Cats skin-problems-common-to-cats

Published on June 27th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin


Skin Problems Common to Cats

Cats can experience a lot of skin problems, which are often due to fungal or bacterial infections, allergies, stress, parasites such as mites and fleas or injuries. It is good to know what the most regular  skin problems common to cats are, so that you can diagnose them early and help your pet get the right treatment.


A common skin problem in cats is an abscess, which is a collection of puss around the site of a puncture wound or a bite. The swelling is painful and it can eventually rupture and spill out pus. Cats usually get these wounds by being in a fight with another cat, so keep an eye out for any signs of injury when your cat comes home from its travels.

Ear Mites

This is another common cat problem and these parasites can cause serious itching and irritation, leading to a bacterial infection if not treated. You can tell your cat is suffering from ear mites if they are always scratching their ears, shaking and tilting their head and producing excessive brown ear wax. It is simple to cure this issue; you can get mite-killing ear drops from your vet.

Contact Dermatitis

This issue occurs when your cat’s skin is irritated by something, such as the laundry detergent used to wash their bedding or the rubber or plastic in their food dishes. If your cat is suffering from red and itchy bumps due to dermatitis, you can use stainless steel or ceramic dishes and hypoallergenic bedding.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

If your cat contracts fleas, they can be vulnerable to flea allergy dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction that is characterised by small itchy pimple-like bumps along the back of the rear legs, the base of the tail and the inner thighs. The best way to prevent this is with good flea control, which you can find at your local veterinarian.


This is a fungal infection that occurs in cats and it is very important to treat it right away because it can spread to humans and other animals. The symptoms of ringworm can include a round patch that shows central hair loss with a red ring around it. If you think your cat has ringworm you should take them to the vet right away so that they can receive the right anti-fungal medication and you can find out how you should clean and sterilise your home.


If you have a breed of cat with light coloured fur or no fur at all (such as a Sphinx), they can be very prone to sunburn and should not be in direct sunlight between the hours of 10am and 2pm.

These are just a few of the common skin problems that can occur in your cat. If you spot anything suspicious on your cat’s skin, contact your vet.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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