Why does a cat pick out her fur in plugs?

Introduction to a Common Feline Behavior

Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, which serve to keep their coats lustrous and skin healthy. However, some cats develop a compulsive behavior that involves plucking out their own fur in small, round patches. This behavior, known as trichotillomania or psychogenic alopecia, can be distressing to both the cat and their caregiver.

Understanding Trichotillomania in Cats

Trichotillomania is a compulsive behavior characterized by the repeated pulling out of one’s own hair. In cats, this behavior manifests as the plucking out of fur in small patches or "plugs." This behavior is often accompanied by excessive grooming, which can further irritate the skin and exacerbate the hair loss. Trichotillomania is thought to be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, and can be challenging to diagnose and treat.

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