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Young cat with bites around neck...

Fifi61
November 15th, 2005, 06:44 PM
I have had cats for most of my life, but I have never seen anything like this. I don't think they are flea bites because they are BIG. Also, this cat is the only one of three that has this problem and none of the others have fleas. They are at least the size of large mosquito bites and they ring her neck. At first it was one, then three and now after two weeks -- they are all the way around her neck! I'm sick over the fact that I don't know what they are or how to help.

This is a very delicate situation on top of it because this kitty (18 months) and her sister were strays and are extremely scared of people. I can't pick them up at all. I can get close to them if I lie on the bed or couch and call them. However, when I am prone, they run in fear. I am extremely gentle and kind to them, but I still can only get so far. So, I cannot take them the the vet. I got them there once when they were tiny but I get shredded (they are like wild animals when scared) and they FREAK out when you get near them now when you are standing up.

These bites are not all round-shaped either -- there is one in particular that is oblong. I have done a bunch of research, but nothing turns up that matches. Does anyone have any experience like this? Any advice considering the circumstances?

Thank you so much!

happycats
November 15th, 2005, 06:56 PM
You have to try to trap them so they can be checked by a vet, they may have a desease. (they have great live animal traps, and often can be borrowed from a vet or local rescue)
My cat Boowee, had something thats sounds like what your kitten has, and my vet said he was very allergic to fleas!! Even 1 flea would cause seeping welts and loss of fur.
All I can say is he needs to be vet checked, because only a vet can tell for sure, and the flea stuff you get over the counter is not effective, and could cause even more damage.

Fifi61
November 15th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Thank you so much for the help.

I asked my vet if I could get a mild sedative to get the cats there and they refused. I have had to do this before for another mean cat I had when it was time to go to the vet. He would bite if he wasn't sedated. I thought that would be a good way to get her mellow so I had a better chance to get her in the carrier, but unless I change vets, I have to come up with another way to get them there, but I will figure something out.

badger
November 15th, 2005, 07:55 PM
You could give Rescue Remedy a try. It is a herbal calmant, available in health food stores and some supermarkets. You put several drops in their water or food (water is better, they don't seem to notice the taste). It doesn't always work and is nothing like a true sedative, but it's worth a shot. I think you have to get a least one of these guys to the vet. Put a blanket the cat has been using into the crate, along with some treats and just hustle it in there, making lots of soothing noises. He won't be happy! The vet has seen difficult patients before, trust me, s/he'll know what to do. How long have you had them?

Fifi61
November 15th, 2005, 08:26 PM
I never heard of that med before -- but it could be worth a shot! I cannot stress how ugly and scared (read Edward Scissorhands here) they get. I am pretty strong willed, but they just out-will me until I'm punctured (nails) and bloody.

I have had them for 15 months. I was the second owner. I met the original owner who was not who I would pick for a mama. I am in Texas and she had them outside in a cage (7 of them--in a 3x4 cage) on her porch in June. Really HOT. When I brought them home, for three months they basically hid the whole time and nothing would bring them out. I could not get them out from under the credenza and/or bed. So, we are talking no real human contact for 3 months. It was a nightmare to catch them because they were so small, but because of their size, I could get them in the carrier after about an hour of fussing with them to get them to the vet ONCE. I took them to the vet the 2nd week I had them and she found leaves and mites and rubbish in their ears from being outside (there were several strong rainstorms). She used 18 Q-tips for one kitty to get the junk out!

I have spent the time since that visit trying to get them to trust me and I have made major strides. I give them a lot of love and attention and human contact (petting, talking, etc) They have come a long way in that time. However, even when I think I have won them over and try to pick them up, they freak out royally and act like I'm an axe murderer. However, they go about 3 feet away and look back at me as if to say "I know I should run because that is what my instincts say, but I'm not sure why?" I know that they feel safe with me. I am probably 6 months away from being able to pick them up (hopefully), but I can't wait that long to get them to the vet. I need to take them probably on my day off next week, but it is such an ordeal that I just haven't tackled it yet (I work full time and go to school at night and am 40 years old--so that alone wears me out!)

I know that it is the right thing to do -- all my other cats go regularly. I finally also believe that they will forgive me and I won't lose the progress I have made with them. There was a time that was a genuine concern, but I believe it would not be the case (at least I hope it won't!).

Thank you all for your input and the ability to share my dilema!

badger
November 15th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Virtual flowers are raining down on you, for your patence and persistence with these kitties. Definitely try them on RR if you can get it where you live, you won't see any immediate change but over time it might make them less anxious.

May I suggest one thing? I've got a stray at the moment who was outside for at least four years. He is still pretty quick with his claws but has come a long way in a few weeks. He has been neutered (you didn't say if yours were but it sounds as if they're old enough -and neutering sometimes can help calm aggression) and I can now touch him pretty well everywhere, even occasionally on his tummy, but he does NOT like to be picked up.

It occurred to me that this is really the ultimate loss of control for him so I have backed off for now. I suggest you do the same, touch them everywhere they agree to be touched, play those games where you can be at a reasonable distance, and try to draw them in, still respecting the limits their little claws impose. I don't know if this makes sense, normally I am a grabber, but now I wonder if this is the right approach. Of course, you'll have to do a little grabbing to get your candidate in the crate,but I swear he will forgive you when his itchies have been dealt with.

Fifi61
November 15th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Thank you for your help and advice. I truly appreciate it.

The girls are not spayed and I need to do that as well. They didn't go into heat until longer than normal (I am told) so I didn't really notice it. However, they just went into heat this past weekend and it is still going. They are pretty frenzied this time so I know I was remiss for not doing it sooner. So, I need to do that ASAP. I already paid the doctor for it (they had a special at the time I took them to the vet) so I just need to get them there. I was hoping that to limit the trauma for them, I could take them to the vet at least one time before I left them there for the surgery. However, I am thinking that they need to have it all done and perhaps it would be better for them to be in the vets office as in-patients when all the things are done at once. :sick:

I have never had female kitties before and I have never had such hard-to-reach kitties either. This is such an odd situation because these kitties sleep in beds on my bed with me and they follow me around and they definitely come to me for "luvin", but they just have something in their heads that tells them to be picked up equals trouble. So, it is a fine line that I walk.

Perhaps God is nudging me because he knows I can't bear to see my kitties suffer in any way.

Thanks again!

PS--how many kitties do you have?

happycats
November 15th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Hi Fifi, you may want to get a friend, neighbor or family member to trap them for you, because it's very hard to earn trust with cats like this, and it may set you way back if you do it yourself.

I have 5 cats;) and one stray I feed outside!

Fifi61
November 15th, 2005, 11:08 PM
Hey, HC, that's not a bad idea. I have a roommate, but he is working in Florida right now. It would be perfect if he can come back for Thanksgiving (they haven't told him yet whether there is work scheduled that Friday or not, so he doesn't know if he can yet). That would work out great. He could capture them and put them in the carriers.

Thanks for the advice!