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Cat Scratching till she bleeds

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
hi my cat is scratching just behind her head in the middle of her neck until she bleeds, she has done this on and off since we got her as a kitten 3 years ago. usaly it is very little spots that she scratches off and it heals within a few days, but her last scratching was about the size of a quarter or a littl bigger. and it was bleeding really bad. i had gotten an ointment from the vet to stop the bleeding before so i used it and it did stop but i want to know why she keeps scratching until she bleeds. does she have a rash or something on her skin? if anyone can help it would be great.

post #2 of 20

Are you flea treating her? if so what are you using and where are you buying it from? Is she wearing a flea collar? If so, please remove it.

Scratching can be caused by dermatitis, fleas, allergies, lice. Is the hair falling out in clumps anywhere on her? We won't be able to see if a rash if there is one, the vet will need to shave the area and do a skin scraping and then look at the scraping in a slide under the microscope- what are you feeding her?
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
she is an indoor cat so i havnt treated her for fleas and her hair has never clumped. she seems to only do it when something is goign on that she doesnt like or something like that , we took 3 weeks vacation and left her with my parents and she did it while we were gone and about two weeks ago we moved into a new place and she did it again. we do have another cat and they do play together lots so she is happy. she is very much to her own most of the time sleeping in high places alone but she does play alot. im feeding both of them Friskies. i was hoping i didnt have to take her to the vet since it is like 50 bucks just to get the appointment. then whatever else then can add on top.
post #4 of 20
This sounds just like a cat that we see at our clinic all the time. It sounds like your cat is doing this when she gets stressed out. Eventhough she is independent most of the time while you and your family is around, she still gets upset when something changes. Some cats solve their stress by obessive grooming/licking/scratching. Once they start, their skin becomes irritated and some end up licking the spot until it becomes raw or infected. As long as the spot she has made bleed is not infected, you don't have to take her into the vet. There are a couple of things you can try to help ease her anxiety when there is a change in her everyday routine. You can try something called Rescue Remedy. It is a homeopathic remedy for stress and can be found in health food stores. Start giving Rescue Remeday about a week before the change occurs (if you can anticipate it like a vacation, etc) and continue until a week or two after she has had time to adjust. This should help prevent her starting the obsessive scratching. I also recommend that you call your vet and do a phone consultation so you don't have to spend the money on an office visit if it's unnecessary. This way the vet can make recommendations about what to do to prevent this and also what you can do to make her stop once she has started. Be aware that once she has started this, it may require medication to help her stop or to take care of the spot she has made bleed, which will probably require a visit to the vets office. Good luck.
post #5 of 20
Daisy used to do this, she is allergic to flea bites. Even though we got rid of the fleas (hallelujah!) she still itched. The vet said it was because she had got into the habit of scratching, and that also the scratching can make them itch more!! I have also heard of cats over-grooming due to stress. The good news is that Daisy's itchiness was cured by some brilliant tablets I got from the vet (once we'd got rid of the fleas). They were steroids, just to break the scratch/itch cycle. Daisy thought these tablets were yummy so I didn't even have to fight with her to get them down her neck, she ate them like treats! One course of those, and it all stopped, the hair started to grow back etc. So please do talk to your vet. I like the rescue remedy idea too.

I hope your cat is soon better.

post #6 of 20

My cat has the same problem.  Two vets later, medicine after medicine, treated for ear infections, wore cones on his head, etc.  He was diagnosed wrong for a year.  Finally found out he has Feline aids.  I wasn't happy but at lease now when he starts scratching it can be stop with the meds his now VET gives to him.  It works instantly.  It's called prednisone and he takes 1 mil a day for two weeks.  Then I guess he goes into remission.  But it does start up again 6 or so months later and back to the vet for more prednisone.  I hope this is not your cats issue but check it out.  The vet only needs a small amount of blook from your cat to diagnose this disease.  don't let them tell you that they have to send it out and do alot of other tests.  They just want your money.  Even the Vet I take my cat to won't give me his prednisone untill he sees that he is bleeding, which I beleive is so wrong. 

post #7 of 20

My cat would scratch herself until she had open sores. She was lethargic, and her coat was thin. My vet suggested an expensive prescription food, which helped a little, but didn’t really solve the problem. We then added a daily dose of Cyclosporine, an anti-allergy drug, to her diet, and that helped a little more. But my poor kitty still suffered occasional bouts of allergy-related symptoms. As she went through another period of losing her coat, being lethargic, coughing up lots of hairballs, and just generally seeming miserable, I got desperate to help her and started researching online. I came across a website that praised raw food over ANY (even the most expensive) dry food. After doing a bit of reading on the subject, we switched to a commercially available ground raw food, then to a whole prey diet as I learned about the benefits to her dental health. Bottom line, she is doing awesome on this new whole, raw diet. No expensive prescription food, no expensive allergy drugs. Her coat is thick and gorgeous; she’s energetic; and I’m spending way less on her food. I am so grateful to the websites devoted to whole raw diets for cats AND dogs. The info I found on them made SUCH a difference for my kitty!

post #8 of 20

My cat does this occasionally. His are always about quarter sized. I think he does it because he doesn't want to wear a collar?

