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Cat licking spots raw / chewing

July 12th, 2008, 04:59 PM

I found this forum and it looks to be a great resource - I'll give you all the background and maybe someone can help us out. We moved 9 months ago and our cat Cody (he's Tonkinese) started scratching his ears badly about a month or two after we were here. He was treated for this and the problem faded away, but recently he seems to be licking spots raw (occasionally causing a scab or irritated looking skin). We thought it may have been isolated as it started going away and the fur returned, but it has gotten worse again. We've tried to identify it and are very open to suggestions about how we might be able to treat it effectively. We've only been in our area going on two years and we don't know of a good place to take him locally. Plus, we really can't afford a super-expensive bill as we don't make much money. We're also against a number of conventional treatments as they cause more problems than they solve. We'd like to treat the CAUSE, not symptoms and seeing homeopathics suggested here in other threads was encouraging since they are a much safer place to start.

Up until this point he's never had any problems so we're curious what might be causing these issues. We don't use toxic cleaners, he's always been given IAMS food since before we got him (though if there is better food out there we're definitely open to it), he stays indoors.

So, if more details are needed or you have any suggestions we would be most appreciative.


July 12th, 2008, 06:43 PM
It could be that he's allergic to something. ButterBean, the orange and white one in my picture, had a terrible grass allergy. When he used to go outside several years ago, anything of his that touched grass a lot would get so raw it would bleed. His toes and fingers, (yea I know, fingers sound funny but hey, they do grab things with them), they would bleed a lot as well as his belly. We found out he had a bad grass allergy and had to go get an allergy shot every so often.

Even now after he's been strictly indoors since 2003, during the months that people are mowing, he scratches and licks his fur in spots so much that he'll start to lose his hair. Before I realized he was still being affected by the grass allergy, he even got to where it would get pink and almost to the point of being raw. So now during the spring/summer months he has to get an allergy shot about every 2 or 3 months depending on how much grass is in the air or tracked in.

July 12th, 2008, 08:08 PM
he's always been given IAMS food since before we got him (though if there is better food out there we're definitely open to it),

First of all, welcome to! Sorry about your cat's itchies. Now about that food: would that happen to be kibble? Either way, one of the most important things to look at when a cat starts having skin issues is probably diet, and I hate to tell you this, but Iams ain't so hot. It tends not to have the best quality ingredients (heavy on the by-products and grains).

It's a common misconception that if a cat has been eating a food for years without a problem, and then suddenly develops allergies, that it can't possibly be the food. Not true. Most food allergies take years to show up. My suggestion is to switch to a quality canned food with a single protein source, preferably without fish, chicken, or grains (especially corn, wheat, and soy). Some good ones to look for are Nature's Variety Instinct, Innova Evo 95% meat, By Nature, and Natural Balance (Venison & Pea or Duck & Pea only). If you're interested in reading more about feline nutrition, there's some good info here:

A raw diet would be something else to consider, if you're up for it. You can even buy pre-packaged frozen raw from certain pet stores with the necessary supplements already added. As easy as opening a can. It's sometimes tough to transition cats over to it if they've been eating dry food their whole life, but it is possible (I did it with my kitty).

Anyway, good luck in your quest to get to the bottom of this. Let us know what happens.

July 12th, 2008, 08:12 PM
^ Good advice. :thumbs up

Dr Lee
July 12th, 2008, 09:38 PM
I agree that a food change may very well be beneficial. Food allergies could be a cause. There may be other causes as well. Some possible causes of the signs you describe might include: high thyroid, high blood pressure, inflammatory or infectious causes, diseases causing pain, etc...

How old is your cat? When was the last veterinarian visit? Has there been recent blood testing?

Just the medical mind ever thinking..... :rolleyes:

July 13th, 2008, 02:35 AM
We've only been in our area going on two years and we don't know of a good place to take him locally.

If you post your location someone may be able to help with a recommendation