How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask purr doctor Your Own Question
purr doctor
purr doctor, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1053
Experience:  11yrs in feline-only medicine/surgery.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
purr doctor is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat will not stop scratching his neck. Iv gone to the vet

Customer Question

My cat will not stop scratching his neck. Iv gone to the vet many times and gotten no answers. Iv spent almost $500 + and runing out of savings. The vet tested the spots for fugues but came back Neg . The vet had me change his food and gave him a shot. After the shot he stoped but two weeks later he has started again. He is scratching holes in his neck and they are bleeding. Please help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  purr doctor replied 8 years ago.


I'm sorry your cat is itchy...I'm sure that is miserable for him. I would be glad to help you.


How long has this been going on?

Does your cat go outside?

Do you use any flea treatment on him?

What food did your vet say to try? How long did you use it?

What do you normally feed?

Was the shot a steroid?

Does he wear a collar?

How old is your cat?


Thanks for the question...I will wait for your reply.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

How long has this been going on? Almost aslong as Iv had him so Id say 8 months hes only about 10 months old

Does your cat go outside? No never

Do you use any flea treatment on him?Yes

What food did your vet say to try? How long did you use it? LID Green Pea and Rabbit Still using

What do you normally feed? Same as above

Was the shot a steroid? yes

Does he wear a collar? only a sock I cut to fit so he would stop scratching

How old is your cat? about 10 months

Expert:  purr doctor replied 8 years ago.

Hi again-

Thanks for the additional information.


What flea product did you use and how long ago?

Did your vet specifically check for fleas?

How long has he been on that food?

Do you have any other pets?


Sorry for all the questions....just trying to get the info I need to help! :)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

What flea product did you use and how long ago? Revolution but the vet switch thinking it may be the reason. Im not sure of the name of the new one. But it covers everything is what I was told

Did your vet specifically check for fleas? yes

How long has he been on that food? about a month same time he got the shot that worked for two weeks

Do you have any other pets? No

Expert:  purr doctor replied 8 years ago.

Hi there- Ok- it sounds like you and your vet have definitely addressed possible flea problems. The reason I asked so many questions about that is that many cats are actually allergic to the saliva of the flea. These cats can have a tremendous itchy response to just one single flea bite. Since a cat who is allergic doesn't have to be literally infested to have this response, the evidence of that one flea can be impossible to find. I'm glad to hear you are using any flea product. You never know when one gets in the house, especially if you live in an area where they are a problem! :)


Another reason for intense itchiness in one area is a skin infection. Sometimes we never know the reason something will cause the itching to start. Most cats really dig at themselves if they have an itch, and with sharp nails, the skin is sometimes broken. Since the nails on cats aren't very clean (ie: in the litter box all the time), they can actually give themselves a skin infection. This can cause intense itching and the more they itch, the more they spread it. Especially is there are sores in that area, I would ask your vet for 3 things:


1)another steroid injection so he leaves it alone and allows it to heal

2)an antibiotic for the skin (marbofloxacin or clavamox are good ones)

3)have your vet put "soft paws" on his back feet so he won't damage his skin when he itches


You could also use benadryl at the same time which will provide mild itch relief but may make him a bit sleepy. If you can't afford another visit for the injection, you could ask your vet if you could just pick up the antibiotic and an oral steroid. Ask your vet to give you the correct dose of benadryl (diphenhydramine) to use, which you can purchase yourself. Get the tablets so you can cut them, and make sure you coat them well before giving to your cat because benadryl is bitter!!


As far as allergies go, that is really impossible to prove in a cat. Itching skin can be a sign of either food allergies, inhalant allergies, or contact allergies. I doubt this is a contact allergy since it is on his neck. It may not be an allergy at all. If it heals with the antibiotics and doesn't come back, you will know. An appropriate food trial must be a MINIMUM of 6-8 weeks on that food exclusively (no treats, other food, etc) for it to properly work. After this time frame, with no response, then it is ok to try a different food.


There are allergy tests that some vets run but they are horribly inaccurate and expensive.


I think a lot of the food allergies in cats are caused by all the grains (corn, soy, wheat, rice) that pet food companies add to increase the profit margins. Cats are strict meat eaters. The only plant material they eat in the wild is in the small tummies of the rodents they catch, and this has been pre-digested by the rodent. I am a big believer in the newer, grain-free foods on the market. Some of my favorite brands are Innova Evo, Wellness Core, Instinct, Before Grain, and Weruva. Most feline and internal medicine specialists are also recommending only canned food. Dry food has been recently linked to all sorts of health problems because of the high grain (carbohydrate content) and the lack of moisture. If you are interested in this theory, you can read more at This site was authored by a vet and doesn't try to sell you anything. Share it with your vet too.


I hope this gives you some options. Hopefully he will be itch free in no time. If you accept this answer, I wil be able to continue helping you on this same topic. You don't need to pay more than once! :)


purr doctor and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

he has already been on marbofloxacin and clavamox 2X



Expert:  purr doctor replied 8 years ago.

Hmmm...that's not very useful as a suggestion then :)

Do you think it made a difference? If so, how many days was he treated for? If you think it helped and he wasn't treated for 2 weeks, try re-treating for 14 days, in combonation with the steroid.


Another thing to try would be to do a skin scraping to check for skin mites, however, the Revolution should have helped if this were the case.


For cats with this type of problem, I usually use the steroid injection every 2 weeks for 3 doses in a row to break the cycle of itching. At my clinic, if we have recently examined the cat, we allow our technicians to give the injections at a "tech appointment", so you don't have to pay a dr./exam fee each time. Remember, you have the option of oral steroids too, which should be a lot cheaper. in fact, prednisone is available at most chain pharmacies for the 4$/month price that a lot of pharmacies are offering on their generic drugs. Any human pharmacy will fill an Rx for a pet (but you can't bill your insurance) :)


Definitely look into the soft paws too. These are plastic nail sleeves that you glue onto the back toenails. He can't do any more damage while wearing these. They are cheap, easy to apply, non-painful, and will fall off as the nail grows. You can buy them at most pet stores, on line, and many vets carry them too. Here is a link:


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He's (KC) gone throu a lot of the antib's He now knows when I pick him up and hold his head he just opens his mouth. I was once giving him 2 doses of 1 and 1 dose of another. Im going to try the softpaws and the oral steroids too. The shot is the only thing that has seemed to help fow a while.
Expert:  purr doctor replied 8 years ago.


I understand you not wanting to do more antibiotics if you didn't feel like they helped......I think that is ok. Especially since you were using both antibiotics at the same time.


The oral steroids have another benefit, besides being cheaper, over the injections. You can taper down the dose and use it at the lowest effective dose until the problem 100% goes away. That way you have more control over how long he has the drug in his system. The typical starting dose is 5mg twice daily for probably about 5-10 days (vet's discretion), then once daily for the same number of days, then every other day until the problem is gone.


Don't be afraid to try benadryl too, as this is very safe and may help along with the steroid. They don't interact with each other at all.


Good luck.....I know KC appreciates your efforts (except for the antibiotic!)