an allergic or flea thing, so maybe this will help. She's been inside a lot more these last few days since we have been having very cold and snowy weather, and her licking has increased, so we're working on more loving still. She came up onto our bed for the first time in weeks this morning -- it's sort of the property of two of the others, though #3 pushy girl is there a lot too-- so maybe that's a hopeful sign.

    Thank you all so much for the links and good ideas. I love nurses.
  12. by   canoehead
    I adopted a cat from the SPCA that was hairless from the waist down and had a hairpicking problem. She'd dig and dig at herself, and with multiple vet visits we ruled out any physical issues. Gradually over the last two years she's stopped and has a gorgeous glossy mane. I think that stress was the problem- she came from a hoarding situation, and weighed less than half her current weight when I got her, so she really had to fight to survive. Over time she's become more of a cuddley cat, and it may have taken her that long to feel secure in her new home.

    I adopted another stray cat years ago that was perfectly pleasant, but he never purred. I thought he just didn't have a purring mechanism like other cats, or it wasn't his thing, whatever. After about two years at my house I heard a rumble, and it was him. There was no physical problem, it just took him that long to be comfortable and happy. So that's my marker- it can take as long as two years... and the first cat is still showing improvements. You might not be doing anything wrong, your cat may just need more time and'll get better.
  13. by   nurseprnRN
    Interesting. I thought she just had a very quiet purr -- it's there if I palpate her neck, but sooo quiet. But it is marginally louder than it was a year ago. Perhaps we'll get there. I do hope so. She is such a sweetie. Thanks for this.
  14. by   nurseprnRN
    So. We did go to the vet, who found nothing much of remark except a few ounces of lost weight, not to worry. She had some kitty treats that she said some people found helpful, so we starter her on those. (Pet Naturals Calming for Cats (21 count) 1.11oz.)

    We have kept up the Feliway spray in our room, her collar, and other places, and the crunchy treats (which she absolutely adores) and awoke this morning to find Kitty Naked Butt sleeping on our bed in the position usually occupied by someone else. Purring. Relaxed.

    We also are getting the Feliway atomizer (how many times have you wished for an Ativan atomizer at work?) -- it's like one of those Glade scent-making things, for a more general calming effect on all of them. And we have been doing more catnip, always well-received, and some new kitty toys. Result: decreased strife in the house, less licking, and happier everyone. Now we get to see if the fur grows back.

    Thank you all for your ideas and support! And KNB thanks you too.