Basically what we are talking about here is a very itchy cat. Cats can become itchy from a variety of causes and veterinarians tell us that allergies are the most common problem affecting small animals in general. However, hormonal skin problems are common to dogs but rare in cats.
Detection of Hormonal Skin Diseases
Pruritus is the medical term for itchiness and is not hard to spot because your cat will scratch and even damage its skin. The causes of Pruritus are said to be from over grooming, but really there can be a host of reasons for causing this hormonal skin disease. In severe causes you cat may actually lose or pull out its own hair in order to get relief.
Miliary Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin characterized by crusts that appear all over the body, most of the time it occurs from greasy, oily, or fur that contains dandruff.
Rodent Ulcers are a sore that appears on the top of the lip and gives the appearance that part of the lip is gone or rotted away.
Linear granulomas form a line of inflamed scabs usually under the chin or on the hind leg.
Eosinophilic plaques are red patches of skin mostly on the truck of the cat.
Causes of Hormonal Skin Diseases
Even though these skin diseases look completely different they are the results of the same disorders, fleas, parasites, all kinds of insect bites and mites of all kinds, allergies and reactions to certain foods, and bacterial infections.
Cats can have several hormonal skins disorders at a time.
Why Are Some Cats more Sensitive to Hormonal Skin Disease than Others?
At present the answer remains a mystery. Here are some of the contributing factors:
Psychological factors such as stress and anxiety come into play and some cats are higher strung than others.
Genetic make up and breed can play a role in hormonal Skin Disorders
Sensitive skin; make up and skin type
Sex hormones and glands (sebaceous)
Sensitivity to foreign agents entering the body
Skin bacteria, which thrives on red inflamed areas
Diet/ food allergens It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why some cats become allergic to certain foods while others do not. There is a theory that changing diets can bring on allergic reactions, while others claim that chemical additives in commercial foods is the culprit.
Atopy Atopy is an allergic reaction to dust pollen and other airborne inhalants. At present there is no cure for this disease; prevention is still considered the best medicine. Miliary dermatitis and Atopy are actually the same disease, resulting in crusts or scabs around the neck and backbone.
Fleas, parasites, and insect bites, can cause these skin abrasions.
Bacterial infections, though it is not known why some cats end up with bacterial infections, your veterinarian can test to find out and proscribe antibiotics to clear the infection.
Prevention and Treatment
Good nutritional food will keep your cat happy and its skin healthy. Food supplements containing Omega 3 can help with prevention and can be used in conjunction with other treatments at the time of the skin eruption. The use of antihistamines after a full blown attack may be affective but not always. Your veterinarian may also advice other treatments such as steroids etc. Do not go off and try to treat your pet before first consulting with your veterinarian. Certain drugs such as steroids can have some adverse effects upon your pet.
Some cats are dirty. They do not groom themselves sufficiently; therefore you must help them by bathing them. This simply act serves as a preventative measure. and when the hormonal skin eruption has already started, a bath can moisturize and sooth the burning irritated skin.
If your cat has a flea or parasite infestation then you must get rid of it. If over the counter products do not solve the problem, consult your veterinarian for other powders, and drugs.
Your veterinarian can determine if your cat has parasites such as ringworm, and heartworm by doing a fecal culture and blood testing.
If any of these preventions and treatments do not work, consult your veterinarian about alternative therapy, such as desensitization therapy.