We have 7 cats; not to be confused with the original 8 we started our lives together with. In 1999, we lost 3 over about a year and a half’s time to various medical causes. When the 5 that were left were obviously mourning & depressed and the house feeling so empty and sad we adopted 3 sibling kittens. They brought the house back to life and cheered us all up tremendously. Well, 5 or 6 years later, the surviving 5 original ones left us within a years’ time; again various medical issues and old age. We were all very distraught, it was a really rough year. Powder, one of the adopted siblings, began scratching at his face incessantly, making it raw, and sometimes hard enough to bleed, leave calluses; he was miserable. This happened to begin around the transitional time the remaining original 5 left us and shortly after we began “acquiring” the next 4 we have currently, for the total of 7. We thought, many times, that it was a psychological condition, but through trial & error of many things, we ruled that out. There is always the possibility that we just never found the psychological trigger, if that was the problem. The vet said since he’s all white (his siblings are black), his skin just may be a lot more sensitive than anybody else’s. I gave him the occasional dandruff shampoo bath, about 2x a year or more, it really seemed to give him some relief. Still does, although he naturally is never happy with the bath itself.
I realize this sounds very confusing and I apologize. But understand it was a chaotic time of change for all of us that lasted a few years. During that time we tried so many prescriptions with Powder, the vet was/is baffled as well. Prednisone, antibiotics, anti-anxiety meds and finally Atopica. The Atopica he was on for a few years and seemed to help…sometimes. It is essentially the same medication they give people when they have organ transplants; an anti-rejection medication. To shorten this up as much as possible, a few months ago, I presumed they all had ear mites. I gave them all the Revolution. I then realized that a couple of them had the blackish waxy stuff still and decided to use the Zymox I had purchased a while ago. I had used it before, but not consistently, I’m ashamed to admit. Powder had never had black, dirty ears, they were always clean & pink. Now they were icky, along with 3 or 4 of the others’ ears. Well, before the Zymox, I tried cleaning them, and literally hours later the black stuff would seem to be back. So out the Zymox came. For more than a week I used it on him, just a week for the others. Not only did his ears clear up nicely, but he has all but stopped scratching at his face, and the redness, occasional scabs are gone. He sometimes still rubs very hard, but it is nothing like it was. He seems peaceful for the first time in literally years; he is now 12 years old. I feel terrible that he was dealing with this for so long. I cannot say that this was the problem all along because he always had clean ears, but Zymox is obviously helping keep whatever it is at serious bay. It also great because they explicitly say not to clean their ears first, which is a big plus, since what cat (or dog) tolerates that very well. I imagine I will have to keep this on hand for him indefinitely, and next time he has to go to the vet I will have them look at his ears very closely. But in the meantime, he is very happy, finally, and that is all that matters.