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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15620
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a 13 year old half Russian Blue, half Maine Coon cat.

Customer Question

Hi. I have a 13 year old half Russian Blue, half Maine Coon cat. He freaks completely out when we change things, but for no read we can fathom, he is hanging out in the kitchen (he is sleeping in a frying pad on the stove right now. He has scabs all over his body. We though perhaps he had fleas and bought the liquid that goes between his shoulder blades. That was Sunday and he still the scabs. We never see him scratch. We are worried about our Kneadle.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Maine?
Customer: No.we have two other cats and they don't have any of these symptoms. The cats get along well but do not sleep together or spend much time together. He is eating and sleeping and using the litter box.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with 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.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

What brand flea product did you use?

Since he isn't scratching at all (not usually something we see with fleas), can you tell me if the scabs look crusty or scaly?

Any access to toxins or plants?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To do so, you can use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hello Dr. B.
Kneadle is known to pout when we change anything in an area where he spends time. My husband moved his art studio (acrylics, water colors, pen and ink) from our living room into our tiny sitting room on our second floor. Kneadle moved to the kitchen where you can find him either sleeping in a frying pan (room temperature) and starting today in the corner of our countertop. He had sores around his neck like this once before, in 2014. Those healed and he could occasionally get one or two but nothing like this.
Last summer he got fleas, probably from our dogs. Our cats never go outside. Anyway, Had a lot of little scabbed areas but when he started losing his hair we took first him, then our dogs to the vet. Kneadle got several shots that day and he was better in a matter of days. Our dogs went on Bravecto and have been on it since. Kneadle use to come jump on the bed, knead his claws into me, then lie down on me and purr while I petted him. When he did this on Sunday I discovered he had little bumps all over except his face. Because he is black, it's hard to see these sores. I was able to remove the scabs of those that had healed. Thinking maybe it was fleas again I bought Sentry PurrScriptions Plus quick drying liquid. He let me put it between his shoulder blades. I have been waiting for him to feel better. Today, my husband was checking the bumps and found a place on his left side just down from his shoulder blades that looks like a serious scratch. I would say one of our other cats did this but I have no idea what happened or what this is.. This is when I began to freak out and found my way to you. Here's a picture. The area on his left side just below his shoulders in only about an inch long. If I sneak a look down he tries to hide the area.
I also need to tell you I am handicapped and on Social Security Disability. $17 is a lot of money to me, but I believe you shouldn't have an animal if you can't care for them and thought a vet visit will really have me deciding between vet bills or food. I wish I could tell you something less alarming.
Thank you,
Sandi Davis (Kevin Mathey is my wonderful husband)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you, Sandi.

Now Kneadle's reaction to change is quite characteristic of the feline species. They are not known to cope well with it and of course some take change harder then others. That said, with his being withdrawn (retreating to a high area) and being covered in scabs, this sounds more like a cat that is uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable.

Now looking at the scabs, this does fit with flea allergy dermatitis but also allergic dermatitis in general. Furthermore,since you aren't seeing him scratching like he is itchy, there is a risk that this is secondary to stress overgrooming (especially since cats that overgroom with stress tend to be closet groomers doing so when their owners aren't looking).

With this all in mind, you were right to start by flea treating here. Though I'd note that we do need to keep an eye out for fleas and flea dirt, since Sentry products are not very good and resistance is commonplace. Still, since he has been treated already and these look like self-inflicted lesions, we'd also want to counter any allergic causes for these. To do so, you can trial him on an OTC antihistamine. And this may be all he needs if he isn't severely itchy (as steroid injections tend to be required in those cases). Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ 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.

Finally, since stress overgrooming is also a concern for a kitty like Kneadle, you can try addressing that even if there isn't a stress trigger you can pinpoint. To do so, you can use an OTC house treatment like Feliway/Comfort Zone. As well, there are nutritional supplements (ie Composure, Kalmaid, Zylkene, etc) that can reduce feline anxiety and help him settle. And again these are all over the counter at vets, pet stores and online; so these could be trialed to address the stress angle for him.

And since since you noted that funds are a concern and should we need him seen for further treatment, there is help. First, if you have a VCA or Banfield veterinary hospital near you, then you might consider taking advantage of their free first consult offers. You can find vouchers for this via VCA: ( & Banfield : (

Otherwise, you could consider checking out the Humane Society's database ( or ASPCA’s database ( Both have a lot of branches nationwide, along with ties to other assistance organizations that can keep down costs and surely will be willing to help if we find that this lingers for him.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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