10 Cat Skin Problems and How to Handle Them

Is your cat itching, compulsively grooming or shaking his head side to side frequently? One of these common cat skin problems might be to blame.

A cat itching and scratching. Photography ©Sitkka | Thinkstock.

Cat skin problems are, unfortunately, pretty common. Parasites such as fleas or mites, fungal or bacterial infections, allergies, stress, injury or, more rarely, hormonal imbalances cause cat skin problems. Here are 10 common cat skin problems and how to handle each:

A ginger cat with a broken leg.
Abscesses are one of many common cat skin problems. Photography by Daniel Rajszczak / Shutterstock.

1. Abscess:

Abscesses are one of many common cat skin problems. An abscess is a painful collection of pus at the site of a bite or puncture wound. Abscesses form a firm swelling that becomes soft with time and can rupture and spill out purulent discharge. Although most cat fight-related abscesses are found on a cat’s forequarters or abdomen, they can sometimes appear near the tail if a cat gets bitten while trying to flee. The best way to prevent abscesses is to keep your cat indoors.

2. Ear Mites:

If your cat is tilting and shaking her head, scratching at her ears, and has excessive brown or waxy material in her ear canal, she may have ear mites. This condition causes tremendous itching and irritation, and if left untreated, can lead to bacterial infection. Ear mites in cats are treated by applying ear drops that contain a mite-killing chemical and cleaning the ears with a cotton ball.

3. Contact Dermatitis:

Cat skin problems sometimes show up as red, itchy bumps. With contact dermatitis,  you’ll see those red, itchy bumps and inflamed skin at the site of contact with a chemical or other irritant. Rubber or plastic food dishes can also cause contact dermatitis. The best way to prevent contact dermatitis is to keep cats away from areas where you use any chemicals and to feed your cats with glass, stainless steel or lead-free ceramic bowls or dishes.

4. Feline Acne:

In feline acne, comedones (also known as blackheads) form on the underside of the chin and edges of the lips. Plastic or rubber food and water dishes may cause cat acne. In severe cases of this skin condition, antiseborrheic shampoos, such as those containing benzoyl peroxide (at a concentration of 3% or less) or benzoyl peroxide gels, work to break down the excess oils. Supplementation with Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids may be beneficial, but check with your vet first.

5. Flea Allergy Dermatitis:

Some cat skin problems, like flea allergy dermatitis, manifest as itchy, pimple-like bumps that form over the base of the tail, back of the rear legs and inner thighs. Although many cats can get fleas and not have any reaction, in sensitive cats it can take just one flea bite to cause hours or days of symptoms. The best way to prevent flea allergy dermatitis is with good flea control. “Spot-on” treatments sold at veterinarians’ offices and reputable online outlets are typically the most effective, but there are a number of chemical-free methods that can be effective when used properly.

Read about all the types of cat dermatitis right here >>

6. Food Allergy Dermatitis:

Some cats are very sensitive to certain ingredients or preservatives in their food. This sensitivity can result in severe itching over the head, neck and back, and swelling of the eyelids. It is often complicated by hair loss and oozing sores from constant scratching and biting. Treatment for cat skin problems like this typically involves an elimination diet to see what ingredient(s) the cat is reacting to. Some vets may give steroid shots to ease the swelling and itching and give the skin a chance to heal from any damage.

Get our best tips for dealing with seasonal skin allergies in cats right here >>

7. Psychogenic Alopecia:

This is the thinning of the fur in a stripe down the back or on the abdomen caused by compulsive self-grooming. Stress often causes compulsive grooming, so treatment involves minimizing the affected cat’s stress level through use of feline pheromone diffusers, creating a calm environment, and redirecting the cat’s nervous energy through play. In severe cases of hair loss in cats, vets may recommend a short course of anti-anxiety medication.

8. Ringworm:

Ringworm is a fungal infection that is highly contagious to other animals and to humans. Symptoms of this skin condition include round patches that show central hair loss with a red ring at the periphery. In some cats, it only shows as broken hairs around the face and ears. Ringworm requires veterinary treatment with antifungal medications and extensive cleaning and sterilizing of the home.

