Sometime in May this year, we acquired 3 healthy kittens– about two months old. Back then, kittens in distress were irresistible for us that whenever we see a kitten crying for help, most definitely we would pick it up and adopt it. Prior to the three kittens we presently have, we adopted 2 other kittens who were thrown in a vacant lot behind our house. We took care of them until they were able and strong enough to be given away. A few weeks later, a tabby kitten was heard by my sons meowing in our garden. You know what happened next.
We didn’t have pets for quite a long time (around 15 years). This kitty had some rough spots on his paws and elbows. We didn’t mind it because we just thought that it is caused by malnutrition and a minor case of scabies. A few days later, this tabby kitten showed irritability by non-stop meowing and scratching. We were as irritated as he is. He left our house one day, as cats sometimes do, and never returned. We were very relieved from the noise.
It was not long after that kitten went away, our three other kittens started scratching uncontrollably and we began seeing small raised dots on growing on their ears. They kept scratching until their ears bled. Unfortunately we weren’t able take a picture of our mite-infested cat, but it looked very similar to these.
We asked a nearby vet for the recommended medication. The treatment was in a form of medicated oil in a tube. Each tube contains three drops, which is good for three treatments. They sell it in sets of three tubes that would cost around $35.
It was such an inopportune moment that this situation happened. We had no budget for the medicines, not even for a veterinary checkup and diagnosis. We’d rather spend the money on food, and hope that the scabs will eventually go away if we use sulfur soap. One of the cats really had it bad. The itching worsened to the point that this particular cat’s face and ears were covered with bumps and soars. Fur was gone from the face because of too much scratching, leaving the area bald. The cat was even trembling involuntarily. We were desperate for a cure we can afford.
We researched on the internet about the cats’ skin problems. We found out that the symptoms were those from a case of Sarcoptic mange. It is caused by mites that burrow into the upper layers of the animal’s skin, where they lay their eggs. Sarcoptic mange can be passed to other animals (or even people) by direct contact. The skin rash usually begins as a series of red bumps that are very itchy. The bumps can progress to crusty, raw areas with open sores. – www.webvet.com
Thinking that the medication was oil based, we deduced that probably mites could not thrive in an oily environment, that’s why dogs’ scabies can be cured when applied with liberal dose of used motor oil (a home treatment common in our country). But cats lick their fur, so motor oil is definitely a no-no.
We thought of applying virgin coconut oil which would only cost us $2 for a 100 ml. bottle. Since it is food grade, we won’t have to worry about poisoning. We used an old toothbrush and applied the VCO liberally on the affected areas every other day. After a week, we saw the old skin flaking off and new pinkish skin was being revealed little by little. We also noticed that the scratching lessened considerably after every treatment. We continued applying the VCO until no more bumps were visible and new growth of fur came out. In a period of two weeks, our cat was totally healed from this terrible skin condition. She is now a healthy cat. The mites never came back. For our cat and for us it is amazing to have found this home cure in the form of VCO, we can’t argue with results.
Our major lesson learned from this situation is we have to be careful of stray cats. You’ll never know what that cat will bring in.