Cat Itches Intensely: An Overview of the Causes

If your favorite cat scratched once or twice, this is not a cause for concern. This is a normal condition for domestic fuzzies, so they eliminate discomfort and “comb” if the wool gets lost or tangled. There is no reason to panic – everything is normal.

It is a completely different matter if the cat itches constantly, very intensely, and it has additional symptoms that suggest to the owner that it is a disease.

In this case, additional signs appear:

  • The appearance of scratching on the skin of the body, muzzle, ears, limbs;
  • Signs of parasites;
  • Skin rashes, spots, flaking;
  • Hair loss, local baldness;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Weight loss;
  • Lethargy, apathy, or Vice versa, increased aggressiveness. When trying to stroke or examine a sore spot, the cat can even bite its beloved owner;
  • Increase in body temperature;
  • Discharge from the nose, eyes, and ears;
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

the cat itches profusely

Top possible causes of itching

Cats can itch for the following conditions and diseases:

Infestation with parasites

Infestation with parasites, ticks, and insect bites. Most often these are ordinary fleas. They bite, drink blood, and at the site of the bite there is a strong skin itch. To calm it, cats itch, sometimes to the point of blood and the formation of inflamed, suppurated crusts. In addition to fleas, itching is provoked by the bites of lice, hair-eaters, subcutaneous mites: scabies and Demodex, as well as bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes and ants.

Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction. The most common cases are food allergies, when the cat reacts with itching and rashes to certain foods. External symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, and indigestion. Allergies can also be non-food. Cats, like people, react painfully to household chemicals, cosmetics, ordinary household dust, aerosols and pungent odors, toxic dyes, parquet varnish, and so on.

Skin diseases of fungal or bacterial nature

Skin diseases of fungal or bacterial nature. Cats often suffer from various types of lichen, dermatitis, pyoderma.

Ear infections

The inflammatory process can only capture the auricle or be located in the middle ear. Otitis media causes severe pain, pus discharge, and itching. The cat shakes its head and scratches its ear with its paw, trying to get rid of severe discomfort and pain.


Helminthiasis. The presence of helminth infestation causes itching in the anal area, dry skin, hair loss and tarnish in cats. All this can cause the cat to itch very often and intensely.

Failure to comply with hygiene

Failure to comply with hygiene. If the pet is not taken care of, its hair falls off, forms tangles that merge into whole lumps. They easily get dirt, dust, plant particles, especially spikelets, seeds, small spikes, insects settle. The skin under the tangles preet, inflamed, there is a strong irritation and itching. Stray cats and animals that live in rural areas and lead a free lifestyle often suffer from such problems.

Frequent washing of the pet

Excessive fascination with the owners of frequent washing of the animal. Too often, you can not wash the cat, it removes the protective lipid layer on the skin, it dries up, flakes, irritates and ceases to perform protective functions. Itching appears and a secondary infection can easily join.

Use of powders for wool. Exhibition animals are often treated with special powders to improve the condition and fluffiness of the coat. If the powder is not combed and washed out in a timely manner, it can become a breeding ground for microbes or cause an allergic reaction. The same applies to the use of other special products – deodorants, glitter sprays, and so on.

Very dry air in the room

This may be a natural summer heat, but more often the cause of skin itching in cats is a working air conditioner or heating system. In both cases, the air contains a minimal amount of moisture and leads to drying of the surface layer of the skin. It flakes off and provokes itching, the cat itches to reduce it.

Lack of vitamins and minerals

Lack of vitamins and minerals, poor or monotonous nutrition, malnutrition. An emaciated and weakened animal has a dull, sparse coat, dry skin that is easily irritated and inflamed. It is not surprising that the cat often itches furiously, because it suffers greatly from itching.


Stress, especially repetitive ones, can cause itching that goes away after the trigger is eliminated. The most common cause of stress is moving, changing owners, having a new pet or having a baby.

Some medications can also irritate the skin and mucous membranes, so when they are used, itching occurs as one of the side effects. When the drug is canceled, the symptoms most often go away on their own. Sometimes requires the use of antihistamines.

the cat scratched


In addition to the most pronounced and obvious cases (a dirty animal with fleas and tangles in its fur), only an experienced veterinarian can determine the reason why the cat is scratching. He will examine the four-legged patient, send him for blood, urine and fecal tests, and take a scrape from the affected area of the skin to identify the pathogen.

After receiving the diagnosis, the veterinarian will prescribe treatment and prescribe medications. Basically, the treatment is outpatient, and only in extremely difficult situations the cat will be left in the clinic for a few days.


The most important condition for getting rid of itching is to follow all the instructions of the veterinarian. You can not arbitrarily replace drugs with analogues, reduce or increase the dosage, shorten or extend the treatment time. This can cause an exacerbation of the disease or turn the disease into a chronic form.

Treatment is always specialized, so there is no General formula for all cases.


To prevent the animal from suffering, you need to protect it from helminths and parasites, keep it clean and properly fed, and periodically visit a veterinary clinic for vaccinations and preventive examinations.