Cat with FIV biting hair off legs

My cat is 15 years old and is FIV+. He has recently started biting off the hair from his legs, making the skin raw. Why is he doing this and how can I make him more comfortable?

  • Vetinfo

    By: Rebecca Osterfund El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Cats that have FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) are prone to developing infections due to the virus compromising the immune system. Cats with skin infections may respond to the irritation by overgrooming to the point of removing hair and causing lesions to the skin. Discomfort caused by other diseases such as arthritis or diabetes can sometimes cause a cat to overgroom as well. Have your pet evaluated by your local veterinarian as soon as possible. If a skin infection is suspected your pet may be prescribed antibiotics or antifungals. An Elizabethan collar may also be recommended to prevent your pet from traumatizing the skin further while the underlying condition is being treated. -Rebecca, DVM

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