This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Cats groom themselves a lot - and sometimes it can become excessive - why ?
It has been estimated that cats spend up to 50% of the time that they are awake grooming themselves ! So grooming a lot may be normal behaviour not abnormal behaviour.
Normal grooming is helpful to maintain good clean hair coat, but grooming serves several purposes in cats :
Excessive grooming might be present for a variety of reasons :
Increased grooming is not really a problem unless the cat develops excessive hair loss, or starts to bite the hairs off and damages the underlying skin by continual licking and chewing. Once the skin is damaged secondary problems can occur - for example infection may get into the damaged skin.
If the underlying cause can not be identified and self-trauma is being caused to the skin your veterinarian may need to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs (eg corticosteroids) to reduce any irritation and prevent excessive grooming behaviour. Sometimes an elizabethan collar is needed to stop the cat from damaging itself further
.Updated October 2013