Skin diseases

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Superficial pyoderma in a 13-year-old male domestic shorthair cat. Courtesy Dr Jim Euclid
Notoedres spp infestation in a Domestic shorthair cat
Microsporum spp infection (Ringworm) in a Domestic shorthair kitten
Ulcerative nasal dermatitis (cold sores) in an FHV-infected cat that also suffered chronic FLUTD, sinusitis and conjunctivitis
Feline plasma cell pododermatitis of unknown etiology
Pemphigus foliaceous in a 4 year old cat that presented acutely with inappetance and lethargy
A 6-year-old Domestic shorthair cat with plasma cell chondritis, showing bilateral distortion of the pinnae. (Courtesy F. Dalzell)

Skin diseases encompasses a feline medical specialty within itself.

Skin conditions are one of the most common presentation in cats and account for up to 20% of causes of presentation to veterinary clinics worldwide[1]. Nutritional suplements rich in omega-# and omega-6 oils appear beneficial in many cases, with flaxseed oil providing a stronger anti-inflammatory effect and less immunosuppression compared with fish oils[2].

  • Genetic skin diseases
- Long hair
- Rex coat
- Congenital hypotrichosis
- Follicular dysplasia
- Hair dysplasia
- Pili torti
- Hereditary epidermolysis bullosa
- Hereditary greasy seborrhoea
- Cutaneous asthenia
- Urticaria pigmentosa
Genetic abnormalities in melanin pigmentation
- Vitiligo
- Waardenburg syndrome
- Piebaldism
- Oculocutaneous albinism
- Chediak-Higashi syndrome
- Lentigines
  • Degenerative skin diseases
- Lentigo in old cats
  • Psychologically-induced skin diseases
- Psychogenic alopecia
  • Allergic/Immune-mediated skin diseases
- Skin fragility syndrome
- Atopy
- Eosinophilic granuloma complex
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Food allergy dermatitis
- Idiopathic facial dermatitis in Persian cats
- Idiopathic lymphocytic mural folliculitis
- Idiopathic ulcerative dermatitis
- Pemphigus
- Plasma cell pododermatitis
- Plasma cell chondritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Cutaneous xanthoma
- FHV dermatitis
- Pox virus infection
- Feline sarcoids - possible association with bovine fibropapilloma virus
- Superficial pyoderma
- Deep pyoderma
- Acne
- Juvenile pustular dermatitis
- Miscellaneous bacterial infections
- Ringworm
- Malassezia spp
- Dermatophytic pseudo-mycetome of Persian cats
- Deep fungal opportunist infections
- Paronychia
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Mites
- Cheyletiella spp
- Demodex spp
- Notoedres spp
- Otodectes spp
- Trombiculosis
- Sarcoptes spp
- Nematodes
- Rhabditis strongyloides, Strongyloides spp, Ancylostoma spp, Anatrichosoma spp, Lagochilascaris spp
  • Neoplastic skin diseases
- Basal cell tumour
- Cutaneous horn - benign
- Ceruminous adenoma, :ceruminous carcinoma
- Calcinosis cutis, metastatic
- Cutaneous haemangiosarcoma
- Cutaneous xanthomatosis
- Epidermal cysts
- Feline bowenoid in situ carcinoma
- Fibromatose
- Fibropapilloma (sarcoids)
- Fibrosarcoma
- Follicular lymphoma
- Lymphocytosis
- Lymphosarcoma - cutaneous
- Lymphosarcoma - mycosis fungoides
- Lymphosarcoma - sezary syndrome
- Lymphosarcoma - pagetoid reticulosis
- Malignant fibrohistiocytoma
- Mammary adenocarcinoma - cutaneous metastasis
- Mast cell tumour
- Melanoma
- Pancreatic paraneoplastic alopecia
- Paraneoplastic exfoliative dermatitis
- Paraneoplastic pruritus
- Pulmonary adenocarcinoma - cutaneous metastasis
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Superficial necrolytic dermatitis


  1. Scott, DW, Miller, WH & Griffin, CE (2001) Bacterial skin diseases. In Muller, W (Ed): Muller and Kirk's Small animal dermatology. 6th Edn. WB Saunders, Philadelphia. pp:274-335
  2. Park HJ et al (2011) Dietary fish oil and flaxseed oil suppress inflammation and immunity in cats. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 141(3-4):301-306