If you're a cat lover, the sight of a little cutie suffering from unsightly sores and bald patches on her skin can be enough to break your heart. This type of discomfort can be caused by a diverse array of pesky factors, from fleas to ringworm and beyond.
When skin issues suddenly occur in your cat, have her veterinarian check her over and treat the problem promptly. Many issues -- some of them more serious than a flea infestation -- cause skin problems in cats. Your precious pet's health is priceless, so it's time to figure out exactly what's going on.
Fleas can indeed be the cause of bald patches in a cat's fur, as their biting activity can be relentless. A cat's constant discomfort and associated licking, chewing and tugging on her coat may cause sores and conspicuous hair loss. If you're noticing that your kitty's hair just seems a lot thinner than usual, or if several prominent bald patches have developed, don't rule out fleas as the culprit.
Some cats are even more troubled by fleas. If your furry pal develops an allergy to flea saliva, she will have flea allergy dermatitis. The allergy produces skin reactions in the form of rash and bumps. Cats who aren't allergic will scratch incessantly just because of flea activity, but the harassing discomfort and coat damage worsen significantly when allergy is involved.
It's relatively easy to take preventative measures to help your cat before she gets into such distress. One is to never allow her to go outdoors. Another is to diligently apply a monthly topical flea preventative.
If fleas aren't the issue, food or inhalant allergies may be. Whether a kitty is allergic to fish, wheat, dust, molds, pollens or anything else, the symptoms are similar -- extreme itching. Excessive scratching can cause sores and hair loss. Cats with allergies often over-groom themselves, tugging out a lot of glossy fur in the process.
Ringworm, a fungal skin disease, is another prime suspect in the case of "The Mystery of My Cat's Bald Spots and Sores." The infectious ailment is notable for causing sores in cats, especially on the lower arms, ears and head. It also is known for causing bald spots, especially those that have an inflamed and raw appearance toward the middle. Your kitty can be infected through contact with another infected animal or from contaminated grooming equipment. You can be infected by contact with Kitty -- another important reason to see your vet promptly if your furry pal starts itching and scratching.
Mange, a skin reaction to mite infestation, also may be the cause of Kitty's baldness and sores. Mange typically triggers manic, nonstop itching in cats, and that ultimately leads to a ravaged look to the skin, and clumps of hair missing from the coat. If a kitty is exhibiting any of these symptoms and is behaving in an unusually antsy manner, mange may be to blame. Your veterinarian can quickly diagnose mange and begin treatment.
Stress may cause a cat to groom obsessively, eventually causing sores and bald patches all over her body. When a kitty constantly licks and chews on her hair and skin, you will notice. The chewing can quickly get a cat's hair to fall out in massive clumps, so it's important to be alert for such telltale signs of your kitty's emotional state. When a cat is experiencing life changes ranging from big moves to a new baby in the household, obsessive behaviors may often pop up.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Cats That Lick Too Much
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Fleas and Flea Allergy Dermatitis
- ASPCA: Fleas
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Food Allergies
- Cornell University New York State Integrated Pest Management: Fleas
- ASPCA: Mange
- ASPCA: Ringworm
- ASPCA: Worms
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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