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What is Skin Rash?

The skin is the body’s first line of defense against the hazards of the outside world. When a potential invader comes in contact with the skin, such as a bacteria or fungus, the immune system fights back, sending specialized cells to the point of impact. However, when the body reacts to a substance, the body has an inflammatory response and often results in an allergic reaction. Skin rash in cats is a highly pruritic condition that commonly affects the underbelly, feet, nose, ears and mouth of a cat. The underlying cause of skin rash in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, making the substance difficult to pinpoint.

Skin rash in cats is an overreaction of the immune system to an otherwise harmless substance. Skin rash in cats, also known as feline contact dermatitis, is caused by direct or indirect contact with an irritant, or allergenic substance.

Skin Rash Average Cost

From 226 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Skin Rash in Cats

Skin rash in cats will cause a notable reddening of the skin. The area affected will be irritated, pruritic (itchy), and inflamed. Common areas affected by skin rash include the cat’s anus, abdomen, toes, ears, and chin, as there is not much fur to protect the skin from the irritating substance. Additional symptoms linked to skin rash in cats includes: 

  • Papules 
  • Blisters
  • Vesicles
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Dandruff
  • Scratching
  • Biting of the skin
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Causes of Skin Rash in Cats

Skin rash in cats is a result of a feline coming into direct or indirect contact with a substance. The immune system mistakenly takes one of these harmless substances as an intruder and releases a chemical response to the skin, resulting in an allergic reaction. Skin rash in cats can be caused by either an irritant or allergenic substance. 

Irritant Skin Rash Causes

  • Chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Topical medications
  • Detergents
  • Soaps
  • Perfumes
  • Plastic
  • Fibers 

Allergenic Skin Rash Causes 

  • Insect bites
  • Foods
  • Mites
  • Fleas
  • Medications
  • Plants
  • Bacterial or fungal infection 
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Diagnosis of Skin Rash in Cats

Diagnosis of a skin rash in cats will require a review of the cat’s medical history, plus a great deal of communication between the pet owner and the veterinarian. Pet owners will be required to tell the veterinarian when the symptoms were first noted, where the cat spends most of her time, and what the pet owner suspects could be the cause of the skin rash. Any new additions to the home such as furniture, deodorizers, or carpeting should be noted as textile materials could be the root of the problem. Changes the pet owner has made to the cat’s food, medications, preventative flea/tick treatments, and even a new collar or food dish should be taken into consideration. 

In order to make an accurate diagnosis, the veterinarian may choose to perform a patch test. A patch test is a simple test in which the veterinarian will take a sample of the suspected irritant and tape it directly on the cat’s skin. The substance will remain on the cat’s skin for a duration of time, then removed for assessment. If a rash appears underneath the taped substance, the skin rash substance has been pinpointed. If the tape test proves ineffective, the veterinarian may ask the client to remove the feline from the suspected irritant. He/she may also ask the owner to monitor the cat’s daily activities and daily diet to see if they can detect any possible causes at home. 

If the underlying cause of the skin rash remains undetected, the veterinarian may move on to perform an allergy test on the cat’s blood serum, conduct a bacterial culture, or perform a skin biopsy. 

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Treatment of Skin Rash in Cats

Once the underlying cause of the skin rash has been pinpointed, the feline will need to be removed from that substance immediately. The doctor may bathe the feline with specialty shampoo to remove the particles of the substance from the skin and apply a topical corticosteroid to the cleansed skin to relieve symptoms. The best treatment option for skin rash in cats is to remove the irritating substance from the feline’s environment, but if the substance cannot be removed, therapeutic treatment will likely be prescribed.

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Recovery of Skin Rash in Cats

The prognosis for a cat with skin rash varies from feline to feline. Some felines’ immune response balances out over time and the substance no longer causes the feline to develop contact dermatitis. However, other cats simply have an over-responsive immune system and pet owners may find more than one substance causes their pet’s skin to break out in a rash. The best way cat owners can keep their cat’s skin rash under control is by following the management and preventative program established by their veterinarian.

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Skin Rash Average Cost

From 226 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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Skin Rash Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Kitten

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Patches Clear Oozing Hair Looking Thin Around Ears

It just started recently and I’m not sure why she eat both dry and wet food for kittens. She drinks water. I showered her and used I feel so purrty shampoo for kittens. She doesn’t go outside I don’t own any plans.

