If you’ve got an itchy cat in your hands, chances are you’ve seen these behaviors in your own home: constant scratching behind the ears, non-stop chewing and licking of the paws or legs. Witnessing an uncomfortably itchy cat can be heartbreaking, but locating the cause behind the itch can help you ease his discomfort and eliminate scratching. While there are a number of possible causes for an irritated cat, an itchy skin home remedy may be the answer to his problem.
8 Natural Home Remedies for Cat and Dog Allergies:
1. Treat hot spots with equal parts Listerine, baby oil, and water.
Put all three in a spray bottle, and massage a small amount into the skin three times daily. Clearly, caution is indicated and veterinary supervision is a must.
2. Wipe allergens off of your itchy dog.
The simple act of wiping the dog or cat down with a wet towel when they come in from outside can really help decrease the percutaneous absorption of allergens.
3. Soothe itchy skin with an oatmeal soak.
A mixture of oatmeal and water can be rubbed onto the dog’s skin to help relieve dryness and soothe itchiness. The oatmeal should be left on the skin for approximately 10 minutes and then rinsed off with warm water. Baby food oatmeal makes a great, inexpensive soak.
4. Add a complete oil to your pet’s diet.
A simple way to treat dry skin and dandruff is to add a complete oil to your pet’s diet. Corn, safflower, peanut, and sunflower are examples of oils that contain all the essential fatty acids. Your cat can take about half a teaspoon with each meal.
Dogs can be given one to three teaspoons with each meal, depending on size. But remember that more is not better since oils are quite fattening, and some dogs can develop pancreatitis if fed too much fat.
5. Get creative with treats.
Use little, white marshmallows as treats for food-allergic dogs. They’re low calorie, and dogs love them.
6. Do not use tea tree oil to treat skin conditions in pets.
Tea tree oil causes nasty contact allergies in pets, up to and including neurological reactions. Never put human acne medications on your pet. Human skin is much more acidic than pet skin, and using any human skin or hair products on your pet — including shampoo — can cause contact irritation.
Natural remedies for hot spots and allergies include Epsom salts. The healing properties of Epsom salt have been known for generations. Gentle soaking of just about any infected area of skin with Epsom salts — including feet, feline acne, hot spots, and more — once or twice daily, discourages infection, reduces swelling, and promotes healing. Epsom salts are available at any local pharmacy.
To apply, use a folded cloth applied gently to the affected area. If the hot spots are under the feet, soak feet in a saturated solution by adding as much of the Epsom salts to a warm/hot bowl of water until no more will dissolve. Soak for five to 10 minutes. Do not let your dog drink the water.
7. Get rid of plastic food dishes.
Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. Throw out your plastic food and water bowls. Plastic tends to develop tiny cracks that can harbor bacteria, which cause reactions in sensitive dogs and cats.
Pets that are sensitive to these plastic food bowl bacterial allergens often develop puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples around the lips and chin, and sometimes even around the eyes or ears.
Replace the plastic with stainless, glass, or ceramic food bowls and keep them meticulously clean, including washing them in the dishwasher at least weekly.
8. Fungal infections
Ringworm is a fungal infection that makes a red, crusty or scaly patch on the skin in a circular shape. The area shows hair loss in the center with a red ring around the outside of the circle about 1/2 to 2 inches across. Ringworm may become infected from excessive licking and scratching. It is highly contagious to other pets and humans warn Dr. Hanen Abdel Rahman. Cats contract ringworm from other infected animals or contact with skin cells from an infected animal.
If you suspect your cat has ringworm, immediately quarantine him and take him to your veterinarian. He likely will prescribe an antifungal and antibiotics.
Psychological hair pulling prevention
Psychological hair pulling will require a slightly different approach to treatment and prevention, but once you’ve identified the trigger that’s setting off your cat’s compulsive tendencies, you will be able to curb her attempts over time. Some cats will require more stimulation and playtime to keep their teeth off of their fur, while others will need a calm and stress-free environment to keep them from pulling their hair out. Each course of action will depend on your cat.
Remedies for Cat, To determine the right path for your cat, it’s recommended that you consult your veterinarian or a behaviorist to help you assess the situation. Keep an eye out for anything that may be inducing anxiety in your cat so that you can take steps toward eliminating the stressor from your cat’s life if possible.