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How do I stop my cat from scratching all the skin off of her neck?
By Silver Cloud from Mississauga, ON, Canada
Hi. Aaahh, poor little Kirby. My cat had the same problem, and it ended up that she had allergies. She would scratch herself raw and be miserable. She needed to get allergy shots, and it helped. Good luck
I have a white cat about 2 years old. Last year he started scratching his neck raw! We tried everything. Food allergies, steroid shots, wrapped his neck, soft claws on his nails. Revolution. Finally, after changing vets, the only thing that worked was getting an antihistamine (we use chlorophenaramine) we bought 4mg pills (human pills) cut them in half and give him half a pill twice a day. in about a week completely stopped scratching! The other very important thing is to get a E-collar (at PetSmart) this will help raw spots heal faster. Also, if cat has gotten an infection because of dirt getting on wounds. They need an antibiotic for 2 weeks to a month.
Change food. Start with no food from grocery store pet food aisle. No corn wheat or soy. Cooking is good especially when you do some raw. Please google healthy kitty diet including raw. -- Itch? Athletes foot spray. If kitty is wild on this application, use the ointment. AFS even a good home treatment for ringworm. AFSpray cannot hurt your kitty. Takes the itch away, Could be fungus, but AFS kills lots of germs. Do not get in her eyes. Easy way to spray her is to wrap her, covering her head.
We live in the Sierra Nevada foot hills and my nearest neighbor is about 150 feet away from my house. Last night there was a fire at his house because he had a meth lab that that went up according to the fire department and the fire took out a lot of his house and property. The smoke was profuse and we were on alert to evacuate in case it crossed the fire lane separating the properties and if the smoke got too bad because it was a drug making operation.
She was in the carrier for over half the night along with her surrogate mother Betty who loves her dearly. The other cats were in their own carriers. I an unsure if she is having a reaction from the stress from last night, the smoke from the meth lab, from her being in heat, or if she had started having an unexplained allergy and I don't know what to do! I cannot afford to take her to the vet right away until I get my taxes back. Please help with my question, Thank you very much.
By Lederofcola from Auberry, CA
I really don't feel that Lizzyanny was being judgemental in any way. She was simply trying to stress how important it was to see a vet because of all that was going on and the many things that could be causing the scratching. So many pet owners would not have realized the importance of that and she was just offering advice. Thankfully you are one of those owners who does know how important it can be and you did the right thing. I hope everything turns around for you now. God Bless you both.
By Debera from Australia
Yes! there is another medication that your Veterinarian can give you. Please give him/her a call and ask. Good luck. If you cat wears a collar, please take it off, and make sure you use flea prevention.
No grocery aisle commercial cat food. Usual first ingredient is corn. BIG allergen to cats and dogs along with wheat and soy fillers. I am a firm believer in Nzymes granules. Container will last a very long time. Builds immune system. Helps skin, digestion, allergies, joints and general health. Kitty food, best i have found besides raw diet along with Evo. While more expensive, pets eat less of it because they are satisfied and not gobbling fillers. Nzymes help with the raw diet change. I can't say enough about what a help Nzymes is. No, I don't sell it or profit in any way. Just enjoy helping animals and their comfort and health. If you have fleas, they must be eliminated. 20 mule team Borax, dry into carpets, cedercide in yard areas. Please no more chemicals, no pharma, no vaccines, no suffering. Build the immune system, do not destroy it.
Give him a bath on the original CAREX (blue) it really works.
Best of luck.
Thank you muttmom. Where can I get all these natural ingredients in England?
Sometimes animals pick up fleas at the vet. Check your cat by looking all through his fur for black specks. If you find any ask the vet for some treatment. Do not buy over the counter flea treatment. It can make your cat sick. I know. If this is not your problem you should take him back to the vet for another check up.
My fur baby WitchCat is about 9 years old and we have had her since she was a baby. She is an indoor/outdoor cat. We give her the proper meds to make sure she doesn't get fleas or any kind of parasites. We also have her on a controlled diet with food that helps with weight, since she is a fatty, and coat health. We noticed she started getting what we call "boo boos" around her neck after the first few years after her first litter so probably around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. At first we thought she was still promiscuous and the wounds where from other male cats. It wasn't until recently that we found out she was doing it to herself. We had her stay inside for about 2 weeks because of the weather and we noticed wounds not scratches or cuts, but pieces of open skin bleeding all around her neck and now she is moving on the top of her eye so around her brow and even her cheek. We where thinking maybe it was because she was stressed, but she didn't act any differently and we never caught her in the act. Like I said she is a very healthy cat and has no problem being left alone, she prefers it usually.
