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My cat is scratching its Hair off

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i've had cats my whole life indoor and outdoor and i've never seen this before... i adopted a mother cat and her 4 kittens in june of 07 she was an outdoor car. since the middle of October i noticed alittle scab directly in the center of her shoulder blades i figured it was a nick/spiderbite something. 2 weeks later over a night she licked and scratched about a 1 1/2 inch circle of fur and skin off around where the scab was bleeding bad. not having the money to throw on a vet bill i decided to clean and wrap the wound myself with bandage and nonstick healing pad and some neosporin. its been 2 weeks now and the wound started to heal and scab over now she is licking a part of her arm so bad that it is beginning to become raw and bleed what the hell is going on with this cat i've never seen anything like it. all these problems came around about the time she went into heat. Any idea whats wrong with my cat?
post #2 of 11
It could be anything; wounds inflicted by a tom cat causing an abcess,fleas, allergic reactions,etc. She really needs to be seen by a vet for proper diagnosis and meds. Keeping her inside until she has been spayed would help a lot, too!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Its been indoor since i got the cat
Keyword "WAS an outdoor car"
post #4 of 11
Okay!! Sorry about that! What part of her arm is she licking? My first thought is a flea allergy. I have a cat that will lick herself raw and pull out hair if just one little teeny flea gets on her. Has she been treated for fleas? If the new spot is close to the wound between her shoulder blades, it could be something entirely different. But if it's located close to her foot or in her armpit...I would say fleas.
post #5 of 11
Most likely it's allergies or stress or a mix of both.

You need to take her to the vet. Wounds like that on her arm can really easily become moist dermatitis. It's a skin infection that happens if an area is sore, raw and moist. It can become nasty. I have had this happen to my cat (my vet and me think it's probably a food allergy) and I had to put a steroid antibacterial cream on the spot and that helped with the infection and stopped it itching so she let it heal.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
ok thank you
post #7 of 11
One question as well has she been spayed yet? If it started when she got into heat it might be stress from being in heat that's affecting her like this.

I.e cats use grooming to calm themselves down and try to destress and it can become overgrooming if they resort to that calming mechanism too much. Feliway can help with that a bit, it's a diffuser you plug in that releases cat pheromones into the air and makes the cat feel like the area they're in has been really well marked by them so they don't need to stress over their territory as much. It's a bit expensive though since it needs a refill every 4-5 weeks so if you're on a budget that might not be something you can do.

However usually just behavioural overgrooming shows up as the cat licking all the fur of a larger area of their body and the hairless area grows. I.e when they have licked all the fur off and they start hurting the skin they move to a new spot.

If it's allergies (flea or food or something in the environment) the cat is actualy itching so they keep going at the same spot even after it starts becoming a sore.

Also the moist dermatitis type infection can set in very quickly and it's a vicious circle from then on because the infection makes the area itch which makes the cat keep licking at it. So it can start off just with an unlucky scratch or a very temporary overgrooming thing.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
she's been on the same diet for almost 6 months nothings changed none of my other cats have it and their her kittens so im leaning towards the over grooming part...if that is the problem what will the vet be able to do besides give me a 70$ bill and tell me to keep doing what im doing.

theres nothing i can see on her back(thats now healed) and now shes lickin her arm i see no physical sign of infection or discoloration. and its the top part of the arm not the bottom armpit THE ARM!
post #9 of 11
Ok sounds like it is overgrooming if her diet hasn't changed at all and the hairless spot isn't infected, or with a weird texture (i.e raised, a bit too pink, scaly or something like that)

I would look into getting feliway, it really helps destress cats and it'll help cats get along as well so it should benefit all your cats, even if there aren't problems with that specifically.

Then take stock and think of her mental health. She used to be an outdoor cat so she's used to having plenty of things to do and an ever changing environment with lots of new sights, smells and sounds all the time.

I'm not saying you should start letting her out, just try to think if you could make the environment indoors richer for her. I.e more things to explore, hide in, playtime, toys?

Has she been spayed? If she's not been spayed the frustration of going into heat and not being able to mate (which is good since you don't want her to be a kitten making machine) could be enough to make her seek an outlet in overgrooming.

Also since it's a mental illness (although usually not a very severe one) once the cat has started using grooming as a coping method like that, they often continue even after the thing that made them start it in the first place is over. So it's important to try to figure out her motivation for doing this so you can nip it in the bud.
post #10 of 11
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok well i just got back from the vets about 20 min ago they said it was ear mites and gave me some antibiotics and ear drops hopefully this will take care of it
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