Atopic dermatitis in cats is a skin condition that occurs when a cat either inhales or ingests a substance, such as dust or pollen, to which it is allergic. Most cats respond by scratching the itchy, affected area.
If you are seeing signs of atopic dermatitis in your cat, then you have to see your vet for a correct diagnosis and treatment.
Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of eczema in cats.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in cats
Just like people who experience an allergic reaction, cats often start itchy when they have atopic dermatitis.
Symptoms can vary in severity, type, and location on the body. Signs can be:
- Red spots, bumps, or spots
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Crusts or crusts of the skin
- Scaly or flaky skin
- Bad smell from the affected area
- Severe itching, rubbing, or licking the affected area
The most commonly affected areas of the cat’s body where these symptoms occur are:
- Around the armpits
Along with the itching in the affected area, in extreme cases, a cat may try to bite or lick parts of its body. You may want to put an Elizabethan collar (pubic cone) on your cat while she is recovering from your veterinarian.
As an alternative to the cone, your cat may prefer this Cloud collar for a little more comfort.
Causes of atopic dermatitis in cats
The main cause of eczema in cats is inhalation or ingestion of a substance that the cat is sensitive to. This, in turn, can trigger an allergic reaction.
House dust and pollen are common triggers in cats.
Sometimes a specific food allergy can also cause symptoms of dermatitis.
Treatments for atopic dermatitis in cats
Cases of atopic dermatitis in cats caused by airborne allergens can only be controlled, not completely cured.
When you take your cat to a veterinarian and your pet is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, steroids are often prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties. Steroids can also have side effects. So make sure you only give them under the close guidance of your veterinarian.
Antihistamines can be another option for controlling dermatitis in cats; although they can be less effective than steroids.
If your cat has dermatitis or breathing problems and other allergies, ensure a smoke-free living environment and clean it regularly to avoid dust build-up. Keeping your cat indoors can also reduce the chance that pollen will make her condition worse.
Has your cat ever suffered from eczema? How did you and your vet help your kitten feel better? Let us know your experience in the comments below!