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11th Mar 2024

Recognising the symptoms of cat skin conditions

by Burns Team Writer

Being a responsible cat owner means keeping an eye on your cat’s behaviour, as changes could be signs that something isn’t quite right. If you notice your cat scratching or licking themselves more than usual, it could be that they are trying to relieve the discomfort of a skin condition. Looking out for these signs enables quick veterinary attention, ensuring that any symptoms are thoroughly examined and any conditions are appropriately treated.

Discover the signs of the most common cat skin conditions.

What are the signs of skin problems?

Early detection can be crucial for effective diagnosis and treatment. Look out for the following signs of skin problems to protect the health of your feline friend:

  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Wounds
  • Ulcers
  • Spots
  • Scabs
  • Hair loss.

What are common cat skin problems?

Cats are susceptible to a wide range of skin problems. From mange and acne to parasites and ear mites, it is important that you know the signs and causes of these common conditions.


Cat mange, otherwise known as feline scabies or feline mange, is a skin condition caused by parasitic mites that infest a cat’s skin and fur. Symptoms of cat mange often include intense itching, redness and inflammation. However, in more severe cases, it can also cause hair loss, wounds and scabs, exposing your cat to bacterial infection. If your cat is suffering from mange, you may notice them excessively grooming, scratching and biting themselves in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.


Just like humans, cats can suffer from acne. Cat acne is usually characterised by the development of blackheads and whiteheads on their chin. There are lots of different reasons why cats may develop acne but if you find that your cat is uncomfortable, it’s best to get them checked by a vet.


Cats can develop allergies to items they encounter on a daily basis, such as dust, mould, grass, fungi and pollen. However, common allergens are beef, wheat and dairy. If your cat has an allergy, you may notice them over grooming which can lead to redness, rashes and fur loss.


Cats can be vulnerable to different parasites, including fleas and ticks. These parasites can be incredibly uncomfortable for your cat, causing excessive scratching. If your cat has an infestation, you may be able to see the fleas or ticks on your cat’s body.


Cats often suffer from bacterial infections. They are usually caused by broken skin due to a graze, cut, scratch or bite. If your cat has a skin infection, you will likely notice redness and swelling, as well as an unpleasant odour. In more severe cases, these infections can lead to the formation of pustules or abscesses on your cat’s skin.

How to prevent common cat skin problems?

Many skin conditions can be prevented, contributing to a happier and healthier life for your furry friend.

Parasite treatments

Regular use of parasite prevention methods, such as topical treatments or oral medications, helps safeguard your cat from infestations. These treatments not only alleviate the immediate discomfort caused by parasites, but also help to prevent secondary skin infections. Ideally, the parasite treatment should be offered by a vet as it’s super important that the treatment is 100% for cats as the ones for dogs are often toxic to cats.

Regular vet visits

Vet appointments can be crucial to the health of your cat’s skin. Through regular check-ups, your vet can identify the signs of skin conditions, such as infections and allergies. They will be able to provide tailored advice on, contributing to a healthier and happier life for your feline friend.

High-quality diet

A high-quality diet can support the health of your cat’s skin by providing them with essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. This can reduce the likelihood of skin issues, such as dryness, flakiness and itchiness. Feeding your cat a quality diet can also support their immune system, providing further protection from skin diseases and infections.

At Burns, we take pride in creating nutritious and delicious cat food. Our cat food has been carefully designed to provide a balanced diet, incorporating essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. We are committed to delivering cat food that not only tastes great but also promotes the health and happiness of your feline friend.

Learn more about cat health

If you would like to learn more about your cat's health, read our blog. We cover a wide range of topics, helping you to provide optimal care to your feline friends.

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