IMG_3810So I very suddenly and violently came down with an allergy to Oreo on Friday. We’ve had her for five years, and I have always bragged about her amazing hypo-allergenic properties – she doesn’t dander, she isn’t oily – she’s tiny and puffy and pretty and clean.

Until Friday.

I couldn’t quit sneezing, feeling sinus pressure, having runny eyes and nose…

I noticed last week that she had a bunch of weird black specks in her fur. She usually stays pretty clean, so I found it odd, but after searching her fur for anything living and coming up with nothing, Chris and I concluded that she must have just “gotten into some dirt”.

(Yes, she’s an indoor cat. Yes, us concluding that she could have gotten into some dirt whilst staying indoors IS a reflection of my cleaning habits.)

So on Friday, when she still had it in her fur, I figured maybe I should brush it out, and that would help my allergies.

But messing with it – OHMYGOODNESS. It set a BOMB off right in the middle of my face. I only THOUGHT I was having an allergic reaction before.

But I got all of the specks out, and decided to see if once the dust settled, everything would be okay.

Saturday morning: ALL NEW black specks. MORE sneezing, pressure, running of all facial orifices.

I tweeted, as a joke, that I was suddenly allergic to my cat, and so I was going to try giving her some Benadryl.

Called the vet: they said it sounds like flea dust.

They told me to put some of the black specks in water, and if it dissolved into blood, then it was flea dust (aka – Oreo’s blood from them biting her).

I put some in water, and sure enough…my little bit of water started turning into the red sea.


Vet said that Oreo was probably having an allergic reaction to the fleas, which was causing her skin to flair up and dander, hence causing my allergic reaction to HER.

And, besides a flea treatment, guess what the vet told me to give her?

Yup, Benadryl.

I hate it when my jokes become reality.

(Vet also told me to give her a bath. I will do a lot of things to help my cat, but THAT is not one of them. I don’t have a death wish, after all.)

He told me to give her children’s liquid Benadryl, of which I happen to have a whole bottle minus one dosage, due to finding out that Benadryl makes Ali a VERY cantankerous child.

So I filled a syringe and proceeded to attempt the impossible: medicating a cat.

I haven’t given Oreo medicine in years, but somehow she remembered.

I picked her up and moved toward her mouth with the syringe, and she started VOLUMINOUSLY foaming from the mouth, somehow accomplished by raking her tongue feverishly across her teeth (I suppose that could be termed “gnashing of teeth”).


Crazy amounts of foam were cascading from her impenetrable mouth and flying around the room as she lashed her head back and forth. It looked something akin to one of Ali’s bubble baths if there were a fan involved, except much less sanitary.

I chased Oreo around the house, penned her and held her down a few times, took a complete dousing of slimy foamy cat saliva, and managed to get maybe an eighth of the dose actually down her throat.

Which is bizarre, seeing as how she only weighs maybe eight pounds. How DOES she manage to win every single time in hand-to-paw combat?!?

Then I spent the rest of the day finding and cleaning up little piles of foam, as she continued to create her foamy toxin for good measure.


Second Benadryl dose time: I drafted Chris to help me. He held her as she repeatedly knocked the breath out of him with her freakishly strong back leg kicks, all while covering him (and I) with another round of flying foam.

He surmised that she was using her awesome hair-balling abilities to actively reject the medicine, hence all of the foam.


However, between Oreo’s Benadryl, my Benadryl, the flea medicine, and Ali’s bedtime prayers where we asked God to make everyone feel better EXCEPT for the fleas, I definitely am feeling relief from my symptoms .

Oreo, however, doesn’t seem so thankful.IMG_3812

14 thoughts on “A Fleaed Foamy Feline.

  1. oh. my. word. i never knew you could actually give a cat benadryl. poor thing. i wonder how she got the flea dirt. it's definitely no fun when the pets cause so much trouble. hope you both are feeling better though.

  2. Oh my LOL I just had to laugh at the mental picture of you wrestling a cat with syringe in hand. Foaming at the mouth? I've never seen a cat do that and I never want to. Ew is right.

  3. Not sure if I feel worse for you or Oreo but it's hilarious because it's not me or any of our three yep three indoor cats! Our second, Mocha Joe, has a flea bite allergy that causes his fur to fall out. That's how we ended up with him. I've never had to give any of the boys medicine though.

  4. Poor Oreo! She does not know why someone is bothering her. Hope you and Oreo feel much better. I know it is a pain but the story is hilarious.

  5. I can relate, I have had to give my cats (I have 3) pills before not fun and I usually end up wounded and bleeding. I gave up trying to give them bathes. I am not that crazy.

    Just a note you can give dogs benadryl too.They are much easier to give it to.

  6. Oh my word – I've never seen cats foam at the mouth. The whole flea thing makes me cringe. Everytime I see my cats scratch, I start worrying. And I'm with you, I would NEVER try to give my cats a bath!

  7. I once tried to give my old cat Benadryl for a long car ride. I feel your pain! IT WAS DIFFICULT! Foaming at the mouth must be a rare thing for felines, but I witnessed it too. Maybe our cats are long lost relatives :oP. Love your blogs!

  8. Goodness gracious…that sounds terrible, but it makes for a hilarious blog post! :) Hope you both feel better soon!

  9. If you ever have to give your cat liquid medicine again, here's a tip.

    1. Put the medicine on her paws as she will lick them clean.

    2. If you HAVE to give it to her orally, get a big towel and wrap her in the towel first so she can't claw you or really even fight you much.

  10. Thanks for the laugh. As a veterinarian reading this I had even a greater appreciation for your struggles. Hope Oreo has remained flea free since then!

    1. Oreo ended up passing away last summer. She got a UTI that turned into a Staph infection that they couldn’t get rid of. Poor thing – it was terrible!

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