There’s this old lady (Mrs. Mann), who lives next door to my mother, and believe it or not she has 11 cats. Her place is not like one of those homes that you see on reality TV shows where cats are run amok fouling up and stentching out the house. Everything is neat an tidy and the lady obviously takes great care of her feline companions, but it’s the awful howling and wailing that’s disturbing my mother’s sleep at night.
Most of the moggies were pretty well behaved until about a month ago. Okay, so there was the occasional cat fight outside the bedroom window, but that was more not than often. Anyway, my mother suggested her neighbor check to make sure her wailing whiskers were healthy and not crying because of medical problems. According to Mum, Mrs. Mann looked a little upset at first by such a suggestion, as if to insinuate she wasn’t taking care of her animals. My mother went on to explain that many cats can have latent problems that are not always apparent from just looking at the animals and that it might be a good idea to get a vet take a look.
Mrs. Mann did as my mother suggested and it appeared that one of her cats had feline acne and it was this one that was doing all the wailing at night. In fact, it was having a knock on effect among the other pets because when the troubled one started it’s crying they all joined in. A kind of cat’s choir if you like!
Apparently, it was the introduction of a stray that was the culprit. A lost and crying kitten on the way back from the shops one day was more that old Mrs. Mann could bear, and she took the kitty home with her to join the rest of the family.
Whenever taking a stray cat into any home, one of the first jobs should be a trip to the local vets to get the animal checked over. Even our well groomed moggies can pick up fleas, worms and all manner of other cat complaints, so just imagine what kind of health problems an unchecked stray could bring into the home?
Mrs. Mann’s big heart cost her a big cheque as she had to get all of the animals checked over in order to find the culprit. Feline acne is not always obvious and can sometimes look like a couple of other complaints that mimic the condition, which are ringworm (dermatophytosis) and demodecosis. These were ruled out by the vet and feline acne was diagnosed as the problem. This was somewhat of a relief for ole Mrs. Mann as demodecosis could have spread through all the animals, and then she really would have a job on her hands.
Demodecosis is extremely contagious among cats and the way this is treated is by using a kind of lime sulfur dip and it can prove to be a very uncomfortable treatment for the cat.
In this case, the feline acne was treatable by a topical treatment which was a benzoyl peroxide shampoo. There are other treatments but the vet will usually advise what to use on a case by case basis. Vitamin A ointment (Retin-A, Rx), metronidazole gel and mupirocin ointment are perhaps the other most common recommendations.
In some cases a topical treatment alone is not sufficient, and it’s necessary to use systemic antibiotics or corticosteroids, but once again, the veterinary surgeon is the one to advise here.
Paul James is a proficient writer and webmaster of PickingPets dot com where he has articles on Dogs and Choosing a Large Fish Tank . He also has other ‘pet’ related to pieces on the site.