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6 Common Cat Skin Problems

6 Common Cat Skin Problems

If you have a cat, you probably already know that cats can develop a wide range of skin problems. According to PetMD, skin problems are one of the most common reasons that cats are brought to the veterinarian. Scratching, excessive licking, hair loss, scabs, bumps, and chewing are common symptoms of cat skin problems.

Common Cat Skin Problems

Common skin problems diagnosed in cats include parasites such as fleas and ear mites, allergies, acne, ringworm, and pyoderma. Skin issues in cats can cause similar symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine the root of the problem. Plus, cats are known for hiding their diseases and discomfort. If your cat is dealing with skin issues, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Fleas are a common cause of cat skin problems. Fleas put their saliva into a cat’s skin before feeding on its blood. Some cats are hypersensitive or allergic to flea saliva, so they may develop allergic reactions to the saliva and have extremely itchy skin. If you’re unsure if your cat has fleas, look in your cat’s hair. You can often see fleas in the cat’s coat. Other symptoms include crusty skin lesions, scratching, and thinning hair above the base of the tail.

Treatment options include a wide variety of flea control products, both topical and oral. When treating a flea infestation, it’s important to eliminate fleas from both the cat and its environment. This includes treating bedding, carpet, and furniture. Regular flea prevention is key to avoiding these pests.


Skin issues may be a sign that your cat has an allergy—either to the environment or to his food. Common environmental allergens that can result in cat skin problems include pollen, grass, mold, and dust. Your cat can also be sensitive or allergic to an ingredient in his food, such as beef or dairy. Allergies in cats can lead to itching, scabs, excessive grooming, and self-inflicted hair loss. Food allergies often cause extreme itchiness on the head and neck.

Your veterinarian can help determine if your cat is allergic to his food or something in the environment. Allergies can sometimes be managed by avoiding the allergen or with oral medications, but often it is a lifelong condition.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are small parasites that live within the ear canal. While ear mites more commonly occur in kittens, they can affect a cat of any age. A common symptom of ear mites is a reddish or black crusty discharge from the ears. Ear mites can cause ear canal irritation, and many cats will shake their head and scratch at their ears. Ear mites are treated with ear drops and topical treatments.


Did you know that cats can get pimples too? Similar to humans, some cats are prone to acne. It often appears as blackheads on a cat’s chin. Sometimes feline acne causes itching and hair loss, but some cats may show no symptoms at all. Although the cause can be difficult to pinpoint, possible causes may include stress, a reaction to medication, or poor grooming. Treatment usually involves clipping the hair and using a shampoo with benzoyl peroxide.


Ringworm is another common cause of cat skin problems. It is a fungal infection that can cause a range of symptoms. Some cats may experience itching, but many of them don’t itch. Ringworm can cause patchy hair loss and lesions on the head, chest, forelegs, and back. Treatment often involves antifungal topical therapy like shampooing, clipping the coat, and oral medication.

It’s important to note that ringworm is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans. For this reason, pet owners should take extra steps to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Treating the environment, like furniture and feeding bowls, is a must because fungal spores can stay in the environment for months.


Pyoderma is a bacterial infection in cats that often occurs when the skin is disrupted due to a flea bite, wound, or other irritation. When the skin becomes irritated, pets often scratch or chew at the area, causing further damage and irritation. This can damage the natural balance of healthy skin bacteria, allowing yeast and bacteria to grow. The constant itching and irritation can cause a secondary skin condition called pyoderma. Symptoms of pyoderma can include itchiness, hair loss, pustules, small lesions, and scaling.

An effective treatment plan will include addressing and treating the underlying cause. Treatment often involves oral antibiotics and topical medication. Bathing your pet with a medicated or antibacterial shampoo can also help by removing bacteria and scales while reducing itching.

How MicoChlor Plus Medicated Shampoo Can Help

If your cat is suffering from skin issues, a medicated shampoo can help provide much-needed relief. That’s why Thomas Pet developed MicoChlor Plus Medicated Shampoo. This antibacterial and antifungal shampoo helps with ringworm, dermatitis, hot spots, irritation, and itching. The active ingredients, 2% Miconazole Nitrate and 2% Chlorhexidine Gluconate, have been recommended by vets for years for common cat skin problems. This medicated shampoo contains aloe, oatmeal, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E to help soothe, moisturize, and enrich the skin and coat.

Thomas Labs understands that cat skin problems can be irritating for our feline friends, and diagnosing the issue can be frustrating. Keeping a close eye on your cat and his symptoms can help lead to a correct diagnosis and successful treatment.


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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