Cats like dogs are one of the most domesticated animals and you will always find them around humans. They are susceptible to various ailments and diseases transmitted by parasites, bacteria, viruses, or any other health challenges just like all domestic animals. You can learn about common cat diseases here.
If you have a cat, you may notice it scratching its body and fur Trying to calm an itch. Firstly, you must understand that cats like to groom themselves a lot and it is normal and healthy for them to scratch and lick at their furs. This helps them remove dirt, loose hair, and parasites off their skin.
However, when you notice that your pet constantly seems to continuously groom or scratch, it could be a sign of something else and this can lead to infections, skin lesions, and hair loss.
Excessive scratching and licking of the fur are simply signs and not a diagnosis or disease in themselves.
It could be due to allergies, parasites, or an infection. If this compulsory scratching leads to injury, this in turn can get infected and lead to other medical conditions. When you notice this, it is important to give attention to your feline and take necessary measures to help alleviate it.
Causes of Excessive Itching and Scratching
There are several reasons your pet can itch. Some of these include:
This is one common reason for over-grooming, excessive licking and scratching. Felines are allergic to a lot of things like:
- Fleas Bites: Bites from fleas can cause an allergic reaction in cats. This may be difficult to diagnose because of their overly grooming nature makes it hard to find these fleas on their skin or furs. A quick way that might help you discover them though is what is called flea dirt which is digested blood on the cat’s coat. You will usually find it on the neck, back or tail of your pet.
- Food allergy: They can get allergies from their food especially when there’s been a change in their regular diet. It may also be due to the ingredients in the food including the protein and carbohydrate source which may affect their gastrointestinal tracts and cause a reaction. Sometimes, even a prolonged diet may cause this.
- Allergy Due to Contact: Cats may sometimes be in contact with things or substances they are allergic too and this might lead to itching. These can be detergents, chemicals, oils, or scents.
- Allergy Due to Inhalation: Mold, dust, pollen grains, spores, etc. are some of the things that can cause allergic reactions in felines when they breathe them in. These are sometimes seasonal.
- Environmental Allergies: Cats may experience what is called atopic dermatitis which may be seasonal or not. This can also result in other symptoms like diarrhea, running nose, and vomiting. You can find common feline allergies here https://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-allergy-symptoms-triggers#1.
Felines are susceptible to ear and skin mites as well as ticks such as demodex and scabies. When these parasites inhabit their skin or coat, it can result in itching and scratching.
Diagnosing and Treating Itching
Because felines are animals that love to groom a lot, it can be hard to detect most causes of itching. Your best bet when you notice anything unusual is to visit the vet with your pet. With their experience and some tests like skin scraping, skin cytology, bacterial culture and sensitivity, etc., they will likely be better able to diagnose it than you will.
On discovering whatever the matter is, you now have a choice of getting a prescription treatment from the vet or administering home remedies. Some other solutions may include applying balms to the wounds, wearing an E-collar or infant t-shirt, checking and making sure your cat’s food does not contain any allergic component, and ensuring its environment is clean and rid of mites and fleas.
What are the Home Remedies Available?
For cats with flea allergies, applying or spraying lemon juice can help to kill the pests. Also, fleas dislike the smell of cedar chips so you can use them by spreading some around their sleeping area. Other things you can apply include apple cider vinegar, lavender, and chamomile.
If the allergy is from food, you may need to avoid foods that may cause these allergies. This might be seafood, dairy, wheat, corn, etc. Organic foods will also help in this regard. You can also speak to a vet as they will be able to advise you on the best food to give your feline. You can find here more home remedies and also read about what to do for your itchy cat.
Noticing and discovering why your feline is over-grooming is the first step towards helping alleviate the discomfort it is experiencing. When you know why this is happening, there are many options available to you use. Ensure you take care of it and apply the necessary treatment as soon as possible.