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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20860
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat has sudden bursts of energy --jumps about--and has ...

Customer Question

My cat has sudden bursts of energy --jumps about--and has been scratching under his chiin to the point of causing bleeding. What could this be?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

When cats suddenly jump about, it's usually because their skin feels uncomfortable. Does your cat go outdoors at all? Is he currently on a monthly flea preventative like Advantage or Frontline?

From your description, I would suspect fleas or other skin parasites; other types of skin conditions are also a possibility. I could elaborate more if you could supply a little more information. Do you see any red, scaly or scabby areas on your cat's skin? Does he have any white flaking (like dandruff) and does his skin seem very dry? Are there any areas with hair loss?

The scratching under his chin may be caused by discomfort from feline acne. The cause of feline acne is similar to human acne--blocked sebaceous (oil) glands which form little blackheads and/or whiteheads, and then itch and are scratched, leading to possible infection.

This chin condition and your cat's overall skin health should be evaluated by your vet and appropriate treatment will be prescribed, if needed. You can help to alleviate some of the symptoms on the chin until you see the vet, by washing your cat's chin with an antibacterial soap and water, drying gently, and applying Neosporin to the area to help it heal. This suggestion is not in place of a vet visit, just a temporary plan to help him feel more comfortable.

What material is your cat's food/water dishes? Plastic is not recommended, as it can harbor bacteria in the tiniest cracks even though the dishes are washed well. Stainless steel or glass are recommended, but the edges of the dishes which constantly come in contact with your cat's chin as he eats, must always be checked for tiny chips or cracks, too. Dishes should be washed in hot, soapy water at least once a day.

Cher : )
Cher and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Thank you
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
You're very welcome! Please let me know what the vet says!

Cher : )
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Hi,
Thanks for the prompt response, I was surfing the net a few weeks ago and came across a page on cats which described various illnesses and one of them described a disease characterized by "sudden buursts, etc and excessive scrating of--and I couldn't remember the rest. I paid no attention until I saw the scratching under the chin. After unsucessfully searching I decided to try your website. The "sudden bursts" have been with him since he was a kitten and I have thought they were probably just burning off energy. If any of this suggests a disease, please let me know. I am going the neosporin route and if it doesn't clear up immediately I'll go see the vet.   Allen Rodes
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi Allen,

I ALSO came across a website with similar words and I'm trying to find it, now...OK, well this is a great website, and explains why cats have these sudden bursts of energy, but doesn't associate it with any other symptom:

I do know that taking off running all of a sudden,
like you describe, can often be a reaction to a skin disorder, allergies or parasites like fleas,
which make the skin feel itchy or like it's 'crawling'. You didn't indicate whether your cat is currently on any monthly flea preventative like Advantage or Frontline. However, the scratching at the chin as I mentioned, could be caused by feline acne or any of a number of skin allergies/irritations or parasites.

I'm glad you'll go see the vet if self-treating your cat's condition doesn't show any improvement.

Cher : )

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