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Skin and Dermatology

     The skin is the largest organ of any animal’s body; it comprises 12 to 24 percent of a cat’s body weight. It protects the cat and is responsible for much of her external appearance. Changes in a cat’s skin and haircoat can alert an owner to health and nutrition problems. There are many dermatological conditions that can affect cats. Some feline skin conditions are contagious to humans and other animals, and others are not. Most skin diseases look the same regardless of the cause, so testing and observing how the cat responds to therapy are important to making a proper diagnosis. When you bring your itchy cat to a veterinarian, the animal should first have a full physical exam. The doctor should check the cat for fleas and note the distribution of the lesions. (A lesion is a change or injury to a body tissue that impairs the tissue or causes a loss of function.) The vet should also review the cat’s history with you. Many diagnoses can be made based on the animal’s age and history and the location of the problem. If a diagnosis is not apparent based on this information, the next steps would be to perform some diagnostic tests, such as:

• Skin scraping
• Wood’s lamp evaluation (a way to look for fungus)
• Fungal culture
• Microscopic evaluation of an imprint of the lesion
• Blood tests
• Allergy testing
• Hypoallergenic diet
• Skin biopsy
 

 

     Allergies can cause Itchiness. An animal can be allergic to just about any substance in the world, so allergies are a difficult problem to diagnose. Most cats with allergies have itchy skin rather than respiratory signs. Allergies are suspected when infectious causes of itchy skin and miliary dermatitis are ruled out. (Miliary dermatitis is the term used by veterinarians to describe scabby, crusty skin. The infectious causes of miliary dermatitis are parasites, fungus and bacteria.) Eosinophilic granulomas are inflammatory lesions frequently seen on cats that may be caused by allergies. The three types of lesions are rodent ulcer of the lip, linear granuloma of the back legs and eosinophilic plaque that can be found anywhere. Treatment for these lesions is similar to that of other allergies.
    
Although grooming is a normal cat behavior, some cats get carried away and lick themselves until they are bald, red or create open sores. This condition is called psychogenic alopecia, and it is diagnosed by ruling out infectious and allergic causes of skin problems. Treating this condition is a challenge, because it is difficult to break the behavior pattern. Since cats cannot tell us how they feel and what is bothering them, it is a hard to figure out why your cat developed this habit and what to do about it. After any skin infection or irritation is treated, antihistamines or antianxiety medications may be used for their calming effects. Bad tasting sprays or gels will discourage licking, as will protective collars. If a source of stress or environmental change can be identified, steps should be taken to minimize their effect on the cat. Sometimes the problem is caused by boredom, and environmental enrichment, combined with more play time, can help.

 

Kitten Development

Kittens develop very quickly and are grown-up cats before you know it. The maturation that occurs during a kitten’s first six months of life correlates to the first 15 years of a human’s life.......

 

Mental Health

Cats rely on their natural instincts for hunting, self preservation and elimination. Many of the behaviors cat owners deem undesirable are simply manifestations of natural behaviors.........

 

Is my cat sick?

Cats cannot tell us how they feel, so it is important to have some understanding of the signs that a cat is sick. Cats are generally stoic animals, and often they do not let us know .........

         

Bath time

There is no set schedule for bathing a cat, and some cats may never need a bath. Factors to consider when deciding about a bath are:.........

Best nutrition for your cat

Food has a high ranking on a cat’s top 10 list. It ranks higher than affection from you, cravings for catnip and clawing the furniture! Food is a treat some ...........

Annual Health Care

Although cats are said to have nine lives, they only have one, and you can help that one along. In the wild cats do a good job of taking care of themselves .................

 

 

Vaccines

As a cat owner, it is useful to have some basic knowledge about the diseases you protect your cat from with vaccines. You may be surprised to find out that vaccines are not as .......

 

Pregnancy and Queening

Cats are very efficient at reproducing and are able to have several litters a year with multiple kittens in each. Most cats go through puberty at an early age somewhere .......

 

Care for a Senior Cat

Cats do not live forever, although we’d like them to. When you have shared your home with a cat for many years, he becomes an integral member of the family, and you develop strong ........

         

Skin and Dermatology

The skin is the largest organ of any animal’s body; it comprises 12 to 24 percent of a cat’s body weight. It protects the cat and is responsible for much of her external appearance ......

The Nervous System

The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The brain is the computer that commands the other parts of the body. Cerebral spinal fluid surrounds the brain ........

What Can You Catch From Your Cat?

Humans have successfully lived with cats for thousands of years  Overall, cats are extremely safe pets to own, and they rarely transmit diseases to humans ......