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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16285
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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MY cat is female nine years old her mother was a feral cat.

Customer Question

MY cat is female nine years old her mother was a feral cat. SHe is honey thin and licks herself all the time. SHe licks until she looks wet. EAts dry food and wet canned food. WEars a flea collar but scratches a lot to. VEry jittery the licking is excessive.
THank you!
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 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 wee one’s situation, and wanted to help. Now if Luna is getting very thin, we do need to tread with care. At her age, this could be related to metabolic issues (ie hyperthyroidism, diabetes) but also organ dysfunction (ie liver, kidney, etc). Otherwise, it is possible that if she is very irritated and overgrooming excessively, that she could be wasting energy/calories on grooming and this can cause some weight loss. So, need to tread with care.To start, in regards ***** ***** overgrooming, if you aren't seeing skin changes (ie signs of infection), then this behavior is likely in response to a diffuse allergy. This can be related to flea saliva if a flea has bitten her but also dietary proteins, pollens, or a reaction to any products you use at home. With this all in mind, we need to monitor her situation and remove any possible allergens that could be to blame. As well, it'd be worth trialling her on an OTC antihistamine. 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. Alternatively, you can also use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first. And she may appreciate that more than a bath (plus the effects tend to be longer then baths). Otherwise, while collars give some protection against fleas, do consider a spot on treatment as they ensure that all of the cat is protected. If she settles with the above, we are happy and can monitor her weight. Though if she keeps losing or is too itchy for the above, we'd want to have a check with her vet. Long acting strong steroids can help halt the skin signs and her vet can test a blood sample to make sure those other internal issues aren't triggering her weight loss. Finally in the meantime, just to try and slow her losses, consider offering her a calorie rich diet (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned kitten food) or supplement her with a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Catsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite and help try to get some weight back on her. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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