Treating a Cat Yeast Infection With Shampoo Therapy

Cat yeast infections can be very uncomfortable for your pet. However, there are ways to treat it. Certain types of shampoo are very effective at eliminating the infection and restoring the natural balance of your cat's skin. Both dogs and cats can get yeast infections but they are less common in felines.

Why Cat Yeast Infections Develop

There is a certain type of yeast called malassezia pachydermatis that's often found on the skin of cats and dogs. On healthy pets, they occur in small numbers around the anus and rectum, in the ear canal and, in female cats, in the vagina. Usually the presence of this yeast doesn't affect your cat at all. However, if the number of yeast cells grows too large, it can make your cat sick.

There are a number of reasons the yeast cells might affect cat health. Some felines have hereditary conditions which weaken the immune system of the skin. Other health problems can also cause a cat yeast infection to develop. These include:

  • Allergies
  • Dandruff (also called seborrhoea)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Oily skin conditions

What Are the Symptoms of a Cat Yeast Infection

Yeast is a spore-like type of fungus. These kinds of infections are not contagious but they may recur if there is an underlying cause that is not fixed. The most common symptom of a cat yeast infection is hair loss. Your cat might also experience redness of the skin and dandruff. If you're not sure whether your cat has a yeast infection or if their skin problems might be caused by something else, it is important to get the area tested by a vet. That way, you can be sure you're treating your cat for the right thing.

There are different types of fungal infections and some of them have common symptoms. To diagnose a cat yeast infection, the vet might have to carry out some tests. These could include taking a swab or sample of the infected area or doing a blood test.

How Shampoo Therapy Works on a Cat Yeast Infection

Shampoo therapy is popular for treating cat yeast infections. However, normal pet shampoos won't help pets with these conditions. In fact, unless the shampoo is medicated you might be doing your cat more harm than good. Some shampoos can dry out your pet's skin which will make it more oily and cause the yeast infection to worsen.

You can buy shampoos containing active ingredients like miconazole nitrate or ketoconazole. These are anti-fungal medications that will help return the level of yeast present on your cat's skin to normal. Chlorhexidine is also present in some shampoos. This is an antiseptic that helps disinfect your cat's skin, preventing further infections from developing.

Often, a vet will prescribe shampoo therapy in conjunction with other topical treatments such as special lotion, sprays and wipes.

Cat yeast infections can be tricky to deal with and may take some time to clear up completely. However, with the right shampoo and perseverance, your cat will be fully healthy again.