An itchy cat is a very common presentation to the vet. Being itchy is really just a symptom and can be the result of many underlying causes. In this case, we really need to find the cause of the itch so that we can treat yourcats problem (not just the symptom). This will help us reach the best treatment plan too.
Some of the underlying causes of itchy skin might be:
• Fleas (most common)- the flea’s saliva causes the allergy and a single bite can cause them to be very itchy. Lesions tend to be more at the back end of your cat but can occur anywhere on their body.
• Atopy – itch is due to allergens such as dust or pollen that is typically inhaled. It tends to be all over the body and may start by only occurring seasonally but builds up to being all year round.
• Food allergy – often to a protein or additive in food. Fish and beef are common causes. Itch mainly affects the head and face but can be anywhere on the body and tends to be all year round.
• Insect bites – Biting flying insects such as mosquitoes can cause intense itch and tend to bite non-haired areas such as the bridge of the nose. These cats tend to have lesions over their nose, face and ears.
• Ear Mites – these are a major cause of ear inflammation and infection, and also cause itch over the head and neck.
Its important to be aware that there may be more than one cause for your itchy cat and that there are other less common causes not listed above.
To go into management of itchy skin go here.
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