Q. 10 yr old cat licks her flanks a lot since our other cat died (even often licking me) & her fur is thinning. Is a (scary for her) vet visit necessary?

A. It is possible that your cat may have developed a stress/grieving behavior of obsessive licking which is leading to the hair loss and thinning in those areas. Placing an Elizabethan (cone) collar on her for a week or so to break the habit and distracting her with toys, pets and love may help stop her from continuing to do so. However if the hair loss is everywhere and not just where she is licking, or if you are seeing any other signs of illness such as changes in weight, appetite, or bowel habits, then scheduling a wellness check at your vet to look for illness is best.

Answered By

Was this helpful?

Related Questions

Related Articles

Allergic Shock in Dogs

Anaphylaxis in Dogs Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition that occurs when an animal reacts adversely to a particular allergen. In extreme situations, this reaction can be fatal. The condition is fairly unpredictable, as almost any...

Read More
Miscarriage in Dogs

Spontaneous Abortion and Pregnancy Loss in Dogs There are several methods for performing a safe abortion for a dog, as well as instances in which the pregnancy could spontaneously abort or miscarry. It is important to note that dogs...

Read More

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training.

Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD.

User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions.

petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice.

Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.

Continue Reading