9. Stud Tail:

Glands near the tail that excrete excessive oils cause stud tail in cats. The result is a greasy, rancid-smelling waxy brown material at the top of the tail near the base. This condition is most often often found in un-neutered toms, but fixed males and females can get it, too. Treatment of stud tail in cats involves neutering if needed, and twice-daily washes with an antiseborrheic shampoo to break down excess oils.

10. Sunburn:

Yes, sun exposure makes the list for cat skin problems, too! Cats with light-colored fur and hairless breeds such as the Sphynx are very prone to sunburn and should be kept out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to reduce the risk of sunburn and minimize the long-term risk of developing skin cancers such as melanoma.

The bottom line on cat skin problems

If you suspect your cat has one of these common cat skin problems, examine the affected area, take note of the symptoms you see and contact your vet. Any of these cat skin problems, as well as unexplained nodules, bumps or open sores or scabs on your cat, should get checked by your veterinarian for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Tell us: What cat skin problems has your kitty experienced? How did you remedy them?

Top photograph: Photography ©Sitkka | Thinkstock.

This piece was originally published in 2017.

Read Next: How to Keep Your Hairless Cats Safe in the Summer Sun


94 thoughts on “10 Cat Skin Problems and How to Handle Them”

  1. Hi,
    My cat has a single dry flaky spot at the base of one ear. It is not red and she doesn’t scratch it. I just notice from brushing her that a lot of white flakes come from this one single spot. It is just this one patch of dry flaky skin. It has only been a few weeks.

    There is no evidence of anything else. There are two other cats and a dog living together. There are no fleas or mites or anything that can be found anywhere. These cats can go outside but not ‘loose’.

    So far we are just keeping an eye on it but we do worry there might be something going on that needs attention.

  2. Hi Kristine. My cat had same issue. I found it to be poor grooming. I removed all the oily clumps with grooming comb and brushed him. Condition all cleared up and hair eventually all.grew back. Love from Ontario

  3. Leah Erica Villarante

    my cat has these red inflammations on the right side of his neck and it got me so worried as it was getting bigger after a week. it even had pus. what should i do?

    1. My poor kitty licks the fur from tummy to right before her private area. Her doctors don’t know if it’s from allergies or anxiety. She’s a lone cat, 12 years old. I’m trying to take care of her diabetes (in recession now), her asthma, giving her cerenia, and arthritis giving her CBD less than 25. All this could make her anxious, right? I just want her to be happy and comfortable.

  4. my kitty is 16 and has been pooping outside the box. The vet suggested more boxes and confine him to one room for retraining. He had been doing very well but lately began using all three boxes and then sitll pooping outside one of the boxes each night.
    I cant let him out overnight because he does the 3:00AM somewhere else in the house..

    1. relax, life could be worse. Cats can also be clean freaks – if all boxes are dirty or not in a desired place, will try to communicate this with you. I have 2 cats – sometimes they poop outside the box…I don’t panic, just go with it and clean it up.

    2. Does your car have kidney problems? Sometimes it hurts them to lift their hind legs if they have internal pain.
      Another suggestion. Are the litter boxes covered or uncovered? Sometimes they hate when they’re covered or too confined. They dont feel like there’s enough room.
      Or just the opposite. Maybe they need it covered for more privacy.
      Position of boxes, size of box also matters. … Gotta listen to your cat. Is the litter strong enough for his paws? Maybe he needs something shallower.

    3. Don’t worry about it. At least he’s pooping. Just love your pet. Life’s short for these loving creatures.

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  8. Hi Was hoping someone heard of this issue and could offer best guess. Indoor cat around four years of age licked off belly fur. The first vet gave an Elizabethan collar, cream for belly and pills. It was thought it to be caused by a surface irritant possibly a new chemical for cleaning but there was nothing new in home. During treatment the collar was broken fixed and off and on. The pink hairless belly had a red spot much smaller than a dime where blood probably coming from as her underbelly and down both legs were wet. Oddly she dripped blood that blood that was very watery and not sticky like human’s blood. The second vet gave her a new collar and oral steroid. The first night and today my cat can’t reach to lick and is dripping wet like she laid in a puddle of water. It is not urine that department is fine and she has no symptoms of illness but plays and is herself. Why won’t the bleeding stop and what is making her wet. Last night she was in a box bed with blanket and towel and a heater next to that. The vet’s office wants to know if I want her to see a third vet because they thought she was wet from licking. Has anyone heard of something similar? Thank you if you could respond.

