How to detect and treat cat skin diseases?

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Cats have very sensitive skin and are easily prone to skin diseases. More or less serious, these skin disorders can have many causes: viral, bacterial, hormonal… It is therefore important to identify the origin of the cat’s skin disease in order to offer it the appropriate treatment and prevent future injuries!

The cat’s skin, this sensitive organ

Often soft, the cat’s dress invites caresses. However, its silky hairs and its epidermis are above all there to protect it. When the cat is sick (whether suffering from a skin disease, a coat disease, or even another disorder) it shows immediately. The cat loses its hair, it becomes dull and the skin of the cat shows lesions or irritations.

The coat of the cat is composed of several types of hair, the consistency of which varies according to the breeds and their geographical origin. Some cats from the northern regions, for example, have a thick coat and a woolly undercoat that allows them to face winter temperatures.

The length of the hair is also decisive since it provides effective protection against external aggressions and prevents superficial injuries of everyday life, especially in outdoor cats.

It is said that the skin is the largest organ of the cat. This sentence is true since the epidermis of the cat allows it to be protected against external attacks, regulate its temperature, and prevent dehydration. It is through its skin that the cat gets rid of its overflow of hormones, sweat, or even sebum. Very sensitive, the skin of the cat is a formidable sensory field that allows the small feline to “feel” the physical world in a very advanced way.

A cat’s skin consists of several layers. The epidermis, or first layer, acts as a direct shield between the cat and the outside. The sebaceous glands and the hairs are implanted there. The next layer is called the dermis and is basically made up of blood vessels and nerve endings. The third layer, the hypodermis, is made up of fat cells that will protect your cat from skin diseases.

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How do I know if my cat has a skin condition?

It is important to pay attention to a cat’s physical condition and behavior to know if it has a skin disease. A cat’s coat is soft and dense by nature, so you should be concerned if its fur is brittle, thin, rough, and has hair between your fingers, especially outside the melting stages. The skin, on the other hand, needs to be supple and soft to the touch. If you notice small pimples, redness, lesions, or growths, your cat may have a skin condition.

Then observe the behavior of your animal, if it scratches and licks a particular area, inspect the area in question in search of Cat Skin Disorder or parasites.

Skin disease in cats is never trivial and the slightest symptom should prompt you to consult a veterinarian urgently:

Your pet is grooming more than necessary.

Your cat is scratching more than usual or the itching is localized to certain areas of his body.

  • Your cat’s hair is rough, dull, and fragile.
  • Your cat loses a lot of hair outside of the molting period.
  • Your cat’s skin is dry.
  • You notice the presence of redness on your cat’s skin.
  • Certain areas of your cat’s body are covered with scabs.
  • The cat has acne or pimples
  • The cat’s skin gives off a rancid, or unusual odor.

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The different causes of skin diseases

Cat skin diseases are very common and can have many causes, from the most benign to the most worrying. We advise you to consult in the slightest doubt, your veterinarian can prescribe appropriate treatments. He may also prescribe additional examinations if he believes that the skin disorder could hide a more serious disease.

There are many causes of cat skin diseases and many different manifestations (scabs, pimples, lesions) all of which should alert you.

  • Parasites: Cats, especially those who go out a lot or are in contact with outdoor cats, are very popular with parasites of all stripes. Fleas, ticks, mites, and even lice, these little creatures represent a real scourge for the cat. Their particularly irritating bites can cause allergies and small lesions (often caused by itching).
  • Allergies: Like humans, we notice that cats are more and more prone to allergies, without however being able to explain why. The itchiest allergies are often due to the bites of parasites. The best known is Dermatitis due to allergic hypersensitivity to a Flea bites.
  • Malnutrition: A healthy diet is essential to guarantee the good health of your cat. The cat needs to consume top-of-the-range kibble every day, adapted to its age and physical condition. If the cat does not ingest all the nutrients necessary for its proper development, this may affect its hair and the health of its skin.
  • Stress: Like us, cats are subject to stress and mental illness can lead to skin problems such as eczema or painful and irritating patches. If there are natural means to relieve these disorders, it will above all be a question of relieving the cat in the long term by determining the cause of its stress and by acting on it.
  • Acne: We thought those unsightly pimples were just for us, but cats also suffer from acne. Feline acne appears as small black pimples present around the lips and chin of the animal.
  • Hormonal disorders: Hormonal disorders are particularly present in old cats, which often suffer from skin problems. Hormones affect the quality of a cat’s skin and can cause hair loss and the appearance of dandruff.
  • Fungal infections (or cat ringworm): These small fungi, also called cat ringworm, cause redness and patches. Ringworm in cats causes severe itching and this cat skin disease is transmissible to humans, hence the importance of treating it as quickly as possible.