Skin Lesions on Cats

Skin lesions on cats may be common and are caused by various factors ranging from allergies to autoimmune diseases. Skin lesions can be treated with topical creams and ointments, but the underlying condition should also be dealt with to prevent the recurrence of lesions.

Causes of Cat Skin Lesions

Skin lesions on cats may be caused by numerous underlying conditions such as:

  • Skin infections caused by viruses, bacteria, yeast cells
  • Allergies to pollens, food, drugs, flea collars or insect bites
  • A hormonal problem
  • Presence of parasites such as fleas or mites
  • Autoimmune disease such as lupus erythematosus
  • Scabies
  • Injury of the skin
  • Dryness of skin, due to weather or a poor diet
  • Acute moist dermatitis or hot spots
  • Skin cancer

Symptoms of Skin Lesions

The skin lesions will be visible on the surface of the skin and possibly even hair loss around the area.

The cat may present a series of additional symptoms, which can give a hint to what may be causing the lesions:

  • Irritation of the eyes or conjunctivitis, which can point to allergies
  • Diarrhea or liquid stool, can indicate a food allergy
  • Increased thirst or urination frequency, indicative of a hormonal imbalance
  • Breathing problems, lack or appetite or upset stomach, which can mean that the cat has a fungal infection
  • Itchiness and dry skin, indicative of allergies

If the skin lesions get infected, the skin can be oozing and puss can accumulate.

Diagnosing Skin Lesions on a Cat

The skin lesions can be diagnosed based on the cat’s additional symptoms. However, some blood tests may also be necessary to see if there are any underlying conditions that can lead to the formation of lesions.

A skin biopsy may be required, especially if there are growths on the skin. Skin scraping tests may also be needed to detect possible skin infections.

Treating Cat Skin Lesions

The vet will establish a diagnosis and prescribe treatment accordingly. The treatment may be made up of a topical treatment which may be a cream or an ointment containing antibiotics or corticosteroids, but in most cases, medication treatment will also be needed:

  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl or corticosteroids such as prednisone for allergic reactions
  • Antibiotics for skin infections or if the skin lesions get infected
  • Fungicides for fungal infections
  • Flea repellents
  • Cortisone treatment for autoimmune diseases
  • Surgery to remove tumors that are cancerous or chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Prevent Recurrent Skin Lesions

Recurrent skin lesions may be prevented by dealing with the underlying condition of the lesions. You should also make sure that your pet has a balanced diet and you clean his skin on a regular basis. However, if you have administered treatment and the skin lesions reappear, you need to consult your vet, as the diagnosis may be wrong and your pet requires a different type of treatment.