My cat is washing himself bald!

If you have been following this blog, you would have read that Agent L has this itchy condition which causes bald spots due to over grooming. We've changed her diet, put flea drops and bathed her but the condition comes and goes as it pleases. It is not an unusual condition though, what a relief. According to there are a few reasons.

Vet Elise Robertson says: The majority of cats who over-groom are usually suffering from either a primary skin condition or pain. There are also many cases where stress can be the major inciting cause; but first we need to rule out all other medical causes.

If your cat is over-grooming you will notice patches of broken or sparse hair, complete hair loss in areas and occasionally damage to the underlying skin. An affected cat may lick, chew, pluck or bite areas of hair or skin and the behaviour can be difficult to interrupt.

Over-grooming can occur on any part of the body that the cat can reach with his tongue. The most common places are the belly, inside of the hind legs, the legs, lower back and across the flank. The patches can often appear symmetrical on either side of the body. Probably the most common cause of over-grooming is due to a hypersensitivity to flea saliva. Cats can also develop skin reactions due to dietary intolerance and environmental allergens such as house dust mites and pollens.

Over-grooming should be distinguished from genuine alopecia, which is partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it would normally grow. The difference between true alopecia and over-grooming is that when hair is removed deliberately with either the barbed tongue/and or nibbling with the incisors (front teeth), the remaining broken hair shafts feel spiky and sharp. This is in contrast to alopecia where the hair feels soft and normal to touch.

Another condition, called feline hyperesthesia syndrome, can also cause intense over-grooming. This is a poorly understood condition resulting in bizarre behaviours including skin rippling and sudden bouts of intense grooming/selfmutilation, often of the lower back and tail base.

Once your vet has excluded underlying medical condition(s) as a cause of overgrooming, you may then be referred to a behaviourist. A behaviourist can help you identify and address environmental stressors/behavioural triggers that lead to over-grooming and help find ways to manage the cat’s response to these stressors.


VIDEO: How to Pick The Right Dog


Have you been dreaming of getting a dog ever since you saw Hachiko or a movie where the dog is super adorable? Owning a dog can be a wonderful experience but you should be prepared for a change in lifestyle. PetMD writes about

10 things you should know and consider before choosing your canine friend.

1. Dogs take up a lot of time and energy. Yes, they are rewarding. But if you live alone and work twenty hours a day, then perhaps a dog is not the best choice for you. Hey, there are always those super-cool robot dogs.

2. If you are not often at home, and you really want a dog, you probably should invest in a dog walker. You'd probably be wise to choose a dog breed that isn't especially needy, too. Check out PetMD's Breedopedia to select from a wide variety of breeds.

3. Any dog you get should be suitable to not only your lifestyle, but your surroundings. If you live in a shoebox apartment, then a large dog is not a good choice. You don’t want your dog to develop health issues, be bored, or destroy things. Large dogs really belong in big places with lots of outdoor space.

4. Consider which breeds are suitable for your region's climate, especially if you have a yard and want to keep it as an outside dog.

5. Puppies require the most work when it comes to house training. If you: (a) don’t want your things chewed up, or (b) don’t have the time or money to train the puppy, consider adopting an already housebroken, adult dog.

6. Make sure you have lots of chew toys available for your puppy and keep all expensive things (like shoes and clothes) out of its reach; the same goes for chemicals and medicines. Puppies like to investigate and try everything, so make sure there is nothing dangerous around for them to sample.

7. Get your dog vaccinated and spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Oh, and take your dog to the vet for its routine checkups. Your dog will thank you for it and live a much better (and longer) life.

8. Get a proper leash and harness for your dog. A leash too small or too large may hurt it inadvertently during its walking routine, or, worse yet, allow it to hurt others or get loose and run away.

9. Health insurance is a must. Consult your veterinarian as to your best options.

10. Regardless of the dog breed you choose, have fun! They say there is no better friend than a dog. We have to agree.

So once you're absolutely sure that you are ready for a dog, here's a video about picking the right dog for you.


Walk Your Dog with #Zingy


Our pets are our babies and when there is a need to travel or stay late at work, we sometimes need the help of those who love animals to take care of them.

Dogs especially need their regular walks as they are by nature, more active. What do you do when you can't be there to walk your dog? In comes Zingy.

Zingy is an app that can be downloaded on your iphone or Android to help you find your closest dog walker. But how can you trust strangers?


Zingy enables real-time track and trace so pet owners know where their pet has been walked and, of course, they guarantee no pack or off-lead walking.

There is also a strict validation process which means each pet-care professional is put through a rigorous 6-point background check and in-person interview, while peer-to-peer reviews and star ratings ensure full transparency.

Further, all Zingy pet-care professionals are required to attend ongoing education and training programs at the dedicated Zingy Academy.

More than this, the Zingy service is covered by comprehensive liability insurance to ensure that pet owners can rest easy and trust the Zingy has their tail covered.

Zingy has over 800 background-checked and Zingy Academy-certified dog walkers operating throughout Southern California from Los Angeles through to Orange County and San Diego.



Disclaimer: Pets In Black does not in any way endorse their services. We are just here to share the information and will not be held responsible for any unfortunate incidents when using the app.