There’s nothing nicer than snuggling with your cat, petting its soft, shiny fur and hearing its quiet purrs of contentment. But petting your cat when it’s suffering from a skin condition is another story. Unfortunately, skin conditions in cats are an all too common occurrence.  There are a variety of skin disorders that cats may suffer from at one point or another during their lifetime. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Hair Loss
Sudden and rapid hair loss in your cat is a sign that something is amiss.  The most likely cause of this skin disorder is allergies. Being allergic to an ingredient in the diet or to air born pollen can manifest as itchy skin. Biting, licking and scratching can lead to bald patches in a cat’s fur as well as causing even more damage to a cat’s coat. Besides allergies, ectoparasites like mites and fleas are another possible culprit of feline hair loss.  To determine what’s causing your cat to lose its hair you’ll need to consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying issue.

Feline Acne
Yes, it’s true…feline acne is a real thing! Feline acne is characterized by tiny blackheads that appear on a cat’s chin and face. As any fellow acne sufferer knows, acne is uncomfortable for those affected by it, and cats are no exception. If your cat is diagnosed with acne, most animal hospitals recommend removing plastic bowls and plastic toys as plastic seems to exacerbate the condition. The good news is it’s treatable through anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, and it’s not contagious to humans… so no chance of having to relive your adolescent acne-filled days!

This cat skin condition sounds scarier than it actually is. Contrary to its name, ringworm is not actually caused by worms. Instead, it is caused by a fungal infection that exhibits itself as dry, red lesions which typically occur on a cat’s skin, around its head, ears, and legs. Apart from being unsightly, this feline skin disorder is also unpleasant for the cat, causing itchiness and inflammation of the skin.

Symptoms of Cat Skin Disorders
General symptoms of common cat skin conditions are:

  • Scaly patches
  • Scabs
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Redness or swelling of the skin
  • Chewing or abnormal licking of the skin

It’s important to consult your veterinarian immediately if your cat if showing signs of a skin disorder. He or she can help diagnose the condition and provide treatments to alleviate your cat’s skin irritation. Besides a physical examination, your vet will likely also perform a skin cytology to examine the skin cells and a fungal culture test to determine if a fungal infection is present. Treatment will vary depending on what particular type of skin condition your cat is suffering from. However, most feline skin conditions are treated with topical products like antibiotics, medications, antihistamines and a change in diet.

If you suspect your cat might have a skin condition, contact Hillside Animal Hospital to set up a wellness exam. We’re experts at diagnosing, treating, and caring for pets so that they can return to being your cuddle buddy in no time at all.