01254 53622(24 hour emergency)

Itchy, Scratchy, Spotty Cat.

If your cat is scratching or licking excessively, has spots or bald patches, then there is a problem!

Telephone us and make an appointment to see one of our vets on 01254 53622

"My cat is scratching" "My cat is losing all its fur!"

Cat ScratchingCats scratch themselves when they have skin problems. They can scratch at body areas with their paws or can nibble and lick at their skin. Hair loss (bald areas) is also a common concern we hear from clients regarding thier cats, especially during the summer months here in Blackburn. There can be many causes of hair loss, scratching and lumps and bumps on your cats skin. Please read on to find out more. Some cats shed lots of hair, this is of no concern if there are no bald patches or scratching. The hair is growing as quickly as it is falling out. Do not worry.

The skin has to deal with everything that arrives at the outside of the body, so it’s not surprising that skin disease is a common problem. Itchy pets are usually miserable pets. Scratching makes things worse and they can quickly make their skin really sore.

Scratching, licking, bald patches, scabs, spots or rashes on the skin should all be investigated by the vet as soon as they are noticed, give us a call on 01254 53622 to make an appointment to see the vet.

The Flea - the prime suspect!

The fleaThe most common cause of skin problems in cats is our old adversary the flea. It is amazing how something so small (only about 4 mm long) can cause so much misery. Classically we see hair loss down the back and around the tail area with evidence of spots and scabs on the back. There is often significant numbers of flea droppings - little black specks in your cats coat (place these black specks on a damp white tissue, if it is flea dirt it will dissove and turn a reddish brown).

Many animals develop an allergy to flea bites and a single bite can make them intensely itchy. This can be totally prevented by ensuring you pets never develop a flea infestation. Ask a staff member what products are available to prevent flea infestations. Click here for more information about fleas.

There are other parasites that can cause skin problems in cats such as ear mites, skin mites and lice. See our 'Creepy Crawlies' collection for pictures of other “hangers on” that can be found on pets.


Allergies are another problem for our cats and seem to becoming more common. Some animals are allergic to many different things. This can be things they eat (e.g. beef, gluten, dairy products), things they touch (e.g. fabric conditioners and household chemicals) or that are found in the environment (grass pollen, house dust etc). The list of potential culprits is endless and will be slightly different for each individual pet. It can be a real challenge to get to the root of the problem!

Allergy testing

It is now possible to find out exactly which things make an individual itchy and to produce a vaccine to desensitise them to those things. This can be performed simply on a blood sample. See Allervet for more information.  Unfortunately this is an expensive process and is usually out of reach unless a pet has pet health insurance. It is the only prospect of a “cure” for allergies as it is not possible to prevent the pet coming into contact with many of the causes, such as house dust mites.

Skin infections

Yeast and bacteria infections are common and can occur on their own or as a result of other itchy, scratchy problems or homonal diseases. They need treatment with antibiotics, ointments or shampoos from the vet.

Hair Loss

Symetrical hairloss without excessive scratching is common in cats. The cause of this is either hormonal disease which can be diagnosed using blood testing or behavioural  (usually due to excessive grooming due to anxiety or some other stress).

Internal disorders that cause skin problems

Disorders of the liver, kidney, digestive system and/or hormone problems can all cause skin problems. Many skin disorders are a mixture of several problems.

However, don’t despair - there are lots of things the vet can do for your itchy pet! Use good prescription flea treatments that truely work. A good quality diet with added oil supplements can improve skin and coat health and strengthen defences. Medicated shampoos may be prescribed for certain skin conditions to alleviate symptoms. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication can stop infection in its tracks and keep itch levels down. There are also very effective medications to stop the "scratch cycle" in its tracks and control allegies.


A good quality diet, plays a large role in the condition of your cats coat. Ask a member of our staff for more details or look at our Feeding advice page.

So, if your cat is scratching, has a skin problem or is losing its hair, contact us here at daisy Street and let us help you to keep your pets skin in the best possible condition.

Contact us on 01254 53622 for advice or to book an appointment with one of our vets.


Page updated 17th Jul 2017, 10:29
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