Feline neurodermatitis results in hair loss and/or skin irritation due to nervous licking and chewing. The highly emotional breeds of cats, such as Siamese and Himalayan, are more prone to this disease than others.
This nervous licking and chewing can be triggered by any disruption or stress in the cat’s normal daily routine, such as moving into a new home or introducing a new addition to the family. The lesions caused by this abnormal grooming activity can resemble eosinophilic ulcers, or it might present itself as a “stripe” of hair loss on the back or sides of the body.
Often the hair loss resembles that seen with ringworm. A diagnosis of neurodermatitis is made after carefully examining the history of occurrence, plus ruling out other causes of similar dermatological signs.
If possible, eliminating or correcting the inciting cause is the best way to treat neurodermatitis. In difficult cases, therapy using antianxiety or mood-altering drugs might be necessary to calm the nervous feline and prevent self-trauma to the skin and coat.