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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone - hope you all had great holidays!

You know how when you scratch kitties sometimes down by their tail on on their flanks they make what I call the meow-meow face where they lick the air and what not? Well Tommy did that and I always thought it was kind of a "Oh yeah, that's the spot!" thing. (No, I didn't overscratch him and get the skin there irritated, nor has it been overbrushed.)

Now however, it seems like if I touch him there, he's very sensitive, sometimes to the point where he'll swat my hand or hiss.

He's an older guy, so his fur there is a bit thinner and here's the problem I think: We live in Ohio so we're cooped up inside for the winter. Despite the fact that I have 2 small humidifiers, the air in my apartment is horribly dry. My skin gets so dry sometimes, my legs, that it itches and burns and even wakes me up at night! Poor Tommy is likely suffering from this too. I have some stuff called Shed-X that's oil I put a little on his wet food. He doesn't much like the taste of it I think.

Any suggestions to improve the moisture level of his skin?

PS: Oddly, if this is bothering Lilah she doesn't show it, but she has very long fur and is younger.
 

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Mow gets 1/8 tsp of olive oil in his food twice a day.....I do it for hairballs but it does (imo) have the added side effect of giving him healthy skin and a super shiney coat. He doesn't seem to mind the taste....(probably cheaper than store bought since you most likely have it in the house anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You know what though, I'm thinking about it lately and honestly, I think it's the apartment itself that's the problem. We live above a business - a "what was I thinking?" move on my behalf. The business is a flower shop. A flower shop. I have really bad pollen allergies..... so... duh. In addition to that being a problem on it's own, the business supplies our apartment's heat, up through the register shaft. Guess what comes with it? Not only pollen and whatever is in the ancient ductwork, but they've been using leaf shine and spray paint more recently due to holiday decorating on arrangements. That is toxic and let me tell you, it's become a choice of should I have heat, or be able to breathe and not get debilitating headaches?

Since I adopted Tommy, he's been a sneezer and had itchy spots. I've asked his vet repeatedly about allergies and he suggested Benedryl. I don't want to have to force that on Tommy in pill form but I don't know what else I could do if it is allergies.

Moving is high on the list. That's a goal in 2011.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update

One thing I also forgot to mention is that Tommy has the Herpes thing. At least, while not formally dx, the vet said he probably does given how common it is in cats and his symptoms (sneezing, eye crud)

I found this olive oil in a spray pump, which is greatly convenient when it comes to getting a small amount in his wet food. I've also started giving him his L-lysine again. I know its been shown to suppress herpes symptoms and all around I figure it can't hurt. While it is warmer outside too, I took him onto the porch and gave him a super brushing. The spot where he seems most sensitive is more on one side, so I'm going to have to keep an eye on it with the fear that it may be something more than dry skin. For now I see/feel no abnormalities, so I'm not expecting the worst. I keep in mind that he's an older fellow (8 or 9 not sure) and like me as I'm getting older, sometimes things itch, ache or feel wrong and it's not necessarily cause for alarm, right?

Also on a side note - Tommy and Lilah usually shun packaged cat treats, but eureka, do they love "The Good Life Recipie: Catnip delights" lol. Tommy would eat a whole bowl of them if he were allowed. I recommend them! :kittyturn
 

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I think if I were you I would take a trip to your local home improvement store, explain your heating/pollen situation to them, and see if they can recommend a product like a screen that could be put over your heat vents to cut down on the pollen coming in. I don't know if anything like this is even made, as ideally you would have a filter on the furnace itself, but I would think that someone who works with heating systems might be able to recommend something. Or maybe look up some furnace companies and call them to see if they can give you any ideas. You might be able to find an inexpensive solution that will give you and Tommy relief until you can move!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's frustrating to be sure. On top of that it's the classic lazy landlord who has an excuse for not doing everything but collecting the rent. I just have to get priorities in hand. I'm going to keep looking for better apartments but also have to get a better paying job. You know what? Next apartment I look at, I'm going to go around and ask other residents about the landlord. Hey, they check references on prospective renters, so why not turn the tables?
 
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