Symptoms of Feline Dermatitis

Feline dermatitis is the scientific term which is used when a cat's skin is inflamed. Dermatitis is not a single disease but a collection of symptoms which may point to a number of diseases. "Scabby cat" and "blotch" are some common terms for feline miliary dermatitis. Since the lesions look like millet seeds, the word miliary is used to describe this form of dermatitis.

Your cat's skin can get inflamed for a number of reasons. Some of the common ones are listed below.

  • Flea/mite/lice or other parasitic infestations
  • Yeast/Fungal/Bacterial infection
  • Allergy
  • Atopy
  • Food allergy
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Poor diet

Dermatitis is an unpleasant and irritating condition for your cat. If you observe any of the symptoms, do not delay treatment.

Symptoms of Cat Dermatitis

  • Small crusty lesions emerge on your cat's skin. They display redness underneath and appear in small areas of the body like the base of the tail, around the head and neck.
  • The lesions are usually itchy and most times severely so.
  • Twitchy skin, due to itchiness and irritation.
  • Constant grooming including biting, scratching and chewing.
  • Loss of hair due to persistent scratching and biting.
  • Your cat may become aggressive or restless due to her condition.

Diagnosing Feline Skin Problems

  • Diagnostic tests include a thorough physical examination of your cat with emphasis on the site of the lesions. If the bumps appear on the head or neck then it is likely to be a mite attack and fleas are likely to be the culprit if the lesions are at the base of the tail.
  • Fecal examination to check for parasites.
  • Analysis of skin scrapings and fur to check for fleas, mites and other infestations will be conducted.
  • Tests to rule out allergies will be administered.
  • Blood test.

Treatment for Feline Miliary Dermatitis

Based on what the cause of the skin inflammation is, the treatment for feline dermatitis will vary.

  • If fleas are identified as the cause, then elimination of fleas from your cat's environment is the best cure. A routine flea removal program must become part of your cat's care.
  • Similarly, purge the environment of mites, lice or other irritants.
  • Follow the medication in case the cause is parasitic. Do not stop the medication half way. Complete the entire course prescribed.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed for infections.
  • Use shampoos meant for reducing itching and irritation.
  • Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be administered. These require supervision and a look out for any side effects.

Home Care

  • Your cat may be stressed and nervous during her treatment. Try and ensure that she has a minimum of stress and anxiety at the time of her recovery.
  • Keep an arrangement through which she can opt for a cooler environment to sleep in. This will reduce her need to constantly scratch at the pustules.
  • Avoid picking her or handling her too much during this time. Follow her diet plans meticulously and be alert to any side effects or reactions she may display.
  • Feline dermatitis is a completely curable condition. Alertness on your part and adherence to treatment and preventive care can go a long way towards having a happy and healthy cat companion.