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Self mutilation

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Can't someone help?
I have three cats in my house, they are all mixed breeds and 2 of them are very social and loving. the third however is named Stormie. I don't know exactly how old Stormie is, but over last summer I took an optional summer phys ed class in Muncie. My mother was taking me to school one day when I was sick and a little kitten ran out in front of us. The only reason we didn't hit her was because Mom had been driving slowly while I hung out the door getting sick. My mother, who has a very big heart stopped the car and said "Oh Audrey! Go get it, it's gonna get ran over!!!" So I did. upon my catching her she bit me and drew blood, which I expected bc we had almost hit her a few minutes before. We proceeded to bring her home and give her a flea bath bc she was so covered in fleas her gums were white. It was really sad the shape she was in. She didn't even look like she was big enough to eat solid food. Well, time has passed and now she is still the most unsociable little witch you would ever find, lol. I love her to death and catch her and hold her for at least an hour every day, but she still has this very strong fear of people, even me. She recently had fleas again, along with my other 2 cat's (Trinity and Trigger) so my mother and I frontlined them all. Since then she developed these sores on the back of her neck, which we thought were an allergic reaction. Last week though when she was sitting on my bed I noticed how much worse they were and how she was scratching the scabs back open over and over and making it worse. Since then I have proceeded to keep her neck and all four paws wrapped so she can't dig it back open some more, but every chance she get's she makes herself bleed again. Does anyone know How I can keep her from hurting herself?

Please Help!!!
post #2 of 18
Do they scratch arounf the ear...it may be ear mites....
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
No, I've checked for that and her biggest problem area is in the middle of the back of her neck
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'd also like any advice anyone could give me on how to tame her down more, she is so unresponsive to me
post #5 of 18
Well don't use Frontline on her again thats for sure. Did you maybe use the wrong dosage? If so then try again with the right amount, otherwise maybe use another kind instead like Advantage or Revolution (unless that is just for dogs), just use something else FROM THE VET though not from a store and NO NO NO Hartz flea meds.
post #6 of 18
Get some soft paws and cap her rear claws until her neck is completely healed.
As I'm sure you know, while healing, sores get itchy.
Wrapping her paws and neck is possibly stressing her further, which could exacerbate the problem.
I would stop catching her and forcing interaction, as this is very counterproductive to what you want from her.
Let her come to you on her own terms, she's still young enough that she will eventually come around.

The scabs could be a reaction to the flea drops, or to the fleas themselves.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
She just kinda has her moods, Right now she is laying on my lap purring and I'm not even holding her, but the first time you see her she runs away. the odd thing is she never digs at the bandages on her neck or feet. I think now it was more a reaction to the fleas than the frontline bc she has some smaller spot's on the underside of her neck and she also had a few sores that went away after we got her.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've heard of different types of cat's that intentionally self mutilate themselves, like burmese. I was curious as to whether or not she may be one of that type of breed or since I'm sure she's not a full blooded maybe have that somewhere in her background. How could I find out?
post #9 of 18
At one point we had a kitty who was extremely allergic to fleas and would get lesions like you describe, from flea allergies, around her neck. This was pre-Frontline however so that was not the cause. In any case, what we did was to keep a bandanna tied around her neck. Not a perfect solution, but it protected her neck enough that the lesions could heal and after that we just kept the bandanna on her most of the time. She actually looked quite fetching in it !
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think once I can get her to let them heal there may not be anymore problems, right now it is Gauzed and Cobained. She doesn't seem to ming the bandages much.
post #11 of 18
Has anyone considered that this may be ringworm? Some of the symptoms you mentioned {sores, scabs around the neck, self mutilation} coincide with those for ringworm. I would bring her in to the vet so they can check whether this may be the problem.
post #12 of 18
I Agree on the vet visit - it could be a number of things and without seeing her it is impossible to tell. On her behaviour, she has still not been with you that long, and sounds like she was completely wild. Make her associate good things with your smell - feed her on a sweaty T shirt (gross, I know) and give her lots of treats when she is on your lap. Don't rush her - she may be a cat who will never like to be picked up but who will come to you on her own terms.
post #13 of 18
What does the vet think it is???
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
He says he thinks it is just an allergic reaction to the flea bites bc there are a few on the underside of her neck too and the ones we have kept her from scratching have healed up almost completely, the hair is still missing, but the skin is healed and she doesn't scratch them anymore
post #15 of 18
I agree with the vet visit as well. My mom's cat Simmi has an allergy (they have yet to be able to determine the cause) but she will scratch and lick herself raw. The vet has precribed meds for her and every once in a while my mom takes her for an injection when it's really bad.
post #16 of 18
Sounds like what my Alex had once. We had a bad flea infestation in our last apartment and Alex developed dermatitis from it. The vet gave him an injection and I Frontlined both of them and we haven't had a problem since.
post #17 of 18
I hope your little girl starts doing better, soon.

You said you wanted some advice on `taming her down a little.'. Is she spayed? That will greatly settle her and is also the right thing to do for her health. That applies to all of your cats, of course, not just this little one.

From what you have said, it sounds as though she has had a very traumatic life so far, as young as she is. What you MUST stop doing is `catching her and holding her'. This is only going to make her fear you, NOT trust you. Cats must be left to work this kind of thing out on their own - as you say, she is in your lap purring and you're not even touching her. That is what she needs - for you to let her come to you on her own terms. If there is one thing that kitties hate more than anything it's being held against their will, and they have long memories and she will never trust you as long as you continue to do this.

I know you are only doing it because you love her, but in cat terms it's showing her the opposite of love - that you are trying to control and intimidate her.

What you need to do when she comes near you is ignore her - look slightly away from her (a direct look or stare is interpreted as a threat) and if you do catch her eye, blink slowly a few times and look away slowly. She will see this as you speaking to her in `cat language' and will relax around you. If she jumps on you DON'T touch her - resist the temptation even though it's really hard. Let her crawl all over you, pretty much do what she wants, and if she settles down for a sleep then that's great, if she runs off then that's fine, too. She is sorting out her trust issues and if you appear as non-threatening and completely calm and trustworthy as possible believe me, it will make the world of difference.

Also, interacting with her in a way that is fun for her - playing with toys, treats, having her chase a rolled up paper ball, things like that, will help her bond with you. But you must start slowly because she sounds like a timid little thing and too much boisterous activity might actually frighten her rather than help her.

She sounds lucky that she has a family that has made such an effort with her. Good luck, I'm sure with your love and care (and ignoring her!) that she will come round eventually. And make sure you have her spayed!!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Actually lately she has made a big improvement. I'm still catching her and holding her, and she keeps purring when I do now. She usually won't run away when I go into my bedroom and she is laying on my bed. for the mostpart she is getting alot more laid back. She still doesn't want anything to do with my mom, but she laid down in bed with me and took a nap so that is a big improvement. She was already laying down so I made her scoot so I had room, lol. She still has these little panick attacks though and bolts for no apparent reason, but She has almost done a complete 180 lately since I've been making her be around me more. Her injury on her neck has made me have to catch her about twice as much and she's realizing when I do catch her good things happen so she isn't being so hard to catch now. I don't want to start ignoring her, she is really brightening up and socializing more with what I'm doing now, and if it works, don't fix it, lol. It's just been since her sores that she's started calming down though, up until now She has always stayed hidden, but these sores came up and we just moved into a small apartment so she has to interact more now. I'm gonna keep up what I'm doing until it quits working. Thanx though!
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