Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Itchiness, Desire to Scratch, Chew or Lick Causing Inflamed Skin in Cats

Pruritus in Cats

 

Pruritus is the medical term used to define a cat's sensation to itch, or the sensation that provokes its desire to scratch, rub, chew, or lick its hair and skin. Pruritis is also an indicator of inflamed skin. Intense scratching can eventually lead to partial or full hair loss, but with treatment, prognosis is positive.

 

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how pruritus affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Some of the most common symptoms seen in cats include:

 

  • Scratching
  • Licking
  • Biting
  • Chewing
  • Alopecia
  • Self-trauma
  • Inflammation of the skin

 

Causes

 

There are many causes of pruritus, including fleas, scabies, lice, allergies, bacterial infections, abnormal cell development (neoplasia), and immune disorders.

 

Diagnosis

 

A skin biopsy may be needed to determine the diagnosis, as there are many triggers that can cause skin itching and the desire to scratch. Allergy testing is often used to determine and localize the cause of the itching or desire to scratch.

 

 

 

Related Articles

Skin Disease Due to Food Allergies in Cats
While the pathogenesis of dermatologic food reactions is not fully understood, immediate...
READ MORE
Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats
An infestation of the cheyletiella mite is medically referred to as cheyletiellosis....
READ MORE
Twitch-Skin Syndrome in Cats
Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS), also known as “twitch-skin syndrome” and “psychomotor...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search cat Articles

 

 

PETMD POLL

What do you use to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet?

Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM