Bald Spots & Black Dots in Cats

by Quentin Coleman, Demand Media
    Dark discoloration inside your kitty's ears could be an infestation of ear mites.

    Dark discoloration inside your kitty's ears could be an infestation of ear mites.

    Finding bald spots and black dots on your kitty's skin is alarming, but it doesn't necessarily mean your cat has a horrible disease. These symptoms could just mean your pet has some pests crawling around his fur. Separate your kitty from other pets until you figure out what's going on.

    Fleas

    Prepare for shedding when fleas get under your pet's fur, because he won't hesitate to rip his hair out as he scratches at itchy bite wounds. Cats allergic to flea saliva feel even worse. A few bites on an allergic kitty can make his whole body itch and cause widespread hair loss. The shedding can get so bad that large patches of skin become clearly visible. If you spot black specks on your cat's skin or in his fur, there's a good chance that fleas are the culprits. Flea excrement, and the actual fleas, look like black dust particles. Keeping fleas off your cat is the only way to solve hair loss from allergies.

    Other Parasites

    Fleas aren't the only parasites that make your cat itch and uncomfortable. Bald spots and dark specks around the ears is a sign that your cat has mites or lice. These critters are pretty much impossible to see with the naked eye, but you won't have a hard time seeing the scabs, mange and other uncomfortable skin problems they cause. Dark scabs and bald patches often emerge as mites burrow through the upper layers of your pet's skin. Mites are harder to deal with than fleas, so take your kitty to the vet to get a professional diagnosis and treatment.

    Cancer

    Your cat's fur blocks most ultraviolet rays from reaching his skin, so the risk of skin cancer is low. There's a small chance that the black spots on your kitty's ears, nose or exposed skin is malignant, but don't panic just yet. Even if parasites aren't the source of the damage, the dark markings could just be a natural occurrence. Orange tabby cats often develop these harmless freckle-like spots, but any kind of kitty can get them.

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    You can treat fleas at home but the other issues that cause hair loss and skin discoloration are a bit more complicated. Take your cat to the vet to be on the safe side. Exposure to toxic chemicals, ringworm and other types of skin issues can also cause hair loss and change the color of your cat's skin. If your cat has an allergic reaction to flea saliva, your vet can suggest ways to ease his discomfort. Make sure you take your cat in for checkups every 6 months. Routine exams help your vet spot potential health problems, like skin cancer, before they further develop. Schedule a vet appointment to get a professional diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

    Resources

    About the Author

    Quentin Coleman has written for several news publications as well as the University of Delaware's public relations department. He also spent more than 10 years working with a local animal shelter to help nurse kittens, treat sick cats and domesticate feral animals. Coleman graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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