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That looks like she may have an infection on her skin, from the pictures, though it is hard to say without being able to see her. Skin infections can worsen quickly, and the best thing to do would be to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see what might be causing this problem. Once they have seen her, they will be able to let you know what treatment she needs. I hope that all goes well for her!

Oct. 5, 2020

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Ragdoll Persian

dog-age-icon

Six Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Reddish Rssh On Her Belly Not Moved Also To Her Left Upper Leg

Princess has seen the vet a couple of times and she has done nothing for her.. i believe that there should be something done to relieve her rash which is getting worse. thank you virginia resech

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this venue is not set up for urgent questions. With out being able to see her, unfortunately, I don't have any way to see what might be able to be done for her, but I agree, there is likely a way to resolve the rash. If your veterinarian has not been able to help her, you can either call them and let them know that she is not better, or seek a second opinion.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Domestic cat

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bumps All Over

Paws went to the vet Thursday and got a shot of convenia and depo medrol. These bumps appeared after he brought in a squirrel a week before. This is the first time we have ever noticed a rash. he also had his ears cleaned etc. My question......this is an active cat , and he is not much better. he will eat drink etc. they sent home shampoo to try in a week. question.....should he better and can i give him something for bumps

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, these emails are not set up for urgent messages. With those medications, he should have improved, I agree. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 14, 2020

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Domestic cat

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Hair On His Front Legs

Why as my cat chewed away some of his fur on his front legs

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this venue is not set up to handle urgent emails. There are many possible reasons that this may be happening, including parasites, allergies, bacterial or fungal infections, or behavioral issues. Since I cannot see your cat, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them if needed.

Oct. 17, 2020

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Scarlett

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DOMESTIC

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Bumps
Baldness

My cat is about a year old. I just noticed that she has a few bald spots on her belly and inner thigh. On one thigh there are some bumps. She does lick herself a lot so I'm not sure if that is causing it. I touched the spots and it doesnt seem to bother her. She never goes outside. And we don't have any plants

Sept. 16, 2018

Scarlett's Owner

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Lou

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Domestic cats

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14 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Rash

My cat is being treated for pancreatitis. She has experienced diarrea for three days. Her anus and private parts have rash and are irrproduct.nmaking painful. Can I use Badger diaper cream for babies? It has zinc oxide 10%, but he is not leaking it.please recommend other product

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Charzard

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Tabby Cat

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Rash
Red Bumps
Irritated

I have a male tabby cat. He is an inside cat, but he has a habit of running in and out the house, and we'll have to pick him back up and take him inside. I noticed the lower part of his tummy is really red, and bumpy. He doesn't seem to be biting and scratching excessively, but the sight certainly isn't pretty, and it's gotten worse over time. My first assumption is he's allergic to a certain type of plant(s), but I am not completely sure. Any suggestions? Advice? Anything would help, thank you!

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shiloh

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Black and white

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6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Scabbing

My female cat has twice developed redness above her eyes up to her ear opening, it is now scabbed up and i have seen her scratching at it. the first time it healed up in a few days but this time it seems to be lingering. what can this be?

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Cleopatra

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Tortoiseshell

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1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Rash

I have a female multicolored tabby cat who is a year old already had a litter of kittens I put a flea collar around her neck I noticed that she was getting red bumps so I took the flea collar off and her skin was very irritated cuz she have been allergic to the flea collar because now she has spots and redness and inflamed around her neck.

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Compton

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Domestic Short haired

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Rash
Stress
Loss Of Hair,

Our cat Compton has had a history of getting stressed out with new animals in the house, specifically when we got a dog last year and my cat lost hair on his tummy and side when we got him, brought him to the vet 4 times in 2 months with no changes and the vet couldn't figure it out! Another 2 months later and our cat grew all his hair back!! We chalked it up to stress. Fast forward to 2 months ago and we had adopted another dog. This dog hasn't been around cats so it has put our cats in some especially stressful situations. Compton has lost hair again on his tummy & side, but this time it's come with some sort of rash. It's making me nervous bc the rash has actually gotten scabby. But it's the same situation and I really believe it's just from stress again. Any suggestions? We have half the house blocked off where just the cats can hangout without having to deal with the new dog (who has become so much more calm with the cats) and Compton is finally starting to come around the dog side of the house and be brave! I'm hoping it just goes away soon....

Skin Rash Average Cost

From 226 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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