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How to stop cat from gnawing & licking its underarms

(December 31, 2009)

Cats are a very popular and common pet, although widely known for their apparent aloofness toward the master. However, as many cat lovers will testify, they can be very affectionate animals to have around when companionship is required. To correctly identify the best way to get your cat to stop constantly gnawing and licking its underarms is to identify the root cause of it. The cat is most likely doing this to ease a significant amount of irritation around the area which maybe caused by a skin allergy. When any kind of irritant comes in contact with the cat’s skin, the cat’s immune system produces a protein called IgE that attaches itself to the tissue mast cells that are present in the skin. This causes a reaction that sees the release of chemicals such as histamine – which triggers rashes and itching. The three most common types of skin allergies in cats are food allergies, inhalant or contact allergies and flea allergy dermatitis.

Correct diagnosis of the root cause is essential or else you will spend a lot of time trying to treat the wrong condition. This is a very common mistake made by a lot of cat owners all over the world. Differentiating between food allergies and food intolerances can be quite tricky. The main difference being that a food allergy will show up with symptoms such as itching and visible skin problems while food intolerances will show up with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. Food allergies are very often triggered by some food sources that are a common part of the species feeding habits such as fish, dairy products and beef. In addition to the substantial itchiness and irritation present around the affected area, one may also see some amount of hair loss. The best way to treat this condition is to correctly identify the type of food causing the problem. This can be done with the help of a veterinarian or even simply eliminating the items fed to the cat one by one – in order to isolate the cause.

An inhalant allergy is caused by the inhalation of the allergen. Most common allergens responsible for this type of allergy include pollen and dander. Some of the more prominent symptoms visible when this condition is prevalent include seemingly twitchy skin, the cat pulling out tufts of hair, red and long lesions as well as crusty papules. Flea allergies are the result of the skin being exposed to the saliva of fleas and will also show symptoms of severe itching in addition to skin damage as a result of the excessive scratching. The best way to prevent against the gnawing and licking is to prevent the exposure of your cat to the allergen.

Submitted by M A on December 31, 2009 at 02:31


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