How I approach… Overgrooming in cats
Grooming is a normal cat behavior, involving licking and nibbling of the hair and skin, and facial rubbing with the forepaws. Its purpose is for cleaning, removal of parasites, and thermoregulation.
Alopecia from overgrooming should be distinguished from spontaneous hair loss and requires a systematic approach to establish the underlying cause.
Most cases of overgrooming are caused by pruritus, particularly due to ectoparasites and hypersensitivities.
Pruritic causes should be eliminated before a diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia is made.