Why Cats Overgroom and How to Stop It

Cats are known for their grooming habits, spending a significant portion of their day licking and cleaning themselves. However, sometimes this behavior can become excessive, leading to a condition known as overgrooming or psychogenic alopecia. In this post, we will explore why cats overgroom and how to stop it.

why cats overgroom

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There are several potential reasons why a cat may overgroom, including medical issues, anxiety, and stress.

Some cats may develop skin problems or allergies that cause them to feel itchy or uncomfortable, leading to excessive grooming.

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Meanwhile, anxiety or stress caused by changes in the environment or routine can also lead to over grooming as a means of self-soothing.


If you notice that your cat is overgrooming, it is important to take action to help them. Here are some steps you can take to stop your cat from overgrooming:

  1. Visit a veterinarian – The first step in addressing overgrooming in cats is to rule out any underlying medical issues. Your veterinarian can examine your cat and perform any necessary tests to see if there are any health problems that need to be addressed.
  1. Reduce stress – If your cat is overgrooming due to stress, you can take steps to reduce their anxiety. This may include providing a comfortable and safe environment, creating a routine and spending time playing and interacting with your cat.
  1. Provide distractions – If your cat is overgrooming due to boredom or anxiety, providing distractions can help. This could include toys, scratching posts, or puzzle feeders that keep your cat entertained and stimulated.
  1. Use behavior modification techniques – You can also use behavior modification techniques to train your cat to stop overgrooming. For example, you might use positive reinforcement to reward your cat for not overgrooming or provide a toy or treat whenever your cat begins to groom excessively.

In conclusion, overgrooming in cats can be due to a medical condition or emotional stress.
You could help the overgrooming behavior and give your feline friend a happy and healthy life. As always, consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and treatment options for your cat.

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