I have an old cat (16 years old), since two weeks she frantically licks herself until she pulls completely her hairs.

I brought her to the veterinarian and he said that she is probably stressed.

After looking for recent changes, I have found nothing that could cause this.

The only hint I see is that I have depression since few months, I wonder if she can feel it. Can cats feel bad emotional states? Is there a way to hide it from them?

  • This question may have some answers for you pets.stackexchange.com/questions/14992/… Mar 23, 2018 at 0:41
  • It makes me think that she follows medication for a renal failure for more than six months and her results are quite good. Can it came from this?
    – GlinesMome
    Mar 23, 2018 at 11:38
  • If you cat is taking medicine or has been in the last month, please include that information in the question. How long, the amount, and the medicine. Mar 23, 2018 at 15:40
  • 1
    For other people reading this, excessive grooming can you mean your cat has a fever or is otherwise ill. Taking the cat to the vet was the right answer.
    – Beo
    May 4, 2018 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


Cats can be very sensitive to their owners' mood and feelings and do often react to this in different ways like being more vocal and some starts to hide more, but for a cat to react by start to pull hair does normally take a lot more serious stress to the cat.

So in my opinion your problems are probably not the cause of the cat pulling out fur. The pulling of fur is a very strong reaction for a cat.

Stress for a cat is moving house or a new cat in the area and the loss of a friend (other pet in the house) or the loss of the caretaker, but I have never seen a cat pulling out fur as a result of this.

You do say the cat is using medication for renal failure, so it might be best to start finding the reason for the fur pulling in your cat's health and take him to the vet to get the bloodwork and tests done to exclude any medical reasons for this.

I do not think hiding your emotional state from the cat is a good thing. I think it is better to tell your cat about it both for yourself and for the cat, and cats are really good at keeping things to themselves. At least mine are.

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