Is there anything more rewarding than the feeling you get from watching your cat stretch, smile, and pur as you scratch beneath their chin or behind their ears? You may even be lucky enough to sneak in a few belly rubs from time to time.
To scratch an itch is one of life’s simple pleasures for both humans and animals alike. However, if your cat is struggling with skin irritation or pain, they may not know when to stop scratching. Excessive scratching can create an open wound, leading to hot spots that turn a simple pleasure into a painful skin infection.
Keep reading to learn more about what causes hot spots in cats, and how you can detect, treat, and prevent future hot spots for your furry friend.
Hot spots in cats (also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis) are often caused when a cat exacerbates an itchy or sore area of their body by biting or licking at the area until the skin becomes irritated and infected.
The resulting wound is referred to as a hot spot because the cat’s immune response causes the area to become hot to the touch.
There are a variety of irritants that may cause cats to excessively scratch or bite at themselves, including:
To prevent matts and cat hot spots, be sure to brush your cat often and try to fit in regular claw trimmings. Shorter claws will cause less damage if your cat does get the urge to scratch an itch.
Even if your cat can be expressive through their body language and vocalizations, understanding when they may be in pain can nevertheless be difficult.
Here are some signs your cat may be struggling with a hot spot:
Regardless of the underlying cause of your cat’s hot spots, treating the resulting injury is fairly easy and can be done in the comfort of your home by following a three-step process:
Dealing with pain is difficult enough without the added disadvantage of not being able to communicate it. Fortunately, by being vigilant about hot spot prevention and taking note of any changes in your cat’s behavior, you can help save your furry friend from the discomfort of itchy, irritated, and infected skin.
Plus, with Vetericyn on your side, you’re prepared in the event hot spots do develop. By using Vetericyn’s non-toxic Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel at the first sign of a hot spot, you can quickly treat the wound, stop the itch, and help your cat get back to enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Noticing similar symptoms in your dog? Learn more about what a hot spot in dogs is, how to identify an infected hot spot on dogs and what causes hot spots on dogs in our latest blog posts.
For trusted, at-home animal wellness care, choose Vetericyn.