Cats are fastidious groomers, that’s why they do not need help cleaning themselves. According to animal lover and veterinarian Paula Bullock, a little scratching and grooming are considered normal until it becomes too frequent or the animal ends up harming themselves.
If you notice your cat scratching and itching themselves more than normal, it could indicate a more sinister problem, and Paula Bullock recommends taking your furry friend for a visit to the veterinary. Scratching typically comes from discomfort on their skin that they try to relieve. She adds that the behavior of chewing, licking, or scratching is most commonly seen in Siamese cats.
Female cats are more likely to pull and rub their fur with their tongues more than males cats. Paula Bullock points out that many medical problems could lead to aggressive scratching, and that’s why seeing a veterinarian is the best action.
As a veterinary, here are a few tips she shared to help manage itching and scratching.
Understand what is causing the scratching
The first and probably, the most critical way to deal with excessive scratching is to understand what could be wrong. If you have ruled out normal grooming and scratching, the next step is to check for soreness, blood, scars, or lack of fur on areas they scratch most. According to Paula Bullock, cats that scratch till they harm themselves have large red areas known as hot spots.
Your cat may be scratching excessively due to a skin problem. This could be a fungal infection that enters their skin through bites, lesions, or direct contact and starts irritating the upper part of the animal’s skin, notes Paula Bullock. Another common cause of scratching is acne, which often appears inflamed. You can take your pet to the vet for skincare evaluation.
You also want to look into your cat’s diet. If the current diet does not fulfill all the nutritional requirements, the result is a poorly formed skin and coat, which can easily become dry and itchy. Paula Bullock emphasizes the need to feed your four-legged friend with enough omega-three fatty acids, enough water, and a balanced meal to moisturize and strengthen their skin.
Make sure your cat is not bored or anxious
When cats are stressed, angry, bored, or anxious about something, they may scratch repetitively to the extent of hurting themselves. Most indoor cats are poor at managing boredom and anxiety, notes veterinarian Paula bullock. This is because they spend most of their time indoors with very little to explore, exercise, and be excited about. Paula also advises against the frequent changing of the environment, which can trigger anxiety.
Dealing with allergies
According to Paula Bullock, aggressive grooming and scratching can also be caused by an allergy. If the scratching has never happened before, then it could be caused by environmental factors, a certain food they took, or fleas. Allergies manifest itself on your cat’s skin. Environmental encounters with allergens, grass, pollen, or dust mites can all cause the extreme scratching, points Paula Bullock. Depending on the type of allergy affecting your cat, there are treatment plans for these that your vet may recommend.