Hi. I'm brand-new to this forum. This is, in fact, my very first post.
I've popped over here after asking on another pet forum and someone mentioned this site.
My cat, Binx (aka Her Royal Majesty Binx, Queen of Darkness and All Things Evil), is over fourteen years old now. She came to us at 4 weeks, the runt of what we suspect was a barn-cat litter. (she came from a friend who agreed to accept the litter at her pet shop because the man said "either you take them or I'm dropping them in the river).
She's got quite a history, and a personality to fit her name, but I'll share all that in an introduction post.
Our problem- She seems determined to groom every last strand of fur off herself.
She's gone through this before- she'll get into a habit of over-grooming/scratching and create bald and even scabby spots on her back and tail, but this time seems different. I've given her a flea-bath (with cat-friendly shampoo, of course), but she's still over-grooming. In the past, she's done this after a jaunt outside, and the flea bath has always seemed to soothe the skin so that she stopped. This time, the bath is producing very little relief.
A trip to the vet last year didn't help. The vet said she doesn't have fleas, and that it was likely allergies. She told us to give her a dose of Benedryl. (ever try to force benedryl down a cat?!) Long story short, the benedryl was useless. After the usual flea-bath, she simply stopped over-grooming, until this summer when she went outside again. (she goes out for maybe a day, once in a great while will stay out overnight, before deciding the great outdoors isn't all it's cracked up to be and coming back in to the lap of luxury.)
We switched her food about 6 weeks ago, from supermarket kibble to Health Wise, a brand the gal at the feedstore recommends as much better than supermarket junk, while still reasonably affordable. It has no wheat in it, which I thought might help with the "allergy".
After reading here, I'm considering trying to switch her to canned food, but it may be a bit of a challenge as she's never been fond of canned, and at 14 she's rather set in her ways.
Has anyone ever seen this in their older cat? Any ideas what else I could be doing to help alleviate her discomfort? I hate to put topical "bad taste" on her, I really want to deal with whatever's causing the problem directly, rather than just discourage her from grooming.
We'll be going to the vet with her as soon as I can get the funds together. (I've had another ill pet this month, and my vet fund is depleted.) *sigh Don't pets know they should only be ill one at a time, so we can afford their veterinary care?
Kidding of course. It's just discouraging to see the vet and be told "allergies", without any real solutions. I'm trying a new vet with Binx as soon as I'm able- she's proven much more small-animal savy than my former vet, who primarily sees farm animals.
Thanks for any ideas. I'm quite fond of the old gal, and she's healthy otherwise. I hate to see her spend her last few years in discomfort, or have to put her down over something which seems as if it should be easily treatable, if we can just figure out why she's doing it.
Rejoicing in the day,