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Monday, November 20, 2006

Skin Problems In Cats

Matted fur
Matted fur is a perfect breeding ground for parasites and encourages inflammatory skin diseases. If your cat has matted fur, do not try to cut it off as you may injure the cat.

Mats are difficult to comb out and may be painful. You may have to have the vet sedate and shave the cat. Do groom it regularly to prevent mats.

Bald patches
Often caused by itching and irritation of some sort. Fleas, allergies, eczema, and ringworm are all possible culprits.

Sometimes it is simply stress; Vets may prescribe hormone shots or even tranquilizers to control the scratching.

If ringworm is indicated, you must take care not to get it yourself. It is a fungus just like athletes foot. Tresaderm and similar medications are used to treat this. Since ringworm spreads by spores, you can reduce transmission and spreading by cleaning everything you can with bleach (save the cat itself), and washing bedding and clothing in hot water. It may take some time (like several months) to get ringworm under control.

Scratching
If the cat is scratching its ears and you can see black grit, that's probably earmites. Consult your vet for appropriate ear drops. Ear mites stay in the ears, but can be passed from cat to cat, especially if they groom each other.
The life cycle of an ear mite is entirely within the ear, so you do not have to worry about ridding your house of them the way you do fleas.

Cats typically shake their heads when given the medication; unless the medication actually comes back out, that is OK.

An additional step to take is to use our Herbal Ear Formula that helps to rid the upper ear of any ear mites lodged higher up than the canal, and makes it difficult for the ear mites to reestablish themselves.

Plus it does an excellent job of cleaning the ears.


Scratching and a discharge from the ears means a bacterial or fungal infection and the vet should be immediately consulted. Other possible causes of scratching include fleas, lice, eczema, allergies, or stud tail (in male cats).

Feline Acne
Cats can develop acne just as humans do. Usually it is only on the chin. It will appear as small black spots. The reasons for feline acne are as complex as it is for humans.

Sometimes a food allergy (such as chocolate with humans or milk with cats) can cause it or sometimes the cat does not clean its chin properly.

Tips on caring for feline acne:

It is important to keep food dishes clean. Acne has bacteria associated with it. The cat's chin comes in contact with the edge of the food/water bowl, leaving bacteria. The next time the cat uses the bowl, it can come in contact with this bacteria and spread it on the chin.

Use glass or metal food/water dishes. It is next to impossible to remove the bacteria from acne from plastic dishes.

Wash the food and water dishes daily. This removes the bacteria from the dishes and helps to keep the problem from getting worse. Also, in multi-cat households, it will help reduce the chance of others breaking out with it.

Bathe the cat's chin daily with a disinfectant soap/ solution from the vet. Nolvasan, Xenodine, Betadine soaps are a few of the ones to try. More severe cases may need to be washed twice a day. DO NOT USE HUMAN ACNE SOLUTIONS. These are too strong for cats and may cause serious problems. Don't try to pick the spots off, just clean it well.

Visit the vet if you can't get the acne to clear up within a week or two, or if the acne is severe or infected. The vet may prescribe antibiotics or other acne treatments for these cats. Once the acne is cleared up, keep an eye out for reoccurrences. Washing the cat's chin once a week is a good preventative measure.

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1 Comments:

Blogger katrina said...

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June 23, 2007 at 6:48:00 AM PDT  

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