I was wondering if there was a reason for this. I've read about parasites and fleas and honestly don't think that is the issue. I also read about food allergies, but she only eats the food she's been eating since we first brought her home. I really would like to help my little girl. The wounds are very itchy because when I clean them she starts trying to scratch that spot.
What a gorgeous cat! My friend's cat was scratching herself raw the last month and we found out it was a developed food allergy. He modified her diet and now her patches are curing nicely.
She may have an allergy or some skin condition. I would mention this to the vet.
It is either an allergy or mites. The vet can do tests to confirm.
i think you have my son's cat!
She is very pretty. This is a very frustrating thing for you and your cat but there has to be a reason she is doing this. Most people will say the same thing - ask your vet and I agree but maybe that is not possible right away.
Here is a very good site that has a lot of information and some suggestions to try. Hope something will help.
My cat had a collar on for about 2 months, but ripped it off. Now he has scratch marks all over his neck! He also has a really bad scratch on his face and is always scratching at it. I have another cat and they're not the best of friends, so I don't know whether it's related to that (stress) or something else. I would really like some help because it's always bleeding and I'm scared it will get infected.
It is very hard to say what caused the scratches. He may have an allergy. Cats can get a type of skin cancer (usually easy to cure). A scratch that doesn't heal would send me to the vet right away.
The scratches could be infected. Cats get fecal residue on their feet when they go to the litterbox. Then they scratch themselves. If he got scratched fighting with the other cat infection can result.
I'd try triple antibiotic ointment, though he'll probably lick it off. Watch for a few days and if it doesn't seem to be helping take him to the vet.
My indoor cat scratched a spot on his neck and won't stop scratching it. I put Neosporin on and it looks better, but he is still scratching although not as much. It has a scab over the spot and he still scratches and opens up the scab. Am I doing the right thing?
I just moved to a new apartment a few months ago so it could easily be allergies. My cat is scratching her neck, I haven't looked closely at it, but it feels like the little scabs she had all over her skin when she had fleas. I am a poor college kid so I'm trying to figure out what it is without taking her to the vet, but I feel like it's about time to go to the vet anyway. When she did have the scabs all over her body I decided it was flea bite sensitivity, I treated her for fleas. Everything went away, but around her neck. She is still eating fine and acting like herself, but she is scratching her neck like crazy. I don't know if I should worry about her or just wait and see if it just goes away since she's acting fine.
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My cat Kirby is about 3 yrs old. About 4 months ago he started scratching his neck until it is raw. He has been to the vet, but I didn't get any answers other than he does not have fleas or ear mites.
He is scratching so bad that he cries. I'm just to my wit ends on what to do. I have read all the blogs, but no one is giving me an answer. Is there anyone out there that can help Kirby and I? Thank you.
Barnsz from Saint Joseph, MO
I am going to say it is the same thing that my 3 cats have dry skin. Always this time of year, always the neck area only. I have a small amount of cod liver oil in a bowl, in their feeding area, and I am finding they eat their food, take a lick or two of the oil, and things improved.
For the cats with open sores; equal parts honey and cod liver oil (a teaspoon of each), mix into a smooth consistency and apply to the afflicted area. This salve has very good healing properties. A friend of mine who was a vet's assistant gave me some years ago, and it works for open sores, irritated skin problems, and it is good for their insides.
Good luck, I hope this helps. (01/05/2009)
Change your cat's food! I cannot express this enough. If there is an allergy it is very likely the food and not only are they likely to be allergic if you are using commercial type foods it's a definite for all our pets even if they aren't showing symptoms.
The other is the dry air, but also synthetic fabrics, the carpet, bedding, everything. The soaps you use all likely have many chemicals and with all these different possibilities it's very likely a combination. This is not to mention even many products found in Health Food stores have many, many bad chemicals in them that cause all kinds of dermatitis, dust mites irritate my dog. There are tests and solutions for that as well. www.azmira.com, can give you far more detailed info on the foods and solutions best for your pet! (01/05/2009)
If you can, try another vet. I have never seen the behaviour you've experienced in any cats I've owned. However, I am wondering if it has something to do with the cat's ears? My cat gets a buildup of wax in her ears. When massaged, the liquid wax comes out when she shakes her head. It also drained down the back of her throat from her eustachian tubes. Good luck. (01/05/2009)
By Carol in PA
My Siamese has allergies. She scratches until she bleeds, licks until she is raw. I took her to a feline dermatologist who did blood work first; then prescribed a buspirone (5 mg 1/2 tab 2x day) for her. It has no side effects, but also works well if there are peeing or behavioral issues.
