My cat has been scratching himself so much that he bleeds! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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My cat has been scratching himself so much that he bleeds!

Hello everyone!

I hope someone can help me to find out what problem my cat (Edward) has and how I can cure it. First of all, let me describe the Edward: He is a male neutered cat and some kind of shorthair. He is 2 years old, looks cute and fat and weighs 11.2 pounds.


A few months ago, Edward started scratching himself a lot. He scratched parts of his face and the back of his neck. Recently he has scratched different places. His face looks messed up and frequently bleeds, the back of his neck is also bloody at times and has a lot of scaly skin, hair loss, and dots of stuff. All of the other places he has scratched are like his back neck. Just not so extreme...yet!

What I've tried:

I've used Wondercat skin lotion for a week or two but haven't seen improvement. I have also tried wiping the affected areas with some specially formulated pet wipes and then adding the cat lotion. No improvement. My parents and I did some more research and think it may be ringworm so I've been adding coconut oil for a few days. Do you think it's the right diagnosis and if it is, is coconut oil the correct treatment?


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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:24 PM
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It could be a staph infection, fungal, bacterial, or any number of other things. has the kitty been to the vet?
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:42 PM
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Vet visit is in order. You can try messing around with it, while it just gets worse, or take your cat in before it worse and more $$$$.

In addition to the things mentioned above, it could be an allergy, though that is low on my list based on the locations.

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 09:09 PM
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TBH that's extremely typical of a food allergy. Itchy ears and face are very common in pets with a food allergy. What food do you feed him? Has that changed lately?

A vet visit is in order for sure, but I'd also think about changing his diet to something else, preferably grain free canned food. If you're already doing that then a different protien, or a raw diet might help.

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. We haven't taken him to the vet yet because the vet may not fix the problem and it's quite expensive but we're thinking about it. Also, about the food, he is eating Purina adult hairball control dry food. We switched him from one of theHolistic Blend dry cat food. It's supposed to be very healthy. The food change to Purina hasn't changed anything besides making him eat more.

Last edited by thecatpetter; 07-04-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 10:26 PM
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That's because purina isn't a good food. If this all started when you switched to purina then I'd suggest switching back.

Also, as far as your parents not wanting to go to the vet...well, there's not much you can do about that, but if you can get them to read this thread then they'l sethis:

To the parents; It is your responsibility to take your pet to the vet when they are ill, hurt, or need vaccinations. It is also your job as a parent to teach your children responsibility and how to care for animals and the people around them. If you aren't demonstrating these values then what are you teaching your kids?

In any case, I'd suggest switching back to the previous food, or something like Wellness, Blue Buffalo, or EVO. You can find a list of good foods on many threads in this forum, so take a look around and see what people are recommending.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try to change Edwards diet. Thanks for the info.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 07:22 AM
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If he was mine, I'd definitely take him to the vet but if you can't persuade your parents to do that (and I really think he needs it) then there are some vets online with whom you can have an internet conversation for a pretty reasonable rate. I used them to get background on kissing spine operations on horses when I was going to be taking charge of one that had had that op. I wouldn't personally want rely on it for diagnosis though as a vet needs to see and examine to make the best diagnosis but it's better than no veterinary advice at all.

Don't forget that if it is ringworm, humans and many other animals can catch it as well.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:53 AM
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That level of scratching is a serious problem and your cat must be really uncomfortable. It could be many things from a food allergy to ringworm to mange or who knows what else. You need to get to the source of the problem, just putting creams on it will not fix the problem. Eventually those scratches will become infected and then the problem will become much worse and even more expensive to treat.

As far as foods go, Holistic Blend is a much better food than Purina. You don't say which formula you were feeding (with grains or grain free) if this is a food allergy it could be to grains or protein (like chicken or fish). You could try a limited ingredient food like Natural Balance (I would suggest the duck). But it may take weeks to know if it's working and in the meantime the injuries she inflicts on herself will just be getting worse and worse.

Your parents need to be made aware that withholding vet care is actually illegal and is considered abuse. This is clearly a case of a cat that needs help and it is their responsibility to provide it. Yes it costs money, but that is part of having a pet. I would hope that they consider themselves compassionate people, but not taking this cat to the vet is actually cruel.

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 01:26 PM
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This might be fleas. My aunt and uncle's cat is allergic to fleas and if he gets any on him, he will scratch and scratch until he is bleeding and has no hair. My dog is also allergic to fleas and he scratches until his hair falls out.

I would definitely go to the vet about this. If it's fleas, there are many topical solutions you can use.
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