Anyways, I've found that restricting access to the wound is key to helping it heal. What I do is make a turtle neck for him. I take an old sock and I cut off the toe part. Then I cut 2 large holes in the sides and when I put it on him, The ankle part of the sock is the turtle neck. This works best with a tube sock..

It keeps him from having access to the cut and it heals up in about a week or so. I usually apply some aquaphor to it once or twice a day while its open.

I think they have products on the market that work in the same way. But I like my turtleneck sock best. lol

Hope this helps.

post #9 of 20
Hi. Our cat was also recently diagnosed with Feline aids and given weeks to live because her blood counts were so low our vet said she had no immune system. Being a stubborn person and not wanting to give up straight away I convinced him to give me steroids and antibiotics to reduce the lymph node swelling and clear up any infections. She has recovered massively, eats very well and even plays again but has started scratching her neck and face leaving red swollen wounds. I read your comment and think she may be experiencing the same issues as your cat I have called my vets to arrange a visit next week to discuss prilosone. Is there any other advice you can give me with regards to helping her maintain a happy healthy life. She is only 5 years old and seems to be happy generally. If I'd listened to others she would not be with us now but I don't want to risk her being uncomfortable or unhappy so would appreciate any advice you could give me. God bless and thank you.
post #10 of 20
My cat scratches right by her ear, and right by where her tail starts until she has awful scabs all over. Her fur is gone by her tailbone, and the scabs won't heal. The vet said it's nothing, but she's in pain and nothing had helped. Any ideas?
post #11 of 20

This is exactly what my cat is going through. He scratches all over until he bleeds, especially around his head. I put a cone on him but he still manages to find ways to scratch himself. I also got him one of those comfort zone pheromone diffusers, but that didn't seem to calm him down.  I thought it was fleas, because we've been struggling to keep them out of the apartment where I live. He also will only stay in the bathroom where there is laminate floors, he wont walk on the carpets at all. At my parents house, where the entire house is hard wood, he walks around everywhere. But I haven't seen any fleas on him, and he just continues to scratch. Im scared for him and just want him to get better, but Im not sure what else to do.

post #12 of 20

Binx a male black cat that followed me home and took in. Is doing the same thing I thought he was allergic to the collar my sister got him and he started to lose his fur around his neck and our dad was a vet tech so he would say that is normal for a animal that hasn't worn a collar before but he kept scratching at his when the skin became exposed and thing morning when i woke up the back of his neck was bleeding because there was a patch of matted exposed skin and did quick thinking and but a red piece of fabric on so he wouldn't bleed all over the place and i warned my sister to be careful around his neck  she looks at her phone, but i need a second opinion on what i did was either smart or lame because we don't have any real bandages

here is a image i just took i know it's not good it's the closes i could get and i had to use a flashlight to get it any way that's binx's neck unwrapped 

here is his neck wrapped about two mins later the fabric stops him from getting to the wound on his neck please tell me what i should later if this happens again?

post #13 of 20

My cat does this too. Took her to the vet and he couldn't find anything wrong with her. Nothing in our life was changed or upsetting hers. He thought possibly that, like a dog, she may have a "hot spot". Although cats are not diagnosed with this problem. Chloe will scratch til she bleeds, I wash her, shave the area. use medicated ointment prescribed and that seems to help. I love the sock idea!!!  I will definitely use one next time.   It's very upsetting when she does this. We all love our babies and just feel so helpless when they can't talk to us!!! arg!

post #14 of 20

it wasn't a sock it was fabric i used to keep his neck from bleeding.

post #15 of 20

Fleas can hop on you outside and come in. Just because a cat is indoors only doesn't mean they won't get fleas. You can get an inexpensive flea comb at a pet store or even Target. It's a comb that has teeth very close together. Comb the cat's fur where tail and back meet. Fleas will come with the comb if there are any and flea dander will appear. Comb the cat all over too to make sure.


Stress can cause a cat to over groom and scratch too as you've noted. Once there is a break in the skin, it probably burns and itches more resulting in more scratching. Cats can get dermatitis just like people. It often results from fleas. Those things are really persistent despite everything people try to control them.

post #16 of 20
My cat I found outside and took in has this problem and we tried a shot and it didn't work I don't know what to do I'm really woried
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by krissy10011 View Post

My cat I found outside and took in has this problem and we tried a shot and it didn't work I don't know what to do I'm really woried
@krissy10011...........Please bring your cat to the vet immediately!
post #18 of 20

As soon as winter hits, my Rudy gets itchy bumps on his skin that turn into scabs. This one on his neck he wont stop itching. I put some antibacterial wound spray for cats on it, but its gotten worse as of this morning, is more red like Krissys calico. I love the fabric idea to prevent further damage! Will call vet tomorrow if it doesnt appear to get better. Has anyone tried soothing baths, or mousse for this issue?


post #19 of 20

I forgot to add that my vet said theres not much we can do when it comes to allergies :( actually calling a different vet today.

post #20 of 20

What type of litter are you using? When I changed brands to an unscented one my guy stopped scratching. He was allergic to the scent. 

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