Cats are independent and clever animals. They can take care of themselves and often only need help with grooming, feeding, and playtime. But some potential health risks come along with having a cat as a pet. You should be aware of these risks to help your cat stay healthy for many years. Here are six tips for preventing skin infections in your cat:
1. Observe Your Cat for Early Signs of Skin Irritation
Skin infections are common in cats, and various things can cause them. Cats are more prone to skin infections than dogs because they have shorter hair and depend on their fur for insulation.
The lack of hair also makes it easier for bacteria or other agents to directly enter the cat’s body. Thus, if you notice any redness, irritation, or hair loss around your cat’s neck, armpits or belly region, it’s time to start using antibiotic ointment, like triple antibiotic ointment for cats.
Triple antibiotic ointment for cats provides a gentle solution to common skin irritations and infections that may occur in your cat’s ears or paws.
The most common cause of skin infections in cats is a parasite known as fleas. Fleas are tiny insects that live on your cat and feed on blood. They can also carry other parasites and diseases, including tapeworms and worms. If your cat has fleas, you will likely notice small black specks on his coat or around his anus.
Triple antibiotic ointment for cats contains three antibiotics: neomycin, polymyxin B sulfate, and bacitracin zinc. It can be used on kittens as young as ten weeks old. However, this ointment is not recommended for cats with eye infections or conjunctivitis.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Cat When It’s in the Yard
If you have cats, it is necessary to ensure that they stay safe and healthy. One way to keep them safe is by ensuring that your cat does not roam around the neighborhood freely. In addition, you should be aware of possible dangers, such as other animals or people who may harm your pet.
If you live in a rural area where predators like coyotes are common, you must keep an eye on your pet cat. It will help them keep safe from parasites like ticks and fleas that can live on humans and animals. These parasites can spread disease from one species to another, so if your cat gets infected, there’s a good chance that those same infectious agents could also affect you.
3. Routine Preventative Checkups Are Important
Routine preventative checkups are necessary because they help your vet identify skin irritations early on and can also help you identify other health issues with your cat. It’s not uncommon for a cat to have an underlying health condition that manifests as a skin infection. It is why it’s so important for owners to bring their cats in for regular checkups.
A visit to the vet can also show whether fleas or mites are present and may be contributing to the problem. Your veterinarian will recommend any necessary treatment options at this time.
If your cat frequently scratches, it may indicate an allergy or hypersensitivity. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose because it’s hard to tell whether the cat is simply reacting to something in its environment or is suffering from allergies.
4. Ensure Your Cat Has a Healthy Diet
To keep your cat healthy, ensure they’re eating a balanced diet. Cats need a wide range of nutrients, including protein and calcium.
Too much fat can lead to obesity, which in turn can cause several health problems, such as diabetes and arthritis. According to Statista, about 33% of cats in the US are reported to be obese.
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your pet’s skin and coat, but too much fish can lead to mercury poisoning over time. Dairy products contain calcium and lactose, which can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in cats if eaten too frequently or in large amounts.
Chocolate contains caffeine, so it should be avoided altogether by pets due to its stimulant properties. Although small amounts won’t usually hurt an animal, the larger ones could cause vomiting or diarrhea resulting from an upset stomach after eating chocolate.
5. Avoid Using Too Many Products on Your Cat’s Skin
When using products on your cat’s skin, ensure to avoid using too many. While some products may be beneficial to cats, many are not. For example, products with alcohol or menthol can damage the outer layer of your cat’s skin and irritate it further.
Eucalyptus is also a common ingredient that can reduce an animal’s ability to breathe by causing respiratory distress, so it should also be avoided when applying pet care items.
If you are going to use anything on your feline friend’s fur, look for ones designed specifically for cats. They contain fewer chemicals than grooming products usually found around the house, like shampoo or dish soap. But, of course, you should never apply any product without proper training or supervision, especially if medication involves.
Remember, use only what is needed each time, and avoid applying excessive amounts. Extreme usage could lead to irritation issues when washed off again later in life.
6. Monitor Your Cat’s Grooming Habits
You can spot a potential skin infection in cats by paying attention to their grooming habits. For example, when they are stressed or anxious, some cats will lick themselves excessively. It can cause irritation, which then leads to infections and other problems. If your cat is licking its fur off, it’s time to get it checked out by the vet. A vet can determine if there’s an underlying medical condition causing the problem.
Cats with skin infections often develop red spots on their fur. You can also see pus or white bumps where the cat has been licking herself excessively. If you notice these symptoms, ensure to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can provide treatment.
It is necessary to visit an experienced vet if you see these symptoms in your pet cat because it will be easy to cure the infection before it becomes critical.
There were about 116,000 practicing veterinarians in 2019, in the US, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They also predict that if pet ownership grows, America will need around 41,000 more vets by 2030.
Skin Irritations Are Preventable Through Awareness
Many factors can cause skin irritations in cats. A cat with a skin condition may scratch or lick its fur, which can lead to secondary skin infections if it’s in an area that is easily reached. These infections are common during the summer months and are caused by bacteria or parasites on your pet’s skin or in their coat.
If your cat has severe dermatitis, it may need topical creams, oral medication, and antibiotics from the vet to keep its symptoms at bay. And if you’re noticing any signs of infection from fleas, ticks, and other insects like flies or mosquitoes, check out our tips for protecting your furry friend.
Take your cat to a veterinarian if you notice any symptoms of skin infection or irritation. If you’re familiar with some of the most common causes and symptoms, it will be easier to recognize if your cat has an issue that needs medical attention.