Scabby Cat Disease

Updated July 19, 2017

Scabby cat disease is also known as papulocrusting dermatitis, blotch, feline eczema, military eczema and military dermatitis. It is a skin condition that produces inflammation and red, crusty lesions on a cat's skin. These lesions appear to have a seedy appearance, more specifically a millet seed appearance, and they can cause intense itching. A cat with scabby cat disease will spend much time licking and scratching at the lesions. This intense licking and scratching can cause even more damage to the skin and hair loss.


Hypersensitivity to flea bites is one of the most common causes of scabby cat disease. Allergies, mites, bacterial infections, yeast infections, ringworm, poor diet, drug hypersensitivity, immune diseases and hormonal disorders can also produce scabby cat disease.


Scabby cat disease can appear anywhere on a cat's body. However, it generally appears on the back, neck and head.


The lesions on a cat will be examined, and if they are identified by a veterinarian as scabby cat diseases, the next step is diagnosing the cause of the disease. A fecal exam may be performed to check for intestinal parasites, along with a skin biopsy to check for cancer, as well as a biochemical profile to see if the legions are being caused by a medical condition. Skin scrapings and fur samples will be checked for parasite infections and fungal infections. If the legions are located around the tail, fleas are often the cause of the disease. If the lesions are concentrated around the head, mites are often the cause of the disease.


If fleas or mites are found to be the cause of scabby cat disease, the cat and home will need to be treated to remove all fleas and mites. Strict, routine flea and mite control will need to be implanted to maintain a flea and mite free environment and feline. If a case of scabby cat disease is caused by internal parasites, medications will be prescribed to eliminate them. If allergies are thought to be the cause of the lesions, a cat may be placed on a hypoallergenic diet to see if the inflammation goes away. Medications such as antibiotics will be prescribed if it's determined that a fungal or yeast infection is the cause of the disease. Special shampoos are recommended to help relieve the inflammation and itching until the disease clears itself from the cat's system.


If the cause of the scabby cat disease is discovered and treated properly, a reoccurrence is not likely. If scabby cat does reoccur, it may be the result of a different cause than the first.

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Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for and Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.