What is a pruritic cat?

A pruritic cat is an itchy cat. The medical term for itching is ‘pruritus’. I am not a veterinarian but I think this is one of the more disconcerting diseases that a cat can suffer from. I feel for pruritic cats. Constantly itching must be horrible and emotionally draining.

Pruritic cat
Pruritic cat. Screenshot from video on Flickr by Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic and published here with their permission.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The video from the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic Inc. is published here with their express permission. It is quite distressing to see a cat being forced to lick herself all the time to this extent. She’s female because she is a tortoiseshell. She has licked all the hair off her feet and legs.


Note: sometimes embedded videos stop working over time for reasons beyond my control. If this has happened I apologise. It will happen enventually.

Some more pages on itchy skin:

The clinic, on the Flickr website, simply say that this is a ‘pruritic cat’. It seems to me that it can be hard to diagnose the cause or causes.

As they say, the itching is a symptom or a sign not the disease itself. Allergies, parasites and infections are listed as possible causes. Allergies seem to be a nightmare to accurately diagnose. So many possibilities.

The itchiness for this cat is on her feet as mentioned. Taking a layperson’s approach and applying common sense, does this point to something on the ground (outside) or the floor (inside) which is deposited onto her paws causing a reaction?

There are chemicals everywhere in modern life. There’s lawn treatments for example. And carpets contain preservative chemicals. And cleaning materials for floors contain chemicals. All of them could provoke an immune response in a domestic cat which in turn causes this allergic reaction.

Itching is often triggered by histamine a chemical produced by the body associated with an immune response. If I was the vet I’d discuss what the lady (the cat’s owner) was doing in terms of unknowingly depositing chemicals on her property.

I happen to believe that there are far too many chemicals in modern life from commercially manufactured products which are potentially dangerous for domestic cats and dogs. Cats are very susceptible because they lie on these surfaces and are bare-footed. Humans normally wear shoes and slippers in the home and outside in the backyard.

I am sure that Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic provided excellent advice. There are treatments to alleviate itchiness but what you need to do it to remove the cause not alleviate the symptoms. All drugs are essentially poisons and to be avoided if possible.

I have a page on carpet chemicals (link) and fire retardants (link) which may help. Carpet chemicals damage the DNA in sperm by the way. Feline diabetes can be caused by fire retardants in househould items. Please use the search tool for read more on this important topics. It is all on this website.

2 thoughts on “What is a pruritic cat?”

  1. Heartbreaking. My dog licked all the hair off her front feet. My vet prescribed a cocktail of ketoconazole, apoquel and an antibiotic for yeast infection on her skin.
    I pray a cure is found.


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