Village Vet: banner and logo

Skin disease

Healthcare image

Skin disease usually takes one of two forms: loss of hair or itchiness. Most itchy skin diseases are caused by allergies or parasite infections. As a general rule itchy skins do not resolve without treatment; so if your cat is scratching an early visit to your vet is advisable. Scratching is not normal nor it is it a habit. The most common cause of itchiness in cats is an allergy to fleas. It is essential to pay close attention to flea control in cats.

Itchy cats often groom excessively rather than scratch at themselves and may be pulling out their own hair without their owners realising. Excessive grooming can be caused by itchiness but some cats exhibit this behaviour in response to stress.

Hair loss can be caused by some parasitic diseases but is most commonly caused by a hormonal imblance. Animals with hormonal problems often have many other clinical problems as well as the hair loss.

Many cats will develop lumps and bumps on their skin at some point. In most cases these may be nothing to worry about and may be a simple wart or a fatty lump underneath the skin. Other rapidly growing swelling may be an abscess (often caused by a bite from another cat). owever, sometimes malignant tumours can develop in or under the skin so if you notice a new lump on your pet, particularly one that is weeping, sore, or changing rapidly, you should make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible.

Further information

All about fleas

Cat bite abscesses

Cat pox

Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism)

Feline acne

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex

Feline injection site sarcoma

Flea control

Lumps and bumps


Over grooming (feline psychogenic alopecia)

Removing a tick


Tick control

'Walking dandruff' (Cheyletiellosis)