Strange crinkly feel when stroking my cats head!!

Strange crinkly feel when stroking my cats head!!

by Jaya
(Nottingham, UK)

I adopted a stray cat a couple of years ago…or rather she adopted me, and I have been feeding, cleaning and looking after him. Yes, it’s a he…but I prefer to call him a she!

He is probably 3 to 4 yrs old and apart from wounds from fights with other cats (that I attend to) she has been reasonably healthy.

She mostly has tinned cat food and some occasional milk, cooked ham/meats which she begs for when she smells them.

Now the reason I am writing about her is that last night when she returned home, on stroking her head I discovered a crinkly sensation under her skin on her head.

Its never happened before. Its almost feels like there is a crinkled/crumbled paper under her skin.

She seems normal…just a bit lethargic…which she is sometimes after a fight.

I would just like to know if its something to worry about…and show to a vet?

Please advise.

Regards

Jaya Pande Mayer


Hi Jaya… thanks for visiting and asking. I am going to stick my neck out in answering your query.

Under the skin of the head is the skull – obviously! The cat’s skull – the bone – can be irregularly shaped, knobbly in fact. What you might be feeling is the bony wrinkles of her skull.

This feel may be modified by an cat abscess if she/he has been in a fight. Fighting commonly causes abscesses on the head and ears of cats.

This causes a bacterial infection buildup that produces swelling – a localised pocket of pus beneath the surface of the skin. The two together may produce the crinkly feeling that you describe.

There may be no abscess, however. An abscess is fairly easy to spot as there is swelling. If her head is not swollen and if she is behaving normally (not shaking the head for example) then I think what you are feeling is simply the irregularly shaped skull.

Alternatively, what it might be is skin cellulitis, which is inflammation involving the deep layers of the skin. Most cases are caused by bites or scratches in fights. The signs are pain, warmth (it feels hotter than normal) and firmness (it feels firmer than normal). There might be a change in color (redder than normal). This is a bacterial infection.

Antibiotics are used in the treatment of wound infections such as cellulitis and abscesses.

I feed a stray cat. He has had an abscess twice and twice antibiotics have cured the condition.

I would watch carefully, wait and feel. If there is any deterioration at all, an immediate vet’s visit must be the answer.

Best

Michael Avatar

Strange crinkly feel inside when stroking my cats head!! to Cat Health Problems

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Strange crinkly feel when stroking my cats head!!

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May 18, 2012 A new problem 🙁 please help with Advice NEW
by: Jaya

Dear Michael,
My kitty bobbitts seems to have a new problem. A few days ago I noticed her limping a bit…and sensivity on her left front paw. She started spending more time at home sleeping. then a couple of days later the other paw seemed a bit sore too and she does whine a bit sometimes. Still good appetite and sleeping indoors mostly. Now I fear the rear paws may be sensitive too and am not sure what to do.
Obviously a visit to the vet is imperative…but was just hoping you could shed some light on this problem.
thank you,
regards
jaya


May 18, 2012 A new problem 🙁 please help with Advice NEW
by: Jaya

Dear Michael,
My kitty bobbitts seems to have a new problem. A few days ago I noticed her limping a bit…and sensivity on her left front paw. She started spending more time at home sleeping. then a couple of days later the other paw seemed a bit sore too and she does whine a bit sometimes. Still good appetite and sleeping indoors mostly. Now I fear the rear paws may be sensitive too and am not sure what to do.
Obviously a visit to the vet is imperative…but was just hoping you could shed some light on this problem.
thank you,
regards
jaya


Jan 23, 2012 Update Please
by: Michael

Janet I am sorry I missed your comment until today. I guess the vet damaged your cat’s trachea with the endotracheal tube that is placed into the cat’s trachea that carries the gas anesthesia to the lungs. Is this what he says happened?

I would leave your cat at the vet until he is well or alternatively take him to another vet (depending on how good your vet is).

Apparently the trachea can heal naturally. It is painful. It can be fatal. This site is has a first hand experience of the problem.

You would seek compensation for vet’s fees and other losses.

This is a breach of contract if this is a case of medical negligence.

Would you mind updating us?


Jan 13, 2012 Torn trachea
by: Janet

I took my cat (Tigger) into the Vet to have his teeth cleaned this past Tuesday. The next day my cat had swelled up double his size. I called the Vet to advise what was going on. My Vet came to my house and took a look at Tigger and was very concerned how Tigger was all swollen. The Vet called me back later that day to tell me he thinks Tigger’s trachea got torn when they were cleaning his teeth and that he would keep Tigger at his office for a 2-3 days to observe him. Today is Friday (3 days after having his teeth cleaned) and I just came back from visiting my cat at the Vets and he still looks very swollen, matter of fact he is a little more swollen than he was. He isn’t eating or drinking. They have to force feed him. My question is, will my cat recover from this. If so, how long will he be this way. Should I recommend to the Vet that I don’t want to bring Tigger home until he is healed? When touching him he does have that crunching (like rice crispy) feeling to his skin and doesn’t want to be touched. I just feel so bad for my cat. He’s like my baby.


Oct 11, 2010 My Cat has crinkly skin too-answer from vet appt.
by: Leah

First, call you vet don’t wait. I called my vet first thing this Mon morning. They fit me in instead of waiting for a later appt. So, apparently, it can be something you don’t want to take a chance on.

I found this same crinkly spot on top of my cat’s head between the ears and also shoulder area this weekend. My vet is a nationally known US feline specialist and after examining it he said the crinkle is gas below the skin. This gas can have several causes:

1. The cat’s trachea got torn (usually as a result of surgery) and the air is finding it’s way inbetween the tissue.

2. Infection. There are certain strains of bacteria that produce gas as a byproduct & it builds under the skin as the infection takes hold.

