Most cats scratch occasionally but once you start noticing that occasional scratch, you’ll know that it has become something uncomfortable for your cat. Cats tend to be extremely fastidious in nature and they are always self-grooming but at the same time there are also skin problems present among them. If you find your cat scratching herself too very often, you should immediately take her to a vet so that any skin issue can be diagnosed as early as possible.
Skin Inflammation in Cats – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis
More-than-normal scratching, a frantic cat and hair loss are the three most common signs of cat skin issues which need to be addressed. Although it is true that cat skin issues are not an emergency but when you love your cat, you’ll try to make sure that she doesn’t have to spend her daily life in discomfort. Hence, it is better to get her treated before things turn serious.
As compared to dogs, cats don’t have to take care of their skin and coat too much. In fact, dermatologic treatments among cats are less common than in dogs. When you perform weekly brushing, this will keep you acquainted with any kind of skin issues as they arise. You will be more likely to spot anything abnormal in your cat’s skin if you have the habit of brushing his coat once in a week.
Identifying skin disorders among cats
If you’re a cat parent, how are you supposed to identify skin issues? Check out the few key signs to watch out for.
- Hair loss is one of the most common signs of cat skin issues. Did you recently come across bald patches on the coat of your cat? If your feline friend shedding hair more than normal?
- If you find her grooming excessively, this can also be a potential sign that skin issues are present. In case the grooming seems to be less relaxed and frenetic, this will imply that your cat is pruritic (itchy) and that she is feeling a constant discomfort.
- During brushing your cat, do you notice any scaly, red, scabby, patchy areas? If answered yes, book an appointment with your vet.
- Ticks and fleas are very common parasites that are found on the cat’s skin.
- Does your feline friend shake her head excessively? This too could indicate that she is having skin disorders or some problem in hearing.
Skin conditions among cats – The common types
Listed below are some of the most common types of skin issues that you need to be aware of:
- External parasites like fleas and ticks can lead to skin allergies and itchy skin. The cat then bites and scratches which leads to further infections.
- Ticks get attached to the skin of your cat causing the area to become raised and can even lead to localized swelling.
- Ear mites, mites can lead to itchy ears. This is also commonly seen among kittens and the cat sways her head sideways in order to tell you that she is in discomfort. Cats can have ear infections that need to be treated by the veterinarian.
- Contact allergies are also present in cats and this is extremely similar to how people develop allergies to common things in the environment.
- Cat skin cancer is a life threatening condition. In case you notice altering skin spots, make a vet appointment as soon as possible.
- Cat dermatitis. Cat dermatitis is because of an allergic reaction to food, grooming products and environmental irritants.
Skin inflammation – What is it?
Skin inflammation among cats is commonly referred to as feline atopic dermatitis and this is defined as hypersensitivity to any harmless substance in the environment. This is a skin condition that is seasonal or non-seasonal, as there are common irritants like mold, pollen, dust and external parasites that are there in warmer seasons of the year. Feline skin inflammation affects cats early in their lives and most of them have symptoms when the cat is still a kitten.
Symptoms of skin inflammation
The symptoms that are associated with skin inflammation in cats usually worsen with time. The skin inflammation is isolated to one or more locations like the neck, head, ears, abdomen, rump and high legs. The few symptoms of skin inflammation among cats include:
- Scratching and clawing of the skin
- Rubbing of the face against different objects
- Chewing or biting at the skin
- Licking of skin
- Self manipulation that leads to open sores that might or might not get infected
- Hair loss
- Poor hair coat
- Rough appearance
Skin Inflammation in cats – What are the causes?
Mostly, skin inflammation is hereditary in nature and this means that your feline will have a chance of developing skin inflammation if her parents had it. Hypersensitive immune system often leads to inflammation or an allergic reaction to plant pollen, mold spores and dust mites can also lead to this. Then there are ear mites, walking dandruff mites, feline scabies, lice, fleas and insect bites too that can lead to skin inflammation.
Skin Inflammation – How to treat
A cat that has been diagnosed with skin inflammation will have several treatment options including medication, avoidance of allergen and immunotherapy. Avoidance of allergen can be an effective treatment for cats experiencing skin inflammation due to seasonal allergens or household elements. Cigarette smoke, household deodorizers and dust mites can be easily eliminated from the environment in which a cat lives.
In case the allergen can’t be removed, the vet will recommend relieving the symptoms through steroid and antihistamine drugs. These medicines however treat symptoms of skin inflammation and won’t target the underlying cause. A diluted allergen infected within the skin over a certain period of time is a kind of therapy used to boost the immune response of the body.
Therefore, now that you’re aware of the ways in which you can treat skin inflammation, make sure you don’t let your cat suffer. Whenever you find your feline friend scratching her body more than usual, fix an appointment with the vet in order to improve things before they get worse.