Diseases, Pet Care Basics, Skin Problem Resources

Common Cat Skin Problems

November 29, 2022


Common Cat Skin Problems

Last updated: August 02, 2016

     Cat skin issues are a common problem that cat owners deal with. Because symptoms of different skin conditions and diseases are often similar, it can be difficult to identify the source of the problem. Common skin disorders in cats are often caused by parasites, oily glands, fungal infections, stress and allergies.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

     Caused by a severe reaction to a flea's saliva, flea allergy dermatitis causes itchy pimple-like bumps, redness, hair loss, and scales. The best way to prevent this skin problem is to control fleas on your cat and in the environment with flea preventatives.

Food Allergy Dermatitis

     Cats can be sensitive to certain ingredients in their food. If your cat has an allergic reaction to something he ate, it can result in severe itching over the head, neck and back, plus his eyelids may swell. Constant itching of the skin may result in hair loss and oozing sores. Treatment includes finding the underlying cause of the allergic reaction.

Environmental Allergies in Cats

     Your cat may be allergic to something in the environment, such as pollen, grass or trees. Environmental allergies often cause severe itching and skin lesions as a result of chewing, licking and scratching the skin. Treatment includes topical anti-itch solutions and shampoos. Try using a colloidal oatmeal shampoo or hydrocortisone treatment.

Psychogenic Alopecia in Cats

     Also known as over-grooming, this condition results in the thinning of hair down the back or on the abdomen. It is caused when a cat is a compulsive self-groomer, often caused by stress. Treatment involves creating a calm environment to reduce stress in your cat's life. Try using a calming aid, such as a feline pheromone diffuser.

Ringworm in Cats

Feline ringworm is a fungal infection that can be hard to treat on cats. It shows up as patchy hair loss that's usually not itchy. Lime Sulfur Dip is an effective topical treatment for eliminating infection and reducing the shedding of spores that lead to environmental contamination. Treat new ringworm spots with Vet Basics® ChlorConazole Spray and use Nu-Stock to help heal irritated skin.

Feline Acne

     Commonly seen in cats two to four years of age, feline acne causes comedones (blackheads) to form on the cat's chin and edges of the lips. This could be caused by hyperactive chin sebaceous glands, poor hygiene, stress, or a reaction to plastic food/water bowls. For mild case treatments, use an anti-seborrhea product like Vet Basics® Sebo Plus Shampoo and then treat with ChlorConazole Wipes twice a day. Using stainless steel bowls may help as well.

Stud Tail

     This skin condition is caused by a sebaceous gland near the tail. When the gland excretes excessive oil, the result is a greasy, bad-smelling brown substance at the top of the tail near the base. Although it often occurs in unneutered males, fixed males and females can get it too. Using an anti-seborrheic shampoo usually helps solve the issue. Groomer's Goop Degreaser will also help remove the excess grease and oil from your cat's skin.

How Fatty Acids Can Help

Fatty acids are often recommended to improve the skin and coat quality. Omega 3 is a natural fatty acid that decreases irritation and helps with itching. It has been effective in controlling the irritation of allergies, plus it helps to reduce flakiness, itchiness and shedding. Using a fatty acid supplement derived from fish oil, like Omegaderm-3 or salmon oil, can be very beneficial for your cat's skin, coat, and overall wellness.

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-The Revival Education Team

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.