    1. Mary Jane Cleburne

      Yes, my kitty has had very similar symtoms…..can you tell me if you ever got ant results as to what may be causing any if this AND did you find anything, anything at all to help with the situation ???? I am really worried about her, & cannot really afford high vet bills to determine her diagnosis. Any thing you can tell me to help her, would be greatly appreciated, Thank You in advance, MaryJane ????????????

  9. My 19-month-old Bengal cat had what appeared to be an allergy to an insect bite. He gets hard bumps that he eventually removes himself, but he has been on antibiotics for at least two months and has had two of the bumps in just a few day’s time. I clean his wounds three or four times daily with Vetricyn Plus, but he is not getting better. Help. I am open to trying anything.

    1. Buy a 1983 cat owners home veterinary handbook . It has sooo many answeres for catowners that dont want to run to vet and spend 1000 dollars when we can treat our animals in comfort of it home for pennies! Good luck….. Make sure its a 1983….back when information was in books!

      1. Old books can contain outdated and/or dangerous information. For instance, garlic was often recommended
        for use on cats externally and internally, now it’s understood to be toxic to cats.

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  14. T hough your pup may be happy, he may not be able to control his weepy ways. There are different reasons a dog may have weepy eyes, and a few breeds are a little more prone to eye discharge. Any dog can have tear stains; washing Buddy’s face regularly will wipe those stains away.

  15. Doctors give trusted, helpful answers on causes, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and more: Dr. Ostro on allergy scratch test scale: Skin allergy testing can check for …

    1. Take you cat to the vet…take your cat to the vet. Has anyone checked what a vet charges these days? It’s obscene. Let’s get some natural remedies going here. Treatments that you can do at home. Symptoms are easily diagnosed using the internet. You vetinarians price poorer folks out of being able to use your services.

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  17. My furbaby is 16 years old. We lost our house and had to move into an RV. Funds are tight. Where we are staying there are a dozen feral cats (being fed by a neighbor) so everytime I let her out of the RV she gets in a fight. She got an abscess on her butt. I took her to the vet and got her antibiotics, and bathed her and kept it clean…but a huge scab has formed that is all full of matted hair. I have tried soaking her butt in very warm water, soap… but it is not coming off. It has been over 2 weeks since the incident. I can tell it is uncomfortable for her, and it looks like it is going to get caught on something and get pulled off….and then she will have a huge hole. Not sure what to do, can’t afford to go back to the vet. Any suggestions welcome!

    1. Hi there,
      We are so sorry this happened! We suggest contacting your vet again as this seems serious. Here are some articles on affordable vet care:
      And here’s an article on abscesses:

    2. Unfortunately that is how abscesses heal. When it falls off there will be a hole just try your best to keep it clean and soak with epsom salt and water mix.

    3. Buy a cat enclosure for your cat. Chewie.com or other websites offer covered areas your cat could get air and be outside without getting in fights or coming into direct contact. An ab are very painful and require a visit to the Vet for treatment and antibiotics. Letting your cat outside will expose her to disease as well, like feline leukemia, which is fatal and parasites that require meds that are expensive as well. I recently purchased a cat enclosure for outside that folds up for storage. They make different sizes. Just try to keep her wound clean. If it doesn’t clear up call the Vet.

    4. I know this response is veeerry late, but I just read this article. Something similar happened to my cat and I rubbed a bunch of coconut oil and olive oil on it. Not only did it loosen up the scab but it coated the skin with a natural moisturizer. I hope your dog is ok.

  18. My 5 year old female calico inside cat has a scabby rash on her back and I don’t know what to do. She licks on it alot and we make her stop. I’ve tried applying a very warm wet compress to soothe her n now she has a small abcess on her lowe lip. Could it be the plastic bowl her water was in? I changed it to a ceramic bowl. My daughter had her up until last year may 2017. Then she left her with me. Some ideas?? Thanks

    1. Hi Angela,

      We suggest discussing this with your vet. These articles might lend some insight, too:

  19. hi we have a stray cat that always licking its back and its red and looks score does it need to go to vets but we are both unemployed and cant afford vet bills can u surgest any thing we cant get

    1. Hi there,

      So sorry to hear you’re all going through this. Here are some suggestions on what your cat might be dealing with:

      Here are some articles on how to afford vet bills:

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  21. I took my cat Gus (age 7 years) to the vet a couple weeks ago for the first time since adopting him back in June. Just went for a check-up. He had blood drawn from his leg. The week following, I noticed he seemed to spend a lot of time grooming that area of his leg, but I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until about a week after going to the vet that I noticed a sizeable bald spot on his leg where he had been grooming. At first, the skin looked totally normal–no rash or anything. It has since gotten a bit red, I think just from all the excessive licking. I believe this is a psychogenic condition. Whenever he licks that spot, he purrs very loudly and just seems content. Is it possible the stress from going to the vet is causing him to do this? I don’t think having blood drawn actually hurt him, but maybe he’s focusing on that area where he was poked because it was a traumatic experience for him? I’m reluctant to take him back to the vet in case it just causes him more stress.

    1. Hi there Sarah,

      Thanks for reaching out! Here are some articles that provide more information about cat stress and easing your cat’s stress when taking him to the vet:

      How to Ease Your Cat’s Stress Before and During Vet Visits

      What Are the Signs of Stress in Cats?

      How to Get Your Cat to the Vet — Even If He Really, Truly Hates It

      We also suggest contacting your vet for their opinion and see how you can work together to ease your cat’s stress if this is the case.

  22. My cat has an abscess on her stomach. I was freaked out a first, but after speaking to the doctor I know that it’s fine and will just take time to go away.

  23. My cat lola has come in with red blade patches on her side she has had it once before but I went away but now it is back and it in both sides she is an outside cat and has never had anything like this before I don’t no if it will just go away again ir if I should take her to the vet only because I am in unemployment rate and it’s a lot of money

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  25. My 10 yr old neutered male cat had his ear bitten and torn by another cat. He swelled up after being clawed in that ear several months later, but instead of an abcess, it turned out that when he was bitten and the ear was torn from about half inch down from tip in two notches, it pulled his cartilage loose at the base of that ear..Vet found torn cartilage AND muscle, and a lot of dead tissue, blood, etc..She cleaned it up and sewed cartilage and muscle back together, but when he came home in a halo collar, I could see the back of his head near the surgery site was swollen..and it just got bigger and bigger..His incision healed well, and the staples were taken out..But his head kept getting bigger, almost all the way to base of his opposite ear, and forward partway on too of his head…Vet said probably cancer when she saw him next..But by then, his lymph nodes under that side and under his jaw, and one below that, had been alternately swelling and shrinking..He itched like crazy and would scratch the ear and the neck where lymph nodes are..Vet initially had put him on a baytril shot around surgery time..He’d been on another antibiotic prior to surgery..arithromycin..When he didn’t clear up, and scratched hard enough to make his ear fill up with fluid, I took him back to vet and she inserted a needle 2 or 3 times to draw fluid..It was a light pink cloudy fluid, and the needle triggered more of it, as his ear was more swollen by the time we got home..She had given him a Convenia shot while there..She looked at the fluid on a slide, and said she could’nt determine an infection..that is, she said the fluid wasn’t pus, and could not determine what it was..When we got home, he scratched that ear HARD and more of the pink stuff drained out…So now it is 11 days since the Convenia shot..At first, it seemed to be working, as lower lymph node shrunk noticeably, but one under jaw was bigger..The swollen lymph node is pressing into his windpipe and when he purrs, which is every time I touch him or am about to feed him, he chokes up and coughs..The swelling across back of and top of his head has gone from hard to soft to hard to soft..Vet had said there was a trace of earmites in that ear, and I treated him for that as long as he’d let me. (He was an outdoor cat, but now is in the house.) I have not been able to clean his ear because when I try, he shakes his head and starts scratching….He is mostly a white cat with blotches of orange..He has always had a little allergy to whatever is outside, because often his eyes, usally the one on the side where the ear was injured, would makes tears that would run down the side of his nose, and it was a pinkish orange colors tears…So..now, since he scratched off the hair on that ear while it was draining and wet, the ear is ever more swelled..with some scabs from breaking his skin and bleeding..He’s always been slow to heal on his much chewed ears..Scabs stay on a very long time..His right eye is starting to squint some, but eye itself is clear..I wanted to take him to vet Friday to draw more fluid from ear to send to a lab, but vet gone til Tuesday..I’m hoping to get that done..Meantime, vet sort of backed off the kneejerk cancer idea..And I have since learned that there are a LOT of things that could cause these issues including allergy to SOMEthing..I do not know what kind of sutures vet used in sewing the cartilage and muscle…and we don’t know if it’s a bacteria, viral, fungal or allergy thing..I have stopped feeding him any of the Purina Indoor Formula dry food because it has coloring in it..He’s getting Friskies canned sometimes with water soaked SD Feline Maintenance and/or CD, but he prefers the Friskies..He eats well, grooms, breathes fine when not trying to purr whether awake or asleep, but does snore a little..which could be new, or he may always have snored some..He’s somewhat playful, but I know he’s tired from whatever is happening..He’s gained a little weight since being in the house, and seems to be maintaining it….I guess I am looking for some hopeful/positive input…
    Thank you for reading.

