For most cats, fleas cause mild itching and annoyance. However, some cats are allergic to the fleas' saliva, and they develop very itchy, sensitive skin with scabby patches in response to a flea infestation. This condition is known as flea bite dermatitis. Here's a look at how to treat this condition if you suspect your cat may be suffering.
Eliminate the Fleas
The first thing you need to do is rid your cat of fleas so that he or she is not exposed to any additional saliva. The easiest way to do this is with a spot-on flea treatment, which you can purchase over-the-counter at most pet stores. Look for one with the active ingredient "fipronil" or "selamectin." The treatment is a liquid which must be dispensed at the base of your cat's neck. Make sure you part your cat's hair before applying the treatment so that it comes directly into contact with your cat's skin.
It will take a few days for the treatment to completely take effect and kill all of the fleas. In the meantime, you can work on ridding your cat's environment of fleas. Wash all of your cat's bedding in hot water, and dry it on high heat in the dryer. (The heat will kill fleas). Vacuum your home thoroughly, and then dispose of the vacuum bag outside immediately so that fleas and flea eggs don't find their way back onto your carpet.
Soothe Your Cat With An Oatmeal Bath
Once the flea treatment has had a few days to take effect, you will want to give your cat a bath in oatmeal water to soothe his itchy skin and help jump-start the healing process of the scabby areas. To make an oatmeal bath, begin by adding 1 cup of oats to a blender. Blend them until they form a fine powder. Then, mix this fine oatmeal into a small tub of warm water. Do not add shampoo or soap -- you don't want to wash away the flea treatment.
Immerse the cat in the oatmeal bath, and try to keep him calm and sitting quietly in the bath for as long as possible. If the cat is really struggling, you can let him get out and drip dry. The oatmeal will already be on his skin and will have a soothing effect. If your cat licks himself and consumes some oatmeal, it won't harm him.
Once the fleas are gone and you cat has had an oatmeal bath, his itchiness and scabbiness should improve slowly over the following weeks. Contact a business, such as the Pet Vet Animal Clinic & Mobile Practice Ltd for more information.