She has stopped scratching and loves that I mix her pill with a teeny bit of tuna for her to take it. It's her special treat. What is good is that after a follow-up visit, my regular vet can refill her scripts. If there is no feline dermatologist near you, mention this to your vet. (01/05/2009)
FYI: Buspirone is the generic name.
Buspar is the nongeneric.
5mg - 1/2 tablet, 2x day.
It is OK to crush in a teeny bit of tuna. It may take a few weeks to see results, but it works. It is also OK to take daily regularly, as there are no other side effects. It is also great for other behavioral issues as peeing, nervousness, as well.
You can give up to 7mg daily per my vet/dermie.
My cat has suffered for many years and was misdiagnosed for many years by other vets. When we found a feline dermatologist it was amazing. Kitty is doing great! She is 13 and finally itch free. (01/05/2009)
Ask your vet if he will give you "Ovaban" for your cat. It is normally used for dogs, however several years ago I had a cat with a scratching problem which was cleared up by using that med. My neighbor now has a cat with the problem and got her vet to give her ovaban and it cleared it up for her too. She can't get small (cat size) pills anymore, but cuts the larger ones down for Muffin. (01/05/2009)
My cat scratched until the side of his face was raw. I took him to a vet, and they took a culture. It was infected. I forgot what kind of shot they gave him, but along with the shot I also got a spray (Betagen topical spray) to use twice a day. He had to wear a cone until it was pretty much healed. Now as soon as I notice him scratching I reach for the spray to clean the area. If you would like, I could call my vet and see just what his problem was. (01/05/2009)
Hi. Aaahh, poor little Kirby. My cat had the same problem, and it ended up that she had allergies. She would scratch herself raw and be miserable. She needed to get allergy shots, and it helped. Good luck. (01/05/2009)
I have worked for a veterinarian for over 27 years, I am a registered R.V.T. Please ask your veterinarian for a referral to your local veterinary dermatologist. There are veterinarians that specialize in all aspects of animal health care. Please do not consider euthanasia, as this is a condition that can be treated. Good luck. (01/05/2009)
One of our cats did the same thing. We had the same results with a couple of vets, too. Then I went "old time" on her. I got a dollop of Bag Balm from my grandmother and rubbed it into all the itchy spots. I think what happened with her is she itched, scratched it raw, then itched more when it started to heal. Believe it or not another thing to try is preparation H cooling Gel. I used it on our dog when he got hot spots from a flea allergy and he no longer itches.
Good luck to you and Kirby. (01/05/2009)
My 16 year old cat is scratching herself raw, but the location changes. I have taken her to 4 vets and so far the only recommendation has been cortizone shots. It does make her comfortable, but when it wears off she scratches again. I believe it is allergies, but can't determine what. Cortizone is not recommended for long term use, but depending on the problem, it might stop the cycle to relieve the itch temporarily. (01/09/2009)
We had a cat for 11 years before he passed away of kidney failure, but, he too had the same problem of scratching until raw. His was always the same time of year (October through December) and always top side near the tail area. He too, never had fleas or mites and was a totally indoor cat. The vet said it was allergies and dry skin which was causing 'hot spots'.
She would give him a shot with instructions to return if it did not help. I do not know what type of shot it was, but, it always worked for him on a yearly basis. (01/28/2009)
I want to thank everyone who response to my message. We finally found a vet that knew what was wrong and it was not good news Kirby has FIV, which is feline form of HIV. I had never heard of it before today. How I wish I would have known before today. I had him at vets many times and not one ever said anything about FIV or checked for it. So everybody, please have your cats checked. Thank you.
Kirby and Dave (02/02/2009)
My two indoor cats had scabs and missing fur. I just used antifungal cream (the generic one from Walmart, over by the pharmacy section) twice a day then once a day. They are all healed up now. (05/24/2009)
By terri t
I have the same problem and my vet said it is because of plastic food and water dishes. The plastic has a bacteria on it that doesn't really go away with washing. It only happens to cats for the most part. She has sores and is scratching like crazy. I tried the cone, but it is too big so she can't eat. I also tried this bitter spray that is meant to keep them from licking or scratching wounds. That hasn't worked yet. (05/28/2010)
I have a white cat about 2 years old. Last year he started scratching his neck raw! We tried everything, checked for food allergies, steroid shots, wrapped his neck, soft claws on his nails, and Revolution. Finally, after changing vets, the only thing that worked was getting an antihistamine (we use chlorophenaramine) we bought 4mg pills (human pills) cut them in half and give him half a pill twice a day. In about a week he completely stopped scratching! The other very important thing is to get a E-collar (at PetSmart) this will help raw spots heal faster. Also, if cat has gotten an infection because of dirt getting on wounds, they need an antibiotic for 2 weeks to a month. (07/25/2010)
He may have some sort of an allergy. Get him to the vet because it could become infected and then you'd have a whole other problem and he could get really sick. (09/08/2005)
My cat was scratching and chewing his front and back legs in the same way (no pests). The vet concluded he is either allergic to something, or he is stressed out. Try de-stressing your cat, especially if you just moved or someone new is living there or something like that.
