11 Most Common Cat Skin Problems Scabs Allergies

11 Most Common Cat Skin Problems Scabs Allergies

Cat skin problems are quite common and similarly to dogs, cats can suffer from parasite allergies, contact allergies, bacterial infections and hormonal imbalances.

At Animal Trust, offer free consultations so if you’re ever in doubt your cat is suffering from a skin condition, you can be reassured that team of expert and professional vets in Animal Trust are available to examine your pet and advise on the next steps for treatment.

Cat skin problems are quite common and similarly to dogs, cats can suffer from parasite allergies, contact allergies, bacterial infections and hormonal imbalances.

At Animal Trust, offer free consultations so if you’re ever in doubt your cat is suffering from a skin condition, you can be reassured that team of expert and professional vets in Animal Trust are available to examine your pet and advise on the next steps for treatment.

Common symptoms of cat skin conditions

There are a range of symptoms that can indicate a problem with your cat’s skin. Cats incessantly itch, scratch and bite their fur to alleviate signs of pet allergies and also lick their fur to soothe infections. Contact your vet straight away if your cat is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Intensive itching
  • Hair loss
  • Redness
  • Dry skin
  • Dull fur
  • Acne
  • An unpleasant smell
  • Scabs
  • Excessive grooming

General maintenance of a cat’s health is important to prevent them from suffering from cat skin problems. The condition of a cat’s fur and skin can be an indicator of their overall health: food rich in protein and omega 3 is beneficial as part of a cat’s balanced diet to maintain a healthy coat.

What are some of the most common cat skin problems?

Some of the most common cat skin problems include parasite allergies; bacterial infections, and hormone imbalances.

Mange

Mange is an inflammatory skin disease caused by various types of mites, some of which require a microscope to identify them as they are invisible to the human eye. Mites live and burrow into a cat’s skin and fur, causing excessive scratching, swelling; and hair loss around the face, eyelids, neck and back. Intensive scratching can also cause scabs and redness, as the cat consistently targets the affected areas with their claws.

Mites are quickly killed using topical treatments and some of the regular flea prevention we prescribe will also treat mites. If your pet is diagnosed with mites, clean their bedding, collar and prevent contact with other animals until they’re completely free of parasites.

Ear mites

Ear mites are common in cats, especially for kittens who may have picked them up from their mum, but can be seen in cats of any age. Cats scratch at their ears and shake their head to alleviate the symptoms. Ear mites can be intensely itchy and cats will often spend long periods rubbing and scratching their ears. Ear mites can cause inflammation in the ear which may then, if untreated also lead to a bacterial infection.

Ticks and fleas

Keeping up-to-date on your cat’s preventative treatments for ticks and fleas is imperative, so your cat has the best possible chance of fighting off any bugs which are tempted to latch onto a cat’s skin or fur.

Preventative treatments for ticks and fleas work, after application to your cat’s skin, by circulating the blood system. For any ticks or fleas that bite your pet’s skin, the parasite ingests the blood and is killed off by the chemical solution (harmless to your pet).

Without this type of treatment, your cat is more susceptible to a severe case of ticks and fleas. However, some pets are allergic to the flea saliva as it bites and enters the cat’s body, causing extreme itching which can lead to redness, sores and hair loss. This often leads to something caused miliary dermatitis where there are very many small scabs, usually along the back of the cat which are caused by an allergic reaction to the flea biting.

If you spot one or two fleas, it’s likely that tens and hundreds of fleas are still present in the cat’s everyday environment, so it’s vital to regularly hoover the home and wash your bedding to remove the parasites.

Environmental allergies

Like human’s, pets can be allergic to everyday items as they come into contact with their surroundings. This can include allergies to food, certain chemicals used around the household; and any dust, grass or pollen.

