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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18945
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My name is ***** *****. And issue is regarding a change of

Customer Question

Customer: Hi my name is ***** *****. And issue is regarding a change of behaviour in my cat.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She has flea dirt and scratches a lot even though I gave her broadline flea and worm treatment 2 weeks ago. She only now comes in to eat and then straight outside. She use to always be in side to sleep, but now she never does. Its been about 3 weeks since this started. She smells of under the house too.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year 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.

First, her signs sound like she is withdrawing from the household. This can be a stress/anxiety behaviour (if something she found scary happened at home) but could also be related to her having an underlying illness (as unwell cats often retreat to "safe" hiding spots). In this case, we do need to tread with care. If there are changes in the house that are upsetting her, we'd want to adjust those and think about using an OTC feline de-stressing treatment (ie Feliway/Comfort Zone, Kalmaid, Zylkene, etc).

Otherwise, if you are seeing flea dirt, then that tells us that your flea treatment isn't working and the fleas are resistant to it. Therefore, if it has been 2 weeks, it'd be worth retreating with a newer product (ie Advocate, Advantage II, Activyl, etc) at this stage. As well, since the itching is often triggered by an allergic reaction, we do find treating that of benefit to cats. To do so, we can use antihistamines (or have they vet treat with injectable steroids if severe). 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 people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Overall, it sounds like the fleas are resisting your treatment and we need to be more aggressive in addressing that. Otherwise, we withdrawing behaviour is her way of telling you that something is upsetting her in the house or internally and thus causing her to feel vulnerable. So, we need to assess the house for changes and consider a check up (if she is due a booster soon, you could move that appointment up) to find that root cause she cannot tell us about and get her back to her usual routine.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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**Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you. IF you have any lingering questions or concerns, please stop and reply to me via the button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Thank you. :)