June 18, 2017
Cats seem to like scratching themselves – almost as much as sleeping and eating, maybe just a little less. However sometimes they become too obsessed with it. If you notice your cat can’t stop scratching herself, and especially if she seems to be irritated by severe itching – it could be a problem. We’ll try to have a quick view on the health problems that can cause the itching for your cat.
Your cat’s ancestors have never experienced anything like that. Their immune system had been adequately loaded and had no time to spare. Now our cats (just as ourselves) live in almost sterile environments, and the immune system finds imaginary enemies to fight. Almost anything can become an allergy cause – industrially made food, your new furniture, other animals and even people (which is ironic, right?). Severe itching can be one of the common allergy symptoms, and the affected areas are usually head and neck (most of the time). Sometimes a blood test can be used to support this hypothesis and to start the necessary treatment.
If your cat has become a hostel for a colony of fleas or other skin parasites, this will cause itching.
Defining if there are fleas in your pet’s fur doesn’t require a vet – these wingless parasites are perfectly visible, especially if your cat has a fur of light colors. There are plenty of products that are used to fight fleas – you can ask your veterinarian or the nearest pet shop. Usually, these would be the shampoos and the lotions containing permethrin or other insecticides.
Another very common reason of itching is the ringworm – the fungal infection that affects the skin and hair. Besides the excessive scratching, you’ll notice hair loss in circular areas, broken and dull hair, the changes in skin color and others. A vet can identify the infection with a UV-lamp with the further microscopic examination of the infected hair. You are especially interested in being sure your cat is not affected by the ringworm, as this infection can be passed to humans.
Among other reasons of the persistent scratching, there could be bacteria, viruses , inflammations caused by unknown agents. It’s a good idea to get a professional advice in most itching cases. Even if the reason itself is not dangerous, the scratching leads to the wounds that can get infected, so it’s better to pay attention in advance.