When a cat is allergic to their surroundings, they tend to over-groom and excessively itch, which can result in patchy fur, particularly if they have chewed at their joints to alleviate the irritation. Observe your pet closely, as this can help to identify whether there are specific times of the day your pet becomes uncomfortable, based on what they come into contact. As we covered in environmental allergies for dogs, if you can provide the more information the better, so your local vet can make an accurate diagnosis for treatment.

Stress-induced alopecia

When your pet is stressed, their behaviour changes which can lead to excessive grooming, sleeping and a low mood. Environmental changes can trigger stress in pets, causing thinning of their fur down the back and abdomen from licking their fur too often.

In this case, it’s best to visit your vet to discuss the potential causes of stress in your cat. Pheromone plug-ins can help alleviate your cat from anxiety, and removing the potential cause of stress from the cat’s environment can prevent further hair loss.

Feline acne

Blackheads (or comedones) appear on your cat’s chin and under their lips. The chin can swell and become red, resulting in the cat scratching the area to combat the irritation. Although the cause of feline acne is unknown, it is thought it can be triggered by environmental allergies and from getting a second bacterial infection.

Food allergies

Itching on the back, head and neck can indicate a food allergy. The process of elimination is an effective method to identify the specific cause, as types of protein or carbohydrate in cat food can trigger an allergy. It is very important that elimination diets are done carefully in cats as they have very specific dietary protein needs and if fed the wrong diet it can cause serious disease.

Abscesses

Cuts and grazes as a result of cat fights can result in cat skin problems for your cat, as they irritate the affected area by scratching and itching. Their sharp claws can cut the skin, creating an open wound for bacteria to enter. If you notice any swelling and pus-filled abscesses, this is a sign of an infection, which can be alleviated by keeping the area clean and applying a medical treatment prescribed by your vet.

Cat’s that have abscesses often appear unwell, quiet and go off their food. In other cases, owners notice they are sore in a certain area. In male cats, the chance of fighting can be reduced by ensuring that they are castrated.

Fungal infections

Ringworm is highly contagious to humans and other animals, so it’s vital to contact your vet straight away if you spot any of the following symptoms. Ringworm looks like a raised, red circle on the cat’s skin which can get crusty, red and thickens the skin. As with other cat skin conditions, hair loss can also occur in the infected area.

It’s highly recommended to clean your home, hoover the carpets and wash all bedding to remove any fungal spores, which can remain dormant for several months.

Stud tail

Excessive excretion of oils can create a foul-smelling and waxy substance at the top of your cat’s tail. Feline acne (blackheads) can appear around the area and the fur can become greasy.

Endocrine Dermatosis

Dandruff, itching and dry fur or hair loss can indicate an underlying skin condition in cats, caused by a hormonal imbalance. Your vet will run a few tests and look at other symptoms to see what could be causing your pet’s condition.

If you suspect your cat is suffering from a skin condition and is showing any signs of a potential skin allergy, visit your local Animal Trust clinic for a free consultation. Team of professional and friendly vets will give your cat a full body health check to identify the problem.

It’s easy to book an appointment using online booking form. If you haven’t visited an Animal Trust clinic before, register your pet online to speed up the registration process.

Write comment below to us about: most common cat skin problems. Does your cat have cat skin problems? How did you treat them?

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Diana

    Common Infections Ringworm and yeast infections are two possible reasons why your cat may be experiencing skin problems. Keep in mind they can transfer to other family members quite easily, so early identification is key. Of course cats are also prone to parasites and viruses, just as you are.

    I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a whole lot of time writing, Thanks!

  2. pat

    My adult female cat has a big patch of black scabby stuff on her back near her left hind leg. Vet said it is there because she had a problem but doesn’t have it any longer. Gave her lyzine ointment. After months it mostly went away. It is back again. (Don’t trust the vet. Told me another cat had the sniffles and it was lung cancer.) I’ve looked online and don’t a picture of what it really looks like. No oozing, no red specks, no bumps. Doesn’t look like the pictures of milinary dermititis. Just big black crusty scab. Not crazy itchy. No obvious distress. Found the scab while petting her. Have 2 other cats without the problem. All on flea control. Because of covic-19 vets have only been seeing emergencies in Ky. Suggestions?

