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My poor itchy fleas!

November 10th, 2008, 08:20 PM
I am at my wit's end trying to figure out what to give this poor cat next. He's inside outside, but I only take him out on a leash, usually a couple of times a day. This cat is 10 or 11 years old, birthday is not for sure. He is my daughter's cat actually, but kind of lives with me full know the situation, I'm sure.

He got fleas in August when I had to take him to five different vet appointments and have a surgery. He never had them before, and I've always combed him everyday with a flea comb. I give him vit c and garlic pills, and I'd gotten away from it before this happened, so I think that might have been the problem.

Now, I got the flea problem under control...never had a real problem at all because I was on top of it constantly, and I'm allergic to flea bites, so I made sure it was my first priority to keep it in check. I haven't gotten a flea off of him since Oct 20. I was only finding one or two and would go a week or more a couple of times without any sign of one, but the itching is still a problem.

He's never had any sores, but he lost hair because he was biting and scratching so much. I take that to mean he must have been allergic to the bites also. BUT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM NOW? There's no sign of flea dirt on fleas, and I've vacuumed and cleaned so thoroughly ever since this happened. I even broke down and bought that Zodiac stuff that you put on the back of his neck, because my vet wanted to charge $75 for Advantage..6 months' supply. I had gone into debt for over $1000 since August when he was so sick and had surgery. I just couldn't spend anymore.

The stupid stuff didn't do anything anyway, so I still got the odd flea and still had to work at the problem myself. I wonder if he was reacting to the stuff on him. I can't bath him. He's a big cat and very aggitated...he's a scratcher and a biter. Need I say more? He has claws!

Please, if you can suggest anything I might be able to give him or rub on him to help this problem, I'd really appreciate it. He's so miserable.

He's a long-haired cat who hates the brushing and combing also which doesn't help.


November 10th, 2008, 08:35 PM
because my vet wanted to charge $75 for Advantage..6 months' supply.

My pets got fleas 2-3 times since I have them. I NEVER did the whole 6 months in a row treatment. Some vets sell Advantage seperately , you can buy 1 or 2 instead of the whole box. But , if you did the Zodiac treatment , now you'll have to wait , I'm guessing a month. Call other vets and ask if they sell Advantage individually , and ask how long you have to wait after the Zodiac treatment. That is IF you find fleas again on him.

For now , I'm guessing you have started to heat your house , the air could be dry , that could explain your cat's itchyness , do you have a humidifier ? That could help.

November 10th, 2008, 08:47 PM
I know...I'm wondering if dry skin or allergies could be a problem, but darn...I have the windows open alot. I really do. I'm in an apartment building and still keep the heat very low. I'm not sure what the heck to do.

Thanks so much for your response.

November 10th, 2008, 08:59 PM
You might want to consider something like borate powder ( for dealing with fleas in your home. Sprinkle it in corners and on carpets (not with your cat in the room as it can irritate lungs if inhaled). For the outside, beneficial nematodes ( do a great job of eating flea larvae in your lawn.

I wouldn't use garlic pills or vitamin C. Garlic can actually be toxic to cats (causes Heinz body anemia) and too much vit C has been linked to the formation of urinary crystals.

What does your cat eat? Could it also be a food allergy at work?

November 10th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Happened to see this, and although I'm not a cat owner I thought I'd post and see if it helps! First things first, am so sorry you're dealing with this, frontline/advantage are expensive meds and painful to fork out for, although frontline worked well for my dog.

I've recently heard about how apple cider vinegar is a good flea repellent for dogs/cats/horses, apparently it helps with their skin and coat too. I have no idea if this works as I haven't tried it but apparently you mix equal parts ACV and water and spray on his coat. You might want to google to find out more.

I was also wondering if, like for dogs, its a diet issue? You might want to look into changing his food, maybe consult your vet or check out some of the threads here for good cat food? Good luck!