In my case my cat has a low grade fever and so we suspect it’s an infection. My cat did have surgery a week ago so we cannot completely rule out the trachea hypothesis either. She has had sub-q fluids and we suspect maybe the bag of fluids we used could have been contaminated.

My cat has been put on an oral antibiotic with a follow up day after tomorrow.

He stated if it were a trachea issue from surgery the gas would start forming noticably within a day. He said (usually) the trachea heals & the gas is reabsorbed by the body. But-if this is possibly the issue you still need to go directly to your vet.

Hope this helps anyone with this dilema. Don’t leave it! Call your vet.


Sep 18, 2010 Thank you, Jaya.
by: Lori

Thank you for the response, which was certainly timely in my eyes. My post came across twice for whatever reason, but it wasn’t intentional. =) I will be taking Peeka to the vet today as I can’t find any wounds to treat! Maybe the vet will have better luck in locating her cuts and/or abrasions. Anyway, she is eating and is moving about without too much extra effort, so I’m feeling she is going to be fine before long. I’ll let you know how she fares after seeing the vet.

Lori


Sep 17, 2010 Response to Lori’s query…
by: Anonymous

Dear Lori,

My apologies for this delayed response…have had to rush away for some other personal matters.
My cat Bobbitts is doing very well. 🙂
The crinkly feel was indeed an infection, and I realized the pus was starting to fill up within…just as Michael had described. I didn’t have resources to antibiotics so looked up on home remedies. As I have an Aloe Vera plant at home, I just cut a leaf and after cleaning her wounds with an antiseptic solution applied the liquid from the aloe vera over the cuts. I could see immediate transformation. My cat slept a lot and I regularly cleaned and reapplied the sap. within a few hours the abscess started to swell and soon found an outlet releasing all the pus which I made a point to clean up often. The purring, the TLC and the Aloe Vera all did their bit 🙂 Thankfully she didn’t stop eating at any time and that was a lovely signal that she would be fit as a fiddle soon…and she sure did.
I do hope Peeka is well…am truly sorry I didn’t see your message earlier. Please give this a try and I hope to hear from you soon.
warm regards
Jaya


Sep 17, 2010 You Described It Perfectly
by: Lori

Jada,

How is your cat and did you ever figure out what was wrong with her? I just discovered the exact same thing with my cat, Peeka. I started petting her as usual and the crinkly noise and feel is exactly as you described. Hers extends to her upper shoulder area as well, and she’s struggling a little to purr.

Thank you and best wishes,

Lori


Sep 17, 2010 You Described It Perfectly
by: Lori

Jada,

How is your cat and did you ever figure out what was wrong with her? I just discovered the exact same thing with my cat, Peeka. I started petting her as usual and the crinkly noise and feel is exactly as you described. Hers extends to her upper shoulder area as well, and she’s struggling a little to purr.

Thank you and best wishes,

Lori


Aug 03, 2010 To Jaya
by: Ruth

Hello again,as it’s definately crinkly UNDER the skin then I think Micheal is spot on that it’s cellulitis.
If it doesn’t clear up soon then antibiotics and possibly a steroid injection may be needed but I hope Bobbitts (I love his name) is better soon.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Aug 02, 2010 Thanks Ruth
by: Michael

Thanks Ruth for your input which is always welcome. It completes the picture and is important for that reason.

Michael Avatar


Aug 02, 2010 Thanks Ruth
by: Jaya

Dear Ruth,
Thank you for your thoughts.
Bobbitts does get into fights every now and then with one other cat and, often comes home with cuts, scratches and bruises. Having had pets all my life I manage to clean and attend to simple wounds. However this crinkly/crumply feeling is not just a scab. it is under the layers of her skin…with no visible bruising.
She did come home last week after one fight with some gashes on some parts of her head and body and also sported a swollen eye, all of which were promptly cleaned. she as usual just eats and sleeps thru these epidsodes. the gashes have healed and the scabs fallen off.
This papery feeling on her head was not there then….it has just happened the night before I wrote in. thats almost a week after her last fight. she seems fine otherwise. Just that the gap between her skull and the outer skin/hair seems like its got crisp crinkled/crushed paper lined inside. 🙂 I know my description probably isn’t brilliant.
But am most grateful for all the kind thoughts and recommendations.
Thank you Ruth.


Aug 02, 2010 Crinkly head
by: Ruth

Michael is right in all he says but I’m just wondering if it’s scabs you are feeling ? When cats fight a lot they get all sorts of little wounds from bites or scratches. Small wounds heal over but leave scabby bits which eventually drop off. They do feel sort of crinkly.
Just a thought.
The golden rule with cats is that if they go off their food you need to worry.
If they start hiding from you and don’t eat for 2 days, get to the vets quickly.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Aug 02, 2010 Pleasure
by: Michael

Hi Jaya. My pleasure and thanks again for visiting and getting involved. Best of luck to you both.

Michael Avatar


Aug 01, 2010 Thanks Michael!
by: Jaya

Thank you Michael for your comments and advice, truly appreciate it.
I am sure its not the bone deformation as I would have noticed it earlier. however I would not rule out the abscess or the skin inflamation. As adviced am going to keep a close watch and then take that call in a day or two.
Fact is they are such hardy pets and more often than not heal themselves with adequate rest and, may I venture to add, some TLC from their human friends. But sometimes may need that extra help.

Thanks once again for the insight and advice.
I am glad to have posted my query here…as I didn’t really find any answers elsewhere.
Jaya



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