  3. Ivana Shiell

    In veterinary medicine, miliary dermatitis is a multifocal distribution of skin lesions, with no identifiable pattern. The term miliary means millet-like, as the papules on the coat of an affected cat feel similar to millet seeds.

  4. Jessica Mehring

    He there, need add more info about miliary dermatitis. Feline miliary dermatitis is a general term used to describe a skin condition in cats that most commonly results from an allergic reaction. The term ‘miliary’ is derived from the word milium, which is Latin for ‘millet’, as the small crusted lesions of miliary dermatitis resemble millet seeds.

  5. Kaleigh Moore

    What does crusted scabies look like? Thank

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hello Kaleigh

      Crusted scabies begins as poorly defined red patches that then develop into thick scaly plaques between the fingers, under the nails, or diffusely over palms and soles. Other common areas include elbows and knees. Mites can also collect in nail beds, causing the nail plates to split.

  6. Holly G.

    Can you catch scabies from a cat?

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi Holly

      No, Pets are infested by different types of mites than those that infect humans. Animals are not a source of spread of human scabies. When feline mites land on human skin, they fail to thrive and produce only a mild itch that goes away on its own.

  7. Chrystal Jelena

    Hi, millet shaped scabs on cats, what can i do?

    PS thanks 😉

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi Chrystal

      These scabs are often referred to as miliary dermatitis, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds. “This reaction is an allergic response to proteins or antigens present in the flea’s saliva.”

      Clean the sore with hydrogen peroxide on gauze or a cotton ball, and after it dries, spray the area with cortisone cream. Do this twice a day until the sore starts to dry out or a scab begins to form.

  8. Verminia Dehren

    Hi, What can i give a cat for skin allergies? Kiss all!

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi Vermina, Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be used, but they work best preventatively, before your cat is exposed to the allergen. Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your cat’s itchy skin. There are many cat shampoos that may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in cats with allergies.

  9. Helen Tist

    Katrin help me, Why does my cat have scabs all over his body?

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi, Helen, Flea allergy is the most common allergy in cats. … These scabs are often referred to as miliary dermatitis, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds (see “Miliary Dermatitis in Cats” for more information on this skin condition). Hope all ok with your cat.

  10. Nika Toltek

    A have question, What foods are bad for cats?

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi Nika

      Here’s a look at some of the most toxic foods for cats:
      Onions and Garlic
      Raw Eggs, Raw Meat & Bones
      Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks
      Alcohol and Raw Dough
      Milk and Dairy Products
      Grapes and Raisins
      Dog Food
      Preventing Cats from Eating Dangerous Foods

  11. Noreen Tardy

    Just wanna say that you have a very nice web site. I like the layout too, it actually stands out.

  12. France Tukowsk

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on. Bingo. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

  13. Tamiya Firol

    Hi, I have a small problem in my cat now, how can I treat my cats skin problems?

    1. Katrin Camtont

      Hi, Tamiya. Your need go to your veterinarian may do a skin scraping of the area to rule out other problems such as mites. Treatment involves clipping the hair and cleaning the area with a follicle-flushing shampoo containing benzoyl peroxide, in cases with secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics may be indicated.

  14. Greg Ford

    As I understand you, Silvia, we also have such a problem, like many, once or twice a year our cat suffers from allergies during the flowering of various asthenia and also keep it at home, this makes his suffering a little easier. The main thing is to keep the house clean, bought filters for the house, the condition is already better.

  15. Silvia

    Every year, our cat suffers from skin problems due to external factors, spring, everything blooms, we are careful not to let the cat out on the street in order to reduce the effects of allergies. Our veterinarian is trying to help us, but nothing helps 100% so far.

  16. Bob Fiktim

    This is not the first time here, I am once again receiving useful information and expressing gratitude for the work done, thank you.

Leave a Reply