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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3912
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Our outside, still somewhat feral cat, who nonetheless

Customer Question

Our outside, still somewhat feral cat, who nonetheless enjoys being around people (on his terms) has displayed a jerkiness the past week. Even when lying in his bed, his tail and body twitch.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: His name is Noodle. I have no idea how old he is. We live in the country and he appeared on our porch in April while we were sitting there with guests. He had this habit of licking feet / ankles. If the person of interest sat still it was fine but if they jumped it startled him and he bit.
JA: Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the veterinarian can help you. How old is Noodle?
Customer: Another "twist" is that I know he was male, as his "equipment" was visible sometimes while grooming. Then, he disappeared for almost 3 weeks. We were sure he had succumbed to a coyote or something. Eventually he reappeared, smaller, scruffier, and WITHOUT his testicles! That was about 4 months ago.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Noodle?
Customer: Only that he is sweet, shares his food with another cat when it shows up.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 8 months ago.

Hi. My name is***** Thank you for your question about Noodle. Thank you for caring for this guy. Is he still eating and drinking well? If you look closely at his fur / on the skin, do you see black flecks there? Is he losing weight?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He is eating and drinking as well as or better than usual. He has extremely thick fur so we cannot see anything there. We have never held him (he bites) so picking him up to examine his skin is not a possibility. We have not had him to a vet, for the same reason, and because we were not looking for a pet. But now that he is here and we feed him, and sit and talk to him outside, we want him to be okay.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 8 months ago.

I can understand how some of these guys have their limits as to how much handling they will tolerate. IN his situation, the tail and body twitching would have me suspicious of some skin stimulation - fleas would be the number one rule out. If you could handle him and look closely down to the base of the fur by the tail, if you saw pepper like dots, then fleas are there. As long as he's eating well, drinking well, not vomiting, not losing weight, and otherwise doing well - then the fleas would be most suspect.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay, so...if that is it, how do we treat him without getting bit?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 8 months ago.

You could stop at your vet's office and pick up a topical flea product to place on his shoulder blade region like Frontline or Revolution. I wouldn't try anything over the counter. This is going to be an ongoing problem as his being outside will make him open to picking up more every month.