Common Causes of Cat Itchy Skin and What You Can Do

Itchy skin is a major source of frustration for cats. To get relief, they groom, lick, and scratch the affected areas excessively until the hair falls out and the skin becomes raw. When this happens, it can lead to secondary bacterial and/or fungal infections, which can exacerbate the disease and make it more challenging to treat. Continue reading to learn about the most frequent reasons for itching in cats, as well as what you can do to assist your feline friend.

Common Skin Problems in Cats Fleas

Fleas are one of the most prevalent external parasites found in cats. When a cat is scratching excessively, these nasty parasites are always the first suspects. While some cats are just irritated by flea bites, others are sensitive to an allergen found in flea saliva. Even a single flea bite causes severe irritation in these hypersensitive cats.

It can be difficult to diagnose flea-bite hypersensitivity. Fleas may or may not be present at all times. If a visual inspection reveals no fleas, use a flea comb to go over your pet’s whole body. You might come across “flea soil,” which is actually flea dung made up of digested blood. Flea dirt is commonly found on the lower back, neck, and base of the tail of cats. Even if there are no evidence of fleas, your veterinarian may recommend a flea treatment trial with cat-safe flea medicine. Even if only one cat is itching, if there are multiple cats in the house, they must all be treated.


Mites are another type of cutaneous parasite that can induce pruritus (itching). Cats that spend so much time outside are more prone to be infected. If your veterinarian suspects a skin mite infestation, skin scrapings may be used to check for the parasites. A topical medicine or lime sulfur dips are used to treat mites.

Food Allergies (Cutaneous Adverse Food Reactions)

Itchiness in cats can also indicate food allergies. Itching can be brought on by an allergy to something in your cat’s food. Most of the time, it’s food that your cat has been eating for a long time. Fish, dairy, and meat are the most common allergens found in cat food.



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