Cat Skin Conditions Cat Allergies
Cats have skin that is often more sensitive than people and cats are more likely to suffer injuries and allergic reactions because of this. From kitten to adult, cats can have skin conditions at any time and often these problems are not noticed until a cat overgrooms or loses hair.
Any number of problems can cause skin conditions in cats and they include stress, parasites, allergies, infections, injuries, poor nutrition and more. A responsible owner can help alleviate some of these problems by regularly grooming their cat, keeping fleas under control, and visiting a vet when new conditions arise.
Fleas and Ticks and Mites, Oh My!
Good pet grooming can go a long way at keeping these parasites from invading your cat and causing all kinds problems. Products such as Advantage are good at keeping fleas and mites off of cats and if you brush your cat regularly you will quickly know if your cat has been re-infested with one of these pests.
Ticks, which are often found in wooded areas, are best treated by removing the tick from your cat as soon as you notice one that has attached. Although products like Advantage “kill fleas and ticks”, it takes close to three days for a tick to be killed by the medication because a dose of medicine that would kill a tick instantly would also injure your cat.
Ticks can be removed with specialized tools that are designed for this specific purpose and can be found at any local pet store. In a pinch, ticks can be removed with a pair of tweezers. What sometimes works to get the tick to let go is rubbing alcohol. Be sure to get the whole tick off of your cat and don’t leave the pinchers inside. Check your cat often for ticks and get them used to you removing the ticks for them.
Allergies Aren’t Just for Humans
Cats can have an allergic reaction to almost anything, just like their human companions and this can lead to dry, scaly skin. Particular foods, dust, pollen, flea treatments and insect bites can all cause an allergic reaction in cats.
Some cats are highly sensitive to flea bites and even after one bite can be found scratching obsessively, leaving raw, patchy skin. A cat this is highly sensitive to flea bites needs extra special care to avoid these obnoxious pests. Advantage or Frontline are a must for highly sensitive cats so that fleas don’t get the chance to live long enough to bite.
Ringworm is a Fungus, Not a Worm
Ringworm is a fungal infection that is one of the most common skin conditions for our cats. Ringworm can be transfered from pet to pet contact or from contact with an infested pet’s bedding. Ringworm is very contagious and can be passed from cats to humans and it is an infection of the hair follicles.
Ringworm is easily identified because of the skin lesions it produces. Circular patches of skin will be visible, patchy hair loss and scaly skin will abound. Ringworm is treated with antifungal cream or if it is a more difficult case, with antifungal medications.
Cats can also be prone to feline acne, impetigo, alopecia (baldness), ulcers and sunburn. Although your cat will not be able to tell you what is causing their skin eruptions, as an informed owner you will be able to identify and treat each skin condition appropriately. If you are not sure what your cat is suffering from, call a vet and ask for advice on how best to treat their skin condition.