Cat's Scratching Himself Too Much

by Jorgen

My 5 year old neutered male cat scratches the back of his head and neck, to the extent that the hair is coming off. There are no signs of fleas or similar in the area, or anywhere else for that matter. Do you know what the possible causes are of this cat behavior?

Reply from Liz (Editor): There are a number of reasons for this type of cat behavior. Fleas is probably the most common, but the back of the head and neck isn't usually the place where fleas mainly bite - they normally bite on the lower back and back legs.

Is your cat wearing a collar? Some collars (and especially flea collars) can cause an allergic skin reaction.

Excessive scratching can also be due to a number of other allergies, or can also be due to stress. This stress needn't be anything major, but sometimes even when the cause of the stress is removed, the cat has formed a habit.

The pages below give more information on this type of problem and its causes:

Common Cat Skin Problems

Causes of Cat Hair Loss

Feline Allergies

I think it's worth taking your cat to the vet to try to figure out the cause of this cat behavior. If necessary, the vet can provide medication to help control it. Often this medication is only needed short-term, and then occasionally afterwards to keep it under control.

Best of luck and thank you for your question.

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