Cat skin problems can be a common problem for cats. Of all the cat diseases, skin problems can be the easiest or the hardest to treat depending on the cause. Sometimes finding the cause of the problem is what makes it one of the hardest cat illnesses to treat and cure. Let's go over some of the more common causes of skin problems. The list is in alphabetical order rather than most common order.
Cats can get allergies as well. If the cat develops a food allergy, the skin problem tends to be more generalized. The allergy is usually related to the protein that is included in their diet. It is normally treated with a special, low allergy dry food diet until the allergy clears up and then some experimentation to see if exactly what protein is causing the allergic reaction.
Cats can also have allergic reactions to certain products. This is called contact dermatitis. It can be to practically anything including shampoo products, flea medications or anything else that the cat comes into contact with in the environment. Again, treatment depends on identifying the allergen and removing it from the environment.
Finally, cats can also become allergic to insect bites, especially flea and mosquito bites. Some people get rid of fleas very easily using some products while others can struggle with fleas for years. Generally speaking, what is important to remember is to treat the environment as well as the cat. In terms of the mosquitoes, there are some products that can be used to repel mosquitoes from your cat and the environment. Also, try to keep your cat in doors during peak mosquito hours, namely sunrise and dusk.
Cats have really sharp claws and these claws have bacteria on them simply from normal daily use. It is very easy for cats to scratch themselves or each other and for these scratches to become infected. Bacterial infections are treated normally with topical shampoos containing antibiotics or with antibiotic creams, lotions or pomades depending on what type of bacteria is present and the area infected. Even oral antibiotics may be used.
Cat Behaviour Problems: Overgrooming
Cats can develop a behavioural problem where they are constantly grooming themselves. This can cause skin problems, especially hair loss. This is normally caused by stress. Treatment involved trying to identify and alleviate the stressful condition. Provide your cat with entertainment and with a schedule. Play and exercise your cat every day. If your cat is home alone most of the day, provide toys and consider getting an aquarium for your cat to watch.
External Parasites - Fleas, mites and lice
External parasites such as fleas, mites and lice can also infest your cat, causing skin problems. Cats can develop an ailment called Flea Allergy Dermatitis, which is where your cat develops an allergic reaction to flea bites although this is rarer in cats. Lice are species specific, meaning that the lice that is on your cat won't go on you. Mites can be extremely itchy, causing the cats to itch a lot and possibly leading to secondary bacterial infections.
Fungal infections include ringworm and yeast infections. Extra care must be taken with cats with fungal infection because there are many zoonosis involved with these infections. This means that humans can get it from their cat. Ringworm is usually a localized infection that causes a small, red ring on the cat's skin and hair loss in the area. Treatment involves topical anti-fungal medications and treating the environment.
As you can see from the list above, there are a number of cat illnesses and cat diseases that can cause skin problems. Many of these problems can be easily treated, yet it is also common for the problem to reoccurring or chronic, especially if the cause is not found and dealt with. Finding the cause is the secret to treating and curing your cat's skin problems.