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for sharing your story and reaching out! We suggest continuing to work with a vet to ensure your kitty feels better.

      1. My cat I think has dry skin. She has one spot that I think is a scab that has been there awhile and she scratches sometimes. Otherwise she is ok.


    2. I would get a second opinion. Sounds like your vet isn’t sure and guessing at treatment. Meanwhile your cat is the one paying the price for uncertainty. Ask vet for a copy of records so you can get a fresh set of eyes on it.

    3. Try taking him off all grain/cheap food. Put him on grain-free food. Its not cheap, but they’re healthier. I found mine out with flea issues. No grains, no soy, no tocopherols (preservatives). I buy Taste of the Wild off of Amazon or you can get it from other sites, but you pay shipping. It needs to be almost all protein with only vegetables in it. Other companies have ingredients in their foods that causes cancer in cats. Be very careful of the cheap cat foods. Read reviews while you shop on Amazon to make your choice – they are a wealth of information. Hill Science Diet & Royal Canin are the other foods I used but just didn’t work (for regrowing hair) & were too expensive. Good luck.

      1. Oh thank you for this info. My cat has developed these little scabs around neck. They went away but a few weeks later they are back after I changed from kitten food to Purina One Urinary formula and Fancy Feast gravy lovers.
        I just pulled up her bed to wash in machine and it looks like someone sprinkled Miller seeds in there. My cat is strictly indoor only and I have no fleas. I’m changing food to Taste of the Wild you mentioned . I worry about the wet food too. He gets half can in morning and treats in the evening with his dry food out all day with plenty of fresh water available. I’ll see why happens. I’ve also tried a wee bit of Coconut oil in his food but he has decided he doesn’t like.

  26. My 1 and a half year old cat has “dermatitis” … the other three siblings do not (one of them in same house). The food is not the problem; he only eats the best foods and it doesn’t seem to be any different as I have tried mixing it up (right now he is eating Nutro Grain feed dry food and beef and/or shrimp/salmon wet food). I took him to the vet, he gave him antibiotics and steroid shot ($135); was happy and relieved; however, it is now six weeks later and it’s back. I removed a new small carpet in my room, thinking it was the chemicals on it…the rest of the house is laminate. I cannot afford to take him to the vet every six weeks. His coloring is red and white. I just bathed him and his skin is pinkish with little bumps here and there (same as when I took him to the vet). Do you have any suggestions for a cat with chronic allergies/dermatitis? PS…no fleas…inside cats, no fleas or mold of any kind. The house is old; however, clean. Sometimes the air-conditioning is on, sometimes windows open, depending on the humidity (live in Pa). Any help would be greatly appreciatively. Lastly, the bumps are tiny and sometimes clustered; typical dermatitis looking. No open sores; he is just scratching and not himself (less playful).

    1. Hi Shari,
      We suggest to continue treatment with a vet. These articles might provide some insight as well:
      Hope he feels better!

    2. I’m am going through the exact same problem with my cat. In fact we’re at the vets right now. She was treated a year ago and the dermatitis came right back so we did another round about three weeks ago of steroids and anabiotics and as soon as we finished, it came right back. I’m top of the expense of the medications. It’s extremely Trumatic to have to give your cat pills morning and night for two weeks.

    3. Thank you for your comments. I have my crew onRoyal Canin. Just now checked the ingredients

      Sure enough! It has wheat, rice, corn and various gluten.

