My cat has skin scabs and no fleas. Please help

This is a cat health problem question posed by a visitor today. It is reproduced verbatim. This is the link to the comment.

My cat has skin scabs, have used flea products, sprays powders and carpet treatments. none of which have helped. I have not found any fleas ,and our two dogs do not have any.could you please give me suggestions as to what else may be the cause,and cure. thankyou so much.

The obvious answer is to see a vet. However, the lady, Holly, who posed the question has asked PoC so what I will do is provide all the possible causes from good books.

Firstly it pays to eliminate breeding issues. The comment was made on a page about the Ragdoll cat although I don’t think Holly has a Ragdoll. Although she might. The best book on genetic health problems in purebred cats does not highlight any genetic causes for scabs in Ragdoll cats.

See cat skin problems.

Next I’ll look at the more usual suspects:

Flea bite allergy. Even though you have not found any fleas it only takes one to bite your cat and cause an allergic reaction. This shows as red crusty bumps and it drives your cat to scratch. This breaks the skin and scabs form. Fleas are very hard to get rid off entirely despite doing all that you do. Try Frontline drops and stick to the regime if a flea bite allergy is diagnosed by your vet plus a thorough flea elimination program. See also cat flea products.

Feline Scabies or head mange causes intense itching. It is caused by the head mite. A tiny parasite. The itching drives the cat to scratch which leads to the inevitable scabs if not treated. Is your cat scratching and is this causing the scabs. That is the first question. Treatment: the vet will tell how.

Harvest mites or red bugs can also be on your cat’s skin. Cats collect this bug when prowling around grassland and fields etc. They irritate and itch. The larvae suck on the cat’s skin. Red draining sores and scabs form.

Ringworm, a common condition causes scabs and crusts sometimes. Also the skin may itch and the cat may scratch causes wounds and scabs.

Ear mites are commonplace. They are not confined to ears. They are uncomfortable for a cat. The cat scratches and this as usual causes scabs eventually. They are easy to diagnose. You vet can do this and prescribe a treatment.

The above are the usual reasons for scabs on cats. You can see that often the scab is caused by self-mutilation from scratching.

Feline acne also comes to mind. You might check this out too. See feline acne treatment.

Hope this helps. However, there is no substitute for a good vet.

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My cat has skin scabs and no fleas. Please help — 8 Comments

  1. We’ve dealt a lot with flea dermatitis with our dogs. One flea bite can cause all kinds of problems. These respond well to prednisone but the drug isn’t as easily tolerated by cats. The vet likely has a shampoo or topical treatment that will help and adding oil to a cats diet is also helpful.

  2. Holly says she has used flea products, powders, sprays and carpet treatment and this may be the clue as to what is wrong with her cat, an overload of chemicals has set up a skin reaction and made her condition worse.
    The only solution is to take the cat to a good vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment, not to go buying more stuff which will only make it worse. The vet will probably give the cat a steroid injection too, to make the cat more comfortable while whatever the treatment is, has chance to take effect.

    • Good point, Ruth. There could be an allergic reaction due to chemicals. I reject all chemical flea treatments on the cat other than Frontline. These powders etc. are unpleasant in my opinion.

  3. We do too Michael.
    My blood runs cold at the way some people use flea treatments monthly and most cheaper versions don’t work anyway.
    Don’t get me started on flea collars, they should be banned! That’s a thought did Holly ever put a flea collar on her cat I wonder, they can cause dreadful skin complaints.
    Some people bathe their cats, another cause of skin complaints, best leave cats to their natural way of keeping clean if at all possible, simply grooming them every day is mostly all we need to do.

  4. I agree – it sounds like either an allergic or toxic reaction. Ringworm is awful and I have only experienced it one but there was no redness – just what looked like the cross between fungus and scabs. I have heard horror stories about cheap flea treatment – Ruth you are right, flea collars should be banned. I think its very unpleasant for the cat. And I also agree with Ruth that if any bathing or god forbid, soap, has been involved then its absolutley wrong and must be stopped immediatly.

  5. Yes natural remedies are by far the best and I agree this poor cat probably has an allergic reaction to an overload of chemicals.Only a vet can sort out her problem now.

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