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I'm NEW and I need HELP ASAP

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok so my cat is only about 4 years old. She is the fluffiest and sweetest thing that I could ever ask for, but she's driving me nuts! Today was the last straw, and it's not for behavioral reasons towards me, she's mutilating herself! Abou a year ago my dad and I took her to the vet because she's obsessive compulsive about licking/bathing herself to the point where she'll literally just rip her fur off bite after bite after bite. So they gave her a steroid shot which costs $$$ that we can't spend to take her to the vet every other month. She used to have fleas, but we've given her the recommended dosage of anti-flea medicine, and I dont think fleas are the problem.
But what concerns me the most is that recently she's just been gnawing at the end of her fluffly white tail. Now when you see her tail, it's all cute n fluffy and then you get to the end and it's like a bloody rat tail. The other day I came home from work to find blood and paw prints on the washing machine, and I asked my dad had happened and he had no clue either! I just can't stand looking at it anymore, it's just digusting! I've given her flea baths, seperated her from my other cat, picked the fleas off of her, and give her all the TLC I can simply give to a cat. Somebody tell me please what's wrong with my baby and how do I fix it?? Please help, I know I dont have personal relationships with any of you but it's killing me to see her so miserable!
Thanks so much in advance

-Cheerio's Mommy
post #2 of 9
Welcome to TCS!

First - get a flea preventative from your vet (not OTC!) & apply it every single month. Some cats can have flea allergies so bad all it takes is one flea bite to set them off for months.

Second - if it isn't a flea allergy, there are "drugs" to try that will *hopefully* help....worked for one of mine who was overgrooming.

Third - You may need to do another steroid shot combined with the flea preventative to start just to stop the itching/chewing.

It's also possible she has some sort of allergy - environmental, food, etc.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid the vet did tell us that she was allergic to fleas but I guess that what it was. She's only got two or three here and there, and she's got sores all over her neck head and the beginning of her tail. I wish there was just some way I could fix her without it affecting my budget but I guess that's what I'll have to do to take care of my kitty. It's just seriously grossing me out to where I can't even look at it. I'm looking around and I'm seeing where she's dragged her tail and left a trail of blood. Thanks for your help, and i guess it's time to start saving up.
post #4 of 9
Definately get her to the vet for another check-up. I know its $$ but the sooner the better. She might need some special treatments for the open sores she's given herself as well.
post #5 of 9
Once you go back to the vet to get treatment started, it shouldn't really cost much if fleas are the problem. I agree with Natalie - she might need a steroid shot and some topical treatment, but after that, a preventative medicine (if you have another cat/dog, you will probably want to treat them as well) should control it. You can get 6 months worth for about $50 from the vet - or you can find the same product (the brand the vet uses) cheaper online (perhaps someone can share a good link they have used?).

While she's at the vet, you might want to vaccuum your house (put a flea collar in the will kill the fleas) and wash all the bedding in hot water to help the process along a bit.

As someone who apparently has tasty blood, and has bad reactions to bug bites, I can't imagine having even one critter living on me who makes me his meal whenever he wants!

There are a number of reasons a cat can overgroom, but by the sounds of it, fleas is the problem in this case. I'm surprised the vet didn't give you some suggestions already!

Good luck!
post #6 of 9
CapStar is a short-acting pill that she can take to kill the fleas. It starts working in 30-45 minutes and lasts 8-12 hours. Once the fleas bite her, they die. It is a great jumpstart treatment, but you have to use a monthly treatment from the vet. The treatments from the pet store just don't work well.

My Golden is highly allergic to fleas. The injection just doesn't work for him - he metabolizes it too quickly. We use oral prednisone from the vet for severe outbreaks and he has recommended an over-the-counter people allergy med to give him as needed.
post #7 of 9
The best thing for fleas is Advantage.

She really needs to go to the vet, from the description that you are giving us-sounds terribly painful!
post #8 of 9
One of the safest ways to kill the fleas in your rug is with Diatomaceous Earth (food grade as suggested). It is not a CHEMICAL. It is chemical-free. It is made up of miniscule crustaceans that are ground into fine powder. When ground, the particles are like little slivers of glass to insects but totally harmless to mammals. In fact if your kitties should eat (ingest) any, the worst it would do is get rid of any parasites your kitty has which is a good thing so it is safe to rub into their coats (at least from everything I've read, but double checking with your vet is always a good idea)

This stuff is a lot cheaper than Advantage or Frontline too. Here's a couple of links I found:

I found a 50lb pound bag at my local country store for only $27 +tx

One of my friends who is "health nut" told me about a cat collar that is *all natural* and is made up of natural herbs. I don't remember what all of the herbs are, but one of them is Rosemary. Apparently fleas cannot stand the smell of rosemary and will avoid it at all costs.

She mentioned that sometimes the cats are allergic to some of the herbs. If they are, the reaction they would get would be to sneeze.

She is getting me some this coming Tuesday, so I will have more info. for you then.
post #9 of 9
Perhaps cutting the toe out of a long sock and pulling the remaining sock around her tail would help alittle--until you can get her treated.

Even one or two fleas is enough to be an issue for her and all the people who live in the house. I second the fact that if she is carrying fleas you need to treat the house.

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