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Discussion Starter #1
I've been taking care of an ear-tipped feral male cat. He's become very people-friendly and I've been putting Frontline on him every 4 weeks since July. He still is constantly nipping at himself. I took a flea comb through him and didn't find any fleas or flea dirt but he has little scabs all over him. These are what must be bothering him, but what could they be coming from if he has no fleas? Thank you!
 

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Maybe they're just residual scabs from fleas that he had earlier and once they fall off, he'll stop? Is he causing any bleeding or irritation by licking at them?

How great that he's gotten friendly enough that you can get a flea med on him! That can be hard even with totally domesticated, indoor kitties! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No bleeding that I've seen. I'll keep an eye on him and continue the Frontline through the colder weather.

We've been able to coax him into our garage through a cat door we've installed. There are kitty beds and food for him to stay warm and dry whenever he wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just got a look at the inside of his back legs and he has them raw. Next Frontline is scheduled for November 12.
 

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Aw, poor little guy.

It sounds like an allergy - either to fleas, something in his food, something in the environment, or maybe even the Frontline?

Chicken, fish, and grains are common culprits for foods. Maybe you could see if a different food resolves the issue, or consider switching to Advantage or Revolution.

Can you tell if he's licked himself raw anywhere else? If there's any broken skin, do you think you could get him into a carrier for a vet visit?

He's a lucky kitty to have found someone who cares about him!
 

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For what it's worth, I never found that Frontline worked very well on fleas. Advantage works better. Though you say he doesn't have fleas. It does sound like a skin issue or allergy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He eats both Purina dry and various canned foods. I don't know where to start in trying to feed him a special diet. Because of the cost, I don't want to waste that on the birds! lol
 

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Hi Sharkrow!
After going through this very familiar sounding skin issue with an outside cat that adopted us, it really does sound like an allergy issue to the food he's eating!

I finally found a more affordable, but still, good dry food.
It's called Whole Earth, Grain Free, Turkey and Duck formula.
Now after almost three months, the weird little scabs are going away, and his whole coat of fur, is feeling so much better!

I had taken him to the vet's first, to see if he had a parasite or fungal thing going on...he didn't, so I figured it had to be diet related!

When it comes to diet changes, you have to be patient, as it can take up to three months, to see positive results, with the new diet, if you're on the right track, you should know!

Grains are the worst offenders for allergies, followed by fish based, chicken based, can be even beef based...
Cats are like people, some can it some things, while others can't!
Good Luck! Thanks for taking care of him!
 

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A quick add on! Stop the Frontline! Give him a break with that stuff, it could very well be adding to his skin issues! Cats have sensitive skin, and unfortunately, he may well have developed a hypersensitivity to that stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did put some Purina Sensitive Skin and Stomach out for him but he turned away from it. I will look for the Whole Earth food. Thank you all!
 

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Hi again!
You'll need to make any food switches slowly!
Lets say he's getting a cup of food, use what you've been feeding him...but change out a 1/4 cup of the old, with 1/4 cup of the new, when he's eating his food, that includes the new food, change out some more of the old, with some more of the new, till you've finally got him on the new food only!
This will not only get him to change tastes, but give him time to adjust his 'inner workings' so he doesn't get diarrhea, or start throwing up his food!😸
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you! His food is outside AND inside my garage. But the outside food gets eaten not only by him, but other cats and critters, including birds. So the cost is a concern wasting it on the other animals; which I feed with their own food, too. I also have 11 inside cats!
 

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Hi sharkow,

One additional recommendation: I'd look at the ingredient lists in the foods he's getting and keep a list of which potential allergens are in each. Ideally, you'd focus on eliminating one ingredient at a time, as that would make it easier for you to identify specific allergens and avoid them in the future while still giving you more flexibility in terms of foods to try. However, it would also potentially take much longer to identify a culprit.

Wow, I understand cost restrictions with 11 kitties and other wildlife that you're feeding! Purina One and the Beyond line are both grain free, but I'm sure they're more expensive than the regular Purina. I think it's harder to avoid chicken and fish with dry foods. The Whole Earth Farms that Sharon recommended looks great - the dry formula does have chicken meal, so if you try it, and kitty doesn't respond, it might be chicken that's the allergen.

Have you given your scabby little guy a name?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you! I've given him the name Sammy (actually after Sammy Davis Jr because I thought he was blind in one eye, but since last year his eye is looking more normal).
 

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So cute! :) Feel free to post pics in the Meet My Kitty section if you like...

And do keep us updated on how he does with a change in flea meds and diet!
 
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