What causes scabs on cats?


Quick Answer

Scabs on cats are caused by a number of things, including seasonal allergies, fleas, ringworm, parasites, food allergies and environmental factors, according to the ASPCA. All of these problems sometimes lead to intense itching, licking and chewing of the skin and fur which causes scabbing. Additionally, bald patches of skin, redness, inflammation, rashes and scaly patches sometimes occur together with the scabbing.

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Full Answer

A number of common problems lead to scabbing on cats. Ringworm, a fungal infection, is typically characterized by scaly patches and hair loss on the head, ears and paws of a cat, according to the ASPCA. Treatable with anti-fungal medications, it is important to catch ringworm quickly to prevent infection of humans in the household. Fleas irritate the cat's skin and cause an allergic response, which leads to scaly, red, raised legions that become scabby. Flea treatment is recommended to keep cats flea-free. Parasites such as ear mites cause itching, redness and scabbing around the ears and are identified by the dark, coffee-ground-like material they leave in the ear.

Contact with irritants, food sensitivities and seasonal allergies are all capable of producing intense itching and subsequent scabbing, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. All of these are treatable using different methods based on the identified irritant.

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