Tuesday, May 01, 2007

You DO learn something new every day.

My cats are indoor babies. And as such I have to clip their nails to (attempt) to prevent them from destroying the furniture. Every time I cut my nails, I cut theirs too. That time was last weekend.

Boots so does NOT like to be restrained. Actually, she handles being restrained rather well. She does not like being cuddled. When I clip her nails I hold her like I would for a cuddle, but a bit lower down, with my arm wrapped around the outside of her shoulders, presenting the paw and unsheathing the nail.

Neither does she like the sensation of having her nails clipped. Most of the time she's ok. Sometimes she whines, which she does when I give her a cuddle. Very rarely will she hiss and only once has she attempted to bite the clippers. I think it depends on her mood on the day.

I know she won't scratch me. But I don't tolerate this behaviour.

On Saturday (or Sunday, whenever I was doing it) I was almost done when she hissed at me. I was more offended by her breath than the actual hiss. I think she reached into the stale air in her cheeks to gently waft that 'catbreath' smell at me. Seriously, I need kitty mints for her.

But that's not the point. When she threatens me like that I respond in a way that she would relate to. When a mother cat chastises a kitten she will grab it by the scruff of the neck and gently shake it. Which is what I did. And when I was a-shakin' I saw she had a really dirty chin.

I immediately whisked her off to the bathroom to examine it better. It appeared to be flea dirt but when I wet it, it didn't turn red. Not even close. It just looked like dirt stuck to the shaft of the hair. And she had a small amount of associated hair loss. I thought it might be some other form of parasite but I couldn't see any signs. I had noticed something similar a few weeks earlier but it was a very small patch and came off when scratched.

I asked my boss about it today. He's a vet and he suggested ringworm. Except my cats live indoors in a fifth floor apartment. Its not impossible, but its also not likely.

He thought about it a bit more and then said it was feline acne. Probably caused by poor grooming habits. She's about halfway between the second and third pictures. Bearing in mind the third picture looks worse than it is because that cat has black skin.

It is contagious but the other cat doesn't have it. She not only grooms her own chin, but Boot's chin as well! "Oi bitch, you missed a spot!"

I really have to say Boots was really good to treat. I held her on her back on the cold sink while I wiped smelly stuff on her chin, and she only squirmed when I got some on her lips. Then I sat her on the sink (because she doesn't like being on her back) and wiped iodine on her chin with a cotton bud. All I had to do to get her to stay was put one finger under her chin and tilt it slightly upwards.

My cats are a dream to handle. Imagine trying to do that with any cat that doesn't want to be there!


redcap said...

Is Boots ginger? I had a ginger puss who had feline acne. Apparently they're more prone to it than other coloured cats.

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poody said...

Ouch poor kitty!

mist1 said...

I clip Hissy's claws too. I still have two eyes, but it's only a matter of time before he plucks one out.

Obesio said...

Stay on top of bad cat breath issues. In some cases it can be a sign of severe dental problems. One of my cats had to have a bunch of teeth removed. Now her breath is much better.

zen wizard said...

Well, I was going to leave a smartassed comment, but it was just too easy--like shooting at the barn door.

I hope your cat feels better!

Anonymous said...

dogs beat cats when it comes to loyalty to its owner.

Josh said...

My cat had feline acne as well. Nothing too serious.

phishez_rule said...

Redcap - She's a black tuxedo cat (white paws/chin/chest)

I just love that comment. I've seen it on at least three different blogs, exactly the same. And Steph thinks she's a famewhore!

Poody - its not painful, just ugly. I won't tell her that.

Mist - Isn't that the reason you clip claws?

Obesio - It wasn't rank, just stale. Though she has had gingivitis before.

Zen - but could you hit said barn door? BTW. My pussy has no acne.

Frumbabe - thats like comparing apples and oranges.

Josh - it can turn nasty though.