off.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Flea infestations can make cats very sick. They can become aneamic. I would get a blood test from the vet to check for this. I would also treat your house for fleas as most of them will be living there.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Many flea-allergic cats chew or lick the hair off their legs. Itching and hair loss around the tail base, neck, and head should be considered suspicious for flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, an affected cat may have numerous small scabs around the head and neck.
So the cat starts scratching, and because cats have very sharp claws, they can get very severe skin lesions very quickly.” However, he adds, cats with flea allergy dermatitis are apt to show distressful signs—reddish, crusty bumps, for example—even in areas that have not been savagely scratched as well as those that …
Fleas typically bite humans in the legs and ankles. A flea bite will produce a red bump on the skin that will begin to itch and become increasingly irritated. These bumps may swell or be filled with pus. It may remain infected for a week or more, and itching may be localized or widespread.
The most obvious sign that your cat has fleas is persistent scratching, or sometimes over-grooming, which can result in bald patches on their coat. If your cat develops a flea allergy they may also have scabs and red, sore areas on their skin.
Flea bites can be harder to spot because cats have thick fur. However, if your cat is allergic to fleas, the bites are more obvious. If you feel scabs around the neck, down the spine, and to the tail base, these are usually the result of flea bites.
Fleas, mites, and lice are by far the most common cause of scabs on your cat. Regardless of whether your cat is allergic to bug bites, fleas and other blood-sucking pests can lead to scabbing and bleeding after they bite your pet. If you notice scabs on your cat, immediately check your cat for any type of parasite.
The specific appearance of miliary dermatitis is a lot of small pink bumps on the skin, called papules, that are typically about one to two millimeters in diameter. If scratched, these papules develop a small crust.
Skin Treatment

After the fleas are eradicated, you still need to treat the skin irritation caused by the allergic dermatitis. In mild cases, you can treat your dog with Benadryl at home to stop the allergic reaction and provide relief from the itch.

The resulting red papules (small, solid bumps) are an allergic reaction to flea saliva. The bites, which are usually but not always felt immediately, become increasingly irritated and may remain sore and/or itchy for as long as a week.
Doctors say that flea bites on humans typically heal within a week, as long as they are not infected and have been treated to enhance healing.
If you see just a few fleas on your dog, you may be tempted to think it`s not a big deal. Although the random flea might show up if you`ve just taken your pup for a walk, more than one or two could be a sign of a problem. As few as 20 fleas might mean your pet is infested, while the most could be between 200 to 300.
Feline Infectious Anemia

If your cat is bitten by an infected flea, she may develop FIA. The main symptoms of FIA include the usual indicators of anemia, as well as a raised temperature. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, pale gums and weakness/lethargy.

Treating the scabs on your cat`s neck largely depends on its source. If it`s a parasitic infection, then you might have to use a full course of medications to remove them. Your vet might also recommend medicated baths, which are a more hands-on approach to getting rid of those pesky mites or ticks.
If your cat is allergic to fleas, they will develop intense itching and a rash every time they are bitten. A rash, hair loss, constant scratching, and skin infections are all common symptoms of a flea allergy. Flea allergic dermatitis can develop at any point throughout your cat`s life.
Fleas are very active insects. They can jump onto passing animals and burrow down into the fur to the skin, where they stay hidden while biting and ingesting blood. This is irritating to the cat, as the bites can cause severe itching, allergic reactions, and inflammation.
Davis Hydrocortisone Cream is non-stinging and free of fragrances or dyes that could cause further irritation. Safe for use on dogs, cats and horses.
Shampoos that are made especially for cats generally moisturize the skin, which reduces itchiness. Cat shampoos that contain colloidal oatmeal or phytosphingosine are generally the most useful in reducing your cat`s itchiness.
Treatment will typically involve using a flea shampoo to kill the pests lingering on the cat`s body, as well as other topical treatments to help with hot spots that have developed as a result of the allergy. Steroids may also be prescribed for more severe conditions to help with the itching as well.
Comb your cat with a fine-toothed metal flea comb from head to tail several times a day. This will skim off adult fleas and their eggs and ease their itching. Then, dip the comb in a mixture of warm to hot water and liquid dish detergent to kill the fleas.
Recovery of Feline Miliary Dermatitis in Cats

The prognosis for cats diagnosed with miliary dermatitis is generally excellent. Once the offending substance has been eliminated from the cat`s environment or food, the cat will recover. Its skin will heal and fur will grow back.

