"Hot spots" are typically lick granulomas. Lick granulomas are more common in dogs, and in places (like their forearms) where they can reach them easiest to keep licking them. You can identify them because they're nearly always moist and look "bumpy" or bubbly due to the skin irritation. Cats will occasionally pull hair, but if they're "licking", it's more likely they're using their little tongue rasps to scratch the area. And, the very few lick granulomas I've seen on cats have always been on their paws.
The most likely thing your cat has is a miliary dermatitis, which is caused by fleas. Since your cat is outdoors, I suspect you won't ever be able to absolutely "cure" this -- but you can certainly reduce his/her discomfort by bathing regularly and applying some insect-repellent dip. ***Be certain any shampoos or topicals you may use have a specific statement that they're safe for cats!!!*** Many products meant for dogs will kill a cat.
I used to use Mycodex™ shampoo and Adams™ flea dip on our outdoor cats. I also used the Adams™ spray on that area (on their backs, right ahead of their tails) while brushing the hair there backwards so the spray reached the skin. If your cats aren't already on a worm preventive, see if you can switch to one which has some capacity to repel surface pests. I don't know what's out there these days, as I've been out of clinical med for some years.
Your best bet is to take your cat(s) to the Vet for a checkup and the initial thorough bath-n-dip... and then maintain it yourself afterwards. I bathed all my cats all the time. They do get used to it if you go about it in a calm and gentle-but-firm fashion. You might consider spraying their environment with a cat-safe insect repellent, too (one meant for animal parasites, not ants and roaches!). Perhaps the Vet can suggest an oral heartworm/parasite preventive which could help with this problem, too. It sounds like you've got the orals down pat, though...
You might consider having the yard sprayed. There are companies which can apply products meant for yards with animals, and while it won't absolutely prevent any infestations, it can certainly reduce them.
I don't know of any dietary things you can do to control fleas (and no, garlic doesn't work and actually creates blood dyscrasias in dogs and cats - along with onions! don't give those to your pets, even granulated!). You can add some oil to the food, if the skin is dry. I'd tend to the animal oils - never the vegetable oils. In fact, bacon drippings or (real) lard might be good choices. Just be sure you don't leave them down for long periods of time. Cats are "obligate carnivores", which means they evolved on meat proteins. Our feeds contain too much grain-based products for the most part... so if you add "oil" (fats) try to make them animal-based. Butter (REAL butter, not spreads or margarine) would also be okay. I had a kitty who loved butter so much he'd eat it right off my finger. I think the bacon renderings would be joyfully accepted too! lol
And, as with any other health issues - ours or our pets' - your best resource is your healthcare provider. In this case, your Veterinarian. S/he may also have some recommendation on diets. They do make hypoallergenic diets for pets now... *IF* that's your cat's problem. You can't know that unless you get her checked.
Good luck. Fleas are notoriously difficult to eradicate.
Edited by: EXOTEC at: 5/13/2014 (11:12)
...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
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