Why Do Cats Have Red Skin?


cat has red skin around mouth

Many cats first face with red skin in early childhood. Depending on associated symptoms, it is possible to define a degree of danger and a potential cause that triggered this kind of reaction. The first option to consider is usually an allergy response, which is almost always accompanied by red rashes, swelling and itching. Risk group involves fancy breeds (Persian, Siamese, Scottish Fold, Sphynx), which have to keep a specific diet since early childhood.

Survey of Potential Causes

The owner must not forget that if a cat has red skin during the summertime, it may be sign of rotting and skin irritation, which are typical for longhaired pets. But even this factor does not rule out a risk of the following causes and diseases:

cat skin turning red
  1. Taking medication. A long-term antibiotic therapy or application of ointments are very frequent reasons of redness. In this case, it is best to inform the veterinarian so he or she could adjust the dosage or choose an effective analogue. It is advisable not to apply anything on a damaged skin on one’s own to prevent an aggravation of the process.
  2. Fleas. It is common for any kind of cat. Even if a pet does not go out, there is no guarantee of absolute protection from fleas, which can get into the house with the owner’s shoe sole or plants. Therefore, such symptoms as cat skin turning red and formation of small hives may be the result of vermin activity. If they are accompanied by itching and biting different parts of the body, there is no doubt that a pet needs flea and tick treatment. For this purpose, modern spot-on medicines like Stronghold, Frontline, Advantage or Advocate are used three times within three weeks. When the symptoms do not go away, there is a risk of a big source of fleas inside or near the house. In this case, the whole place is disinfected. If there are other pets in the house, they must be treated as well.
  3. Eosinophilic granulomas. If cat has red skin around mouth and nose or red oral mucosa, this disease may be the reason. Granulomas appear as ulcers in the mouth or as pink hives on nose, chin and lips. Itching may be a sign of bacterial infection caused by scratching. That is why eosinophilic granulomas require cytology tests of damaged skin areas. Single bumps, which do not cause any discomfort, are usually not treated because there is a chance that they will go away on their own. A therapy of deep and multiple lesions starts with a change of diet and bowl. If there is no improvement, the owner should choose a hypoallergenic kind of pet food.
  4. Burns. They may cause horrible skin redness accompanied by swelling and weeping lesions. A cat can burn itself on a hot pan or cooking pot. But in most cases, burns occur as a result of chemical exposure or contact with dangerous plants, which cause a severe skin irritation with their sap. One needs to be careful with this kind of burns because an open wound is always a potential place of a secondary infection. Therefore, it is best not to risk taking a pet to a veterinarian, who will debride the sore with antiseptic and choose an effective reparative medicine according to clinical presentation.
  5. Fungal lesions. 80% of all cases are connected with dermatophytes. One can contract a disease after close contact with infected animals (cats or dogs) through saliva, cuts, bites and personal items (collar, brush, etc.). In the early stages the owner can see the cat losing hair and red skin, which is observed in the center of a bald patch (usually on limbs or belly). Later blisters appear. Almost always there are a red ring around the spot and flaky skin over the affected area. Ringworm is very contagious so a pet has to be isolated even if the suspicion is minimal until diagnostic procedure is done. More specifically, pet’s body is illuminated by fluorescent Wood’s lamp that show fungal spores with bright green light. Microscopic analysis of hair taken from different parts of the body is required. If it is not enough, a culture test is done. It is a long but very informative procedure that helps to define a certain type of fungus. Treatment usually consists of Imaverol and antifungal shampoos. A great deal of attention is paid to house disinfection. Surfaces must be washed with chlorine or chlorhexidine solution. All things that may be covered with heir need to be cleaned with steam.

In conclusion, it must be said that there is no ringworm vaccine. It may be offered in some veterinarian clinics but it is considered ineffective by most developed countries. These vaccines cannot neither cure nor prevent ringworm. The owners must be careful and not fall for under-educated doctors’ tricks.

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