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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16225
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 3 cats are itching and sratching themselves all the time.

Customer Question

My 3 cats are itching and sratching themselves all the time. it began about 4 weeks ago. They don't have fleas, but what could it be. I've tried anti-itch sprays, and a product that is given orally, but nothing has worked so far.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 12 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before.Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

What was the oral product you used?

Even if you are not seeing fleas, can you tell me when they were last treated? What did you use?

Any new laundry soaps, carpet powders, sprays or products being used in the house?

Do any of the cats go outside?

Any sores, pimples, scabs, baldness, or skin changes with their itching? Where on their bodies?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
They were last treated for fleas in August. I use lots of different cleaning products all the time, so I don't know how to narrow that down. The anti-itch drops is by HomeoPet, feline skin and itch, purchased from Petco, and no my cats don't go outside
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 12 months ago.

Thank you,

Now to have multiple cats itching at the same time suggests a shared exposure or issue. Therefore, we'd be most concerned about a possible flea allergy dermatits (which they only need to be bitten by a rogue flea that someone brought in to set them off, as it is actually a saliva allergy), mites/lice, or exposure to a chemical irritant (which any cleaner they could be in contact in or has been sprayed in the environment would fit this, but also things like new or scented litter).

With this all in mind, you may want to choose to limit what cleaners you are using. If there is anything new or any products with a "new formula" or scent, consider stopping its use until they are settled. That way we are just making sure that isn't an issue and removing the irritant if there is one. As well, even though you are not seeing fleas, it would be ideal to treat. It is a cheap way of making sure this is not an issue. Furthermore, you could choose to use a broad spectrum flea treatment (ie Advantage Multi, Revolution, Stronghold, etc) as these also will address mites and lice. So, it would be a means of ruling these out but addressing them if present.

Finally, since we have what sounds to be a diffuse irritation of the skin as opposed to them being itchy in one site, I would suggest a trial for them on antihistamines. These tend to be better for diffuse itchiness caused by allergic irritation then topical sprays. Of course, if they are severely itchy, a course of steroids (oral or injectable) from their vet would be ideal. In regards ***** ***** we most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like in people). And of course, this shouldn't be used if your wee ones have any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Overall, having all the cats reacting in this manner tells us that we likely have a parasitic or environmental source for their signs. Therefore, we'd approach this in a step-by-step manner to rule out each concern and nip this in the bud for them before they can cause themselves secondary bacterial infections from their scratching.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.

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