Has your cat been licking its lower belly too frequently?
Are your instincts telling you that something’s off?
If so, here’s the reason for this behavior:
Excessive licking of the lower belly fur can be caused by both physical and psychological issues. It might be that your cat is struggling with parasites, allergies, or dry skin. Other reasons can be that your cat is bored or is facing stress and anxiety.
So most of the time, this behavior means that something is probably wrong.
But worry not, as we’ll guide you through their solutions in this article.
Check out this video to know more about the reasons for your cat to lick off its fur:
Keep on reading!
Reasons For Your Cat To Lick Fur Off Its Belly
Going a bit in-depth, I have to first tell you about the possible reason why your cat is licking the lower belly fur excessively.
This habit is known as fur mowing which means compulsive licking of fur.
What happens in this condition is that your cat keeps licking its belly to a point where you can see the bare skin at the belly area as if it’s shaved.
I will divide the causes of fur mowing in two parts to make it easier for you:
1. Physical Conditions:
Your cat would lick off its fur in this condition if it’s feeling pain or discomfort because of the following medical conditions:
- Allergies: In reaction to the intake of a certain food, your cat might face skin irritation because of which it starts licking its fur or chewing the skin.
- Parasites: Fleas, ringworm, and mites can cause discomfort for your cat. These types of parasite infestations are common in furry animals.
- Dry skin: Dry skin can lead your cat to start licking in that area to relieve itself of the discomfort. Dry skin can be the cause of food deficiencies or dry winter air.
2. Psychological Conditions:
There are two main causes in this condition:
- Stress or Anxiety: Your cat can get stressed by a lot of things which can cause it to lick on its fur for self-soothing. The reasons might be the death of a loved one, moving to a new house, the presence of a new pet, or living in a chaotic environment.
Watch this video to learn about the reasons for a cat to get stressed:
- Boredom: If you are mostly out for work or do not spend more time with your cat, it can start licking off its fur to cure its boredom. But it does not mean that you have failed as a good owner. Keep reading to find out how can you get rid of your cat’s boredom and stress.
Cure For Physical Conditions
Taking your pet to a vet is always the best thing to do in these types of situations. Your vet will check and diagnose your pet in the following ways:
Just by looking at your cat’s coat, you can tell if fleas are bothering your pet. You will see flea dirt in the coat.
Cats usually lick away all these when they are grooming themselves. But still your vet needs to check for fleas or any other parasites, which need to be removed immediately.
Your cat will be put on a diet trial by the vet for a long period of time to determine the allergic food. 2 months for diet trials is usually recommended.
But if your cat likes to go outside or is picky about its food, then diet trials can be difficult as it would not be possible to control what your cat eats.
A skin biopsy would be done on your cat. In this, an anesthetic is injected into the specific area (the belly in this case) and an instrument that looks like a small cookie cutter is used to remove a small part of your cat’s skin.
The procedure of the test and the result of the test should both be looked upon by an experienced vet who specializes in reading skin tissue.
This test will tell which type of skin problems (ringworm, for example) your cat is facing so that it can be cured.
There are some other tests and trials for fur mowing but these are the main and most common ones.
Solving Your Cat’s Stress And Boredom Problems
Here’s the deal:
If all the tests are clear, then you should know that your cat is facing serious stress and boredom.
And it needs your time and help to get through this.
You can make this situation better for your pet by following these tips:
Spend more time with your cat
This is the only way by which you can get rid of your cat’s boredom and stress both.
Cuddle, vocalize, and play games with your cat.
Playing games like hide and seek or laser pointer can help your cat to be distracted from licking its fur. Provide your cat with dangling or chew toys to keep it busy.
You could also get them a scratching post like this one from chewy to help keep them busy and relieve stress.
Feeding patterns and techniques
Change your cat’s feeding pattern into feeding it small and frequent meals, and that in different places of the house so that your cat is not bored.
You can use food puzzles. It’s an interesting way to feed your cat occupied. Food puzzles are good for cats to have an active brain as well.
One more thing:
You should hide your pet’s favorite treats (tuna cat treats are a good option) around the corners of your house.
There is no way that your cat will get bored after this as it would be busy chasing the scent of its favorite food!
Make the environment peaceful and interesting:
Cats can get startled by loud noises. So keep your cat’s environment as quiet as possible so that it does not get stressed.
Making your cat’s life interesting is easy:
- Buy bird feeders and place them outside a window where your cat can see them. You will be amazed to find how much time your cat will spend just by looking outside the window at the birds eating.
- Cats also like to scratch and chew at things when they are bored or stressed. In this case, you can buy a scratching post to fulfill your cat’s scratching needs and give your cat proper chew toys to chew on.
- Taking your cat on a walk now and then will also help in providing your cat with enrichment and stimulation.
Watch this video to learn other ways of making your cat’s life interesting:
How long does it take for cat fur to grow back?
For short-haired cats, it takes less than three months for the hair to grow back. And for long-haired cats, it can take about four to six months for the fur to fully regrow.
How can you tell if a cat has ringworm?
Reddening of the skin, circular spots of hair loss, scaling in the depths of coat, and crusting of skin are some signs of a serious ringworm case.
How can you de-stress a cat?
Play more with your cat. Feed it the best quality food. Use food puzzles. Cuddle a lot with it. Give it scratching posts and rubber toys for fulfilling its scratching and chewing needs. Take it on walks more often. Follow these and your cat will be de-stressed in no time.
What does cat lice look like?
You will see a trail of black dirt, along with jumpy black circles by looking closely at the cat’s coat if fleas have infested it. You might also see tiny white dots near the skin of your cat, which are the eggs of the lice that are causing discomfort for your pet.
Why is my cat’s fur not growing back?
This might be caused when your cat is not getting proper food. Hormonal deficiencies, lack of growth hormone, lack of protein, less vitamin B, and having an excessive number of bacteria in the hair follicle are some other reasons that make your cat’s fur unable to grow back. Some veterinary care will fix these problems.
Here’s the kicker:
This behavior is not always bad if your cat does it occasionally. The problem starts when this habit becomes compulsive. And maybe your cat does not even need any medical or mental assistance!
So don’t freak out too soon and get a clear view of what is going on.
I hope that the situation does not gets bad for your cat.