Avatar universal

My elderly cat keeps scratching himself until he bleeds.

I have a 17 year old Maine Coon kitty who usually develops dry and itchy skin in the fall and winter but this year the symptoms have been more severe, he keeps itching himself (he does it in a quick, flailing way too where his whole body will shake) until he has severe bald patches and bloody places on his body.

He is eating normally and drinking normally, he isn't vomiting but he does spend most of the day hidden under my bed (which isn't normal behavior for him) the only changes in his diet would be that recently I started feeding him a brand of dry cat food that he has eaten before in the past so I don't think that could be the problem.

I have also been using a room spray (Febreze air effects lavender scent if that means anything) I live in a tiny apartment so he would be smelling that.
Please help me!
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4190741 tn?1370177832
Its funny you should mention Krill Oil...I bought some sort of oil last year and broke it up into MewMews food, and she would not touch the food.
It was specificly stated that it was for cats, but when she would not touch the dry for the 2nd day, I whipped out my reading glasses and read the ingredients and number 2 or 3 on the list was garlic.  Cats can't do garlic, lucky she refused to eat it on her food, and I gave the whole bottle to my sister who has a dog and they can eat garlic....

Now I am really careful and will check out your links as those that can be trusted because you are really a stickler for these things about animals...

PS....I also read this week that if you want your Maine Coon to have a wonderful rich full coat to keep the temps in the house cooler than you normally do in the winter...I actually dropped my thermostat 2 degrees after reading this but not how sure I will do when its minus 20 below zero here....

Again, thank you so much....

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874521 tn?1424116797
must say I love the names...MewMew and Sophia how fitting for beautiful girls..
just a real quick comment upon reading your post....maybe the itches aren't allergies at all or at least not totally. since you mentioned it being worse since you turned on the heat...and the long hair.
it could very well be excessively DRY SKIN....
you really need to try some Omega3 fatty acids...

heres an excellent site for info on that...and I will give you links to  KRILL OILS (best) for cats..also the best brand and where to buy it  incase they are not avail from your local vitamin supply....human form is superior and cheaper.


I buy from this company all the time iherb.com the NOW foods brand is the best, it contains NO sugar, starch, salt, soy, corn or preservatives. therefore its safe for cats.


this one is second best.

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4190741 tn?1370177832
Last October I ripped out every carpet in my house and  have uncovered beautiful hardwood floors...I will try the vinegar and water.  I do love the smell of vinegar, I already do all my windows in a vinegar water  mix...

I did read about chicken causing major problems with a lot of kitties and mine get a tuna/salmon/ mix for the wet that they haven't gotten tired of at all in nearly 2 years...I read about the brand and it doesn't have grains in it at all, but they still do cry for the dry treaters a few times a day.

MewMew doesn't have sores or loss of hair, but still she itches...
Sophia Loren sleeps with her, eats with her, plays with her and never ever itches even one spot.  She is a short hair though, but not sure if that makes a difference...

I was just thinking that the itching seems to have gotten worse since I turned the heat on the Gas heater...We had a very cold fall and the furnace has been running since the middle of October....I am wondering if the dry air in the house is adding to her unknown allergies or if I am just reaching for an explanation....

Thank you so much for your imput...I do appreciate it

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874521 tn?1424116797
yes this can be a real hunt to find the cause or causes.....eliminate everything in your home that has a scent. I also have a cat with an allergy..and skin breakouts. I have eliminated everything and changed his canned food to one without chicken(chicken is present in just abt every cat food...thus something they are continuously fed can lead to a developed allergy)...so try something without a chicken base.
I don't know if it was the food change or the elimination of scents/cleaners etc...but something worked, his skin has been clear for almost 2 years now.

stop the dry food. try something other than chicken, especially grain free...
I would recommend even stopping the bleach...that very strong to inhale and they are constantly walking on and breathing in as they are so low and close to floor level. I use vinegar and water as a cleaner nothing more anywhere.
I don't even so much as burn scented candles anymore. I have air filters in the main rooms. I use as little soap as possible for washing my clothes and again NO scent. I DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTNERS...only those dryer balls.
there are many ways you can think of to eliminate all you possibly can. its not only more healthy for our cats but also for us....

theres also been alot reported lately of the huge health hazards to pets with all the chemicals in rugs and furniture, especially flame retardants.

glad the NON perfumed litter helped with the foot problem.
you can also try a real natural litter such as newsprint or glass beads...not corn based as they too are loaded in chemicals.

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4190741 tn?1370177832
My MewMew is a Maine Coon and we lovingly call her ItchyGirl, she has been flea checked and is brushed and given a half and half diet of wet and dry every day, but still the itchiness persists...Her nails are trimmed very very short and I don't use anything on my floors but diluted bleach and water and wash all bedding in hypoallergenic soaps. I also had to change her litter to a non perfumed brand as she was chewing at her feet so much they were red and infected. She no longer chews her feet and  I was feeding her Blue about 6 months ago but cannot remember if her itchiness stopped at that time or not...After reading this thread, I will pick up another bag of Blue and give that a try....

Good luck with your Kitty...

Helpful - 0
874521 tn?1424116797
hi, I agree with eve....please stop using febreeze or anyother room spray/scents...they are loaded with chemicals that are hard on us let alone an animal with much smaller lungs. this is called an environmental allergy or atopy.
also the new cat food. yes d/c immediately.....there is something in one or both of these items that your cat is highly sensitive to.

with us an allergy or sensitivity usually shows as a respiratory ailment such as sneezing/coughing while a cat it will almost always affect their skin. I will send you some info on that.
I will also mention that dry foods are full of chemicals and preservatives and GRAINS these are all allergens. please try and switch to a good grain free canned diet...this alone will make a huge difference. keep us updated, good luck to your poor kitty he is really feeling very miserable right now. I wouldn't suggest a Vet until you've tried what I suggest, a Vet will automatically give a steroid shot as a 'cure' this will only temporarily fix the fix the symptoms but not the cause. use only as a very last resort.

I would also give Omega3 fatty acids, these are very good for his skin and coat. I can give you some brand names if you like.



this is also a good article, however I sure do not agree with the steroids or antihistamines or cyclosporine unless absolutely necessary. this can usually be permanently be cured with the elimination of household scents and a change in diet as I  mentioned above.

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Avatar universal
Thank you for the suggestions, I will definitely stop using the room spray and I will get him to a professional.
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Avatar universal

Hello Sugarpet,

I have two suggestions for you. I would stop using any kind of Febreze.
Please take your lovely kitty to your vet and see what your vet
suggests. You could also mention to your vet that you have started
feeding your cat a brand of dry cat food. They usually ask if you're feeding
your cat something new.  Good luck to you and your kitty.  Eve
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