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Excessive ear scratching in kitten

July 16th, 2009, 11:18 AM
Question for my cat savvy mentors:

A friend of mine adopted alittle male kitten that is now approximately 4-6 months of age. He was doing great health wise until approximately 1 week ago.

His food diet has not changed (IAMS :yuck:) and litter is the same. Nothing different, nothing changed.

He is constantly scratching his ears to blood. He has been to the vets twice and he is free of mites. They do not know what is wrong with him. He has been prescribed cortizone, antibiotics (unknown which ones but I will find out). Needless to say they have already racked up a $400.00 vet bill.

A friend of mine in rescue went by to see the kitten last night and she verified for anything unusual. She states that it is not earmites and the ears are very clean except he is in such discomfort that he is scratching excessively to the point where there are scratch marks, bleeding and no hair left on the outer ear.

Could this be the food??? Allergies perhaps?? Vet cannot confirm.

I suggested changing the food to Oriijen but if there is something better - can anyone suggest something other than raw. Also, if you have any insight, your replies are more than welcome as the family is terribly concerned. The family however is infact going to find another vet.

Help??? Anyone??:o

July 16th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Canned food. As SCM would say... any canned food is better than the best dry food. It is possible kitty has a grain, corn, chicken or fish allergy. Maybe do a gradual switch to a beef based or venison based food. Something with no grains or corn of course. It will take a while but I bet they see a change in the ears. :fingerscr Iams is :yuck:

July 16th, 2009, 11:56 AM
I will pass this on. Hopefully this will do the trick.

Thanks a million.

July 16th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Yup, could be food allergies, or environmental allergies (anything change in the household, like a new detergent, air freshners, cleaning products?), could also be yeast or bacteria. Did the vet do an ear swab and send it out for a culture and sensitivity? Here is a decent link that talks about ear problems in cats:

In the meantime, your friend might want to ask the vet about Zymox ( And definitely a food change is in order, whether it's the source of this problem or not. Male cats especially MUST eat wet food, or they risk a life-threatening urinary tract blockage.

July 16th, 2009, 02:06 PM
They did do a culture and results will only be available next week.

I have passed on this valuable information. Regardless, this cat's food is being changed immediately.

Thanks for your help.:)

July 16th, 2009, 02:10 PM
Absolutely can be allergies, Jasper will scratch his ears and eyes to the point of bleeding if he eats any food with grain. My vet couldn't figure it out either :rolleyes: :frustrated:.

He does well on Wellness grainfree, Nature's Variety Instinct (not Prairie) and of course homemade raw.

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2009, 02:14 PM
try swabbing them with some diluted green tea ist very soothing i use it on du and manda manda will get her ears irratated too

July 16th, 2009, 07:22 PM
could also be something as simple as ingrown hairs, as that can happen. I would FOR SURE switch to canned food asap. Have they looked at the skin on the outside of the ear? have they done a skin scraping? Hmmm... could be so many things but for sure I would go with the allergy theory as it will cause no harm and only benifit to get off that food.