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A cat’s skin functions as a link between its internal environment and the exterior. This barrier can be breached if a cat has a skin issue. It weakens their body’s defences and, in many situations, causes great discomfort. The state of a cat’s fur and skin can be a reflection of its overall health. Cats’ skin disorders can be avoided by maintaining a cat’s overall health.

Because one can see a cat’s skin with an unaided eye, cat skin disorders are easy to detect. However, because there are hundreds of reasons for skin illness in cats, the only way to be sure is to have your cat go for veterinary consultation. A problem with your cat’s skin might manifest itself in a variety of ways. Cats scratch, bite and itch their fur constantly to relieve symptoms of pet allergies, and they also lick their fur to heal infections.

The most prevalent skin disorders in cats will be discussed as follows:

Alopecia: refers to the thinning or complete hair loss at the follicular level. Because the remaining hair is normal, if your hand runs over the area of hair loss with alopecia, it will normally feel smooth. It can be caused by skin infections, parasite infestations, allergies, dietary problems, endocrine dysfunction, and even some malignancies in cats.

• Fungal Infection: ringworm is a fungus that causes areas of hair loss or crusty sores on the skin. Because ringworm is very contagious in people and other animals, it’s critical to call your vet soon whenever you notice any of the symptoms. On a cat’s skin, ringworm rashes appear as a raised, red circle that can become crusty, red, and thicken the skin. Hair loss can develop in the diseased area, like other cat skin disorders. Cleaning your home, vacuuming the carpets, and washing any bedding are all highly suggested to eradicate any fungus spores, which can lay dormant for months.

• Feline acne: this can be found on your cat’s chin, and blackheads (or comedones) form under their lips. The chin can enlarge and get red, causing the cat to scratch it to relieve the irritation, eventually losing chin hair. Although the exact aetiology of feline acne is uncertain, it is assumed to be driven by skin allergies and secondary bacterial infection.

• Ear mites: are commonly seen in cats, particularly in kittens that are likely to have inherited them from their mother; however, they can affect cats irrespective of age. To relieve the symptoms, cats scratch their ears and shake their heads. Ear mites can be quite itchy, and cats will often scratch their ears for long periods. Ear mites are capable of causing irritation of the ear, which can develop into a bacterial infection if left unattended.

• Ticks and Fleas: fleas, lice, ticks, and other skin parasites such as mites/mange bite your pet’s skin and swallow the blood. Some cats react to flea saliva, which causes acute itching, redness, blisters, and hair loss when it bites and enters the cat’s body. It’s critical to keep up with your cat’s tick and flea preventative treatments so that your cat can ward off any pests that try to cling onto a cat’s fur or skin. Tick and flea preventative solutions operate by going through the blood system after being applied to your cat’s skin. Your cat is more prone to dangerous cases of ticks and fleas if you don’t use this therapy. Fleas (or other parasites) may still be present because cats are meticulous groomers and may comb
away evidence of fleas before you notice them. If you see one or two fleas, likely, tens of thousands of fleas are still present in the cat’s daily environment, so it’s critical to vacuum and washes your bedding regularly to get rid of the parasites.

• Abscesses: are swollen areas (accumulations of pus and fluids beneath the skin) that commonly arise due to a cat bite and the infection that follows. Catfight cuts and abrasions can cause skin problems for your cat because they irritate the injured area by scratching and itching. Their powerful claws can puncture the skin, allowing bacteria to enter through an open wound. Swelling and pus-filled abscesses are signs of infection. Cats with abscesses frequently appear sick, are silent, and refuse to eat. In some
circumstances, owners become aware of soreness in a specific place.

• Miliary Dermatitis: this feline skin ailment is common, and it is characterized by numerous grainy or small-sized bumps on the skin. Miliary dermatitis is, however, a symptom and not an ailment. It makes the skin texture feels like millet kernels. This is how it got its name. This frequently results in miliary dermatitis, which is characterized by many little scabs that appear down the back of your cat and are caused by allergic reactions to bites of fleas. Hypersensitivity to flea bites is the commonest cause of miliary dermatitis. This is true of indoor-only cats as well. Infections from bacteria and ringworm, infestations from other parasites, autoimmune illnesses, and certain malignancies are all possibilities. This discomfort is also typically caused by different allergens, such as unpleasant food reactions or atopy.

