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Discussion Starter #1
I just noticed that one of the cats I'm fostering has no fur on the upper part of both of his ears, and the skin is rough, with bumps along the outside edges. There's nothing unusual about the inside of his ears, and they don't seem to bother him at all.

Any idea what could have caused this? He's has no health issues and the rest of his coat looks fine. I don't know his history, but he's extremely friendly so I'm assuming he had regular contact with humans as a kitten.

The fur on his ears is light brown; bare skin is grayish. The bumps are the dark spots on his left ear.
 

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Googling isn't much help, there are so many things it could be from. Maybe your vet could recommend something over the counter that you could pick up at Petsmart or Petco, without having to take him in.
 

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Thanks, Marie. I don't think he needs any treatment for it now. It looks more like something happened in the past. I was just curious what it might have been.
 

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One of my cats went outside one winter night and saw a mouse runa across the snow and disappear.....I had a hard time getting him in the house......it was -30+F at the time, and the tips of his ears got frost bitten and wilted the next day.. They straightened up a bit but looked wrinkly and grey the rest of his life.....lived to be 16 yrs. So if you get very cold winters where you live that's what might have happened to your foster boy.
 

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... the tips of his ears got frost bitten and wilted the next day.. They straightened up a bit but looked wrinkly and grey the rest of his life
Wow, I've never known a cat to get frost bitten, and I used to live up north. But it's not surprising, now that I think about it. I doubt that's what happened to this boy because last winter was pretty warm in our area of Texas, and I think that was his first winter.
 

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Mange and mites can cause that kind of issue. You need a vet to do a skin scraping. Maybe look for over the counter ointment for mange and mites if you can't get into the vet.

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Thanks, FluffyLove; hadn't thought of mange. He may have had one of those conditions in the past, but I'm sure he doesn't now as he's not doing any unusual amount of scratching.
 

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That's good, but he might be hiding some symptoms from you. I just groomed a cat who's ears were compacted with puss and scabs. She wasn't scratching and her owners never thought to look in her ears. She never scratched even when all 4 of the other cats she lived with had severe earmites. They never looked at or treated her. My 4 yr old boy had a yeast infection in one ear and never showed signs. As a groomer, I'm always messing with my animals, so I found it before it got bad. Cats are sneaky and hard to diagnose. I would still get some ointment to soothe the irritated skin.

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Can you recommend something available over-the-counter? Maybe coconut oil? I've used that before on irritated skin.[/QUOTE]I use bag balm since it obsorbs fast and stays longer than coconut oil, but the oil would work in a pinch. There's also itch creme specific to pets if you are able to get to a pet store. I typically stick to bag balm myself.

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