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Cat skin irritation

Irritation in Cat's Skin:

Cats, just like humans, can suffer from a wide variety of skin problems.

Some of these problems could be minor, with rather mild symptoms of itching, while other could be quite severe, causing the skin to flake, peel, or even tear, leaving the cat with wounds and the risk of infection. Skin irritations in cats are the most common sign of a skin problem – other problems such as loss of fur, dry skin, peeling skin, and so on may be noticed only much later. Constant scratching however starts quite early, and is easily noticed.

Fleas are possibly the most frequent causes of cat skin irritations. These parasites tend to favor areas such as the back and the tail, and are extremely difficult to get rid of. The itching caused by fleas can be quite intense, making the animal’s life rather miserable due to the almost continuous need to scratch.

Sometimes the constant scratching can break the skin, leading to other problems. However, this is true for almost any chronic skin irritation in cats.

Maggots can also cause cat skin problems, usually is there is an untreated wound or skin infection, or if a cat has long fur that stays damp and matted for long periods of time. This of course is a much more serious problem than mere itching, and should be attended to immediately. Other parasites that can cause your cat to develop irritated skin include the scabies mite, which causes itching and hair loss in the area of the head, and chiggers, which usually affect the paws and ears. Cats can also suffer from lice and ticks, although not very frequently.

In cats, skin irritation can also be caused by allergic reactions, just as in humans. Allergies are rather difficult to detect, but it may be useful to maintain a diet diary in which you also keep track of each episode that your cat has irritated skin. Allergies may cause a variety of skin problems, ranging from mere itching to oozing and inflammation.

There are also numerous infections and immune disorders that could cause a cat to suffer from skin irritations. Strict hygiene and care should take care of some of these problems, but if this does not help, and you are unable to detect any obvious cause that can be addressed on your own, you should consult your veterinarian at the earliest. Skin irritation can usually be treated quite easily, and there is no need for your cat to suffer the problem endlessly.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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