Questions Answered about Skin Problems in Cats
The cats skin is a fairly amazing part of their body – it makes hair, has specialised parts like whiskers, produces waxes to keep their hair healthy, helps regulate their temperature, and can change hair position to make them look bigger in a fight. Such a special organ can also get some very special problems and skin problems in cats are quite common and varied.
Abscesses – Cats that meet other cats often fight, this is normal cat behavior. In the wild, they are not pack animals and defend their territory defensively.
Ringworm – Ringworm is NOT a worm/parasite infection. It is a fungal disease that often causes circular lesions that expand outwards. Ringworm is more common in kittens, especially sick ones, and in long haired breeds.
Allergies – Cats do get allergies and just like people, can get allergic dermatitis. Some cats will be allergic to fleas, plants, pollen’s, wool, and even foods. Allergies can develop as cats get older and can become more serious as they age.
My recommendations to people with allergic pets are:
- Flea control – this must be year round and effective…..
- Diary – keep a diary of when your cat has skin problems, what is happening in their life and what they are eating.
- Omega 3 fatty acids can be added to the cats diet.
- There are skin specialists for cats and dogs – do not be afraid to ask your vet for a referral.
NB. Flea allergies are incredibly common. You will not see fleas on most flea allergic animals because they will eat the fleas when grooming. One flea bite every 2 weeks is enough to cause a problem in these pets.
Overgrooming – After a cat has been nervous, they will groom themselves. This makes them calm. For some cats this becomes excessive and they “overgroom”. Often these cats have bald bellies or flanks or sometimes forelegs
Cancers – Skin cancers are common and vary in size, appearance and location. Cancers will not always look nasty initially.
Dandruff – Cats, like people, can get dandruff. A little dandruff can be acceptable.
Shedding and Knots – As vets, we are often asked what we can give to stop hair falling out.
- Stay on top of brushing! ……
- Slicker brushes are fabulous. ….[Click below to read full newsletter]…
- Combs should be used for long haired cats. These also brush right down to skin level to remove dead fur.
- Stay away from products like furminator and rubber mits. These products cut the coat and only skim the surface.
- Conditioner –