A Case of Tail Self-Mutilation in a Cat

Zita Talamonti 1 , Simona Cannas 1 ,  and Clara Palestrini 1
  • 1 Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria (DiMeVet), Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy


The present report describes a case of distal tail self-mutilation in a 5-year-old neutered male domestic short-hair cat. The cat started licking his tail few months before the behavioural visit. Because of the severity of the self-induced injuries, the veterinarian performed a surgical partial caudectomy. After 3 months, the excessive self-grooming of the tail recurred. Neurological and dermatological examinations, radiographs, urine and blood tests did not show any abnormalities. During the behavioural visit, through direct observation of the cat’s posture and behavioural history, the pet received a diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia. The cat was treated with clomipramine for 2 months (0.5 mg/kg/PO SID) along with behaviour modification and environmental changes. After 1 month, the cat no longer showed excessive self-grooming. Even if no other systemic pathologies were identified, it is always recommended to address these patients with a multidisciplinary approach.

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