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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer,

I have a cat named Star who is 9 years old. She has been licking the hair off her stomach and now clumps of it are falling out. Recently she began spending most of her time alone in my bedroom. Why is she doing this?

Sandra P.

Dear Sandra,

The first thing that Star told me is that she misses you. She said that you used to spend a lot of time alone together, but this has been reduced dramatically lately. She considers you both her mom and her best friend, and spending time with you is very important to her. She’s feeling sad and confused, because she doesn’t understand why things changed.

When I asked Star about the hair on her stomach, she said that the problem is two-fold. She was already beginning to experience hair loss for physical reasons. Then, when she became stressed as a result of your changed behavior towards her, she began aggressively licking the thinning areas, making the hair loss even worse. Star also mentioned that she is gaining weight, particularly in her abdomen. She feels very uncomfortable and a bit sluggish.

While I’m not a veterinarian and am not making a medical diagnosis, it’s possible that these symptoms are due to a thyroid disorder. I’d take Star to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. This is always advisable when animals are exhibiting any changes in behavior or physical symptoms. I recommend seeing a holistic veterinarian, because they can often offer safe, non-toxic treatments, and often have a better understanding of the connection between emotions and physical well-being. You can locate a holistic vet in your area by using the search tool at www.holisticvetlist.com.

Of course, diagnosing and treating Star’s physical issues is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s very important that you address her emotional concerns, as well. Sometimes when our lives become busier it’s hard to find adequate time to spend with our animal companions. While we understand what’s going on and plan for things to improve, our animals often don’t understand this and can feel rejected, hurt, angry, or confused. It’s crucial to provide them with as much reassurance as possible.

I explained to Star that you love her very much, and that the change in the amount of time you’re spending with her is not her fault. However, it’s important for you to do this as well. Sit down with her and reassure her with whatever words feel right to you. Make every possible effort to pay attention to her and praise her. If she’s hiding in the bedroom, call her and ask her to come join you. It’s also very important for her physical and emotional health that you spend some time every day actively playing with her. If you follow these steps, I believe you’ll soon have a much happier and healthier cat.

Many Blessings, Jennifer Dickman

Send your question along with your pet’s name, age, and a photo or brief description to Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Pet Reiki Specialist, Reiki Master-Teacher, and Intuitive Counselor. She is available for phone sessions worldwide, and teaches private Reiki certification students locally & through distance learning. Jennifer can be reached at 215.817.0833 or Jennifer_Dickman@ ymail.com. To receive a free copy of Jennifer’s "Five Things Your Dog or Cat Wants You to Know" please subscribe to her newsletter by emailing Newsletter@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com . More information is available on Jennifer’s web site: www.JenniferDickman.com.

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