What is feline dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a skin condition that happens when a cat gets rough lesions on its skin. It will appear red and bumpy, and is often very itchy for the cat.


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What is the cause?

There is no single, specific cause - dermatitis in cats is a symptom, much like coughing or fever. Infections, allergies to specific things such as an allergic skin reaction to fleas (the most common cause), dietary problems, and ringworm can all be potential causes.

What are the symptoms?

The rough lesions may cover a small portion of your cat or even nearly its entirety. The cat may itch and begin scratching repeatedly, especially at the affected area. Hair loss is common - sometimes from the disease, sometimes from the scratching and biting at the itchy areas. The cat's skin may be very sensitive, and that can cause it to bite or scratch you or get angry when you try to touch it on the affected part of its body. 

Sometimes you will be able to see the dermatitis and sometimes you won't - be aware that if it is not causing itching to the cat, there may well be no hair loss. This means the rough, bumpy skin will be covered by fur. If you suspect your cat has this skin condition, then look carefully at the skin underneath the fur and feel for bumps.

What is the treatment for cats?

Your vet will have to diagnose the cause and treat that. Most likely, your cat has the problem because it is allergic to flea bites, and you can look around the main site here for ways to deal with that. If it is another problem such as a bacterial infection, your vet will have to give the cat some treatment such as antibiotics. It is not a good idea to try to self-diagnose, as the causes are so varied, and you do not want to make a mistake and find out that the dermatitis was a result of a dangerous infection. 

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