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My kitty wont stop scratching himself!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here, just joined this morning.

So.. I'm kind of young/sort of a newb. I'm 21 years old and just adopted my first cat about 2 months ago. His name is dan and he is 3 years old and i love to spoil him. I am a bit concerned about him though and since I dont have a lot of experience i just want to make sure i'm doing whats best for him.

About a month after i bought him he started scratching behind his left ear. Since he is an indoor cat and there were no other animals present i thought i could rule out fleas. lo and behold, about a week after the scratching began and he had a couple nice scabs going, i found a flea crawling on his noise. I immediately went and bought one of those treatments you squeeze on the back of their necks. I didnt see any more fleas after that and the scratching stopped for a while. However, a couple days ago he has started back up again and scratched himself early this morning to the point where he bled a little. I didnt know what else to do so i wiped it clean with a damp rag and applied some neosporin.

ive read that ear mites may exist outside the ear canal and i thought he might be scratching at those, but i've checked in his ears and i dont really see anything out of the ordinary (no black crusty spots or gunk).

is there anything else i can do for him? is it possible he has either ear mites or fleas and i just cant detect them? Does some sort of cream or ointment exist to soothe irritated skin on cats? I can keep an eye on him and stop him from scratching while i'm around, but i am about to leave for work and obviously wont have any control over what he does to himself while i'm gone.

thanks for any advice you've got!
post #2 of 8
Have you taken Dan for his initial vet check, needles, dewormers, etc? Any time you get a cat/kitten the first thing you should do is have them vet checked for mites, fleas, etc.

If Dan had any fleas at all, he most likely will also have tapeworms since those come from ingested fleas and the vet will treat for that.

If he had fleas at one time, there are probably fleas in your carpeting/upholstery that hatch out and re-infest your home.

You said you got flea medication for the back of his neck. Did you get this medication from a vet? Unfortunately most remedies you get at pet stores are either ineffective or downright dangerous.

I would recommend you take Dan for a vet visit to have him checked out for fleas, ear mites, etc. You should try to take a poo sample with you and it should be as fresh as possible.

Then, if you can get to a garden centre, get some diatomaceous earth (human/food grade) to sprinkle into your carpets and upholstery. You can get it online as well and it's amazing stuff. It's perfectly safe for pets and humans. Sprinkle it on the carpet and with a broom brush it down into the fibres. This will kill any hatching fleas and in a few weeks your house should be flea free.
post #3 of 8
The odds are good that Dan has fleas, and no matter what you do, sometimes they get indoors, carried in on you, your shoes, whatever. You vet can sell you the newest version of Advantage or Revolution, which if you use it monthly will eliminate the fleas on the cat and in the house. After using it for a few months, you should be able to eliminate most of the problem.

Some cats are allergic to the flea bites and even one bite can make them do exactly what Dan has done.
post #4 of 8
I agree with others I bet your cat has fleas still.
I would treat your cat a good 3 months with a good flea treatment
Frontline, advantage, revolution.
You must kill the flea cycle in your home, which would be in carpet
and in furniture.
Be sure to wash in hot water rag rugs, blankets, cats bed etc.
You can also get from vet a good flea spray for spraying areas
you cant wash, like the furniture. Be sure to disgard the vacuum
bag if applicable.
Also you should take your cat to the vet asap for a basic
look over and bring in the #2
sample to check for worms, that goes hand in hand.
post #5 of 8
Just an FYI - if your flea infestation in the house is heavy, even the sprays from the vet won't get rid of them. Trust me - I've been there, done that.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies everyone. i was told he had just been checked by a vet so taking him again right after adoption wouldnt be necessary but now i see how many hidden little critters he could be dealing with, so i'll definitely make an appointment asap.

in the meantime, is there anything i can do to stop him from scratching that area? would it be cruel to put a cone on him to keep him from getting at that ear until i can bring him to a vet? and is it ok to put neosporin on his skin to help the healing?

sorry for so many questions. i just want whats best for him now that hes living with me, especially after i was told that he sat in a cage in petsmart for months because no one wanted to adopt him since he wasnt a cute little kitten. =/

oh and one more question - i remember growing up with our dogs that when they had tapeworms the segments were left in their stool and also in the beds where they slept. i havent found any segments anywhere from Dan, but is it possible he may still have tapeworms?

thanks again everyone i really appreciate it.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Just an FYI - if your flea infestation in the house is heavy, even the sprays from the vet won't get rid of them. Trust me - I've been there, done that.
thanks but i dont think the infestation in the house is too heavy. i'll do that treatment i've heard of for carpets (sprinkling it on and sweeping it in), but honestly the only flea i ever saw anywhere in the entire apartment was the one that crawled on his head the day i ran to the pet store to buy the treatment. not to say there arent a few more hiding where i cant see, but i doubt theyre multiplying by the thousands or antyhing, thank god =)
post #8 of 8
It's always a good idea to take a new cat to your own vet just to ensure they check out OK. The cone is really about the only thing that is going to stop him from scratching himself. Hopefully the vet can give you something to help stop the itch. It must be so frustrating for the poor thing.

Tapeworm segments look like grains of rice. You may or may not see them in his stool. Get a fresh sample of his stool and take it to the vet with you. They should be able to tell. In any event since you saw a flea, your vet will probably give him a deworming medication just to be on the safe side.
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