• Environmental Allergies: pets, like humans, can develop allergies to common household goods as they interact with their environment. Food allergies, allergies to particular chemicals used in the home, and allergies to dust, grass, or pollen are all examples of this. When cats are allergic to their environment, they have the tendency to over-groom and scratch excessively, resulting in bald patches, patchy fur or even skin sores. Especially if they chew at their joints to relieve the irritation; patiently observe your pet to see if there are certain periods of the day when your pet seems uncomfortable due to what they come in contact with and the skin areas where they touch the most. For example, a cat with a urinary tract infection may overgroom their stomach.

• Pruritus: Itchy skin is a common symptom associated with hair loss. Itchiness, also known as pruritus among veterinarians, is caused by inflammatory chemicals produced by skin irritation that convey messages to the brain, causing the sensation of itch. Food allergies account for only one out of every five occurrences of itchy cats, although many pet parents may change their cat’s food to reduce scratching. That is one of the reasons why it is advisable to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Identifying Cat Skin Problems

So, how can you spot a cat with a skin condition? Here are some significant indicators to keep an eye out for:

Hair loss is a typical symptom of skin disorders in cats. Are there any bald areas on your head? Is your cat shedding excessively?

Excessive grooming might also suggest the presence of skin diseases in cats. Your cat may be pruritic (itchy) and unpleasant, so grooming is more frantic and less relaxing than usual. If you detect any red, scaly skin, patchy, or scabby areas while brushing your cat, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Fleas and ticks are ectoparasites that can be detected on the skin. Perhaps, your cat shakes his head a lot; it could be a sign that he has a skin condition or an ear problem.

Treatment And Prevention

The treatment approach to any condition depends on the cause and mode of the infection or disease. Prophylactic measures that can be taken include parasite control, antifungal shampoo or drugs for ringworm, antibiotics and surgical lancing and, a special diet for food allergies or other particular treatments as appropriate may be used to treat the underlying cause. More tips could be gotten from our pet grooming services.

The vet team can advise preventing the transmission of contagious skin conditions (such as a ringworm fungal infection or certain parasites) to people and other pets.

Many of the following therapies are widely used to provide relief and allow the skin to recover, regardless of the underlying cause.

• Antibiotics for bacterial and yeast infections: While these opportunistic infections may emerge secondarily to the underlying skin disease, their presence can cause discomfort and impede recovery, so it’s crucial to treat the skin yeast infection.

• Antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec: Antihistamines are more successful at preventing allergic reactions than treating symptoms, although they can still be helpful in the treatment plan and prevent subsequent flare-ups.

• Anti-pruritic and anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid drugs (such as prednisolone) are commonly given as an injection, tablet, or topical cream or ointment. Most veterinarians’ offices or veterinary prescriptions also provide newer drugs for itching skin.

• Cleanings of the ears and ear medicines for infections or ear mites.

• An Elizabethan collar keeps a cat from licking or scratching the region if it is constantly licking or scratching. This allows the skin to recover.

Finally, cats with severe skin problems or skin concerns that don’t respond well to routine treatments may be referred to a veterinarian for appropriate veterinary services.

At Paws in the City, we have created Paws Club to help make it easier than ever to ward off pesky ticks and fleas! Paws Club is our monthly preventative healthcare membership, where you can spread the cost of your pets’ preventative healthcare treatments throughout the year. You will enjoy amazing savings as a Paws Club member, with the convenience of regular direct debit payments. By enrolling in an animal healthcare plan, you can ensure that you’ll never forget to provide your pet the regular care they need to flourish.

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Your Paws Club membership covers all your pets’ basic preventative healthcare needs and includes:

• Annual Vaccinations
• Prescription flea, tick and worming products that fit with your pets’ lifestyle
• Annual Health Check
• Complimentary nail trim at every appointment
• Complimentary birthday gift!
• 35% off puppy/kitten vaccination course
• 25% off kennel cough vaccination
• 20% off all consultations
• 20% off neutering services
• 20% off dental procedures
• 10% off all products in the Paws Boutique
• Home delivery option available

Learn more about Paws Cub following the link here.

If you’re unsure of how to keep your pet living a fit and healthy lifestyle, then please contact us on 020 4519 9857 or email at greenford@pawsinthecityx.com to speak to a vet in Greenford Quays and at ealing@pawsinthecityx.com in Dickens Yard, Ealing.

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