Your cat is your friend and companion, so when he has a problem, you probably would do whatever you can to fix it. When cats suffer skin problems many cat owners fail to recognize the symptoms. If your cat has dandruff, begins scratching or starts shedding excessively, he may have a skin problem.
Common Skin Problems
One of the most common skin problems in cats is skin allergies. Skin allergies may be caused by fleas, lice, fungus, mange or an anxiety disorder. Outdoor cats are especially prone to developing skin results caused by various insects, such as fleas, ticks and lice. In addition to insects, certain parasites, like ear mites and mange mites. can cause skin problems that produce severe itching and flaking of the skin. Cats also are prone to yeast infections, particularly in the ears, which typically follow in the wake of another skin disorder.
Though various skin conditions present in different ways, scratching is a common symptom. Scratching may range in severity and, in some cases, your cat may scratch so vigorously that he draws blood. Dry, scaly skin that peels off in flakes may be a symptom of skin allergies, while redness and inflammation are common symptoms of insect-related skin problems. Cats with yeast infections typically have a brown or yellow discharge around the ears, which may be accompanied by a foul odor and excessive head shaking.
Most pet stores carry a variety of all-natural products designed to treat various skin conditions in cats. You also can find these products online. Products containing antihistamines and oral supplements containing essential fatty acids are particularly effective in treating dry, itchy skin in cats. When fed to cats, Althaea officinalis root, or marshmallow, can be effective as a natural remedy for soothing irritated skin. Melaleuca alternifolia is a shrub that can be distilled into an essential oil and used to promote healthy skin in cats. Another simple way to improve your cat's skin health is to feed him an all-natural or hypoallergenic diet.
Perhaps the best remedy for skin problems in cats is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Cats are naturally very clean animals and because they groom themselves, it should not be necessary to bathe your cat. Bathing your cat too often can dry out the cat's skin, and cause irritation and itching. Brushing your cat on a regular basis should be sufficient to keep your cat's coat clean and soft. It also will help remove dead fur and skin before it can cause irritation. One of the best things you can do to keep your cat's skin healthy, however, is to feed him a well-balanced diet that provides plenty of moisture and omega 3 fatty acids.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.