      I am immediately changing their food!

      Thanks again!

    4. I am having the exact same skin issues with my cat. It is so frustrating and I feel so bad for him. At a loss of what to do and what is causing this.

  27. My cat, Ziggy, has what looks like dandruff at her back near her tail and now her hair is clumping as if she is not grooming there. I can pull this hair out quite easily although she doesn’t like it. It is also a bit greasy. Also, for a couple of months she has been more vocal like she wants me around her. Everything else with her appears normal.

  28. My cat Peanutbutter has this dry skin condition where when I pet him near his tail and up to his neck he starts to lick the air, purr and want to lick on my forehead. I would scratch him in these areas and get these flakes under my nails. I also would use a flea comb on them and it would literally be caked up with the stuff. Any ideas what this could be and any ideas on a cure? Thanks.

  29. My indoor long hair cat has scabby skin no discolouration and it doesn’t seem to bother him, no fur loss just thick scabby skin, need to know what it may be and how I should be treating it, is it time for the vet or change in diet?

    1. Michaela Conlon

      Hi there Andrea,

      We suggest bringing your cat to the vet to find out exactly what is going on so they can provide the best treatment for him. We hope your cat feels better!

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  31. Marsha oberleiter

    My poor cat got diagnosed with pemphigus. Sores and scabbing on her ears and head area. We try to keep control with steroids. Just wondering if she’s in pain. She stiffens when the vet gives her steroid shot. The tech said she never had any cat do that like she remembers the shot hurts. Any ideas for healing the scabs or pain management?

  32. My cat got what looks like a bee sting on her ear, but she keeps scratching the bump causing her to take her skin off

    1. Michaela Conlon

      Hi there —

      Sorry to hear about what is happening to your cat. We suggest you take your cat to the vet ASAP. Hope your cat feels better!

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  34. Hi Beeck,

    My 13 year old manx had about a dime sized spot with no fur appear on her head beside her ear. Took her to the vet who looked at it. The vet recommended a simple solution to put a little iodine on a small gauze pad. Wipe the spot in the morning and evening with the iodine/gauze. The fur returned in a few weeks. Not sure what it was but glad it went away. The spot did not seem to bother my cat.

  35. My cat has to becoming around 20 years old i believe, i had him since a kitten. Im noticing small round bare skin circles on his forearms on his front legs only. Kinda the same place he would tuck his noise when he curls up to sleep. But only one has formed a scab over it, there about two inches from his paws, and no bigger than 1/2 of the size of a dime in size. Any ideas please?

    1. Hi there,

      We suggest asking a vet. These pieces might provide more insight, too:

  36. My cat is 14 years old and anytime I pet her lower back, especially around the base of her tail, she start licking, chewing, and “grooming” the air, her front arms, or what’s ever in front of her, even the couch. If her lower back by the base of her tail is touched at all, she can’t stop herself from “wigging out.” I’m wondering if it’s something to do with her nerves. That area of her back may be difficult to clean, as she is pretty old. That area of her skin has dry flakes. I clean it, brush her, and make sure not to pet her there, but am worried. Any idea what can be causing her compulsive “air grooming?” I flea treat her, so it’s not fleas. My vet didn’t have any answers. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nicole —–

      Is it stud tail by any chance? https://www.catster.com/cat-health-care/stud-tail-in-cats
      or maybe FHS? https://www.catster.com/cat-health-care/feline-hyperesthesia-syndrome

  37. Since few days I’ve been noticing a portion of hair around the ear of my cat is being lost.There is also some kind of injury.Looks like a ringworm or something.I’ve been giving her some antiseptic cream there like Papaw but it’s not working,rather it’s increasing day by day,covering her face.I really need help about this badly.I can’t visit a vet because there is no vet in or around my area.Please help me asap.

  38. Hi, i m owner of adult male “dragon li” cat. Few weeks ago my cat got injured when he jumped from height of almost 8 feet due to sharp object on the floor.. after that he was in pain he was not touching ground with his right leg.. i gave him brufen and amoxil for 3 days and it worked but after few days it causes loss of hair from that part and now there is an ulcer .. i m really worried.. kindly suggest me what to do.. i cant visit vet for next few weeks. ..

