Cat Rashes and Skin Infections

Grass, trees and pollen are known to spark skin rashes on felines.
Grass, trees and pollen are known to spark skin rashes on felines. (Image: Lilli image by Vanille from

While felines have very tough skin, they are still susceptible to infections and rashes. The skin protects the internal structures and organs and regulates body temperature, so it's important to treat the condition as soon as possible. Many infections are a result of scratching, bug bites or food allergies. Cat owners should regularly inspect the skin, according to the Cat Customer website.


Cat owners should monitor their felines' skin on a regular basis for rashes and infections. Symptoms indicating a skin problem include: red patches on the skin; round raw lesions on the chest, hips or head; bumps or lumps on or underneath the skin; a dry, dull-looking coat; dry, flaky skin; red and irritated-looking skin; loss of hair; scaly patches or scabs on the skin, or felines that lick or scratch skin excessively, according to Cat Health Guide website.


Cats may develop scabby lesions on their necks, heads or tails due to an allergic reaction. Flea bites, for example, are a main contributor to feline military dermatitis. As the illness progresses, the small lesions form a crusty surface where cats will start to lick, bite or scratch, according to the Vet Info website.

The allergens found in grass, trees and pollen also have triggered skin rashes and infections.

Inside the home, cats may be allergic to common household products made of rubber or plastic, or of fabrics such as nylon or wool, according to Vet Info.

Many cats develop rashes after consuming certain foods, such as dairy products, wheat gluten, soy, seafood, lamb, corn or beef.

Macule Rash

A macule rash is skin that's red or a different color than the skin. The circles of infection that are no larger than a half inch are flat and not raised. Common causes of the skin condition include cat medications, flea allergies, blood coagulation problems and reactions to certain chemicals, according to Cat Health Guide.

Elevated Rashes

A papule is a lesion consisting of small red pimples less than a half inch in size. Bites from flies, skin allergies or scabies often cause the skin condition. Sometimes larger papules, known as neoplasm, can be benign or malignant, according to Cat Health Guide.

Skin filled with pus in the center of the infected circle is a postule. The pus is created because the white blood cells try to kill bacteria or a fungus. Dead cells create a lump on the skin.

Cats can also develop nodules, a larger elevated bump on the skin caused by bacterial or fungal infection, or abnormal cell growth.

Cat Health Guide also said a wheal is an elevated rash that can quickly heal itself. The increased redness or paleness of skin color is caused by certain drugs or foods, or insect bites.


Treatment of rashes depends on the type of infection. Some treatments include medicated shampoos, oral or topical medications, antibiotics, or surgical removal of lumps or bumps if it's cancerous or bothersome. Some over-the-counter homeopathic treatments include a skin and coat tonic to improve the skin and coat, or Dermasol, which helps skin heal because it contains Vitamin A, according to Cat Health Guide.

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