Also think about whether you might be feeding your cat something new, or maybe you brought in a new piece of furniture or clothes recently that may be made of something or have something in it that he is allergic to (maybe something as strange a throw cushion from a house with a dog, and the dog's dander is still in the cushion -- that's what it was for my cat!!) (09/08/2005)
My cat suffers from Feline Acne and often scratches his neck to an opened wound. It is quite common among cats. My cats acne only acts up certain times of the year, under his chin, on his little fluffy cheeks and around his neck. Hope this helps and good luck:) (09/09/2005)
Are the insides of his ears dirty? He may have ear mites. When my cat had ear mites he scratched his neck and shoulders raw. A good oatmeal pet shampoo may help him also, make sure it's one that's made to use on cats. (09/18/2005)
Our cat does the same thing. Traced it back to fragrance in her litter (we switched brands and went to the cheaper clump kind). She is fine with non-fragrance and non baking-soda litter. (10/09/2007)
By John Smith
My cat is scratching her neck so much that she made holes in both sides of her neck, no fleas, not sure what it is. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow, but my advice is to every one that wants to know how to keep the cat from ripping a hole back in it's neck (or make it bigger from the constant scratching). A sock doesn't work, and the cat's probably hot; and who wants a satellite disk around the cats neck?
It's simple, at your local Petsmart (or other pet store), there is a product that is sold to prevent your cat from clawing up the furniture, carpet, etc. that is made as an alternative for declawing your cat. In a nutshell,they are little rubber "caps" that are super glued on each one of the claws encasing them to prevent the sharp part from penetrating anything. (yes, it looks like the cat has French tips) well when she scratched holes in her neck, I said why not glue them on the back claws.
It worked, the wounds healed, but she hasn't stopped scratching at it, which is why she's going to the vet. The "caps" are harmless, but don't leave them on indefinitely, because the nail won't wear down like normal, and could grow in a circle pressing back into the paw , causing discomfort to the cat. To remove them simply cut off with nail clippers, but be careful you don't cut the cats "cuticle". So just keep a watch periodically for the cat to have pulled one or two off, just reapply the glue inside a cap, and stick it back on.
By the way, this process is simple with two people,one person holding the cat and the other person preparing the caps, one at a time, and then with one hand pressing the paw to reveal a nail, and using the other to slightly pinch the rubber cap top and bottom to spread the sides open to make it easier to push it all the way on quickly before the super glue sticks to the nail. Then pinch the sides onto the claw to ensure good adhesion.
It's helpful to have a little cat nip handy so when you hurry up and stress out the cat by messing with her feet, she forgets about it as soon as you get done, plus your supposed to hold the cat for five minutes after you glue on the last cap to allow it to dry, and so the cat doesn't pull them off right away.
Good luck with this step after already holding the cat for five minutes gluing stuff on it's feet. Do yourself a favor and buy the $2.00 cat nip while your getting the cat's "booties". (12/09/2007)
Even if the cat's ears look clean, clean them with a q-tip gently and then put a pinch of boric acid powder in each ear. Do this twice a week and see if the cat stops scratching. Often if a cat has no fleas and is doing a lot of scratching for no obvious reason, ear mites may be the underlying cause. (09/19/2008)
My cat has been scratching her neck for what seems like years now. She doesn't have fleas, and she doesn't have ear mites. Every year I mention this yet again to her vet during her annual visit, and every year he has no answer as to why she scratches. He says some cats just have sensitive skin. The scratching isn't constant, but it is usually fairly aggressive. It tends to bug me, possibly more than it does her. The amount of scratching is the same year round. Our home is pretty clean: litter box, food bowls, cat perches etc. about as clean as you're likely to find. Dust may be the only thing that ever collects more than a tiny bit. Who knows? (09/28/2008)