Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Cat scratches a lot and tiny black specks come off all over…

Customer Question
Cat scratches a lot...

Cat scratches a lot and tiny black specks come off all over the place. When these specks are put on a damp paper towel, it turns red [bloody]

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the cat's name and age?

Tabby. About 5 years old. It is actually affecting all four of our cats.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the tabby's name?

Tabby's name is*****: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Tabby?

No. She and the others scratch a lot and often

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 8 minutes by:
9/10/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12,137
Experience: Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
Verified

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. What you are seeing is due to fleas. Those black specs are called "flea dirt". They are actually flea fecal matter. It turns red on a paper towel because it is basically digested blood. You may never see the fleas on them, but it sounds like you have a bad infestation. First and foremost, all cats need to be on a good flea preventative. The best and most efficient options for killing these fleas and getting this under control is to get them on Comfortis every month (oral preventative only available through your vet) or Bravecto every 3 months (topical preventative only available through your vet). Other preventatives will not kill as fast or be as efficacious through the entire treatment period. You also need to treat the yard and house for fleas. 95% of the flea population are the immature forms you never see. You have to break that life cycle in order to get it under control. That is why the speed of killing and maintaining that efficacy through the treatment period is so important. In addition to treating the yard and home (either get an exterminator or supplies from some place like Home Depot), vacuum all carpets, furniture, rugs and under furniture daily for 1-2 weeks and empty the vacuum outside. It will take 2-3 months to get fleas under control doing this. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
You say it is fleas but we don't see any fleas. we have used diatomaceous earth on all floors, carpets and the cats
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

I understand that you don't see any fleas, and I am not surprised you don't see them. You typically do not in cats. They groom so fastidiously, that they end up ingesting them. Look at their feces or around their anus for anything that looks like an oversized piece of rice that is moving or sesame seeds. These are tapeworm segments that are transmitted from ingesting fleas (if you do not find any, that doesn't mean anything). Those fleas are there, though. That black dirt doesn't come from anything else but fleas. Diatomaceous earth does a questionable job of controlling this. I may work in mild cases, but in bigger infestations, it just doesn't cut it. You need better control than it can offer. Let me know if you have other questions.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
IS THE $28.00 IN ADDITION TOTHE $26.00?
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

It shouldn't be, but I am not sure what you are referring to. The Experts do not see any information on the charges to customers. Sometimes it pops up an offer for a phone call that may be more, but I am not able to make phone calls anyway. If there is an additional charge on there, make sure to let me know, and I will forward that to the moderators to make sure they get it straightened out. Hope this helps.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THATI I DON'T SEEANY FLEAS ANYWHERE, EVEN ON ME OR MY CLOTHES.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

The primary host for those fleas are usually cats. They prefer to be on the cats. With 4 cats around, there is enough to go around for all the fleas that they won't usually get on any humans. Sometimes finding the fleas is more difficult than you would think, so I never base my diagnosis of fleas just on seeing them. Remember, only 5% of the flea population are the adult fleas you can see. If there is that dirt looking substance or skin lesions primarily around the base of the tail; I know it is flea related 99% (100% if there is flea dirt) of the time. Nothing else produces those signs. That goes for dogs and cats but especially cats. If you flip up the hair on the back, starting at the base of the tail, the rear limbs, head and belly; you will eventually find one flea at least, but it can take some time. Plus, scabs around the neck are usually due to fleas as well. Let me know if you have other concerns.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. John
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hello. I was just following up to see how Tabby is doing and to see if you have any other questions.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a cat veterinarianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Dr. John Your Own Question
Dr. John
Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12,137
12,137 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience

Dr. John 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

3,951 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,790 satisfied customers

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

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,604 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

