... in my household to have suffered from depression and anxiety this year.
In March, when Rory was two months old, I noticed Ebony had a bald patch on her abdomen. When she rolled onto her back, I was shocked at the extent of it. Not long after that I noticed her pulling her own fur out.
At our first trip to the vet to investigate they checked her out for ringworm but she was all clear. Apart from her increasing baldness, she was in otherwise good health. The vet came to the conclusion that Ebony must be suffering due to Rory's arrival. It is common for cats to respond by grooming excessively when a dramatic change (such as a new baby) occurs. They sold me a diffuser which emits an odour that is meant to calm cats. I tried it for a month but it didn't make a difference.
Vet Trip #2. Same vet clinic but different vet. She wanted to rule out allergies. Apparently some cats around Ebony's age (she is nearly eight) can suddenly become allergic to food they've always eaten and never had a problem with. Ebony was injected with a steroid. If the hair grew back they would know it was something in her diet and a food elimination process could begin. If it made no difference, it must be a psychological problem. The injection didn't make a difference.
Vet Trip #3. This time they tried injecting her with an anti-anxiety drug. It still hasn't worked. She is balder than she's ever been.
Apart from the fur loss, she is in otherwise good health. She sleeps on our bed every night. I make an effort to give her attention (but it is so SO hard with a baby). While she was wary of Rory at first, now she comes up to him and sits near him, even though he's now crawling and can easily grab her (I say, "NO Rory. Gentle."). Other than the excessive grooming, her behaviour isn't really any different to the pre-Rory days. She's always been a diva cat. I know that Rory's crying does freak her out a bit though and I think she can sense Duncan's and my stress.
My heart is breaking for my poor puss. The next step is probably going to be a skin biopsy. I don't want to blame myself for causing her stress when I've been unwell myself, but it's hard not to.
I've even emailed Dr Harry to see if we can appear on one of his surprise house calls!
These photos don't even show the full extent of it: