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Advice Please!! Cat question

Miss Erynn
January 25th, 2009, 03:02 AM
Hi!

I have a 5 year old cat (almost, he'll be 5 in April) and he's been scratching his neck like crazy. So much that he has scratched all the fur off and got a sore. I used tea tree oil (as advised to me by his groomer) and it cleaned them like a damn! (I'm going to start using it on myself) - anyways, he is still scratching - so much so that he has a bald spot. He is still healthy otherwise though - still plays, eating normally, going to the bathroom normally, cuddles, active, sleeps the same amount and his nose is still cold and wet. It looks like he has dry skin from the winter cold - but I'm wondering if it's something more? Should I just keep using the tea tree oil? Will his fur grow back? He's an indoor so I don't think he would have caught anything. I always wash my hands if I've been out and pet another cat. It looks like dry skin, but I'm worried about him (I tend to worry about him like crazy and make to big a deal out of anything that I think might be wrong with him) :) Is there something else out there that anyone can suggest? I don't want him to be uncomfortable.

Any suggestions would be wonderful!!

Thank you!!
-Erynn

growler~GateKeeper
January 25th, 2009, 03:47 AM
Hi Erynn :) welcome to pets.ca

Does your cat wear a collar?

Does he have fleas?

Has you cat been vaccinated recently?

Is the air in your home fairly dry?

What food are you feeding?

Supplementing with Salmon Oil will help bring natural oil & softness back into the fur and suppleness back into the skin.

It is most likely the fur will grow back in with no problems, depending on how much fur is missing it may take a couple of weeks for it to fill in properly. Cats that always wear collars get a "ring around the collar" of no fur and it will grow back even for cats that have worn collars for years. My grrl wore one for about 14 years & within a few weeks of permenantly taking it off her fur had completely grown in.

Is he scratching all through the day or just when the heat comes on?

To lessen the damage to his skin try to keep his claws short & when you see him scratching distract him with a toy or something.

Love4himies
January 25th, 2009, 10:44 AM
Any time a cat is scratching to the point of baldness you should take your kitty to the vet just incase it is fungal/bacterial infection that requires meds.

Are you able to check for fleas? Fleas can come into your home via your socks, so even though you have an indoor only kitty, they can still come in. Have you changed your cats food lately?

sugarcatmom
January 25th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Should I just keep using the tea tree oil?

NO tea tree oil!!!!! Can't stress this enough, tea tree oil is TOXIC to cats! It would also be a good idea to inform your groomer that this advice is dangerous. Tea tree oil might be okay for dogs, but it is most certainly not okay for cats. It contains phenols that can build up and cause liver damage because cats lack the ability to metabolize essential oils with the same efficiency as dogs or people.

http://www.centralpets.com/php/search/storiesdisplay.php?Story=125

Tea Tree oil (melaleuca, Melaleuca alternifolia) is a phenol-containing essential oil. Its active ingredients are cyclic terpenes which have a similar structure and action to turpentine (a known toxin) - in fact Tea Trea oil makes a good paint solvent! Cats are uniquely sensitive to phenolics and other benzene-based compounds.

In addition, cats have relatively thin, delicate skin and Tea Tree oil is highly lipophilic (attracted to fats, solvent). This means that the oil is absorbed rapidly and enters the bloodstream. These factors may account for the poisoning cases reported to the NAPCC.

Miss Erynn
January 25th, 2009, 01:07 PM
Tea tree oil is GONE! I had it diluted with water and only used it 3 times on him... Should I be worried about that now?!? Have I caused him liver damage?!

**I think it's an allergy. I have done more research and about a month ago (when I started to notice the scratching I had changed his food over. It's the same brand (whistkas) but it's for indoor cats so it has stuff in there that his last food (normal whiskas) doesn't have. I will be changing his food back to normal and hopefully these will go away.

No, He used to wear a collar but I took it off him a year or so ago and all his fur grew back.

He has never had a single flea in his life.

If the food change doesn't work - he's going to the vet. It might be ring worm. Although it's too much of a coincidence about the food change thing to make me think it's anything else.

I'm so angry about the tea tree oil!! Should I take him to the vet?! PLease give advice on that now!! :( :( :(

Miss Erynn
January 25th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Hi Erynn :) welcome to pets.ca

Does your cat wear a collar?

Nope.

Does he have fleas?

Never had one in his life!

Has you cat been vaccinated recently?

Nope

Is the air in your home fairly dry?

It's winter here. So, yes the air is dry around here this time of year.

What food are you feeding?

I changed it about a month ago - to an indoor cat food. I think he may be allergic and I'm going to buy him his old food today.

Supplementing with Salmon Oil will help bring natural oil & softness back into the fur and suppleness back into the skin.

Thank you! I didn't know that! Good to know!

It is most likely the fur will grow back in with no problems, depending on how much fur is missing it may take a couple of weeks for it to fill in properly. Cats that always wear collars get a "ring around the collar" of no fur and it will grow back even for cats that have worn collars for years. My grrl wore one for about 14 years & within a few weeks of permenantly taking it off her fur had completely grown in.

He used to wear a collar but, I took it off him about a year ago - his fur was back in no time.

Is he scratching all through the day or just when the heat comes on?

When the heat comes on? It's winter - it's the same temp all the time in our house.

To lessen the damage to his skin try to keep his claws short & when you see him scratching distract him with a toy or something.

He just had them done a few days ago - this is where the woman told me to get tea tree oil. I could kill her!

ancientgirl
January 25th, 2009, 01:35 PM
That was unbelievably irresponsible of that woman. What's good for dogs isn't always good for cats.

If you can, you might also want to see if you can get your hands on some sulpher soap. When I thought Vlad had ringworm, I washed his affected area with it. My vet told me it was a good idea, the sulpher soap. If you think about it, when they have skin issues they usually get bathed with lime sulpher at the vet's office. It's supposed to relieve the itching.

sugarcatmom
January 25th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Tea tree oil is GONE! I had it diluted with water and only used it 3 times on him... Should I be worried about that now?!? Have I caused him liver damage?!

I'm sure he's fine, especially since it was diluted. The liver also has amazing abilities to bounce back. My worry would be more with long-term use, although with cats you can never be too careful. As long as he's eating and behaving normal, it should be okay. Here's more info on what to watch out for:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=aromatherapyandcats

Cats are very sensitive to many chemicals. It is best to avoid any oil containing phenols: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, birch, and melaleuca (Tea Tree oil) or ketones: sage. Another group to avoid are the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners. Symptoms of a toxic buildup include being despondent, clumsy, uncoordinated, partially paralyzed, vomiting, drooling or in a daze. The diagnosis for toxic poisoning is a blood test that shows elevated liver enzymes. It is best to seek a veterinarian's care if toxic poisoning is suspected.



**I think it's an allergy. I have done more research and about a month ago (when I started to notice the scratching I had changed his food over. It's the same brand (whistkas) but it's for indoor cats so it has stuff in there that his last food (normal whiskas) doesn't have. I will be changing his food back to normal and hopefully these will go away.

Would that be dry food or wet? Either way, there are much better options than Whiskas, which is heavy on the corn, by-products, and potentially carcinogenic preservatives (BHA/BHT). If possible, you might want to consider feeding a higher quality canned food like Wellness, Nature's Variety Instincts, By Nature, Innova Evo 95%...... Here is a very informative article written by feline veterinarian Dr. Lisa Pierson: http://www.catinfo.org/


I'm so angry about the tea tree oil!! Should I take him to the vet?! PLease give advice on that now!! :( :( :(

Just keep an eye on him.


That was unbelievably irresponsible of that woman. What's good for dogs isn't always good for cats.

Unfortunately not even the manufacturers of pet products know this. It's shocking how many items out there contain ingredients harmful to cats, from essential oils to herbs to preservatives. Even vets are often completely clueless. It think it was Winston's mom's vet that prescribed her cat, Brady, a topical oil for dandruff that contained essential oils like clove and sage. I've learned to research everything before putting it into or on my cat. They are just such sensitive little beings with a very unique physiology which we're still learning about, and it's too bad that this frequently gets overlooked.

growler~GateKeeper
January 26th, 2009, 02:33 AM
It's winter here. So, yes the air is dry around here this time of year.


When the heat comes on? It's winter - it's the same temp all the time in our house.

I know it's winter ;) I meant the air inside your house in particular - are you finding it quite dry do you need to moisturize more often? The same dryness that may affect you can also be affecting your pets. Some houses are prone to have very dry air where others retain some humidity better so the air inside is not noticeably dry. Some people say leaving a glass or vase of water on a counter helps keep the air from becoming too dry as it evaporates.



All furnaces/heaters that I'm aware of will go on until they reach a set desired temperature then they turn off, until the sensor detects the need to turn the heat back on to boost the temperature back up to the desired setting. The temperature read out will stay consistent though because the slight drop in temperature during the rest cycle is generally not enough to be that noticeable. Kind of like an oven cycling heat/rest/heat. Otherwise if the heat is on constantly & never turns off the temperature keeps rising & doesn't stop.

So if your heat system cycles like this and your cat, like mine used to, prefers to sit on or in front of the heat vents there will be certain times throughout the day that the cat's skin may be a bit more itchy due to the forced hot air. :)