    1. belvoir admin

      Hi Natty,
      Even if you cannot visit your vet in person, please call or email your vet ASAP about this situation. If you can’t pay vet bills for a few weeks, your vet may be able to work something out with a payment plan, but please get your kitty professional help ASAP.

  39. My cat Tom lately is rubbing his nose on plastic bags and the fountain where he drinks water from the tub.. His hair under his nose is thinning in one side. He just started with this. He’s 11 years ol and is an indoor cat. Doesn’t want to drink from water or his dish. Can’t keep him from rubbing his nose in plastic trash bags. Any suffer?? Thank you! Jean.

    1. same with my cat, who is 13. Did you ever figure this out? Mine is losing hair on his nose, and seeks out plastic bags to rub his face on repeatedly!

  40. Marlitt Arnouville

    I have a orange tabby named Albert, he has these crusty bumps that are itchy, I have taken him to 3 different vets he’s been on antibiotics, creams, fungal creams, it’s not fleas he is on Frontline, I make sure his food doesn’t contain any animal by products, I am at my wit’s end ????

    1. Hi Marlitt,
      Sorry to hear this! These articles might provide some further insight:

    2. I have a 13 year old orange tabby named Albert too! Recently he developed rippling skin and lesions. He was given cortisone rather than diagnosing the problem.

      None of the links listed seemed to address the specific problem either.

  41. Two years ago we trapped feral mom cat. We socialized kittens, sent to rescue group. Mom was too feral, had her fixed n given shots.
    Since then we haven’t been able to trap her.
    She has large abdomen, waddles when she walks. She is too big to groom her bottom: she turtles.
    The hair on her back is a mess: possibly mange. She eats cat food we put out. So we’re wondering if we can give her oral medicine for parasites, fleas, etc.

    1. Hi Angela,

      Thank you for helping community cats! Some info on TNR here:

  42. My outside cat had a patch of hair loss and red skin on her back. She is kind of feral difficult to grab to take to the vet. Time to time she suffers from mouth swelling and she has been prescribe prednisone to cure that and it works. Is this a good treatment to this case. Maybe It could be fleas. Please help! Thank you!

  43. My cat just in the last month has been licking her left leg, leaving loss of hair and an open wound, I believe it’s licking dermatitis as she has all the symptoms.

    I have been treating my cat at home, with tincture of iodine and water half and half, and also cleansing her leg with water, before wraping it in a cloth bandage and use a first aid elastic bandage loosely, 4 hours on and 4 hours off, with a elizabethian collar at night. make sure to take everthing off so she can eat and drink water 2 to 3 times a day, she is getting better, and her hair is growing back. She is an indoor cat, a british shorthair, I think its caused by stress, and inactivity, plus she is going on 10 years old this august.

  44. My cat loves the outdoors, but because he’s an inside cat, I bought him a stroller and I push him around the neighborhood in his stroller. Tiger has been outside numerous times and has never had problems with rashes. Unfortunately my area was affected by the flood of 2016. After the flood happened, something changed within the air. I cannot bring Tiger to enjoy the outdoors in his stroller anymore. He breaks out with rashes 24 hours later around his face and scratches them because their itchy. Have you ever seen or heard of a cat later developing an allergic reaction to something that is airborne? How do I treat this so he can enjoy the outdoors again?

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Sorry to hear that you and Tiger are experiencing this issue! We suggest asking your vet for advice. Your vet probably has insight on local allergens that could be causing this reaction. Best of luck, and hope Tiger feels better!

  45. My cat had an over-grooming problem. It wasn’t fleas. I treat my home and my pets consistently. My vet even went through her fur with a flea comb and didn’t find any fleas, flea dirt or flea eggs. It was ants!

    One of her favorite places to nap was in the cabinet beneath the bathroom sink. We had an ant problem this past winter. I cleaned and sprayed thoroughly and now keep the bathroom door shut. It worked. Her hair is growing back. The itching from the ants was causing her significant stress. There are so many things that can be bothersome to cats.

    1. We have a tabby that’s the best cat ever. We noticed the same kind of symptoms on her as well.. it wasn’t fleas, its not the food ,and it’s not the out doors .. but we also had a huge ant problem and I never thought about it being the problem.. but now the ants are gone and she still has the soars and is itching uncontrollable .. please help with ideas of remedy’

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