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Q: How to heal sore on cat? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How to heal sore on cat?
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: limegreen-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 09 Aug 2005 21:46 PDT
Expires: 08 Sep 2005 21:46 PDT
Question ID: 553865
Our cat (pictured at the following link) has for several months had
this sore spot under her left front leg.  Don't know what caused it. 
She keeps licking it and it will not heal.  She still plays and has
fun otherwise.  Any suggestions?
Many thanks!, LimeGreen
Subject: Re: How to heal sore on cat?
Answered By: knowledge_seeker-ga on 10 Aug 2005 08:24 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Limegreen, 

What tlspeigel said is correct. Taking your cat to a veterinarian MUST
be your first priority it getting her treated. There is no way a
researcher can definitively diagnose your cat and recommend
appropriate treatment.

That said however, I can give you a lead on a probable cause of her
sore. Barring an underlying physical cause (such as a tumor, skin
disease, hormone imbalance, etc), the sore on your cat may be a result
of lick dermatitis ? also known as lick sores or Psychogenic Alopecia.

This is a behavioral (psychological if you will) problem, where the
behavior (licking) causes a physical problem ? this huge sore. Cats
(or dogs) who are stressed, bored or confused, sometimes resort to
compulsive licking of a particular spot on their body. The rhythmic
licking serves to calm them down. Unfortunately, the licking also
causes a sore to begin, which triggers them to keep licking, which
makes the sore grow bigger. Because the sore itself triggers licking,
the behavior may last well beyond whatever initially caused the

Common causes are the addition of a new baby or pet to the home,
moving, a drastic change in household schedule, and long stretches of
boredom in an empty house.

The only cure is to figure out what caused the behavior to begin with,
solve that issue, and then break the licking cycle. For example, if it
turns out to be pure boredom, do something about that. If the cat is
left alone all day, add something to occupy her ? make sure she can
see out the window, put up a bird feeder, have someone check in on her
and play with her during the day, install a fishtank ? anything to
give her something to do. Also, whenever you see her licking, distract
her. Pick her up, play with her, brush her.

Meanwhile, she will still need to be seen by a veterinarian. The sore
itself will not heal on its own and you can?t be monitoring the cat
all day and night to keep her from licking. A doctor needs to make
sure the wound doesn?t get infected and determine whether or not there
is an underlying physical cause. You?d hate to ignore that possibility
and have her get worse. Also, the veterinarian will be able to provide
medication that might help control her compulsive licking.

Here are some links which should help give you more information on
lick dermatitis.


Self directed traumatic disorders in dogs and cats

Feline Lick Dermatitis (PSYCHOGENIC)

Hope that helps!  Let me know what the vet says. I?m curious to find out. 

Thanks for your question, 


Use the following search terms to find more related articles:

feline psychogenic alopecia
feline lick dermatitis
cat lick dermatitis
cat lick sores
limegreen-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Nice answer and useful links. Thanks!

Subject: Re: How to heal sore on cat?
From: tlspiegel-ga on 09 Aug 2005 22:10 PDT
Hi limegreen,

Google Answers Researchers cannot diagnose what the sore might be or
how to heal it.  Your best solution is to have your dear cat seen by
her veterinarian, who will be able to best answer your questions.  :)

Good Luck!

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