Itchy Skin In Cats – A Look At The Most Common Causes
Cats are known for their impeccable grooming habits, but sometimes even the most diligent feline can end up with itchy skin- medically known as pruritus. While a little itch here and there is nothing to worry about, chronic itching can be a sign of a bigger problem. Here’s what you need to know about itchy skin in cats, from common causes to treatments.
Identifying An Itchy Cat
Cats with itchy skin may present the following symptoms:
- Excessively scratching
- Patches on your cat's belly, armpits, and groin
- Scabs around their body
- Excessive biting and licking
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Excess hairballs
Causes Of Itchiness In Cats
The causes of an itchy skin condition in cats are varied. A few common issues include:
Parasitic Infections – Cats and other animals commonly experience itching caused by fleas and mites. Maybe your cat is hypersensitive to flea saliva and reacts to bites. In some cases, a flea outbreak might have grown to a point where it is severely irritating their skin.
Allergies –The most common causes of allergies in cats include flea bites, food allergies, and environmental allergies. A cat can develop itchiness due to an allergy to flea saliva, which releases a histamine-like compound. Proteins cause food allergies from certain foods that are not digested properly when they pass through your pet's stomach. Environmental allergens may be present in the air, dust, or other substances your pet breathes in.
Ringworms – There are many infectious causes of feline pruritus or itchy skin in cats, including ringworms. Even if pet owners do not believe ringworm is to blame for their pets' health problems, testing for ringworm, either by fungal culture or by PCR (polymerase chain reaction), is an important step.
Compulsive Behavior – Cats that aren't stimulated physically and mentally can become bored. Anxiety, frustration, and boredom are powerful fuels for the development of compulsive behaviors such as chewing, scratching, or licking. These psychological disorders are more likely to occur in indoor cats.
In order to solve your cat's scratching, chewing, and licking problem, you need to figure out what's causing it.
Parasites: Your vet may prescribe flea control for your cat if fleas are suspected. You should check with your veterinarian before using any flea treatment on your cat.
Food Test: Exclusion diets or food trials are used to determine if a food allergy is the cause of persistent scratching and licking.
Medication: The itching and inflammation of the skin can be eased by steroids and/or antihistamines prescribed by your veterinarian. It may also be necessary to take antibiotics if there is a secondary infection.
Compulsive Behaviour: You can keep your cat busy, happy, and mentally and physically stimulated by creating an enriching indoor environment.
In conclusion, itchy skin in cats can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, parasites, and infections. While there are many possible treatments, the best course of action is to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment for your cat.
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