Cats are notoriously puzzling animals, and it is often hard for an owner to translate their behavior without extensive experience in kitty ownership. Occasionally it is even tricky to tell when they are suffering from a medical problem, such as an indication of a skin problem such as a cat hair loss. In order to properly treat cat skin diseases, a cat owner must first be able to recognize when the cat is suffering from a skin illness.
Cats do not always display clear indicators of skin disease the way dogs do. Canines make it straightforward to inform when they’re itchy and irritated, because they scratch with their claws. Scratching with the claws not only tells us that the dog is itchy, but also tends to make the skin more irritated and even infected, thus drawing rather more attention to the issue. Cats don’t tend to scratch with their claws as much as dogs do. More often, cats will simply lick the irritated area, which isn’t much different than their normal grooming behaviour. You will notice your cat grooming more than standard, especially focusing on one area. You may notice that your kitty seems agitated or concerned, or twitching of the shallow back muscles. You can even notice that your cat is hiding and not looking for attention as normal. All of the above can be evidence of skin disease in a kitty.
If you think you are observing signs of skin illness in your cat, the first thing you need to do is look into your cat further. Check for any scabs or bumps, paying special attention along the backbone and under the chin and neck area. You may also purchase a flea comb and use it to check for fleas in the same areas, along the spine and rump and under the jaw and neck area. Check to see if the hair in the belly area is thin or bare. Also check all over the cat for any reddened, crusting, or alternatively unusual areas.
If you find scabs, reddened areas, or hair loss on your cat, the first thing you should do is begin a suitable flea control programme if you’re not already practicing one. Veterinary products like Frontline Plus And Advantage are extremely impressive at controlling and preventing flea Problems if used monthly as directed. Use caution if you’re thinking about using an off-brand flea product like Pet Armor. These products have the same active component as Frontline, but may have a different concentration and can be delivered through a different medium. These differences can make the off-brands a lot less effective. Always ask your vets office for a product advice before starting a flea control programme.
If you’re already using an acceptable flea product as instructed and your moggy still appears to be having skin conditions, or if your cat has irritated skin or appears uncomfortable, you’ll probably need to see the vet to get your cat some relief. In many cases, a steroid or antihistamine may be mandatory for controlling the itching, and an antibiotic may be indicated if proof of infection exists.
Cathy Doggin’s is a frequent writer on every type of cat health and conditions. This includes many common cat skin conditions. When not writing about cats, the writer can be found volunteering at a local shelter or talking on the rights of tiny animals.