Diagnosing a Cat Skin Irritation

Skin irritation in cats may occur due to different internal or external factors and can cause a lot of discomfort. Diagnosing a cat skin irritation can be done judging by a few symptoms the cat displays and by performing a few clinical tests. The cat skin irritation diagnosis is essential in relieving the irritation and finding the most suitable treatment.

Causes of Cat Skin Irritation

Cat skin irritation is clearly visible and you will notice rashes and possibly skin swelling.

The most common causes of cat skin irritation include:

  • Allergies (can be caused by different inhalants such as pollens or chemicals, contact allergies such as wool or plastic and food allergies)
  • Skin infections which can be caused by bacteria or fungi
  • Skin parasites such as fleas or mites or an allergic reaction to the flea bites
  • Negative reactions to insect bites (i.e. spiders)
  • Food intolerance

Additional Symptoms

You should look out for additional symptoms such as itchiness, which can indicate that the cat has allergies, parasites or a skin infection.

The cat may also experience lack of appetite, lethargy, sneezing, coughing or breathing problems if the skin irritation is caused by inhalant irritants.

Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms that are indicative of food intolerance.

Hair loss can also indicate that the cat is affected by a skin disease. If the cat has a circular bald spot, this may be an indication of the ringworm fungal infection.

The cat can develop secondary skin infections, which can cause additional symptoms and can be confusing.

Let the vet know if you notice any additional symptoms, so that the vet can make the diagnosis faster.

Tests for Cat Skin Irritation

The tests that will be performed to diagnose a cat skin irritation will depend on the symptoms that the cat experiences and the diseases that the vet suspects.

If the vet suspects a fungal or bacterial skin infection he will require a skin scraping to determine the nature of the infection.

If the vet suspects allergies, he will perform an intradermal testing or a blood test. If the allergies are caused by food, several weeks or months of food testing will be necessary to pinpoint the culprit ingredient.

The vet will perform additional tests to make sure that there are no secondary infections present.

Treatment for Skin Irritation

The treatment for cat skin irritation may depend on the underlying cause. If the cat is allergic to different inhalants, these must be eliminated from the pet’s surroundings. When the irritation is caused by an unsuitable shampoo or litter brand, these should be replaced.

The infections can be treated with antibiotics and topical ointments that contain antibiotics.

Meanwhile, the cat may also receive some supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids that can strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of developing skin irritations.