An itchy cat is not a happy cat. Constant scratching and licking can lead to hair loss, skin damage, ear problems, and a nasty condition called miliary dermatitis. If your cat has this, he’ll have a number of crusty skin lesions that are greasy and are filled with cat dandruff. Yummy.
Your cat can also wind up with a granuloma, which is a crusty, red inflamed area on his body or near his chin. These things don’t heal readily and often require surgery to remove them. What can you do to help your itchy cat?
Start With Your Cat’s Diet
Skin and hair problems are nearly always diet-related. The most important thing you can do to prevent skin problems in your cat is to feed him a healthy diet. Avoid foods with artificial colorings and preservatives. When these chemicals are secreted through your cat’s hair follicles, they can cause rashes and itching.
If your kitty is suffering with skin problems, try feeding him a more natural diet. Only Natural Pet Store offers several varieties of high-quality natural cat food at their online store.
Does Your Cat Have Fleas?
Fleas can make your feline friend miserable. Your cat will swallow fleas when he grooms himself, so you may not see them. They can also be hard to find because they’re pretty fast at hiding in your kitty’s fur. Look for black specks of flea dirt on your cat’s skin.
Besides biting your cat, fleas carry tapeworms. When your cat swallows a flea, he can become infected with these lovely things. A healthy adult cat isn’t really bothered by them all that much, but they can really drag down a kitten or a sick cat. Look for what looks like grains of rice sticking to your cat’s fur around her bottom. If you find signs of tapeworms on your cat, you may want to treat him with PetAlive Parasite Dr, an effective herbal remedy that contains no harmful pesticides.
When a flea bites your cat, it injects some of its saliva into your cat’s skin. This saliva can cause an allergic reaction, which can lead to an even itchier cat.
For more information on controlling fleas naturally, see Flea Season Is Coming! Controlling Fleas Naturally
Is Your Cat Scratching His Ears?
If you’ve ever had a cat, you’ve probably had experience with ear mites. These little bugs live in your cat’s ears and cause intense itching. They pass easily from one cat or dog in your household to another, so if you have to treat one pet, you need to treat all of them.
Look in your cat’s ears and see if they have black gunk in them. If they do, he probably does have ear mites. Kittens are especially prone to these things. If left untreated, they can cause ear infections. Plus your cat may scratch his ear hard enough to cause an aural hematoma, which is when the ear flap fills up with blood. If you think this sounds painful, it is. Your vet will need to drain it to prevent permanent damage to your cat’s earflap.
You can treat ear mites without using insecticides on your cat. Read Homeopathic and Herbal Treatments For Ear Mites In Cats to learn more.
Other Skin Problems
Ringworm is caused by a fungus. We all have fungus on our skins and in our bodies. It usually doesn’t cause any problem because when you’re healthy, your body keeps it in check. However, sometimes your resistance is lower, and that’s when you can get ringworm. The best way to treat it is with Ring-Ex, an herbal oil from PetAlive.
Feline acne and “stud tail” are caused by the same thing–excess secretions from your cat’s sebaceous glands. These glands are located near your cat’s nose and chin, and at the base of his tail. Feline acne can look like ringworm, so if you’re in doubt, have your cat checked by your vet.
Your cat can also get sunburned, especially if he has white on his face or ears. If he goes out in the sun, try putting some SPF 50 sunblock on him. Hopefully he won’t clean it all off before it can protect him from the sun!
Preventing Skin Problems
- While your cat is still a kitten, train him to accept being brushed regularly. You should brush your cat at least a couple of times a week. Your older cat may not appreciate it, but it’s the best way to check him for fleas, allergies, hair loss, ear mites, and any lumps that weren’t there before. Be especially watchful for lumps around injection sites.
- On long-haired cats, remove any matted fur that develops. Try untangling it with your fingers. You may need to trim it off with a scissors. I like to slide a comb between the mat and the cat’s skin and then trim the mat off with the scissors on the outside of the comb. This protects your cat’s skin from the scissors blade and keeps you from cutting your cat accidentally.
- Most cats don’t need baths. They keep themselves clean just fine. However, sometimes a cat gets into something he shouldn’t lick off and ingest. If he should need a bath, use a mild shampoo and dry him off right away. Wet cats are pretty pitiful, and they can get chilled quickly.
- Keep your cat’s claws trimmed so that she can’t do herself much damage by scratching.
Information in this article is courtesy of PetAlive.