Cat Scratching Back of His Neck

My cat Peaches has been scratching at the back of his neck fiercely for a few months. At first it was because of fleas, and I grabbed some flea treatment from the vet. The fleas went away, but he was still scratching and wouldn't let himself heal (think if you had a huge scab that you ripped off, it looked like that all the time).


I stopped that flea medicine this month because, it was right where the meds would go (not good) and I thought it might be causing him to itch more. After stopping he started to heal up. He was fine, but I just noticed today that he is back at it! I haven't seen any more fleas, but I'll be checking again tomorrow. I just got a new job and won't be paid for about 2-3 weeks so I can't take him to the vet just yet. I wanted to know any other reasons he could be doing this.

He's just under a year and a half old. He's been on the same food for most of his life. It is not a store brand such as Purina, Friskies, etc. Chicken is the main ingredient. He's an indoor only cat. I rarely ever bathe him (he's had 2 baths in his life).

I'm not home all the time, so my mom and brother look after him when I'm away. Could it be stress from that? (He's really attached to me. I give him lots of love when I'm home.) I haven't noticed any other symptoms that could be any parasite, but I'll still keep an eye out.
Any more ideas?


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August 27, 20170 found this helpful

I normally buy a pill from my vet that controls the fleas for 3 months. You can also try to use vinegar to control the fleas on him. You would mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water. Put in a spray bottle and spray on the area and on him. Also invest in a flea comb and comb him daily. This will find the fleas on the cat. When you find a flea either smash it or put it in pure vinegar to kill the flea.

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August 27, 20170 found this helpful

Your cat could have parasites or allergies. I would consult a vet, since he seems uncomfortable.

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August 28, 20170 found this helpful

The scratching can be from a number of things, even a slight food allergy. If you can't find any bugs or a flea bomb won't do, you might want to change out the foods.

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August 29, 20170 found this helpful

Put olive oil on the itchy spot.Maybe the medicine caused an allergic reaction.

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September 3, 20170 found this helpful

This is a common problem with cats and dogs and there does not seem to be a "one treatment fits all" so you may have to try several things before you find a cure.


Start with basics: you can put a drop or two of olive oil or coconut oil on the inflamed area (rub it on his spot while holding/petting him). No vinegar on any inflamed area as it will cause him pain.

Consider changing his food as he chicken may be causing an allergy problem. Blue Wilderness Salmon cat food does not have chicken by products but the cost is $19.99 for 5 pounds. If interested, you can find it at most pet stores/farm stores and Ace or True Value hardware stores (probably others too). Link at bottom showing product information.

Change litter to an unscented clumping product as he may be allergic to the perfume in his present litter.

Be sure his nails are always clipped short (do it yourself or have the vet do this at your next visit).

You can get an inexpensive flea comb at a pet store or even Target. It's a comb that has teeth very close together. Comb the cat's fur where tail and back meet. Fleas will come with the comb if there are any and flea dander will appear. Comb the cat all over too to make sure. Your cat may like this (but all do). Have a small bowl of water with a couple of drops of liquid Dawn dish soap close by so you can dip the comb (fleas or not) into the dish and comb several times.


You can comb around the neck also but do not get the water on the inflamed spot.

Here is suggestion to control the cat being able to reach the sore spot.
Restricting access to the wound is key to helping it heal. Make a turtle neck for him. Take an old tube sock and cut off the toe part. Then cut 2 large holes in the sides and when you put it on him, the ankle part of the sock is the turtle neck. This works best with a tube sock but other socks will work. It keeps him from having access to the sore and it heals up in about a week or so. Apply some ointment or olive/coconut oil to it once or twice a day.

Try to remember if there were any changes to his routine before this started as that might be something that triggered this problem and now it has become a habit and each time it starts to heal it itches and he keeps scratching. If you think some of the problem may be this you could try using a product called Rescue Remedy as it can be used to gently calm a pet for a short period of time. Follow directions closely and it is a highly recommended product for cases like this.


If you have to give him flea meds you might try something that can mixed with food. Several are available at pet stores but here is information one type.

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September 29, 20170 found this helpful

Try a product made for "hot spots". This worked on my cat when she would not stop "fiercely" scratching. there are many brands. this is just one. best of luck.

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