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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.
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.
My 3 y.o. cat scratches his neck raw. I have seen the vet a number of times and am seeing a skin specialist currently, but I don't think it is an allergy. It seems more like i's compulsive. He has had a cone for quite a while and I feel so sorry for him. Suggestions?
Is the vet/specialist looking into food or litter allergies? Cats are often allergic to things that make them itch themselves like that. So painful.
Is it in a place you can put a sweater or tee shirt over it to protect it? My one pup was 13 lbs and while she was in treatment for a boo boo on her back, she wore a 2t cotton tee shirt. It protected the spot from being irritated and rubbed. Prayers for healing! Post back with an update!
You are currently seeing a doctor for this problem and they don't seem to find any type of allergy or other reason he is doing this one. If you had a cone around his neck for a while this could be one reason he is scratching his neck again. I had had to take an old bandana for one of my cats and put coconut oil on this. Then I tied it around their neck to heal the wound and stop them from scratching.
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?
My cat has very itchy skin around his neck ever since he had to wear an Elizabethan collar post-op. A cortisone injection cleared up the itchy scabs, but now they've come back, and the poor old boy is scratching a lot. Is there an alternative to cortisone to ease his itching skin?
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 cat that I adopted from the Humane Society in April 2019, is now 6 years old and had very healthy fur until 4 days ago. I brought home a cat box from my parents' house as they got new ones and offered theirs since they had a top on their litter boxes. My cat tends to get litter everywhere. The next morning, my cat had a bare spot on the back of her neck. The next day, she started scratching it raw.
I can't afford to go to the vet till next Friday, so I put her cat harness on her to prevent her from getting to it. I also put a flea treatment on her to see if it could've been fleas. Two more days passed and it was finally scabbing. Well, tonight I took off her harness to see if she would stop touching the bare spot and she scratched the scab off. I believe it could be stress, but I am not sure. Please help.
My cat, Domino, has started to scratch off the skin on her neck since my other cat passed. Literally the day she passed, Domino started scratching and I've put all different types of cream on and nothing seems to help. Could this be stress? Or is it just an allergy?
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.
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.
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?
Is it ringworm? www.peteducation.com/
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.
Something is definitely bothering your cat and it probably won't disappear on it's own. Please take her to the vet ASAP. Delay may only worsen the problem and your cat is obviously suffering.
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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)
By Sarah Leach
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)