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Feral cat scratching ears until they bleed

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
About a year ago, I found a litter of feral kittens under the house of a friend, so I found homes for all of them and kept one myself. She is small and black, and for the entire year that I've had her, I have had to keep a helmet/cone on her. She started scratching her ears, and it got so bad that her ears would bleed and scab up. I have taken her to the vet multiple times, gotten her checked for ear mites, gotten her antibiotics and kept the helmet on her. we also tried creams prescribed by the vet. No luck. She still finds ways to bloody her ears. She would scratch it against the Christmas tree, the ground, whatever she can do, even if she has her helmet on. The last word we have from the vet is that they can get her skin checked for parasites and other stuff, but it costs $400 and I just don't have that kind of money right now. I don't even know if it's going to work since nothing else has. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this and if they have found a solution. My poor kitty's ears have become quite floppy and permanently scabbed, and the vet says she will probably never grow hair there again! I am very concerned for her health. Please help!
post #2 of 5
I'm so sorry that she's suffering so, poor baby! I find it a little strange that the suggestion to test for parasites hasn't been suggested prior to this. It kind of leads me to think you need a second vet opinion. Don't be afraid to let the current vet know you're getting a second opinion, and ask for a copy of her file and bring it with you.

Do you have anything you can sell? Can you get rid of a cellphone or internet for a while? Can you find a vet that will accept payments? The poor baby needs help. Try calling around to shelters to see if they know of good but low-cost vets.

Here are some resources you can use to help you (to look for shelters and organizations that know of vets that can help, and to look for local vets):


...and here are ideas for helping you to afford her getting the attention she needs: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/wh...nary_care.html

Sending vibes to you and your baby,

post #3 of 5
Has she had infections or eat mites in the past?
One thing that may help while you're trying to get the money together for the test is to ask the vet for some ear cleaning solution -if you haven't already. Make sure it's made so that it won't upset the ph in the cat's ears. Keep them as clean as you can.

Both of my cats have had ear mites when they were young. I'm not sure if this has affected their ears or not, but they both have problems with waxy build up that has to be cleaned regularly. If I miss cleaning they tend to rub at their ears a lot.
post #4 of 5
Ear mites would be my first answer, but if you're sure there's no mites, she might have a yeast infection in her ear. That will also drive them batty with the scratching.
post #5 of 5
I believe food allergies can also cause kitties to scratch at their ears even if they don't scratch elsewhere.
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