oh betty … oh itty bitty betty

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January/22/2014 - oh itty bitty betty she has quite a fan club out there and we're long overdue for betty post - with a special shout out ! to both of her godmothers ;-)

Itty Bitty Betty has a new (with love) nickname - the hairless holstein.

I saved her most recent photo for the very end of this post as some of you may want to avert your eyes. She currently looks like a poorly clipped harlequin show poodle - it's that bad. Initially, the hair loss was mainly at the base of her tail, we were worried that it was a flea infection, allergy or possibly worse - mange or some other nearly microscopic parasitical thing. We took her to our favourite, longtime vet Dianne Stevens - who after cooing, oohing, ahhing & lovin' big time on Itty Bitty Betty for some time (Dianne is a crazy cat lady also) - pretty promptly said Nope ! it's caused by stress - Ya huh !! Itty Bitty Betty's nerves are bad, she's anxious and/or possibly bored and grooms, or over grooms, herself to accommodate this new neurosis.

Of course Mama's (moi) taking it very personally. I'm thinking Hey ! Betty we rescued you & spayed you sometime in early summer preventing the near monthly gang raping of you in our yard by every poor abandoned Tom for miles around & thus ending the ongoing cycle of new litters of kittens every month or so for you to try and Mother, we feed you well, we adore you, we do still let you outside during the day (when it's not too cold, too snowy, too icy or too dangerous), we provide you with warmth, comfort, shelter … and you thank us me by telling me your stressed !?!

Our vet thinks Betty has Feline Psychogenic Alopecea as she appears to be in every other respect as healthy as a holstein, her skin, which is so clearly visible now, is soft, supple, pink & healthy looking. She's not behaving at all like a stressed out cat, though there are the occasional huffing, puffing, tormenting events from the boys (Oliver & Virgil) but Betty seems to be holding her own and is in no way hiding, avoiding or running away from them. She has had a lot of major changes in her life (including hormonal/spaying) and I guess change is change - good or bad - it's still a different life for her. Our vet said to not worry about it … I'm considering knitting her a few outfits :-)

Stress in your cat’s life can provoke excessive grooming. This usually involves a change in your cat’s environment such as moving to a new home; a change in the owner’s schedule; the addition or subtraction of a family member, including other animals; aggression among cats in the household; moving furniture around; seeing a new animal outside; or boredom and frustration. In addition, you may be unaware of other stressors in your cat’s life. Self-grooming behavior relaxes cats, so when they become anxious, they may over-groom. Over time, the behavior becomes a habit-forming self-perpetuating cycle, and unrelated to the environmental or internal stressors. It evolves into a type of “compulsive behavior,” and may progress to extreme self-mutilation and self-aggression, signs often seen in feline hyperesthesia syndrome. It is a self-reinforcing behavior, involving the release of endorphins (happy hormones).

1 comment:

  1. Dear Susan, it is good to see that you have transferred your posts here from 'a passionate observer'. No doubt you have read my comment from there, I do hope that Itty Bitty Betty
    is feeling a lot better and will be more relaxed and will soon stop her over-grooming.
    Love and hugs to all plus a big kiss for Betty. ^^
    xoxoxo ♡


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