Can I stop my kitty from compulsively scratching her face?
October 3, 2007 6:51 PM Subscribe
Is there anything I can do to keep my kitty from scratching her eyes?
She's been in an e-collar for two months post-eye-surgery, and it's time for freedom. But whenever she's out of the collar for more than an hour or two, she scratches her eyes and ends up bleeding. The vet says she's just neurotic and needs to get used to being uncollared, but I'm worried she's going to do some serious damage to herself.
posted by weatherworn to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
My lovely Laila-kitty has been through a lot since we adopted her the first week of August. She's a six-year-old medium-haired tortie, and she'd been at the shelter for a month when the we met her and fell in love. Now she's a single, indoor-only cat. The boyfriend and I work from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., leaving her alone in the apartment.
She had a case of conjunctivitis that the shelter had been treating with some mild eye drops for about a week. We would later find out that feline herpes was the culprit. She was spayed the day before we brought her home midweek; all of the uproar made her herpes flare up something fierce. By her check-up on Saturday, her cornea had ulcerated, and her eye had nearly, well, burst. We rushed her to an emergency ophthalmologist for a conjunctival pedicle graft on her left eye.
Two months and several thousand dollars later, she's gotten an all-clear from the vet to be freed from the e-collar. (Actually, due to a chronic ear sensitivity, she *needs* to be freed from the e-collar so the current ear problems can die down.)
However, every time she's been out of the e-collar for more than an hour or two in the last couple months, she's scratched and rubbed her eyelids and mouth to the point of bleeding -- leading to another expensive visit to the emergency vet.
She had a checkup today, and her graft is doing just fine. She treated with Revolution just in case she had fleas (although the vet didn't see any), and her claws were trimmed. The vet suggested that the past two months in the collar had just made her neurotic and that she was going to groom compulsively for a while. However, in the few hours since we brought her home, she's already rubbed and scratched her right (non-surgery) eye raw -- and that's with us watching her almost constantly!
What could be causing her compulsive scratching behavior? What the holy hell can we do to keep our kitty from self-harming? (Declawing is not an option.) I'm scared that she's going to cause herself some serious damage.