How can I see a skin problem beneath the long hair of my kitty cat?
About 4 or 5 years ago, my indoor/outdoor longhair cat was outside (as she loves to be in the Summer & Autumn hot months), when I heard a cat make a loud cry or screech. (I didn't see the incident so I wasn't sure it was my Maggie May) but it was a ruckus for maybe 5 seconds or more, like a fighting alarming sound and then running.
I still don't know what it was - but I feared that either a mean stray cat or something had attacked her or maybe a snake bit her? (I'd seen a teeny tiny snake in the monkey grass near where she would lay next to the driveway a few weeks earlier, but we're in the big city so it's not normal to ever see snakes at all).
After that my cat had a spot on her back, on the left side of her tail just below the spine, like at the top of her hip bone area, where she nursed it and licked it as if there was something going on under her long hair that I couldn't see. She wouldn't let me inspect it but she also stopped eating sort of, so I gave her a drop or two of castor oil in an eyedropper to send the poisons out of her.
After 3 days of castor oil drops, she started eating normally again and I thought she was OK, even though she kept nursing that spot where eventually her hair came out there. I can't remember but I probably put a little castor oil on the spot too, since I learned in 2010 of all the cures, benefits and healing powers of that amazing oil for all dogs and cats and humans. Anytime a pet stops eating now, I give them CO for 3 days at least and my neighborhood has seen miracles in their pets too, due to castor oil.
Eventually her hair came back and I thought the problem was gone. However, now that I brush her every time she comes in from outside, I notice how she seems to flinch when the brush hits that same area. She turns around to it - when the brush goes over it - and sometimes she even meows at me, like "I wish you wouldn't do that."
Also I've been buying flea vials online for the last year that must be fake ripoffs because they seem to not work at all. I used Advantage a few years with good results for a while, then two more purchases of Advantage made me think it was not the real stuff anymore, because for some reason it seemed it lost all its power as if it was just water.
I switched to Avecta, which seemed to work better, but then bought Frontline, because it's supposed to cover more issues. It seemed to have worked for 2 weeks, then she went nuts as if she was infested with fleas. So I used capstar to stop the madness. After the fleas quit biting her for about 6 hours (it seemed), she finally was at rest and very happy when it seemed all the fleas were gone. ALSO I noticed that when I'd brush her she was perfectly happy to have me brush all the way down both sides of her back, across that spot as if nothing was wrong there!
That one dose of Capstar was the best thing I could've given her. It kept her happy through the last two weeks of that month.
Next month I gave it another try. I put another vial of Frontline and after 2 weeks she went through the same thing again, as if she was covered in fleas under all that long hair. So I used capstar again, and had the same results. I started wondering what the fleas do - after the capstar takes effect - to make her crazy, scratching and licking herself like mad.
Finally I scooped her up, put her in the sink and started rubbing her as if with a lotion, using the dawn water mixture (1 cup water, 2 tsp dawn) that I use everywhere in my house, until she was all lathered up but still didn't know she was being bathed. Dawn and water kills fleas no matter where they are, and pretty much instantly. My house is flea free because of that mix. Actually I think it kills all bugs. Try it, if you see a bug and you have a sprayer of dawn and water, spray it and you will see, they stop moving cuz it kills 'em.
Anyway I haven't bathed Maggie since she was a kitten. It's been a long time and she didn't like it, of course, but afterwards, goodness, she was perfectly purr perfectly happy. I couldn't watch her going crazy for 6 hours again, so I thought I'd trick her into taking a bath. It worked, so happy! Also I called the seller of the Frontline and got a refund.
But I bought more vials this time from Walmart, Advecta, and it's been 2 weeks since I put it on her and sure enough, she is starting to meow at me when I brush near her tail again telling me to stop!
OK, so I bought a cat flea collar (I don't usually use them) and 2 days ago, I put it on her. She didn't like it but neither did some white looking bug that came from around her neck while I was putting it on her. It was sort of maybe a flat, round, light colored bug that came from her black hair and then it jumped just like a flea and disappeared, just while I was trying to see what the heck it was.
So I've been online, looking up what that bug could be and still am not sure but it seems maybe to be a springtail, which I've never heard of, so I'm not sure. But it's the only bug I found that jumps just like fleas, so... now I'm wondering what I have to use to get rid of this pest? Are they underneath all that hair too? And do flea products not affect them? It said she could get them from outside moisture in wood or dirt? Since I have to water my garden a lot, maybe from that? I also learned about a walking dandruff mite. I do see a couple white tiny specks when I brush her back, but can't imagine they could possibly be bug specks.
So... my research is suggesting that apple cider vinegar and or tea tree oil may help her skin issues, in that spot on her back that I can't see. Also maybe if this springtail is in the mite family those two natural products, ACV and TTO might handle all these issues at the same time? I hope so.
Nothing I put in the search field is answering all my questions though. I guess I use too many words! Right? ;) Look at the length of this post!
Maggie just said, "My mommie types lots of words, so don't get her started!" So I kept searching until I looked for a place to ask my questions and found you!
I've read a lot about ACV and TTO and realize they have to be diluted correctly. I have AVC and distilled water here and will try dabbing a mixture on her back or maybe all over her to see if it helps. But since I just gave that bath almost a month ago, don't want to delete all the oils in her skin by giving her another so soon, or maybe I should give it to her internally?
And I'm not sure how to administer any oil on all that hair either... but would love to. Also wondering about using some of my own tea tree oil shampoo for her next bath, which I just bought for me, but no longer use, having recently learned all about "no poo".
Also, I don't know if it's because she's getting older (11 or 12 y/o) or because the cat food people are changing their cat food formula, but she now will only eat when I first open the can, maybe twice from that container. But every single flavor I try (that she used to LOVE) now, she refuses to eat the last portion in that can, even if it's in the same day.
She does have dry food available whenever she wants it, but I give her about a quarter of a small can of wet cat food, because she licks up the gravy and a few bites then leaves the rest on her plate and won't go back... unless I beg her to all day. And she'll only eat pate, no shreds or chunks.
She's never been quite this picky. She also has a tiny bit of my eggs when I have breakfast each day and she also likes to bother me for a bite of any meat dish she can con me out of. I also give her little bites of chicken skin every morning while I'm cooking breakfast.
Recently, I learned that cats need raw organs in their diet, so instead of throwing it away when preparing my own meals, I freeze it for her - an "almost raw organs" snack - she likes it. But now, I'm considering making my own cat food for her. However, the first recipe I looked up included grinding up bones, and I haven't quite decided whether I want to go that far yet.
I'm not sure what to do about the food, but sure do want to free her from those pests or skin conditions going on under that hair.
Does anyone have any experience with any issues in my story? Anyone who can answer any of my many questions? I welcome any and all advice if you think you can help me and my sweet Maggie May? We both thank you in advance! Maggie says, "Meow!"