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Doctor 4 Cats
Doctor 4 Cats, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3358
Experience:  Board certified feline specialist. 30 years specializing in the medical needs of cats.
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I have a stray cat who has adopted us. He has been de-flead.

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I have a stray cat who has adopted us. He has been de-flead. He has suddenly developed an area down his back that he is constantly licking and won't let me go near. Could you advise please
JA: The Vet will be able to answer your question, plus any follow-ups you may have. What's the cat's name and age?
Customer: Hasn't got a name yet about 8 years old we think
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: The only other thing is my husband bought him a flea collar, which I have now removed

This is Dr. Cynthia. Thank you for contacting us. I will try to help with your concerns on here. The system will automatically offer an option for a phone call. Just ignore the offer or decline. I cannot do phone calls. If you would like to continue with this chat please let me know when you are ready. If I do not hear back from you right away, I will answer your question with the information provided then check back periodically to follow up.

Thank you for the information that you have provided. Please give me just a minute to review what you have provided already. I will have a few more questions. I will be answering multiple customers so please be patient between replies.

How was your cat treated for fleas, and when?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
One spot. About 3 weeks ago

I suspect your flea treatment was not effective in maintaining flea control.

When cats itch it is caused by fleas 50% of the time, food 40% of the time, and all other allergies and problems ( inhalant allergy, environmental allergens, house dust mites, bacterial infection, etc) 10% of the time

Fleas and food must be eliminated before thinking of tests for everything else.

Purchase a flea comb and comb ALL pets daily for 5 days looking for live fleas or the black flecks of flea dirt that looks like ground pepper. You cannot rule out fleas in cats by just looking under the hair. You must comb them. If you see any evidence of fleas on anybody....treat everyone.

In the case of flea allergy, it is not the individual flea bite that they are scratching. When a flea allergic cat is bitten by a flea, they have a reaction that causes them to react everywhere.

It is not 100% but flea allergy tends to be a back end problem, while food allergy tends to be a front end problem.

Any of the prescription once-a -month products available from your veterinarian are effective. Remember though that all monthly flea products work great for 3 weeks, well for four weeks, they do not work for 5 weeks. Treat all cats once every three weeks for at least 2 treatments. Do not waste your money on over the counter products, they do not work. Comb regularly after that and treat as indicated.

To stop this current reaction, you can use Claritin or Zyrtec allergy medication at ¼-1/2 of a 10 mg tablet once or twice daily.  Start low and increase dose if needed. This is not a substitute for eliminating what is causing the reaction if possible. Crush into powder and mix in 1tsp favorite wet food. I will tell you that if it is food allergy, no medication and no amount will stop the reaction. The only way to stop food allergy is to eliminate the offending food.

Hope this helps, we try to answer your questions and concerns as best we can on this site without the benefit of a proper physical examination. Please appreciate that it is always advisable to seek local veterinary care if possible. Let me know if there is anything further I can help you with. Thanks so much, and kind regards!

Doctor 4 Cats and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you very much for your help

You are very welcome