Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Cat Veterinary

My cat sometimes has issues with attacking her tail as

Customer Question
though it's fighting her and...
My cat sometimes has issues with attacking her tail as though it's fighting her and now for the second time in eleven years she is losing all the hair near her tail.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about sometimes?
Customer: She did it quite often when she was young along with a lot of hissing, growling and racing around. It only happens occasionally now.
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 21 minutes by:
7/9/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,300
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

I am very sorry to hear about your kitty's discomfort and sudden tail sensitivity/itchiness.
Allergies are the most common cause of itchy, uncomfortable skin. And flea allergy is the most common allergen that seems to affect the tailhead and back area most so it is definitely possible, especially if she goes outside or has housemates that do.
I'd apply an effective topical flea protection every 28 days. Both Advantage II and Frontline Plus work quite well at killing fleas and are less likely to create a skin reaction. The Seresto flea collar is another excellent option and has the benefit of 6-8 months of continuous protection. It is the only effective flea collar for cats.
Other allergens are inhaled (like mold spores or pollens) or food allergies.
To help dampen her allergic reaction to the flea bites (or the symptoms of any inhaled allergy) I recommend a combination of antihistamines and omega-3 fatty acids. Some antihistamines to try are:
1) Benadryl at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight or 1/2 of a 25mg tablet per 8 to 15 pound cat 2 to 3 times daily. You can crush the pill up and hide it in something tasty like her canned cat food or you can give it directly. Make sure whatever you use is Benadryl only as the combination products with decongestants and acetaminophen are toxic to cats. Benadryl is very bitter and some cats will drool excessively or may even vomit because of that. That doesn't mean it is making her ill, she just hates the taste. If that's the case with her try a different antihistamine
OR
2) Chlorpheniramine 4mg per cat once or twice daily.
OR
3) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at a dose of 5 mg per cat given orally every 24 hours. (Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because cats cannot tolerate decongestants.)
Omega-3 fatty acids will work synergistically with the antihistamine to soothe her itch and as a bonus will improve her hair coat and skin condition in general. I like the products by Derm Caps or 3V. These come in pump form to put on the food or you can puncture the capsules and dribble it on her food.
I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give her 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound cat could take 160mg of EPA per day. Antihistamines and omega-3 fatty acids work synergistically. These should help reduce the itch. Be aware that antihistamines can cause drowsiness or hyperactivity which should resolve with continued use.

Another possibility for her discomfort is a condition called hyperesthesia. Hyperesthesia is a poorly understood syndrome which is difficult to diagnose. These cats have pain and hypersensitivity to touch on their back and tails. They sometimes will bite at themselves because they are so uncomfortable. It is a poorly understood disease process with no definitive test for diagnosis and so other problems (such as spinal arthritis or infections or allergic reactions) should be ruled out first. We do know that stress does seem to make this disease process worse or flare more frequently. Sometimes mood altering drugs and steroids can be helpful.
Here are a couple links discussing hyperesthesia syndrome if you are interested:

1) http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1998&S=4&SourceID=62
2) http://www.cathealth.com/hyperesthesia.htmI

Another condition which initially causes pain, but can later lead to urine and stool incontinence is lumbosacral stenosis. This is a narrowing of the bony canal that the spinal cord travels through, either due to weak ligaments holding the vertebrae in place or arthritis changes in the vertebrae. It is more common in dogs than cats but it can occur in cats.

Has she has ever had radiographs of her spine?
Finally it is possible that she has a slipped intervertebral disc (the soft cushions between the vertebrae which allow spinal flexibility). When this happens pressure is placed on the spinal cord or nerve roots which is quite painful.

If she goes outdoors she may have had some sort of trauma where her tail got caught and the nerves were stretched. As the nerves regnerate there is a tingling, sometimes painful sensation which can lead to the cat chewing or biting at the area.

