I'm embarrassed to admit that I myself am now suffering from a very bad case of the "itchies"--and I don't THINK it's from fleas!
It got so bad I ended up in the emergency room after midnight Sunday--two hour wait!
but the doctor said I looked like I had stumbled into poison ivy or something--don't know how I could have but SOMETHING sure got me! Now the ER doctor said I needed something really powerful to counteract this--ie put out the fire!!--so he Rx'd several days of Prednisone, which is a very strong steroid. I really don't like steroids in any form, but I was so desperate that I agreed--frankly I would have agreed to almost anything at that point! After the first day's dose I already feel less like ripping my skin off. HOWEVER *MAJOR WARNING HERE* while I am willing to make myself take powerful drugs that I don't like, I am profoundly unwilling to force something potentially risky on my little cat. ESPECIALLY STEROIDS. This is because years ago I had a beautiful orange tabby (yeah, I love orange tabbies!)--his name was Malkin and I loved him to distraction. He developed some kind of really stubborn ear infection that was driving the poor baby crazy and he just couldn't seem to get over it. He was really suffering. So the vet finally suggested some MILD steroid ear drops--just ear drops, mind you, nothing taken internally, and they said these steroid drops would not get into his bloodstream where they could cause side effects. Well--WRONG!! Within a couple of weeks we noticed that Malkin was not eating well, but was urinating and drinking water excessively. We took him back to the vet for tests and the verdict was--DIABETES. He had NEVER had any sign of diabetes before taking those eardrops and I think the vets finally admitted that while it would be rare, those steroid eardrops just might have pushed my poor Malkin into full-blown diabetes. (His blood sugar when they first tested it was massive for a cat--over 400!!). For the rest of his life we had to give my poor sweet boy twice-daily injections of insulin--after sending him first to a vet school to get him tested further, find the right kind and dosage of insulin, get him stabilized, and finally to teach US how to give the injections properly. (Not easy when you have no medical background!). Malkin was so so sweet and understanding about all the hassle but oh how I wish we had known--we would NEVER have allowed steroids anywhere NEAR him!!! I'm not saying we would have stood by and just let him suffer from "the itchies" or whatever--but we DEFINITELY would have sought another kind of treatment! So--and sorry to go on so long but I still have passionate feelings about this--I applaud you for trying to find something to help your kitty that won't just make matters go from bad to worse. I'm not a vet and I can't categorically state that if you give your cat steroids he/she will necessarily develop diabetes--but I CAN speak from sad experience, and those steroid eardrops were not "supposed" to cause any harm to my Malkin either--but they did cause a severe case of diabetes that lasted until his death several years later (from cancer). And Malkin's diabetes was always hard to control--very difficult to stabilize his blood sugar levels which is critical with diabetics, whether human or feline, as many people know. I guess I'm just trying to sound a warning: while you certainly want to ease your pet's suffering in whatever way you can, PLEASE be careful and read up on side-effects. I only wish I had done that for my sweet Malkin--I could have saved him so much suffering. In his case, the cure was far worse than the disease. (And yes, I know I sound like a total hypocrite since I'm here taking powerful oral steroids for my own allergies--but it's my body and my choice and I'm knowingly taking a risk with my OWN health. I'm just not sure I had the right to do something to my Malkin that HE had to live with without having any say at all in the matter). Again, sorry to run on so long--but I do advise people to look into any treatments prescribed for their pets, especially when it involves a risk that may be worse than the original problem! I am NOT anti-vet--my cat Amber always has regular veterinary care and takes meds when she needs them--I'm just a LOT more careful nowadays when it comes to my babies' health!