A cat's skin has several functions. It should protect the cat from damage, maintain moisture balance in the body and helps to regulate their temperature. Fur also helps protect their body from solar radiation.
Dermatitis – inflammation of the skin
Dermatitis is sometimes called eczema but actually means inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis can be very mild and only appear as a minor redness, but it can be severe and appear as large skin sores and blisters.
An investigation may be required to find the cause of dermatitis as it can be due to both internal and external causes.
Itching and allergies
Allergies that affect cats can, just like in humans, be tricky to investigate. Cats can be allergic to one or more ingredients in their food but also to other things in the environment. It is important that you review the material your cat sleeps on, whether any new cleaning agents are used in the home, which plants in the home, and so on.
If your cat is allergic to, for example, pollen, you will see a difference in the itching depending on the season. If your cat is allergic to something in their food, they will be itchy regardless of the season.
Parasites on or in your cats skin
Itching can be caused by parasites living in or on your cat's skin. Parasites can spread quickly between animals and can become infected very easily. Itching can cause red and sore skin.
There are several different parasites that can cause itching in cats, including fleas, lice and demodex. Contact a vet who can examine your cat and investigate the cause. They will also be able to advise you on the best treatment.
Ringworm – round bald spots on your cat
Ringworm is actually a type of fungal infection. Often, kittens or older cats with weakened immune systems that are affected. If your cat scratches and gets round bald spots, it could be a sign of ringworm.