One of the more effective home remedies for miliary dermatitis is coconut oil. It can be rubbed into your cat`s skin to relieve the itching. Generally, coconut oil can help with overall skin and coat health. Start with a small amount first to see how your cat reacts.
How is flea allergy dermatitis diagnosed? Clinical signs often indicate that your pet may suffer from FAD. Itching and hair loss in the region from the middle of the back to the tail base and down the rear legs (the flea triangle) is often associated with FAD.
Coconut oil improves overall skin health, and clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin.
Another signal for a flea infestation is when not only your pets but also you become a victim of the flea bites. They can be felt like a small sting and then, the bitten spot turns into a red bruise on your skin. The bitten area will be really itchy and irritating and often can be confused with a mosquito bite.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat has a major rash on her back it looks like red bumps an some have even turned into scabs.
ANSWER : A. Skin disorders can be particularly vexing to diagnosis and treat. One of the most common causes of skin rashes in cats is allergic dermititis caused by the bites of fleas. Some cats are very sensitive to the bite(s) of fleas and will react with excessive itching, scratching, and scabby bumps particularly on the lower back and nape of neck. Finding fleas on your cat is a pretty good indicator that fleas are causing the skin irritation. Unfortunately, NOT finding fleas doesn’t rule out an allergy to fleas, as it takes only one bite from a flea to cause a reaction in sensitive cats. Moreover, there are many other possible causes for skin rashes in cats, including thyroid disease, fungal diseases, bacterial or viral infections, and irritation from chemicals in the enviroment (scented litter, fabric sheets, air freshners, floor and carpet cleaners, etc.).
A trip to the veterinarian is your first step in treating skin disorders. Your vet will examine your cat, checking for fleas and other external parasites and also looking at the distribution pattern of the rash which will help your vet to determine what might be causing the rash. If necessary, your vet may take hair or skin samples for analysis. Blood work may also be necessary if your vet suspects thyroid diseases or another metabolic disorder.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. Our cat developed a flea allergy in the form of red sores above the eyes Our vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a flea collar but they remain.
ANSWER : A. I’m so sorry to hear! Flea allergies are tough to deal with! Unfortunately when a pet has an allergy to fleas, the problem lies in the flea bite. The actual allergy lies in the flea saliva, so what we really need to prevent is the flea biting our pet! I would recommend a product that can kill the flea before they even have a chance to bite your pet! A couple of really great products on the market right now are Frontline Plus and Revolution. Both are liquid topical products that you place on the skin of your pet once a month. They work by using the skins oils to spread themselves around the body and rest in the hair follicles. Each has a slightly different mechanism of use, but they both work to kill the flea before it actually has a chance to do harm to your cat. Flea collars simply are not as effective. I would also recommend treating your home environment, such as the area where the cat sleeps and the carpets inside your home. Flea eggs and larva can live for a very long time in these environments and unless we treat all of these areas, the problem will remain. I hope this was helpful! Good luck and I hope your kitty feels better!

Q. Female cat bout 6 yrs old infested with fleas. Has red bites all over her neck, and by her butt. Been treated once so far, but her behavior off.
ANSWER : A. Flea infestations can make cats very sick. They can become aneamic. I would get a blood test from the vet to check for this. I would also treat your house for fleas as most of them will be living there.

Q. Why is my son’s cat continually licking her belly to the point the hair is falling out and a sore has developed? She is 12 yrs old inside cat.
ANSWER : A. Many things can cause this such as allergies, auto immune disease,etc. However it could be as simple as your cat is bored or stressed out. Have you had any enviromental changes lately that couild be stressing your feline friend out? Outdoor cats are accustomed to chasing, hunting, and playing with all sorts of critters. Sometimes indoor kitties need added stimulation to keep them “sane”. Try gsetting your cat some toys to play with. A laser pointer can be a great interaction toy for the two of you to play with. You can also try getting your fury friend a scratching post or a cat tower that will allow him/her to sit and look out the window. A good product for stressed out kitties is Feliway. Feliway is a pheremoene that mimics pheromones produced by recent mothers to kittens. This product comes in a plug-in diffuser or a spray and is available over the counter at most animal hospitals. The spray form of Feliway can be particularly usefull to calm kitties who get stressed when put in a cat carrier. Simply spray Feliway in your carrier before you load your cat up. If none of the above has worked it sounds like it is time to use this technique to get yourcat into the carrier and to the vet. There they can perform diagnostics such as skin cytologies, allergy testing, skin scrapes to determine what the problem is.
One thing i forgot to mention at the beginning is you certainly need to rule out fleas as the cause. If a cat has a flea allergy just one flea bite can drive them crazy and cause them to lick thier belly raw and hairless. Revolution is a great monthly topicall product for fleas,heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Even indoor cats need flea protection. Good luck!

Q. My 13 year old male cat is acting lethargic & doesn’t seem to be feeling well. I don’t know what’s wrong except that he has fleas. Can too many fleas
ANSWER : A. Excessive fleas can cause anemia in cats, left untreated, this can be life-threatening. I recommend getting your cat seen by your vet right away for his illness. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.