3,791 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,076 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,941 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
Our hamster female has what appears to be a scab or dry skin
Our hamster female has what appears to be a scab or dry skin near genitals . Noticed last week when cleaning cage not amy worse today … read more
Dr. Leah Hill
Dr. Leah Hill
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary medicine
671 satisfied customers
My cat has a raised scab on his neck that was bleeding
My cat has a raised scab on his neck that was bleeding yesterday (as a result of roughhousing or scratching). I've washed it and put a elizabethan soft collar on him to prevent him from scratching/lic… read more
Dr. Leah Hill
Dr. Leah Hill
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary medicine
671 satisfied customers
My cat developed scabs from a tick bite. I'm not sure if
My cat developed scabs from a tick bite. I'm not sure if this is an allergic reaction or the onset of disease. I should mention he is an indoor only cat but managed to escape past our backyard into th… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Removed a tick and there's a scab but there's definitely a
Removed a tick and there's a scab but there's definitely a bump there too. Removed tick 2 days ago but wondering if I should take him to the vet to be sure the head isn't still there. There's a black … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
714 satisfied customers
My 15 years old male cat has scabs or pimples on his belly
my 15 years old male cat has scabs or pimples on his belly that he licks till there is no fir. He has 2 antibiotic shots and I give him allery pills but it still going on for about 4 month … read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
546 satisfied customers
I take care of a feral cat, its eye is a big scab and its
I take care of a feral cat, its eye is a big scab and its bleeding, the eye is gone. … read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinary Degree (BVMS)
3,479 satisfied customers
My cats gets scabs mostly on neck, back, and behind ears.
My cats gets scabs mostly on neck, back, and behind ears. There are no fleas present or fleas excument … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
I have a Sphinx mother cat with tiny scabbing on her belly
I have a Sphinx mother cat with tiny scabbing on her belly area where her nipples are. Her nipples are not swollen, just this "rash like" break out. Initially I thought it was the kittens' nails pokin… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,670 satisfied customers
She is allergic to fleas and has scabs I've given her flea
She is allergic to fleas and has scabs I've given her flea med with a heart worm med. She just today started to have weak back legs and her tail stand straight up like she is having muscle seizures. H… read more
Heath Wilkerson
Heath Wilkerson
ER/ICU & Exotic Animal Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
415 satisfied customers
My cat is losing patches of hair and has scabs all over her
My cat is losing patches of hair and has scabs all over her back. She's been under stress bc I lost my apartment and have been staying with a friend that has a indoor/outdoor cat and dog and my cats a… read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
969 satisfied customers
My cat has some scabbing and reddness around one of his back
My cat has some scabbing and reddness around one of his back claws. One of the scabs that had fur on it fell off revealing a spot of blood. He doesn't seem irritated by it, just scared when I spend to… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
Have a cat, male, 2 yrs old. He gas scabs that reoccur on
Have a cat, male, 2 yrs old. He gas scabs that reoccur on one ear, t nose and on face. Also, large scabs on back.. he is a fat cat too... any thoughts? … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
I have a 4 year old rabbit with a small scabbed over wound
I have a 4 year old rabbit with a small scabbed over wound on the tip of his ear - it may have been a cat scratch that caused it but I don't know for sure. I have a cat but they have always gotten alo… read more
Dr G
Dr G
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
82 satisfied customers
My cat has a sore on the anus, it scabs like it"s healing
My cat has a sore on the anus, it scabs like it"s healing but the scab falls off and it shows it is not properly healed. She is eating and drinking as usual and does use her letter regularly. Can I pu… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My hair scratches a lot and has some scabbing around the top
my long hair scratches a lot and has some scabbing around the top of his head and lower back at the base of the tail … read more
Sophie-Vet
Sophie-Vet
Veterinary Surgeon
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
16 satisfied customers
She's got really gnarly scabs on her neck and she keeps
She's got really gnarly scabs on her neck and she keeps scratching. Her back had some earlier last week but we thought her brother was just biting her. Now it's getting worse and it seems like she's g… read more
Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M.
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,534 satisfied customers
My cat has skin lesions due to flea bites can I give her
My cat has skin lesions due to flea bites can I give her cefdinir in small doses … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
2,694 satisfied customers
Had a skin lesion, dark grey below left ear, and was getting
Had a skin lesion, dark grey below left ear, and was getting bigger, size of a pea, little bit larger, and due to having back surgery on me, coulden't get in to see vet. It wasn't painful at all as I … read more
Dr. F
Dr. F
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
23 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