Thoughts on stray/feral who's scratching his fur off

I put flea/tick stuff on him over 6 weeks ago, and about 2 weeks after that I noticed the bald spot at his shoulderblade. The size of the bald spot keeps increasing, even though I've rubbed canola oil, anti-itch stuff, and antibiotic cream in (at separate times). I'll take him to the vet, but I'm worried that they will insist I put him down if they discover he's got some awful disease. Of course I don't want the cat to continue to injure himself by scratching, and the resulting infection that could crop up. Any advice? Should I just ride it out, hoping the skin condition or allergy will die out by itself? I really don't know if he will let me pick him up and get him into a carrier. Last time I had him to the vet (front leg bite wound), I had to use my box trap and now he (and the other ferals/strays) won't go near the thing. Any home remedies you'd recommend?

Asked by Member 1143501 on Jun 28th 2013 Tagged skin, feral in Other Adoption & Rescue
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



I'm going to guess that you put some cheap otc flea/tick medication, like Hartz, Sentry or Bio Spot on him? If that is the case, that stuff is awful and WILL result in health issues, bald spot, can even be fatal. I wish the makers of these products were not allowed to sell them, because people will assume they are ok if they are for sale, but they are far from it. Not to say this could not have also happened with Frontline or Advantage, but it is way less likely that those products will produce this kind of result. If you can manage to get him into the vet, I don't see how they can "insist" on putting him down if he has a disease, if you say he is your cat, that would be your decision. Plenty of people have cats with felv, fiv etc and they bring them home and choose to live with it, so they can't make you euthanize him. Maybe a small dog crate, you could start feeding him in it and possibly lure him in? Best of luck.

Beep answered on 6/29/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

It's possible that what's causing this poor cat to scratch his fur off isn't from fleas. This reaction can be from stress, mange, allergies, etc. if you are using human creams and medications, it could be making it worse, and at best, whatever you're using isn't addressing the issue. He may need oral medications or an injection if pilling him is not possible. If it's that bad, it probably won't disappear on it's own. A vet CANNOT insist that you euthanize any animal unless it has rabies and is a danger to others. If you have a vet who deals with ferals/strays, wonderful. If you don't contact your local rescue and ask who they use. These vets know what might be "going around" the local colonies and are better equipped to treat the cats. Any decision for euthanasia has to be discussed at length with the vet and the "owner" or person who brings the animal in. No vet can or should force you to euthanize. You can also enlist the help of the rescue to trap the cat.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 7/1/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer