Showing posts with label baldness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baldness. Show all posts

Tuesday 6 December 2022

90% of bald cat bellies are caused by this

 This about the reason for a healthy cat having a bald belly. It is common sense really.

Classic example of a bald belly caused by overgrooming
Classic example of a bald belly caused by overgrooming. Image: Reddit user: u/Kimimyu
 
90% of cases of baldness on the belly are due to overgrooming by the cat themselves. It is called 'barbering' as it is as if the cat has gone to the barbers for a No. 1. Self-grooming is a pleasant experience for a domestic cat and the belly is easily accessible. 

It helps to counteract the negative emotions caused by stress. Therefore, the cause is stress. What has caused the stress? It is down to the owner to understand how and when cats can be stressed and eliminate those causes. The link below goes to pages on how stress can be caused:

Cat stress

That is about it. Or at least that is the first thing that the cat's owner should do to stop barbering. If there is no apparent stress, I'd watch the cat and look for overgrooming. No overgrooming? Look for ill health. But this cat looks healthy, and the owner does not report signs of ill-health.

If in doubt, see a vet. The usual common-sense mantra.

How do I know the 90% figure? Dr Bruce Fogle told me. He is the best-known vet in the UK and a brilliant author as well. I highly recommend his book Complete Cat Care available on Amazon.

Some causes of stress

Some more to fill out the page.  There are many causes of stress in a household in which there are domestic cats. One of them is problems within the multi-cat household. Don't think that if you adopt a new cat to be a friend of a resident cat that it will automatically work out well. In fact, it is more likely that it won't.

The problem is this: domestic cats in following their wild cat ancestor, are territorial. They want a home range and for cats living indoors full-time, that home range is much, much smaller than it would normally be if they were living outside.

Domestic cats protect their home range from invading cats. Both these factors contribute to the potential for arguments between a resident cat who settled in their home range and the invading cat i.e., the newly adopted cat entering their home range without the resident cat's consent!

And don't forget that resident cats will look upon their home range as a place where there are resources. Resources such as food, comfort, protection, warmth and security.

Anything or anybody which jeopardises or threatens those resources causes stress.

A new baby coming into the home can also be a source of stress and the same goes for a stranger coming to live in the home.

But of all these possibilities, which by the way would include moving home, an incoming new cat is the greatest source of stress to a resident cat.

A problem here is that cats are inscrutable. They have limited facial expressions. They don't give much away in the look in their eyes. They will convey their feelings through their actions such as increased marking of their territory which as you know mean spraying urine normally and scratching furniture. 

They might leave faeces unburied and, as mentioned in the article above, they might overgroom to relieve stress. Perhaps over-grooming is the best giveaway that a domestic cat is stressed.

Other signs of stress would be excessive vocalising, eating too much, not eating enough and possibly idiopathic cystitis which is a bladder infection which occurs without any obvious reason.

The cure for domestic cat's stress is to look for the underlying cause through analysis of their behaviour and of their environment and then eliminating it.

Siblings

People like Jackson Guy, rightly state that if you adopt two siblings, that get on well from a rescue centre, it is better than adopting a single individual cat. However, siblings don't always get along. They might be very friendly when they are kittens, but their relationship may cool, and brothers and sisters may end up hating living with each other. More potential stress.

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