I would think that it could be a combination of allergies and behavior. On a quick search I found this article:http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/article/articleD... which discusses dustmites as an allergien."The three major causes of pruritus in cats are parasites, allergies, and infections. Psychogenic skin diseases are rare and difficult to diagnose...These episodes occurred during the first week that the air conditioning or heat was used. Dust and debris collect in the air return vents when they are not used and are blown into the house when the heat or air conditioning is first turned on. It is possible that this dust and debris contain high concentrations of house dust mites. "Another article:http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/news/lick.htm"If all medical problems have been ruled out, then we normally treat overgrooming as the result of some form of stress in a cat's life," Dr. Perry says. If possible, she recommends making changes or introductions gradually; bringing familiar items (such as bedding) to a new home; adding cat-friendly vertical space - high places where cats can retreat and feel safe; and keeping their environment stimulating by finding a few minutes (ten to 15 minutes daily will do) to play with them each day...In addition, like people who bite their fingernails, the repetitive act of licking may involve a stress-relieving pleasure component that reinforces the behavior, Dr. Perry says. Thus, feline licking can become a habit that persists after the cause is identified and resolved. "Usually, the behavior is forgotten [naturally or with the help of medication] in about a month," Dr. Miller says." I would work with your vet, or maybe get a referral to a specialist in skin disorders.JK
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