LS stenosis and a slipped disc can be diagnosed with regular radiographs sometimes but many times an MRI or myelogram (dye study of the spinal cord space) is needed.
Anyway in your cat's case I would start with trying to control allergies and if that doesn't work then she needs a thorough examination, as well as bloodwork to make sure internal organ function is normal, and a urinalysis with culture to look for a urinary tract infection, as well as radiographs of her pelvis/spine. If that all looks normal referral to a neurologist for an MRI may give you the answers that you need.
Let me know if you have any further questions.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,300
17,300 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

Dr. Kara is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

3,926 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,753 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,448 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

3,998 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Cat Veterinarian

3,493 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,072 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,877 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
He throws up his moist food on a daily basis and we also
he throws up his moist food on a daily basis and we also have two cats … read more
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina
Small Animal Veterinary Internist
285 satisfied customers
My nephew's cats eat food taken from a small can, but not
My nephew's cats eat food taken from a small can, but not food taken from a large can, which the nephew has recently been buying to save money. Why is this? … read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
I have 4 month old kitten that is not eating food. She
I have 4 month old kitten that is not eating food. She drinks water, but cannot get her to eat. Ialso have other cats in house that are doing the same thing. I is just that the kitten is not that big … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,493 satisfied customers
SHE ABOUT 13 YEARS OLD SHE NOT EATING HER FAVOR FOOD AND
SHE ABOUT 13 YEARS OLD SHE NOT EATING HER FAVOR FOOD AND DRINKS VERY LITTLE BUT LIKES TO EAT HER TREATS WHEN WE PUT IT IN FRONT OF HER. … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,493 satisfied customers
My pet food has 1.0 magnesium and i was wondering if that
My pet food has 1.0 magnesium and i was wondering if that could hurt her. … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,379 satisfied customers
Cat is vomiting undigested food a few times a day. He is
Cat is vomiting undigested food a few times a day. He is acting normal as always, he is just getting sick. It is usually through the night and in the morning. He goes all day doing just fine. He is 3 … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
671 satisfied customers
Why is my cat always hungry? He begs for food all the time
why is my cat always hungry? He begs for food all the time even after just finishing his meal. There are no signs of tapeworms. Can cats have mental issues? He's 2.5 and I've had him for two weeks. He… read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,493 satisfied customers
My cat has not had food for six days. She drinks alittle
she drinks alittle water but thats all. She was on pregnazone for several months as she had cancer in her lip. I had to move and she did not get her last two weeks shots. Could missing thr medicine cause this or is the cancer taking itd toll? … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,493 satisfied customers
My dog is having trouble swallowing food and he is drooling
My dog is having trouble swallowing food and he is drooling alot aswell which is affecting his weight, it doesn't matter how much he eats he is putting weight on and the drool is covering the house, I… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
671 satisfied customers
Too smart. Won't fall for trick of putting food in a cage.
Too smart. Won't fall for trick of putting food in a cage. Need to take her to vet. Never been out of house 8 yrs old … read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
4,448 satisfied customers
I have a 5-6 wk kitten that overate wet food this morning.
I have a 5-6 wk kitten that overate wet food this morning. He's been very lethargic and won't drink. I haven't seen any voiding. He tries but can't? … read more
Candy
Candy
Veterinary Practice Consultant/ Vet Tech
11,401 satisfied customers
She started vomiting her food this morning then started
She started vomiting her food this morning then started vomiting bile (beige watery). Won't eat and appears she is revolted by it. She wants to drink water but doesn't really and she vomits when she d… read more
Pet Doc
Pet Doc
Senior Small Animal Veterinarian
BVSc
2,782 satisfied customers
My very spoiled cat's food is Royal Canin's Uninary food,
My very spoiled cat's food is Royal Canin's Uninary food, which I get at the vet's. I got her some "Temptation's tuna flavored tarter control treats. She is now picketing her food, as she wants the tr… read more
Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
315 satisfied customers
Seems to regurgitate his food, both moist and dry, almost as
Seems to regurgitate his food, both moist and dry, almost as soon as he eats. Buy "sensitive stomach" food from Royal Canine and Science Diet and Halo and doesn't seem to make any difference. Food bow… read more
Sheree HughesIrwin
Sheree HughesIrwin
D.V.M.
19 satisfied customers
Throwing up almost every day. Undigested food, hairballs,
Throwing up almost every day. Undigested food, hairballs, light brown liquid. … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,798 satisfied customers
Lethargy and not interested in food. Went to vet five days
Lethargy and not interested in food. Went to vet five days in a row, can't figure out reason. Normal blood work, lab urinalysis was normal, home urinalysis showed slight hematocrit, positive nitrates,… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My cat has Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. We have tried
My cat has Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. We have tried Gabapentin, which appeared to agitate her even more. She is now on .5 mg of Fluoxetine twice a day but still has these fits off and on all day. … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Think my cat has hyperesthesia, Randomly will freak out and
Randomly will freak out and aggressively try to bite and scratch his back. Violently enough to fall off ledges, knock over things and leaves himself scratched all to hell … read more
Dr. John
Dr. John
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
5,047 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x