When you first bring home your bundle of fur, you spoil them with toys and treats – but what are you doing to prevent them from developing cat skin disorders?
On average, cats live around 7 years in the wild (or unsupervised outdoors) and double that when kept as a house pet. Needless to say, knowing what can potentially ail your cat is important for ensuring their longevity.
To help you, we put together a quick list of the six issues that plague house kittens. Continue reading to learn more so you can keep your furry friend safe and healthy.
1. Environmental Allergens
It happens to the best of us – sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes are a real nuisance during allergy season. However, it’s not just a problem that affects humans. It can affect your cat as well.
In fact, environmental allergens are quite common in cats. They tend to get allergic reactions when exposed to allergens, such as dust, grass, mold, pollen, and other animals.
You can tell your cat is affected if they’re rubbing their face, over-grooming, and scratching at their armpits and ears. This can also lead to patches in their fur. Be sure to take your cat to the vet for an exam and allergy testing.
2. Ear Mites
Now, this one sounds a bit sinister but is quite common in cats. These skin-crawling parasites are typically found in kittens. In most cases, it’s transmitted to them from the mother. However, this doesn’t rule out ear mites infesting older cats because it does occur.
When your cat is infected with ear mites, they’ll show symptoms like irritated ear canals. Yet, some will have extreme itchiness, causing them to scratch excessively at their ears. You may also notice your cat shaking her head ‘til a blood vessel bursts.
It’s not uncommon for cats infected with ear mites to develop a form of hematoma in their pinna as well. When this happens, their ears fill with black crust-like discharge.
If you see any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet right away. Also, if you have other cats, it’s good to have them checked since ear mites are highly contagious.
Here’s a more common cat skin disorder pet owners are used to dealing with. Fleas are a plague that every pet and owner abhors. They’re hard to get rid of once they infest your cat and they can invade your home and other pets.
This is why prevention is so important. Besides having an itchy bite, fleas are also known to transmit other parasites like tapeworms. You can use oral, topical, or environmental products to exterminate the fleas.
Make sure to treat carpets, furniture, and bedding as well.
Finding a mass growing on your cat can be frightening, especially with the growing fear of cat cancer. If you find one on your cat, it’s important to have testing done to determine its cause.
In many cases, it’s due to abscesses. These are small lesions or bumps that contain a large amount of pus, which can be painful. Cats with this problem typically hide and resist you touching them. They may also exhibit other types of abnormal behavior.
It’s best to regularly check your cat’s skin for signs of lumps.
5. Hair Loss
It’s normal for cats to shed lots and lots of fur (as any pet owner can tell you), however, if you see an excess amount falling off suddenly, then it’s time to worry.
The main culprits are allergies and ectoparasites like fleas. It can also be due to infections, ringworms, and stress. If you have an older cat, hair loss can be caused by adrenal disease or tumors on the pancreas.
No matter the age, take your balding cat to the vet as soon as you see signs. It can be a symptom of a more serious condition.
6. Ear and Face Sores
If you’re noticing small red lesions on your cat that aren’t healing, it’s a good idea to have your vet check them out. Sores found on the top lip of your cat could be a rodent ulcer. This is a form of ulcerative skin disease that’s tied to allergies.
Infectious diseases can also be the underlying cause of these sores. Whatever the reason behind them, medical attention is likely needed.
Dealing with Cat Skin Disorders
At the end of the day, your top priority as a cat owner is to keep your cat happy. There’s no better way to ensure this than to keep your cat’s health in tip-top condition.
Hopefully, this list is eye-opening and will help you do just that. Remember, if you see anything odd, make an appointment with your vet.
Already have experience with preventing or treating one or more of these conditions? Please share your tips in the comments!
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