Preventing itchy cats1st April 2017
April is here and as the days get longer and the weather becomes warmer, we’re likely to see more of our feline friends with itchy skin. Allergic conditions are often less evident in the colder months, but as spring arrives they emerge, resulting in the skin being inflamed and irritable.
Our team at Bollington Veterinary Centre offer you five ways to beat the itch.
1. Look for the signs - if your cat is known to have an allergy, it’s vital to act as soon as the signs appear. If you see any of the following signs, think ‘allergy’ and call us without delay to arrange an appointment.
- Flaky skin
- Scaling and scurf
- Bald patches
- Excessive grooming
- Biting and nibbling
2. Get rid of fleas – at Bollington Veterinary Centre we tend to find that fleas are the commonest causes of itchy skin in cats. We call this ‘Flea Allergic Dermatitis’. If you suspect your cat has fleas, do bring them in for us to have a look. Our vet team will be able to recommend regular monthly preventative treatments that work.
There are various forms of flea control available, including spot-on’s, injections and tablets. Some work better than others and it can be difficult to make the right choice. If you think your cat has fleas please ask us for our recommendations.
3. Feed the right food – all sorts of ingredients in cat food can cause allergies. It may be a certain type of protein, such as beef, or perhaps a carbohydrate such as wheat.
Look for hair loss and irritation on the face and around the ears. Do let us know if you are suspicious or worried. Our vets can check your pet for suspected food allergies, and work out the best way to make a diagnosis and help choose a diet to help.
For example did you know that adding extra Omega 3 oil into the diet can often help reduce the intensity of an allergy? Even though essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 are rarely harmful, you should always check with one of our vets before starting treatment.
4. Use anti-allergy medications - there are several modern ways to approach allergic skin disease in cats, from custom made allergy-injections and immune controlling capsules to anti-histamines and shampoos. Getting the right diagnosis is key to finding the solution for your pet, so it’s vital you let us help you.
Make an appointment with one of our vets and we can start the ball rolling.
5. Follow directions - if one of our team has prescribed a medicated treatment, make sure you follow the instructions closely and always complete a course of treatment. Too often skin problems persist because the treatments aren’t carried out for the correct length of time.
By following these 5 simple steps, you’ll help us address any issues early and make your cat much more comfortable.