Q. My 13 year old cat has excessive scratching, licking, biting of fur, hair loss, reddened/raw skin especially around head/neck, occasionally vomiting.
DR. ANDREA M. BRODIE, DVM
A. it sounds like your kitty may be suffering from a food allergy. You should take her to a veterinarian for an exam to rule out other causes. Your vet may start a food trial with hypoallergenic cat food for about 2 months. During this time your cat must not get treats or steal other food.
DAVID ELBEZE, DVM, MRCVS
A. This is probably due to a severe allergy, although it could also be fleas or mites.
First of all, in order to rule out skin parasites, you will need to treat her with a high quality flea treatment (e.g. advocate or advantage), then get her to the vet to perform a skin scrape - this might revile an infection or a mite infestation.
If all of those came back negative, the next step is to treat the allergy symptomatically and try discovering the cause of the allergy.
Some medications can be given by the vet in order to stop the chewing and repair the skin lesions (steroids and antibiotics). simultaneously you should start her on a prescription hypoallergenic diet for at least 2 months.
There is also a nice topical spray available if the problem remains on the paws only, it's called Cortavance and you can get it at the vets.
Hopefully you will see some results after all this, if not you and your vet should consider putting her on a long term allergy treatment (Atopica or Apoquel).
Just because of the vomiting- i would advise getting a thyroid test done as these symptoms sometimes could be due to hyperthyroidism.