Kira is suddenly very itchy. Other two cats show no sign of itching. New anxiety tick, sry skin, or something else?

EveAndHerThieves

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Kira is an indoor/outdoor kitty. He's a Ragdoll with long fur. He's also incredibly timid and has been since I rescued him as a kitten. He's always had his nervous ticks and twitches, so at first I didn't find his newfound habit of scratching his shoulders weird. He sometimes scratches his shoulders if he's feeling insecure, but lately it's gotten worse. He's always giving himself nice long scratches. Not enough to bleed or anything, but enough that I noticed.

I was thinking bugs of some kind at first. We aren't really in a flea/tick area, though. The thing is, he sleeps on my bed with me all the time. So do my other cats. Neither me or the other two cats have taken up scratching. We do have dry air, so maybe the heat is causing dry skin? He's never shown signs of that before, and I'm not sure how to check. No extra water intake, and his food is the same at least. I am under an incredible amount of stress at home, but I've been keeping it as calm as I can for them. Neither of the other two cats seem to be showing signs of stress.

Another problem is that he's a very timid kitty. He always has been ever since I rescued him. It's only been the last year that I've been able to get him to let me pet his back. When I tried looking at his shoulders he growled and ran off for a few hours. I'm not sure I could give him a bath even if I called the fire department to send six of their strongest guys to hold Kira. He's maimed a few people from terror before. Currently there's only one of me, and he has twenty pointy parts he knows how to use. Assuming I even know what to look for, I'm not sure how I would check. Any ideas?


Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing the itching? I can't really afford to take him to the vet until Jan, so anything I can do to keep him comfortable until then is fantastic.
 

MissClouseau

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I was thinking bugs of some kind at first. We aren't really in a flea/tick area, though. The thing is, he sleeps on my bed with me all the time. So do my other cats
I think it's unlikely the problem would be fleas if the other cats are fine. That said, among my yard cats fleas take a very clear preference to long hair cats. If you haven't this month, I would still give each cat Stronghold just to be on the safe side. Stronghold claims to treat lice and mite too.

his food is the same at least.
Cats (or dogs, or humans) might develop allergy to the same food unfortunately. NEw allergies of any kind might begin. If Stronghold does not change the situation, I would change the food to a simpler formula with a different main protein, or a hypoallergenic prescription food. In the meantime check the house especially the places your kitty hangs. Is there anything new? Cats can also get allergic to environmental allergens like dust mites, pollen, fragrance, etc
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Some cats are more prone to dry skin than others, so perhaps it is the heat. In addition to the suggestions above, you might consider adding a humidifier or two to your home, and start adding a bit of omega fatty oils to his diet. Regular brushings can also spread a cat's natural oils throughout their skin to help reduce the dryness. Brushing could also show up any excess dander that he might have, which would be one way of seeing if dry skin is part of the problem. If it is dry skin, bathing him could exacerbate it.

The stress in your home, even with you trying to keep it under control, may be playing a part as well since he is a bit nervous and insecure to begin with. As much as one tries to tamp down stress, it is almost always evident to cats who are especially sensitive. You could also try pheromone diffusers to see if that might help calm him. Cat music works on some cats too - might even help you!
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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Sorry for a super late reply - I got the flu. (Not Covid!)

I'll check into your suggestions, thanks! He's driving me nuts with how often he itches. Maybe the cold weather isn't agreeing with him. I'll see if he will at least let me brush him. I would expect my other two cats to get the itchiest first. One is a super dense long hair, and the other suffers from dandruff. Kira has very fine fur. I've also been thinking of switching up their food. Back to doing research on good food for cats apparently! (Socks needs to drop a pound or six anyway)
 
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