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Why is my cat over-grooming and pulling out hair?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra ā€“ I have a Siamese cat with over-grooming issues, to the point of not having hair on the rear or underside of his body. He has been to the vet and has no signs of fungus or parasites. He is less than one year old and the smallest of the litter. I also have a littermate of his and two other Siamese cats.

Brenda Villarreal


Hi ā€“ thanks for your email Brenda. You wrote that your cat is over-grooming and pulling out hair. When there is no hair ā€“ the medical term is called Alopecia. There are MANY causes for alopecia. Iā€™d recommend that you talk to your vet to ensure he did all the tests necessary to ensure that there is no underlying cause and the problem is behavioral.

If that is the case (the problem is behavioral) some cats can have a problem called Psychogenic Alopecia. This is considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder of cats in which they groom until they pull out their hair. I have an excellent article that I think will really help you. Go to Psychogenic Alopecia. This also talks about other cause of alopecia that you should consider.

I also recommend that you read the article called alopecia to see if anything leads you to another cause.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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