Cats are fastidious in their habits, but that doesn't make them immune to a variety of skin diseases. Cats that are allowed outdoors and which make contact with other cats are the most likely to develop serious skin infections. Some of these infections are transmissible to people and can cause serious problems, especially in individuals with compromised immune system. Proper vaccination and routine health care are the best ways to limit infections in cats.
Underlying problems that can predispose cats to infections include:
- Trauma to the skin including abrasions, punctures, excessive wetting of the skin, insect bites and lesions from excessive itching, and knotted or matted fur.
- Foreign particles lodged in or under the skin such as foxtails, thorns, or glass.
- Drugs such as corticosteroids, hormones and anti-cancer therapies can suppress the immune system and impair the body's own ability to fight infections.
- Underlying internal medical problems such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus infection (feline AIDS), feline infectious peritonitis, feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, kidney disease, cancer, malnutrition, internal parasites, Cushing's disease, or immune-mediated diseases such as pemphigus and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Below is the list of most common skin diseases in cats: