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Common Skin Problems in Cats

Common Skin Problems in Cats

Cat skin is susceptible to a number of infections, allergies, as well as parasites. In the following pet health care article, we shall have a look at some of the common skin problems in cats. This will help cat owners get some information that will help them keep the beautiful feline skin healthy and disease free.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Pet owners who love their pets like crazy, will surely agree their lives revolve around their pets. Even if it means you are a proud owner of an independent cat. Our feline friends love being left on their own, follow their own particular schedule and befriend humans who are present at every beck and call. In spite of their airy attitude, we all wish for our pet cats to live a long and healthy life. The minute we find out cat is not keeping well, we bring her to the veterinarian's clinic. There can be a number of health reasons that may plague our little kitty. Of these, many common skin problems in cats are one of the most usual complaints bought to the notice of a veterinarian. We shall have a look at some of the feline skin problems in the following paragraphs. This will help pet owners know if there is a problem with their pet and find a way to treat it.

Symptoms of Skin Problems in Cats
Have you noticed something unusual in your cat? She may have given up her proud pose to scratching and licking like a rugged street dog. This is a sign she may be suffering from a skin disease. Some of the symptoms of skin problems in cats include:
  • Constant scratching, licking and chewing of the skin around the head and neck
  • Swellings or lumps on skin
  • Hair loss and bald patches
  • Unusual rash
  • Redness and inflammation on skin
  • Scab formation
  • Presence of pus and blood
  • Dry, flaky and irritated skin
If you spot some or either of these signs, it may indicate a skin disease in cat. There are many causes of skin problems in cats. It is important to get these skin conditions investigated by a veterinarian. Some of the common skin diseases affecting cats are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Common Skin Disorders in Cats
Most of the feline skin diseases are easily treatable with the help of medical care. Most of these skin problems in cats are due to a bacterial infection, allergy, parasites and other conditions. Let us have a look at some of these skin diseases in cats.

Feline Acne
It's not just the mistress, but even the poor kitty can also develop acne. You will find feline acne occur around the cat's chin. They appear like small, reddish bumps. The symptoms are often mild and go unnoticed in most cases. This occurs due to poor grooming habits, reaction to a medication or certain food, stress and sometimes an underlying skin disease. The treatment involves use of an antibiotic shampoo or application of a specialized gel that helps in clearing the skin of acne.

Bacterial Skin Infection
Many times other skin problems, like acne, cuts, wounds or injuries can lead to bacterial infection. These bacteria gain entry into the skin and lead to a mild, moderate or severe skin infection. The skin becomes inflamed, reddish in color and may even form pus. In some cases, the hair loss in patches occurs. It is important to get the condition treated as soon as possible as cats have a habit of licking. If the infection spreads to the gastrointestinal tract, it may lead to a medical complication. The veterinarian may advice antibiotics as well as topical skin creams, especially for cats, to be applied on the infection.

Yeast Infection
A yeast infection is another common skin problem affecting cats. This infection is a type of fungal infection that usually occurs around the ear. You will observe redness around the skin flap, yellow discharge from the ear and the cat will continuously scratch its ear. The vet may prescribe an antifungal medication or shampoo to get rid of the infections.

Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection that causes hard lesions on the skin. The cat forms small, draining nodules. In cats, it is generally seen in male cats who wander outdoors and get into frequent cat fights. The fungus spreads through scratches and bites. The cat develops bumps and lesions on the skin that appear as wounds initially. These lesions do not heal, form ulcers and drain fluid. This is a serious fungal infection, as it can spread to humans from an infected cat. The treatment involves use of oral potassium iodide for about 4 to 8 weeks.

Allergic Dermatitis
Allergic dermatitis is a skin allergy that can be caused due to many factors. These factors include a flea bite allergy, food allergy, or atopy. Atopy is a condition that occurs due to inhalation of an allergen or absorption of allergen through the skin. Some cats are allergic to mites or intestinal parasites. A cat suffering from allergic dermatitis may scratch, lick and chew on its skin excessively. It will scratch, lick or chew on its paws, head, neck, ears and base of tail. You may observe red, raised scales on the skin. Sometimes, bumps or pus filled vesicles may be observed. Take your cat to the vet immediately for treatment. Identify the allergen triggering this skin problem and try to keep your cat away from it in future.

The most common skin problems in cats is flea infestation. Fleas such the blood on your poor kitty, lay eggs and get a free ride on its back. You can spot a flea infestation by observing tiny, black, flea dust on your cat's fur. This flea dust is actually flea poop. Fleas cause your cat to scratch continuously and form crusty lesions. In some cases, it may lead to bacterial skin infection due to persistent scratching, flea bite allergy and even anemia in severe infestation. You need to visit a veterinarian for cat flea treatment and carry out a flea pest control of your house once a month. This will help in total elimination of fleas from your cat's environment to some extent.

Ear Mites
Are you observing black wax and a dark discharge in your cat's ear? It may be a sign of ear mites in cats. Ear mites are really tiny parasites that live inside a cat's ear. They feed on the wax in the ear and cause inflammation. The cat continuously shakes its head and scratches its ears out of irritation. You may also observe dark discharge as well as bad odor emitted out of the cat's ear. You need to immediately seek a veterinarian's help and get a topical medication prescribed to get rid of ear mites.

Psychogenic Alopecia
Psychogenic alopecia is a stress related disorder. In simple words, it leads to over grooming in cat similar to an obsessive compulsive disorder. The cat continuously grooms itself and licks on the inner side of the thighs, nearby abdomen and groin area. It causes thinning of hair, infection, irritation and inflammation of the skin. You may have to find ways to reduce the stress on your cat and seek some behavior modification therapies to treat your cat.

The most common skin disease in cats is ringworm infection. This fungal infection causes circular patches of hair loss on your cat. This infection is usually seen around the head and limbs. You may observe red, itchy skin and gray, patchy areas of baldness on your cat. The veterinarian may prescribe antifungal shampoos and lime sulfur dips to treat ringworm in cats.

These are some of the common skin problems in cats. If you observe any symptoms of skin disease in your pet, take her to a veterinarian. Most diseases are easily cured with treatment. If left untreated, it could lead to complications with your pet's health. Immediate treatment will ensure your pet cat lives a happy and regal life.