How do I stop my cat from scratching all the skin off of her neck?
By Silver Cloud from Mississauga, ON, Canada
January 5, 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
July 25, 2010
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.
January 26, 2016
Hi, this is my cat and years later. He still scratches bad and we give him the antihistamine pill when needed. However, sometimes it gets so bad- his eye gets ulcers, he scratches skin open by his ear, and neck gets scratched open. We have to get him a steroid shot at the vet. He sometimes needs an antibiotic shot and steroid shot. If his eye is painful we give him a pain shot too. He is the best cat and everything we do for him is worth it.
February 9, 2011
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.
February 9, 2011
My cat did the same thing until I took her to the vet for an allery shot. The shot works perfectly but she needs a new shot about every two months. I get an allergy shot for my male cat, but he only needs one about once every 6 months. It completely cured the problem for them.
February 9, 2011
Keep changing your veterinarian until you find one that knows what the problem is.
February 10, 2011
Please take your baby to the Veterinarian for an exam. There might be something wrong.
March 29, 2013
I have had the same problem with my cat for the last few months. She had a bit of skin just behind her ear that she scratched open. I have tried everything! Bandaged her one back leg so she would not scratch which did not last long cause she then started biting that off. Gave her antibiotics from the vet but this still did not stop the scratching.
Put bandages around her neck, anything you can think of so the last thing I did was get the plastic collar (lampshade) which is the only thing that has worked. She absolutely hates it but there is no other way. The wound has healed. I am just waiting for the hair to grow back before I remove it.
Any questions please ask.
I have a 2 year old indoor cat that has been scratching his neck so much that he has an open sore on it. Trust me, he has no fleas. I put one of those funnel collars on him to prevent him from scratching and used a topical antibacterial salve on the open sore. That spot is healed but now when I take the collar off he is doing it again. Anyone have any ideas why he might be doing this?
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)
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)
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