Question: My cat licks herself so much that the fur on her belly and flanks is almost gone.
she’s a very nervous cat and I’ve tried to make her environment less stressful but
that doesn’t seem to have helped.
Excessive licking is usually a sign of either an allergic, or psychogenic problem. If there are any predisposing factors like fleas, or wool bedding, I would eliminate them first before deciding that this is a psychological problem. Your vet can tell by examination whether there are any primary skin lesions possibly associated with an underlying disorder. If she is a nervous cat under usual circumstances, then the licking may very well be another manifestation of her nervousness. Since you have done everything possible to minimize stress in her environment, you may have to resort to calming herbs or medications. A trial of 2 mg chlorphenaramine twice a day (an over the counter antihistamine) may help in either case. Valerian, and Kava Kava are two western herbs that have calming properties. Also the Bach flower remedy “Rescue Remedy” or “Calming Essence” may help as well. The calming pheremones in Feliway diffusers and spray may also help.