I use the term deliberately. Moral issues aside (because pet ownership is something very controversial in my opinion) one can never truly own a cat. They are supreme nonconformists. They shape their environment to fit their standards and needs not vice versa.
But they are also loving and caring and one you gain a cat's affection it can be a miraculous thing. One must simply have the patience.
Rufus is now about 7 years old and his age is slowly starting to show. He's more set in his ways and sticking to daily routine has become paramount to him.
He's endured 3 relocations. In total that's 4 different apartments in the span of 6 years and the last one took quite a toll on his overall condition.
Due to stress and anxiety he started chewing his fur and it took a good couple of months to realize the problem was psychological. The photos in this post are very indicative of what we were dealing with.
Up to that point I had only vaguely heard or read about feline pheromone treatment and discarded it as a bunch of nonsense designed to pick money out of consumers' pockets...
But desperate circumstances call for drastic measures and Mr. C and me decided to get the darn Feliway and try it out. And to my amazement it truly worked!
Not only did Rufus stop chewing his fur, he's entire disposition has improved dramatically. He's more calm, less needy and even playful. His fur has started growing back and the patches of exposed skin are now almost gone.
I'd like to thank everyone who was so kind to leave a comment back in August. I really needed some perspective on this problem and reading your advice has helped me tremendously.
At that time I was so desperate I actually gave Rufi a lampshade collar to physically prevent the chewing. After reading your feedback I instantly knew that was not the solution, it was only making him more miserable. I removed the collar that very same day and Mr. C actually went to town to get some pheromones.
We're now on third refill and have no intention of cutting him off the happy drug just yet.