You would think with all that fur, the last thing a cat would have is problems with its skin. But just like people with sensitive skin, a feline can acquire all kinds of cat skin diseases.
Just as in people, cat skin diseases can be caused by something that attacks the skin from the outside, an allergic reaction to fleas or food, or even emotional upset. The symptoms of some cat diseases are flaking, redness, bald patches, scaling, or skin eruptions. Our furry friends will let you know they are wrestling with common cat diseases by the way they act: scratching, biting or gnawing on themselves, excessive licking or grooming.
Even though your cat may control your house, it’s you who have to notice that something is wrong and take the animal to the veterinarian.
So, what kind of cat skin diseases are we talking about? What are some of the common feline diseases of the skin you can look for and what are their signs?
1) Hair loss. Lots of it. Bald patches on your cat’s coat, for instance. This can be a warning sign of all kinds of things, including fleas, allergies (yes, cats have allergies), stress (they get that, too) and an underlying disease that may be affecting the whole cat, not just the skin.
2) Skin allergies (allergic dermatitis). Is your cat scratching his head or neck? That can be a sign of a food allergy that manifests itself on the skin. Other signs are scratching other parts of the body repeatedly.
3) Sporotrichosis. Your cat may look like he’s been a bar fight and got caught with a right hook. This is one of the fungal cat skin diseases that causes skin to form small, hard lesions that can break open. Be very careful with any lesions that exude a liquid because some fungal diseases can spread to humans.
4) Bacterial Infections or Acne. Acne? Yes, acne. When your cat suffers from stress, she can end up with acne, even if she’s not a teenaged cat. Here again is one of those cat skin diseases that humans can empathize with. Acne can be caused by medications, too. And acne outbreaks can be the host for bacterial infections.
5) Ringworm. Look for circular marks or skin breaks on the cat’s head or front limbs. This is one of those nasty fungal cat skin diseases that is very contagious and can affect other pets in your house as well as humans. And by the way, ringworm is more common in kittens.
There are other feline skin maladies with different cat disease symptoms. These listed are among the more common. See your veterinarian if you have questions. And because some of these cat skin diseases can become people skin diseases, see your vet sooner rather than later.