We often receive inquiries indicating that the cat scratches a lot, even causing injuries in the most extreme cases. For a cat to rub against something to scratch it is common and should not worry us, but if it scratches excessively, even using its claws, then we are facing a considerable health problem.
There are several factors that can cause extreme itching in our cat , some external such as allergens or parasites and others internal, such as immune-mediated. We are going to go over all the possible causes of a cat scratching excessively and how to fix it.
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My cat scratches a lot: Fleas and Ticks
The external parasites are the main reason why a cat may suffer from an extreme itching, to be precise fleas. And although ticks can also cause discomfort and itching, in the vast majority of cases it is usually small fleas that are responsible for torturing the cat.
Detecting them is very simple, it is enough to separate little by little and with the help of both hands, the hair of our kitten until we see its skin. We must examine different points of his body in search of small black dots that walk very fast or jump. Those little dots are fleas.
The solution is very simple, we simply have to protect our cat against parasites using a repellent collar or repellent liquid (in Spain it is known as “pipettes”) to apply it on it. A repellent shampoo can also be of great help, as long as you allow yourself to bathe naturally.
For ticks, the treatment is the same, although their appearance is somewhat different. More similar to a grain that is more or less fat and of a different color , going from pinkish to dark or even black, depending on the life stage of the tick.
That a cat that has access to the street is infected with fleas is totally common, we should not be scared although we must take measures so that they do not reproduce, since they could infect us too.
My cat scratches a lot: Allergies
Allergies are the second most common picture in terms of itching in cats, many of them are seasonal and / or environmental, while others are food or insect . Determining what type of allergy our cat has is something quite complex in reality, so we undoubtedly recommend that a veterinarian do the respective tests or even discard.
Some cats have allergies to spring due to the increase in pollen in the air, others, however, simply have an allergy to a specific pollutant that may be on the street, or simply to a product of something that is in our house such as, for example , varnish from furniture or the detergent we use to wash clothes. Also the saliva of fleas can cause an allergy called DAPP .
However, the most common allergies are due to a poor diet, cats should be fed as carnivores with a diet rich in meat and fish. If you use feed or wet food cans, we must make sure that they are composed mainly of meat products, that is, that it is a high quality cat food .
There are feed and wet food cans specially formulated for cats with digestive problems and / or allergies. It is always a good option to try this type of diet to be able to rule out other possible causes.
My cat scratches a lot: Dermatological irritation
There are a multitude of causes that can cause a redness on the skin or a rash, which is known as dermatological irritation. The simple rubbing with certain toxic plants for cats or plants such as nettles that release toxins on contact, can cause considerable itching in our cat.
An excess of mites can also be the reason for irritation, some as serious as Scabies itself (very common in cats). Although fortunately most, if not all, are treatable with adequate medication.
It is a vicious circle that must be broken, because irritation causes the cat to itch, which scratches to relieve itself but unknowingly at the same time causes the irritation to be more severe.
Even a small splinter or spike stuck in your skin can cause a small infection and irritation, capable of causing a great itch.
Although it sounds a bit repetitive, only a veterinarian can tell what type of irritation it is. To do this, he will perform some tests on our cat and will even observe samples under the microscope to determine the cause. Only by knowing the reason, a treatment can be applied, since all treatments are different.
My cat scratches a lot: Bites
Another reason why a cat can scratch forcefully and insistently is the bite of an insect or animal. The sting of a wasp or a bee can cause an enormous itch to our cat, even inflammation depending on the affected area.
The bites of small mice or even snakes can also cause discomfort and irritation in the cat, which will lead to repeated scratching that will in turn cause greater irritation . Spiders can also bite a cat, causing inflammation and itching.
In reality, there are a large number of insects and animals that can cause a lot of itch with a simple bite. That is why it is advisable to always examine our cat when we see strange behavior in it.
Summing up a bit, we must remember that it is completely normal for a cat to scratch or rub against something. Even several times a day, but if we observe that the scratching is excessive or too insistent, we must carry out a superficial review of your skin and rule out the causes previously exposed.
If you have doubts or are not completely convinced that you have found the problem, you can always go to the vet and ask him to check the cat.