skin & food sensitivities in cats


Does your cat have itchy, scratchy, or dry skin?

Ideally your cat’s fur should be clean and fluffy, and feel soft and smooth when you pet her. So if you do discover redness, lumps, flaking or other signs of irritation when you pet her, she may have a skin condition that requires treatment. Look out for an increase in scratching, licking or itching in places she’s favoring more often.

Orange cat staring off into the distance


What are the causes of cat itching?

Your cat’s itchy & dry skin can have many causes. If she is showing signs of irritation, consult with your veterinarian who will be able to diagnose the condition. Your veterinarian may recommend tests to identify the exact reason for your cat’s skin condition.

Hormonal imbalance

Too much or too little of certain hormones can make cats prone to skin problems. These imbalances may point to other serious underlying problems that need to be identified and treated.


Other allergies

Your cat may be allergic to “inhaled” allergens such as dust, pollen, mold, etc. Some flea treatments can cause “contact” allergies.


Fleas, lice and mites can all cause skin irritation. Bites from parasites are irritating, causing cats to bite and scratch themselves, damaging their skin.


Food intolerance

This can occur as a reaction to certain kinds of proteins in your cat’s food.


Bacterial infections can cause skin problems.



Cat skin problems to watch out for

Grey cat sits with little girl in pink shirt

If you have a cat, you’ve seen the effort she takes to keep her fur clean. Because of this well-groomed exterior, however, it may take some time before you identify skin conditions that can be bothering her. In fact, you may not even notice any sort of irritation unless you see one of these signs:

  • Red patches, spots or pimples
  • Scabs, crusts or thickened skin
  • Dry, flaky or scaly patches
  • Hair loss
  • Bad skin odor
  • Itching, scratching, licking or rubbing


What can I do to help with my cat’s itching
and scratching?

Cat looking slightly cross-eyed with owner behind it

Check for pests

Examine your cat’s coat and skin thoroughly for the presence of ticks, fleas, mites, lice, or other parasites. If you spot any, ask your veterinarian for advice and follow the appropriate treatment.


Orange cat eats food

Feed your cat well

Even if the cause of your cat’s skin condition is not related to nutrition, your cat may be helped with a high quality at food formulated especially for any skin sensitivity. Look for one containing high quality protein, essential fatty acids and antioxidants — all are important nutrients that can help heal and protect your cat’s skin.

Cat looking slightly irritated at camera

Consider allergies

If your cat is pest-free and otherwise healthy, her discomfort may be caused by an allergic reaction to something in her environment, such as pollen, dust or mold. It could result in allergic dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin that results in licking, scratching, loss of fur and dry flaky skin.



Talk to your vet

Skin conditions can have a wide range causes—from parasites to allergies, from hormonal imbalances to bacteria,
infections, stress and more. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about your cat’s individual health and treatment
options, and ask if switching her food might help.


Caring for your cat