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Over grooming

Iagox9

Savannah Child
#1
My F3 Savannah cat has been severely over grooming her front legs. We thought maybe it was allergies to her food, because they changed the formula. We switched her food and no luck. We took her to the vet and she was prescribed steroids to see if she was over grooming because she itched or behavioral. She over groomed less, but still gnaws on her leg. If it's behavioral, we have no idea what the cause is. We have dedicated play time for at least 15 minutes every day. She has plenty of toys we leave for her while we are at work. We have three stories, so plenty of room to roam and climb. She has huge window sills where she can look outside.

Any ideas on what could be stressing her out or how we can help her? IMG_20180115_090946.jpg IMG_20180112_224323.jpg
 

DumaLove

Site Supporter
Staff member
#2
Most Savannahs requires more than 15 minutes of play a day, especially an early gen. You should be playing that much at least 3 to 4 times a day.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#3
That's pretty severe overgrooming. Has anything changed besides her food? How old is she? Is she spayed? How long is she left alone daily? Any other pets?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#4
I would guess that it is not food allergies as that more frequently manifests as sores on the face and chin. This looks more like anxiety to me.

My F3 Savannah over grooms when she is stressed out and her major cause of stress is being away from me on the rare occasions that I gone for more than a day or 2. We use Felliway diffusers to help with that. I also add Nutricalm 2x/day in her food if she has a hot spot and I cannot get her to stop licking. Once she has a hot spot, she will lick it raw. I also give her lemon balm (1/8 t in her food) for 2 weeks when this occurs. She also eats a small amount of coconut oil daily to help prevent dry itchy skin.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#5
I also had a cat that overgroomed herself (and her kittens when she had them). I subsequently spayed her and separated her from the other cats, and the overgrooming has stopped ... so far. It doesn't sound like your girl has the same issues though, perhaps just the opposite - depending on how long she is left alone each day, she might do better with another feline companion to keep her occupied and entertained.
 

Iagox9

Savannah Child
#6
That's pretty severe overgrooming. Has anything changed besides her food? How old is she? Is she spayed? How long is she left alone daily? Any other pets?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
She is 1.5 years old and is spayed. We have no other pets and she is usually home alone 8:30-6:00 during the week.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#7
Do you think the overgrooming occurs primarily when you are gone or when you are home? If while gone then it is probably from boredom. Some options, other than a kitty companion, might be one or more of these:

Have a friend come over and play with her 1-2 times during the day

Multi-tiered or figure 8 ball tracks are Savannah safe and seem to keep cats entertained for awhile:
https://www.amazon.com/Tower-Tracks-Track-Interactive-Petstages/dp/B00DT2WL26
https://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Turbo-Track-Cat-Toy/dp/B001RTTL1W

On the more expensive end there are interactive devices such as the Pet Cube and kittyo that allow you to interact with your cat, give them treats, and play with them:
https://petcube.com/
http://kittyo.com/

There are also cat videos that some cats really enjoy:
https://www.amazon.com/Cat-Sitter-DVD-Trilogy-Vol/dp/1223000893
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I'm agreeing with others that it looks maybe more like anxiety or boredom or some stressor. Being an only cat might lead to anxiety I'd think... what is her personality like? Does she seem supremely confident and assured or is she needy when you are home? Some cats would prefer to be only pets while others really do need a companion.