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Hi All! It's been a long time. How is everyone?

Things here are good. I got a new job and I still have the same two furry roommates. I also began volunteering at a cat rescue called Lost Paws. It's very rewarding .. I might have to get an additional roommate.. at least foster a little bit. :wink:

Anyway, to my point: Mr T, my 15-lb, 11-year old male, is pulling out his fur. A lot.



To the point where I'll come out from my bedroom in the morning, or come home from work, and see this:






  • I know it's not fighting with my other cat - I'll sometimes catch him grooming himself and just ripping out chunks of his own fur from his back and spitting them out
  • He's (they're both) on a grain-free diet - Avoderm and Wellness canned with a little dry sometimes. His fur is silky soft, and his previous dandruff problem vanished once I got him on grain-free.
  • Otherwise perfectly fine behaviorally. Find it hard to think he's stressed out - although my Lumen occasionally still torments him.
Any ideas? You'll notice in these pictures how thin the fur on his back is. That's where he's pulling it out from.








Thanks!



Christine
 

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His diet sounds OK, and I'm assuming his skin isn't dry or flaking? It could be behavioral. Usiually pulling out coat is a sign of stress, though more often it's from licking excessively on the tummy or inside of the back legs. I think it's a little unusual that he's pulling it out with his teeth from his back, but cats always surprise with something new and unusual. Some source of the stress could be that you're bringing home the scent of other cats from your volunteer work at "Lost Paws" on your clothes and shoes and this may be distressing to him. Or "Lumen" has become more of a bully to him? Or another reason could be your working hours are longer than they were before and he's upset when you're away. It would be a different thing if he pulls out his fur in front of you. If it's the strange cat scents I would change into special clothes and shoes at the rescue, and wash your hands very well before you go home to pet your own cats or use a hand sanitizer. See if any of these things makes a difference. If it doesn't you should consult with a vet about using an anti-anxiety medication called "Clomicalm". A treatment of this may get him out of the habit of coat pulling. You don't want "Mr. T" to get into a bad habit of doing this all the time. Thanks for the pics. Good luck!
 

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Has Mr.T had his thyroid levels checked? When my SweetPea developed hyperthyroidism his fur was thinning
on his back and he was constantly pulling out tufts of hair like your kitty is doing. The vet told me that the
hyperT caused intense itching and that was the reason for the hair pulling.
 

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My Bengal did the EXACT same thing due to stress. Pulling out fur from his back, sides and legs. He ended up living with my mother as an only cat. :(

What helped him the most was routine. Same time for food, same time for petting, same bed time for his people. He has his own space now - after everyone else and their dogs leave, the house is his from 8 or 9 on. He's on a crap diet (at least it's canned) - I buy food, but my mom won't feed it to him. But he still looks and feels so much better than at my house (2 dogs and another cat).

Try setting up a routine for the cat. Change your clothes at the volunteer place so you don't smell so much like other cats. Feed at the same time and give him a place that is HIS only. Give him undivided attention at the same time every day. Once the routine settles down, he should stop.
 
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