Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) in cats describes conditions where cats repeat certain behaviors or actions that can have a negative impact on their health and daily functions.
Some common examples include constantly pacing or meowing, attempting to eat fabric around the home, and grooming to the extent that fur might fall off. In many cases, human reactions can also inadvertently reinforce compulsive behaviors.
Additionally, specific breeds of cat, including Persians, seem to have a higher predisposition to developing OCDs.
If you see signs that your cat might be suffering from OCD, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of obsessive compulsive disorders in cats.
Symptoms Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders In Cats
Obsessive compulsive disorders in cats can result in a wide range of behaviors and resulting symptoms. Some of the most common behaviors include:
- Repeatedly meowing all the time
- Pacing around the same route constantly
- Chewing on fabric (such as furniture)
- Grooming too much (to the point fur might rub off)
Causes Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders In Cats
Obsessive compulsive disorders in cats can result from a number of different situations and circumstances. In many cases, humans can actually worsen these disorders by reacting to the cat’s initial behavior, such as giving treats or attention to the cat, which in turn reinforces the behavior.
Stress can also cause OCDs in cats. For example, this might involve the stress of moving to a new home or having a new pet or person enter the household.
Additionally, indoor cats are often more prone to developing OCDs due to feeling more confined than outdoor cats.
When it comes to specific cat breeds, Persians have a higher likelihood of developing these disorders than other cat breeds.
If you think that your cat is developing obsessive compulsive disorders, your veterinarian will want to carry out a full physical examination of your cat. They’ll ask detailed questions about any recent incidents or circumstances that might have prompted your cat’s behaviors.
The vet can also conduct blood and urine tests to rule out any other underlying conditions. If your vet suspects that neurological issues might be behind the behavior, they might suggest a CAT scan or MRI.
In cases that involve excessive grooming, vets sometimes use skin scrapings and biopsies to get to the root cause of the issue. They might also suggest topical medications to alleviate the issue
When it comes to treatment, your vet might suggest focusing on the home environment and making changes to avoid prompting any negative behaviors. This can also involve instructing the humans in the cat’s life to stop reacting to the cat’s behaviors.
In extreme cases, vets might consider medication intended to modify a feline’s behavior; although, you should discuss the potential side effects of this with your vet thoroughly.
Has your cat developed an obsessive compulsive disorder? How do you and your vet reduce obsessive behaviors? Tell us all about it in the comments below.