Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

My cat is older ~16 years and has generally licked

Customer Question
My cat is older...

My cat is older ~16 years and has generally licked compulsively. More recently we realized it was his friskies wet cat food and once we switched over to BLUE grain free wet food he was better. However recently if has stared again and he has no scabs but licked off long patch of hair along spine and his legs just as he has done before. The only thing I can think of is that he had gotten loose outside and for a few hours and then he had this again.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know if your cat will be able to digest that. What is the cat's name and age?

Bebop and I wrote above 16 yrs old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bebop?

He has had urinary tract blockage when he was 9-13 years old and again was lack of enough wet food and the type so has been ok for the last 3+years

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 4 hours by:
10/1/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,755
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. There are quite a few consideration in such a cat and so I'll post my entire synopsis of the pruritic cat for you. Please take your time perusing it and then return to our conversation with additional questions or concerns if you wish. Not all will apply to Bebop, of course, but it will give you a good overview of what we need to consider...

Pruritic (itchy) cats are suffering from an allergic dermatitis in the great majority of cases.. Allergies to flea saliva, environmentals such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, and foods should be considered. In rare instances the mange mite Demodex might be responsible and is diagnosed with skin scrapings examined microscopically. Skin infection (pyoderma) is under-diagnosed. Bepop's vet can perform a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of his skin surface) looking for abnormal numbers of either bacteria or yeast.

Our dermatologists tell us to apply an effective over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage or a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or one of the newer prescription products available from Bepop's vet even if fleas aren't seen. It would be prudent to switch to one of the newer flea products in a different class of insecticide such as Activyl (indoxacarb), Cheristin (spinetoram), Comfortis (spinosad), or Vectra (dinotefuran & pyriproxyfen). These are all prescription products available through his vet. You can purchase the oral Capstar (nitenpyram) over the counter in pet/feed stores, however, which will kill any fleas on Bepop within minutes of your dosing him. Be sure to treat your premises with an over the counter area treatment spray that contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) such as Siphotrol Area Treatment Spray containing the IGR methoprene. The IGRs don't allow flea eggs and larvae to develop into adult fleas and so the life cycle of the flea is broken. Cats can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Indoor cats can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. Turning on the heater or As the weather warms at this time of year then hatches the eggs. Flea saliva allergy is usually most evident on the saddle area – the area between the edge of the rib cage and tail. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription glucocorticoid (steroid such as prednisolone) will work wonders for cats allergic to the saliva of the flea. Your other pets may not be allergic to the saliva of the flea.

Environmental allergies are usually addressed with prednisolone as well. In some cats an over the counter antihistamine such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) dosed at 2mg/cat daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily may be effective.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Bepop's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. There are many prescription novel protein diets and the prototypical hydrolyzed protein diet is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (I prefer a hydrolyzed protein diet because it removes the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein diet.). We usually see a positive response to these foods within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. A food intolerance can appear at any age and even if our cats have been eating the same food for quite some time. Food intolerance is not as steroid-responsive as is either a flea saliva allergy or atopy.

We used to diagnose these cats with psychogenic alopecia - a neurotic over-grooming - but have come to realize that most of these cats truly are allergic cats. Feline psychogenic alopecia is overdiagnosed but does exist. Excessive and out-of-context grooming is thought to be an obsessive-compulsive behavior that's triggered by environmental stresses and anxiety. The condition is uncommon in cats, with purebred cats that have high-strung nervous temperaments being possibly predisposed.

This type of alopecia may occur anywhere on the body where the cat can lick but it most commonly involves the medial forelegs, inner thighs, perineum, and ventral abdomen. Hair loss is often bilaterally symmetrical but remaining hairs don't epilate easily. The top differentials are flea allergy dermatitis, food allergy, dermatophytosis (fungal infection), other ectoparasites (mange) and atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.).

The underlying cause of the psychological stress (e.g., separation from owner, moved to a new house, animal companion died, new pet in household, formerly outdoor cat denied access to outdoors) must be identified and appropriate environmental modifications made, if possible. A good flea control program should be instituted to prevent fleas from aggravating the symptoms. Use of a mechanical barrier (e.g. Elizabethan collar, T-shirt) for 1-2 months to prevent grooming may help break the habit. Behavior-modifying drugs may help stop the abnormal grooming behavior. In some cases, treatment may be discontinued after 30-60 days of therapy; in others, lifelong therapy is required for control. Drugs that may be effective include the following: amitriptyline, clomipramine, buspirone, phenobarbital, diazepam, and naloxone.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,755
33,755 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.

Dr. Michael Salkin 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
My 14 year old cat has gritty feeling stuff on the skin around
My 14 year old cat has gritty feeling stuff on the skin around her neck. I have a furminator brush but wonder if there is a danger in using it.… read more
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
2,941 satisfied customers
My cat has scabs only around his neck. He does not have fleas
My cat has scabs only around his neck. He does not have fleas or any flea treatments. He is an indoor cat and the scabs seem to itch him also, they bleed. Please help… read more
Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene
Veterinarian, Chief of Staff
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,975 satisfied customers
my cat is scratching off the hair near his mouth, started out
my cat is scratching off the hair near his mouth, started out looking like he scraped it somehow but now he has lost more hair to a size bigger than a quarter and he is still scratching it… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinary Degree (BVMS)
3,475 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
534 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)
3,475 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
33,755 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
10,387 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
411 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
929 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
33,755 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
My cat is scratching too much, but I dont see any fleas or
My cat is scratching too much, but I don't see any fleas or ticks on her. She has never been bathed, but I am assuming that cats don't need to be bathed. She is an indoor cat and was shedding some fur… read more
PetDoctor2005
PetDoctor2005
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
278 satisfied customers
My one-year old Siamese mix cat has a bump inside her lower
2 PICTURES BELOW!! My one-year old Siamese mix cat has a bump inside her lower lip. I will attach a picture. I haven't looked much at her lower lip before so it's hard for me to know how different it … read more
Vet help
Vet help
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
2,072 satisfied customers
My Cat has little red spots all over her skin. I have tried
My Cat has little red spots all over her skin. I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of them. What could they possibly be? She doesn't have any hair loss or skin breakage.… read more
Dr Aaron
Dr Aaron
Associate Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
610 satisfied customers
my cat has scabs all over his lower back and tail, can you
my cat has scabs all over his lower back and tail, can you tell me how I can treat it?… read more
Dr. Jay Mawhinney
Dr. Jay Mawhinney
Emergency Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
1,990 satisfied customers
My cat is having a hard time swallowing. Whenever he tries
My cat is having a hard time swallowing. Whenever he tries to eat, he looks like he cannot swallow. What to do?… read more
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta
Large and small animal Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
22,387 satisfied customers
Can I use phenothrin shampoo on my cat
can I use phenothrin shampoo on my cat… read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
534 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