Tiger’s too-frequent grooming

I usually scratch Tiger’s rump until he reacts with a grooming reflex. That’s when I know he’s pretty much in ecstasy. Then I have to give him a massage so I usually settle down because that requires concentration!

Last week, however, the grooming reflex kicked in when I was merely stroking his flank. Since he also appeared somewhat uncomfortable, I watched him closely for a few days. He also started hanging around my study table, which is more the province of Mr Bats.

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After a couple of days I was convinced he was indeed grooming more often than normal. His once smoothly maintained fur now exhibited some ruffled, wet clumps due to his frequent licking.

Checking webpages is always helpful but also frightening since the worst of the entire world’s pet cat problems are discussed there. BTW, “frequent grooming” buries you in pet care sites; its “excessive grooming” that does the trick.

But I focused on some of the milder sites e.g. this Provet site and decided he probably had mites. So Ladybug booked a session with a vet. The vet searched a cooperative Tiger thoroughly and eventually spotted something. She yanked out a couple of hairs, and there it was under the microscope for us to see – cat mites!

How did he get them? He is an indoors cat in the company of two other mite-free cats. All three were initially treated and cleared of mites when they were first adopted. Since that time, we bathe after contact with other animals before handling the boys.

Still, its possible to pick up mites from other cats and they might survive on clothes long enough to clamber onto one of the boys.

Hmph!

Still, we told the vet were were actually relieved. After all, it could have been a significant problem. She said we had caught it very early and suggested a dose of Revolution.

On my return home, I washed all three boys in an arthropod-removal shampoo. Yup, I lathered and soaked three yowling cats for the full five minutes! Tiger and Mr Bats complained a lot as usual but sweet Xylo was mild about the whole thing, although he clearly doesn’t enjoy it either.

Today, I rushed back home after work to apply Revolution onto their skin – it gets soaked into the blood stream and dries up externally in 2-4 hours. So I have been keeping a close eye the boys (this was written very intermittently) to prevent them from licking that spot of revolution on the back of their fellow feline’s necks.

Tiger’s on top of the fridge and Mr Bats is at the study door and Xylo is on a table, all within sight. A laser-pointer is ready to distract them if they approach one another. And I fed them a earlier to induce drowsiness, heh-heh. Still, I’ve had to jump up and deflect them a couple of times. Better safe than sorry.

I hope Tiger will experiences some relief soon. We’ll apply Revolution two more times, once a month.

Whenever my cats are in discomfort, ill and even when they are looking comfortable, I think of the street cats out there, and bless the caregivers and societies that look after so many strays.

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