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Old 26-01-2013, 11:13
Elanor
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My cat, who I adopted in November, always seems to have small scabs round his head and neck. I'll be stroking him and suddenly find a scab (maybe the size of my little finger nail at most, usually a lot smaller) somewhere in his fur. The first time I felt one, it was old and loose and came straight off. This was just after I'd adopted him, and I thought he must have been fighting or something before he came to me.

However, he's since had several - some have looked long and thin, like scratches, and some have been rounder patches. He doesn't appear to be bothered by them - he's not scratching madly as if he's itchy or been bitten. He definitely isn't fighting. I have noticed him scratching himself ocassionaly, but only a couple of times a day in the normal cat way - he does't appear to be madly itchy or anything. I can see no sign of fleas or mites, although with mites, I don't know how visible they are... I've Frontlined him anyway just in case, but the scabs seem to be continuing. They aren't deep wounds, they've very small, shallow looking ones.

I have wondered if he's cutting his own skin with his claws while he scratches, as his claws are quite sharp (they're always catching in blankets and clothing for example, even though he uses his scratching post regularly) as I can't think what else it could be...

Does anyone have any bright ideas please? Could it be mites, and if so, how would I tell?
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Old 27-01-2013, 19:37
Elanor
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Sorry to bump my own thread, but does anyone have any idea what this could be? I've no experience of cat mites, but surely if he had them, they'd be biting me too? I haven't noticed anything... but he's got three scabby patches today, one behind each ear and one on the front of his throat.
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Old 28-01-2013, 11:56
Lost_Soul
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Really a trip to the vets would be best, it could be a whole load of things, i had a cat with eczema and she used to be quite scabby but ring worm, flea allergy and food allergies can all cause scabs on the skin..
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Old 28-01-2013, 12:13
avasgranny
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Does she wear a collar? One of mine was allergic to his collar and his neck was the same. A trip to the vet would be the best idea.
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Old 28-01-2013, 12:17
gmphmac
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We adopted a new cat a few months back and she had exactly the same problem. The vet confirmed that this was flea bite dermatitis, and prescribed some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.

Don't bother with Frontline, as it's utterly useless. I've good results with Advantage flea treatment, so maybe try that?
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Old 28-01-2013, 12:51
elliecat
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My cat has an allergy to mites (dust and ones that you get in dry food she was tested at the vet years ago when we first noticed that she had pulled all her fur from her belly and was making herself bleed) and she scratches a lot(we don't and we don't see them either). It tends to be on her belly and her back by her tail but she also has broken fur in that area from where she over grooms.
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Old 28-01-2013, 17:04
Sandgrownun
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Sounds like it could be a flea allergy (they don't have to have fleas to have an allergic reaction, they just need to be in the vicinity of one). Mine goes for antihistamine injections every few months, they cost about 30. My vet did warn me not to groom her too much if she has any scabs, as pulling them off can cause an infection and fur loss.
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Old 28-01-2013, 19:25
susie-4964
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Sounds like it could be a flea allergy (they don't have to have fleas to have an allergic reaction, they just need to be in the vicinity of one). Mine goes for antihistamine injections every few months, they cost about 30. My vet did warn me not to groom her too much if she has any scabs, as pulling them off can cause an infection and fur loss.
Sounds like flea allergy to me too. In my experience, cats don't scratch nearly as much as dogs when they have fleas. Try Frontline to get rid of the fleas (it does work). Some cats are allergic to flea collars. One of ours was, and his fur never grew again around the neck where his collar went, so he looks as if his head's been sewn on!
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Old 28-01-2013, 19:33
Elanor
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Thanks everyone.

He doesn't wear a collar, and he doesn't seem at all bothered by the scabs (at this point). I've had a thorough clean of all the bedding and cushions and carpets etc over the weekend, and I'll try to get him to the vet later this week. He doesn't appear to have any new scabs over the last few days, but he definitely isn't fighting, so it must be something! I'm sure there are fleas about, on and off, because I also have an outdoor cat who comes and goes, including into other houses.
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Old 28-01-2013, 19:36
susie-4964
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Thanks everyone.

He doesn't wear a collar, and he doesn't seem at all bothered by the scabs (at this point). I've had a thorough clean of all the bedding and cushions and carpets etc over the weekend, and I'll try to get him to the vet later this week. He doesn't appear to have any new scabs over the last few days, but he definitely isn't fighting, so it must be something! I'm sure there are fleas about, on and off, because I also have an outdoor cat who comes and goes, including into other houses.
If the vet thinks it's fleas, make sure you get a spray for carpets and bedding as well. We came back from holiday once to find a furry rug absolutely jumping with the little horrors!
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Old 31-01-2013, 15:27
orangebird
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My cat had similar little scabs on his neck, also around the end of his back towards his bottom. I was certain it wasn't fleas and took him to the vet. Vet confirmed it wasn't fleas, but an allergy of some kind. It is now a process of elimination and so far, I looks as though its Dreamies he's allergic too!
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:38
Elanor
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Thanks! I'm going to take him to the vet today. He's been clear for several days so I thought maybe it was over, but he's got another really crusty patch on his neck today. Looking at it, there's no bloody type scab, it's more like an excema type skin thing, no sign of any actual cut or wound.

Thinking about it, I'd be surprised if it was fleas, because in the past when there have been fleas around they bit me like mad - I react badly to fleas and get very swollen and itchy bites, whereas there has been nothing this time. He sleeps with me too and sits in my ironing pile, so I'd have thought if he did have something insect based, I'd have it too by now...

I'll let you know how we get on.
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Old 02-02-2013, 17:08
Elanor
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Well I took him in, and the vet doesn't think it's any kind of insect. He thinks it's most likely dermatitis/allergy caused by something he's either eating or in contact with. I'm to put some oil in his food for a bit, see if that hydrates his skin a bit (because the scabs aren't severe) and then if it doesn't improve he may need some steroid injections.
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Old 02-02-2013, 18:55
Lost_Soul
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Glad everything went ok Elanor, fingers crossed the oil works x
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Old 03-09-2013, 23:01
Elanor
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Posting in another thread has reminded me that I didn't come back to update this. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! He's totally ok now - turned out he was allergic to cheap food! He is now on James Wellbeloved special diet requirement type food (non gluten I think it is) and he's fine! Not a scab in sight and his coat's all glossy and soft. Last month I was broke and got him the cheap stuff, and he was scabbed up within days, so he's back on the good food now. He eats better than I do, haha.
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Old 03-09-2013, 23:06
avasgranny
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Posting in another thread has reminded me that I didn't come back to update this. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! He's totally ok now - turned out he was allergic to cheap food! He is now on James Wellbeloved special diet requirement type food (non gluten I think it is) and he's fine! Not a scab in sight and his coat's all glossy and soft. Last month I was broke and got him the cheap stuff, and he was scabbed up within days, so he's back on the good food now. He eats better than I do, haha.
Thanks for coming back with your update. So glad he is ok.
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