Scabs on Cats

When there are scabs on cats, there are multiple reasons as to why they have developed. The reasons why cats will have scabs include allergic reactions, skin infections, skin parasites, immune system diseases and even stress.

Allergic Reactions

The most common allergic reaction is to flea bites. A flea infestation doesn't need to be visible for it to be occurring. In fact, for some cats it only takes one flea bite for a serious allergic reaction to occur. If your cat has had a flea problem before, and it seems to have been eliminated, it's still possible that eggs have embedded themselves in the carpet or furnishings of your house, and have been dormant.

Other potential allergies include seasonal allergies, food allergies and even being allergic to the containers that their food is being kept in. Although these are the most common allergies, cats can be allergic to almost anything they come in contact with.

Skin Infections

Skin infections can either be caused by bacteria or fungi. If a cat is suffering from a skin infection, the scabs may also be accompanied by hair loss. A possible infection would be ringworm. Long-haired cats, along with very old or very young cats, are more susceptible to ringworm. Ringworm can be caught directly or indirectly from contact with ringworm spores. It can be caught from infected bedding or carpet.

Skin Parasites

If a cat has an external parasite, his skin will become irritated and he will start scratching excessively, causing scabs to develop. Your cat may suffer hair loss as well. Some parasites include mites, fleas, ticks and lice. To be able to identify which parasite is affecting your cat, look at the shape of the eggs or parasites themselves, the color of the parasite, its eggs, feces and also the color of the scabs. For example, fleas will show up as black and white specks in a cat's hair. Mites, on the other hand, are yellow-orange in color.

Immune System Diseases

There are multiple immune system conditions that will lead to skin problems, such as ulcers and lesions that will turn to scabs. An example of one of these conditions would be lupus.


Environmental stress or mental lapses can also lead to scabs. A high level of anxiety will cause a cat to obsessively groom himself to the point of creating scabs. The cat will cause itself mutilation. In this case, the scabbing and bacterial infections caused by the injuries will both need to be treated.

Treatment of Scabs

The causes of scabbing are not often fatal, and can be treated with topical ointments such as antibiotics, or sometimes medication that must be distributed orally. To be able to help your cat, the underlying cause of the scabbing has to be identified.