Cat Hot Spot Treatment

Cat hot spots, (moist acute dermatitis) treatment is something all cat owners should know about when getting a cat, as hot spots are a common condition in cats and your pet is bound to experience it several times during its life.

Symptoms of Hot Spots in Cats

The symptoms of hot spots may include:

  • Hair loss in small areas on your cat's head and neck, as well as their tail or thigh areas, which enlarge rapidly (although longer hair can sometimes cover the lesion, so the spot is not visible)
  • Compulsive scratching, licking and chewing, which are the cause of rapid aggravation
  • Redness of skin
  • Lesions that look like bite wounds
  • Oozing

Causes of Hot Spots in Cats

The moist acute dermatitis is a self-inflicted condition: the cat scratches and bites a certain area of its skin until it becomes sore and itchy. The condition aggravates, as the cat scratches the sore spot more, which makes it itch more, so a vicious circle is created.  

The primary causes which make the cat compulsively scratch a certain area vary a lot:

  • Parasites such as fleas or mites
  • Insect bites
  • Allergy to something the cat has inhaled or swallowed
  • Poor grooming
  • Boredom or stress
  • Internal infections: if the hot spot is close to the ears an ear infection causing the cat to scratch the area might be the reason, if it is near the tail, there might be an anal gland infection

Treatment of Cat Hot Spots

The hot spots can be treated or at least soothed at home but you will need a veterinarian to diagnose the primary causes and prescribe a cure.

Hot spots can be extremely painful; your cat might react aggressively when you are touching it.

First of all, shaving the affected area will provide the ventilation needed for the wound to heal.

Clean the area and put a cool compress to reduce swelling (green tea or black tea bags can be used for cleaning and as compresses as well).

Prevent the pet from further harming itself by using an Elizabethan collar.

Your veterinarian will probably prescribe an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to create a thin film over the wound and/or antibiotics and special cat cosmetics for the hygiene of the area. 

The acute moist dermatitis is a skin condition which usually signals the presence of deeper skin infections or other unseen health problems. This is why, in addition to immediate local treatment of cat hot spots, which you can perform at home, you should also make an appointment with your veterinarian. Cat hygiene and a well balanced diet can help prevent cat hot spots.

Prevention of Cat Hot Spots

Make sure your pet always has enough water. While drinking enough water will help eliminate toxins, lack of water and dehydration can cause stress-related hot spots.

Keep your cat well groomed, especially in hot seasons. Bathe your cat with shampoos against fleas.

Talk to your veterinarian about vitamin E and zinc supplements for your cat.