We’ve already talked about the causes of itchy cats here, now we turn to the management of itchy cats. Once we know the cause, we can most effectively treat your cats problem (not just the symptom). This will help us reach the best treatment plan too.
Here are some management tools according to the cause:
• Fleas – remove fleas from your cat by using an effective flea product for cats regularly and treat the environment by vacuuming and washing bedding.
• Atopy – Usually treated with corticosteroids or other immune suppressive drugs. Antihistamines are sometimes effective. Oatmeal shampoos, and fatty acids in diet are also important (see below)
• Food allergy – Avoiding the food that causes the itch is the best method of management. Once the food allergen is identified, a complete and balanced diet can be sorted, minus the allergen.
• Insect bites- often treated with corticosteroids and by reducing how much they’re bitten- this may involve keeping your cat in during dawn and dusk when biting insects such as mosquitoes are most active or just keeping them inside. Approved mosquito repellents can be used.
• Ear Mites – elimination of the mites with an effective product and treatment of secondary infection.
It’s important to know that allergies can have an additive effect and often pets are allergic to more than one thing. To reduce allergens for a pet that is prone to itch they should always be on a good flea control regardless of the cause.
Shampoos are another key to management of itchy felines (not all will be cooperative with this!). When skin is inflamed colloidal oatmeal shampoos are very effective. Ensure they are specifically for cats as humans have a different skin pH and as such our products just are not appropriate for cats.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also a good addition to management for your itchy feline as a natural anti-inflammatory for the skin.
If your cat has scabs and sores on their skin a hands-on examination from your local vet is a great place to start. Conditions such as parasites, infection, atopy, internal medical conditions, immune mediated disease or neoplasia can be identified and treated.
If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a Vetchat vet on a live video call or start a text chat to discuss in more detail.