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cat scratching temples and back of ears til scabby?????

My 11 year old cat has recently been scratching herself. We had noticed some scab on the backs of her ears, little ones, and now I have seen her scratching at the front. WE thought she had been fighting with the other cat in the house, but it appears she has been fighting with herself.

She has always been a bit neurotic and obsessive with her cleaning rituals and I am wondering if this could play into it.
There is no evidence of ear infection, mites or fleas.

Your thoughts are very welcome!

I should also mention we have recently got a new kitten, this is the only change lately.

thank you, Kimmee

The new kitten could definitely be stressing her out, now she has to share you with the little dynamo. Make sure the kitten isn't bugging her too much; when she's already tired of playing, the kitten has energy to spare. Stress can also make cats groom excessively.

Otherwise, the first thing that comes to mind is ear mites but if you say her ears look clean (I mean spotless) and there's no typical 'yeasty' smell, I guess it's not that or say, an allergy to fleas (it doesn't take a major infestation to set this off). Sorry, just covering the bases.

What are you feeding her? Sometimes older cats develop allergies, usually (but not always) to poor quality food. Give her the best food you can afford; the good brands - which generally have no corn or other fillers - end up being not as expensive as you would think; they're more concentrated, so the cat eats less of it. If you do a search here under 'cat food', you'll find lots of information.

thanks, excuse the small caps, sleeping kitty on one arm...

the cats all eat innova evo and eagle pack and some raw we are trying to turn them onto...slowly. i also have a diabetic cat who is diet controlled...no fillers or grains in this house.

i am going to treat for fleas again...it could be that mixed with kitten stress, the kitten plays more with the dogs but certainly has been trying to get Flame's attention.

thanks for the flea sensitivity reminder...


Our cat, about the same age, has done the same thing. Vet thought it might be a flea allergy or some other sort of allergy. She does eat crappy food, but switching to higher quality for a few months didn`t help, so she is back on the Meow Mix Anyway, my point is, at one time she scratched her temples bloody and ended up with a staph infection that needed antibiotics; other times a cortisone shot has helped. Really keep an eye on those scabs and take her to the vet if its getting worse.

You might try clipping the claws to dull the points and put aloe gel on the scratches. I remember years ago Puss-Puss scratched herself. Then it seemed to become itchy as it healed and perpetuated more scratching. Maybe you just need to break that cycle.

good thoughts, I certainly want to avoid an infection. Nails have just been clipped, last night and I will put some aloe on the scabs to try and break cycle.
Thanks everyone!

Well, a few things come to mind. The first is fleas, and if you are treating her for it you should see an improvement within a few days. Fleas also don't usually bother them just around the ears. Ear mites are another consideration, but if her ears are clean it's unlikely to be that. Try swabbing the insides of her ears (don't go far in) and see if there is any dark brown gunk that comes out. If there is, I would suspect mites. Lastly, it could be ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that often presents around the ears and face of the animal and produces scabby, scaly type skin. It can usually only be diagnosed with a special light at the vet that makes it show fluorescent. Kittens are very susceptible to ringworm, and often carry it for a little while before showing symptoms. I would suspect that the new kitten may have brought it into the house. In my lifetime I have only adopted 3 kittens (I prefer adults), and all 3 ended up with ringworm a few weeks after I got them so it's quite common. If it is ringworm, you will need to go to the vet for a prescription. Good luck!

thank you for that. She has a vet visit scheduled for a general check up. I have noticed an improvemnt to the are since we put aloe on it and clipped her nails. I have done the swab, ear mites are no fun.
I will ask vet to check for fungal test.

Appreciate the thoughts, kimmee

Flame has greatly improved..had my vet look at her, she is fine.
The scratches were self inflicted due to long claws, after I cut them and added aloe, thanks for the tips...everything started healing and she has started to make nice with Nessa , our 14 week old kitten.

I appreciate all your thoughts, kimmee

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