November 10th, 2008, 09:09 PM
I know the latest thing is that garlic is harmful to cats, but I read about how you could give your cat both 200 mgs of vit c a day (for urinary problems) about 15 years ago, in a natural vet column in Alive magazine. They also said you could give garlic and brewers yeast tablets or garlic pills (for humans) so that's what I used on my previous cat that had major allergies. We never could narrow it down to what she was allergic to, and I had her to quite a few vets. Eventually she was put on prednisone and I gave her those vitamins on top of it, and that controlled the problem. My vet was well aware of the treatment, and said it was fine.

I know, I'm wondering food allergy, but this cat has that FUS problem too, and that's why I went with the Vit C, as my previous cat had it and that's how I controlled it (as above.) Now, I have WeeJee (this kitty) on WD from the vet...Hills...and of course I give him other dry foods, and canned also. I spoil cats rotten, so I wouldn't know what all of a sudden could be bothering him. He never had this itching till after the surgery and got those fleas. I thought maybe it was the anaesthetic, but that couldn't be it now.

November 10th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I appreciate your response and all the others too. I will definitely give this a try and maybe try to find out more. I just don't think fleas are the problem,. I never once ever got a flea on me from my apartment, because trust me, I'd know it! I'm so allergic.

I will be happy to try anything right now.

November 10th, 2008, 11:08 PM
I know the latest thing is that garlic is harmful to cats,

Like many things, it's probably the amount of garlic that's the issue. There are certainly plenty of cat foods that contain garlic and don't cause any problems, but it's likely just small amounts. I don't know if I've ever heard of an established safe level of garlic intake so I personally prefer to err on the side of caution.

but I read about how you could give your cat both 200 mgs of vit c a day (for urinary problems) about 15 years ago, in a natural vet column in Alive magazine.

The idea of using vit C for urinary tract issues is to acidify the urine, since acidic urine is less conducive to struvite crystal formation. Does WeeJee (great name!) tend to have crystals in his urine? Problem with using vit C is that it's not a very consistent acidifier. You could end up with urine that's too acidic, and create an environment for calcium oxalate crystals to form, a much more difficult problem. Likewise, the vit C may not be doing anything. A more reliable acidifier is L-methionine. If you are using either of these, you should be testing WeeJee's urine PH at home on a frequent basis to make sure he stays in a safe range. There are test strips you can get at health food stores for this.

Now, I have WeeJee (this kitty) on WD from the vet...Hills...and of course I give him other dry foods, and canned also. .

A much better idea than using vit C is to feed a species appropriate diet: quality meat-based food without grains (W/D has a LOT of grains and is very high in carbohydrates), and most importantly, lots of moisture. Which means no dry food. A good canned or raw diet will in most cases, help to maintain an appropriate urine PH. Hate to tell you this, but Hill's W/D (and most Hill's products period - no matter what the vet says) is horrible for an obligate carnivore. I'd be willing to bet it's playing a role in WeeJee's itchiness.

Please read this link for more detailed info on feline nutrition, then ditch the dry and find a good canned food: Maybe even something with a novel protein like venison or rabbit, in case WeeJee has developed allergies to some of the more common proteins used in cat food like chicken or fish. Grains like wheat, corn and soy are also highly allergenic in the cat world, so simply switching to a grain-free wet food may be enough. Oh, and it's perfectly find to leave canned food out for free-feeding, if that's a concern. Good luck! I hope that helps a bit.

November 11th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Jovin, I think sugarcatmom gave great advice about what to look for in cat food! I agree that you want to look for a grain-free novel protein as grain seems to cause allergies in a number of pets. have a look in your regular pet store or online, there are quite a number of brands that you can explore. Off the top of my head I know this online store carries decent stuff:
I feed my dog Addiction kangeroo, which is a novel protein as well. I know they do grain-free cat foods too and they use proteins like brushtail, venison, salmon as well. My dog was an itchy scratchy dog and the food worked for him. It's worth a shot!