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Barn kitty with swollen cheeks and no hair around ear?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have recently moved my horse to a new barn and, as with most barns, there is a group of barn kitties. I believe there are four, all in good health, friendly, and with shiny soft coats...but I today I noticed one of the kitties has something funky going on. He (she?) is an orange tabby that I originally thought was a tad chunky, but while the kitty was eating I took a closer look and I believe there may be something wrong with him. His cheeks look abnormally large, his eyes are runny and red, and the hair around his left ear is gone and the skin is dry and scaly looking- almost like psoriasis.

Any ideas? Horses, dogs, and birds I know something about, but oddly enough, cats are out of my realm of knowledge.

The barn owner is a very caring person who would have no problem taking the kitty to the vet or providing treatment, but I thought I might ask around and try to find out what it might possibly be before I mention it to her.

I've only seen him one time before today, but if needed I can try and find him to get pictures.
post #2 of 8
Poor kitty. That is the sad life of unaltered, uncared for barn kitties Good thing you came along!

Can you approach him? Can you gt him into a vet? He really needs to see one. Even if he is feral, you could always trap him and take him in. I would neuter him too (and the rest of them) otherwise you will soon have dozens and dozens of little barn kitties
post #3 of 8
Yep, it sounds like he/she got into a fight with someone and came off second best.

It would be such a kindness if the cat could be caught and brough to a vet. At least they would have the opportunity to get some medical help as well as spayed or neutered.

It was so good of you to take the time to notice this poor kitty. Thank-you headbuts and bless you licks from KittenKiya's Clan.
post #4 of 8
Sounds a little like ringworm or some other type of skin problem. Or he got into poison?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I realize that, for cat aficionados, it may appear that all barns neglect their barn kitties, but I have found the opposite to be true of quality barns. I heard someone say that, to know how well the horses are taken care of, you should look at the barn cats. Horse people tend to be animal people and, over on the COTH (Chronicle of the Horse) forums where I post, you will find that the horse owners' dedication to their equines extends to all members of their animal family.

I'm not upset by any means, it just seems as if the immediate reaction was that barn kitties must lead a wretched existence and, while that may be true for many, it's not always the case. Although I am puzzled as to why nobody has been more agressive in treating this kitty.

Having said that, I mentioned the cat to the barn owner and she said that the lady who owned the barn before her (she still boards her horse at this barn, but she no longer owns the place) gave her the cats with the barn. Apparently this cat, Tiger, has always had this condition...whatever it is...and apparently she took him to the vet and the vet apparently said that whatever the issue was (BO said she doesn't know the specific condition) isn't treatable. He, along with all the other cats, are spayed/neutered and are vaccinated regularly.

I took some pictures yesterday. Unfortunately, the majority of them looked great on my camera...but when I got the home to download them they were super blurry. Here are the two that came out semi-decent:

Tiger 1
Tiger 2

The next time I see the old barn owner, I'm planning on asking her what she found out when she took him to the vet, but I'd like to get some ideas from you guys if possible. They'll probably be more likely to get him taken care of faster if I can give them a rough idea of what the deal is and how to treat it.

Thank you all for your help
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I should also add that, although his eyes look glazed over in the first picture, that's a result of the camera flare. They don't look like that in person.

FWIW, I found the kitty to be extremely cuddly. It might be different once I try to pick him up and put him in a crate, but he enjoyed being petted (petted? pet? whatever verb form you're supposed to use there ).

Also! While I was petting him, I noticed that he had small scabs over most of his body. I don't know if anyone is familiar with rainrot in horses, but it looked similar. Little scabs that take out tufts of hair. Would this be some sort of metabolic issue? Allergy? Apparently he has always had whatever this is.
post #7 of 8
The little scabs all over sounds like an allergic reaction - he is probably itchy, and the constant scratching causes scabs. I've seen that in one of my cats, who has flea bite allergies.
post #8 of 8
Whatever it is, I would suggest finding out what vet the old barn owner took the cat to & take "Tiger" to another vet. A second opinion isn't always a bad idea. It looks to me like there is definately something going on, but I wonder if it really is treatable or not! (I've had a vet tell me something a cat had isn't treatable, but when I got a second opinion I was able to treat the cat.)
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