Scabs on a Cat — 7 Frequent Causes

Cat Rash

Scabs on a cat can look just a little unusual and complicated typically, largely due to all of the fur. Hiding beneath a thick coat of dense fur, scabs can simply stay hidden and seemingly pop up out of nowhere.

Since fur makes it tough to see them, folks typically really feel a scab first after which can’t inform what it’s as a result of the fur is in the best way. Scabs often really feel like a dry, raised bump, or typically a bunch of bumps, sitting on the highest of the pores and skin intertwined with the fur.

Typically the scab is discovered so late the preliminary trigger has fully healed, and the scab itself will get caught within the fur above the newly healed pores and skin. This may be complicated although as a result of when somebody tries to drag it off it pulls on the hair, which hurts! It may be onerous to inform if the cat is in ache due to what’s beneath the scab or as a result of the scab is pulling on the hair.

Figuring out the frequent causes of scabs and the way they appear completely different might help you establish a scab.  To study extra, learn beneath.

The 7 Causes of Scabs on a Cat

1. Flea Chew Allergy

One of the frequent causes of scabs is an allergy to fleas.  When a flea bites an allergic cat the pores and skin across the chunk over-reacts and creates a small, localized, pustule. This pustule is nearly a cross between a blister, with discharge oozing out of the pores and skin, and a rash with redness and irritation. The pustule dries out pretty shortly and varieties a small, rice-sized scab nestled within the fur on prime of the pores and skin. Once you run your hand over these scabs it appears like little spots of rice beneath the fur.

Fleas are inclined to congregate on the rump (on the again simply in entrance of the tail) and so that is the most typical place to search out this kind of scab.

The allergic response is itchy. So, cats can additional injure themselves as they over-chew and scratch at themselves. This additional irritates the pores and skin creating extra websites for microabrasions and scratches which flip into extra scabs.

A flea chunk allergy turns into a vicious cycle perpetuating an increasing number of harm to the pores and skin because it turns into itchier and extra painful. For this reason it’s sometimes called Flea Chew Miliary Dermatitis. The flea chunk half describes the trigger, the miliary describes the small rice-sized scabs, and dermatitis describes the multifactorial pores and skin irritation.

close up fleas on cat
Picture Credit score: KanphotoSS, Shutterstock

2. Mites

Mites can even create scabs, particularly if a cat is allergic. Mites are microscopic bugs that bury into the pores and skin. They are often very itchy, so typically a cat with mites overgrooms and scratches their pores and skin creating wounds that then—you guessed it—scab over.

Cats which can be allergic to mites can even develop Mite Miliary Dermatitis, similar to a cat with a flea allergy. Whereas a veterinarian would want to diagnose and differentiate the 2, mites don’t often keep over the rump as fleas do, so miliary dermatitis can typically be present in different areas such because the shoulders, ears, or face.

3. Catfight Wounds

Cats can get scabs in two methods once they battle with different cats. Essentially the most intuitive approach is that if they merely get scratched by a cat claw. This varieties a shallow wound that’s hidden by fur and may not be discovered till it has fashioned a scab.

Most of these scabs range in form and dimension. One of the best ways to inform if it’s a trauma-induced scab is by its randomness; it may be wherever on the physique, any form or dimension, and there tends to solely be one or two.

The opposite, extra frequent, however barely extra sophisticated mechanism is from a cat chunk.

When a cat will get bitten by one other cat the wound is often a tiny puncture that may be tough to see. However, after a number of days, the micro organism from the cat’s tooth festers beneath the pores and skin and varieties an abscess. Many individuals deliver their cat to the vet at this level as a result of the abscess is so painful. But when the cat hides the abscess, it will possibly burst open by itself and kind a wound which then scabs over.

This kind of scab can be wherever on the physique however is commonly across the shoulders.  Essentially the most tell-tale signal that this scab was a cat chunk abscess is the extraordinary quantity of discharge and swelling round it.

Two young ginger and brown cats fighting in the garden
Picture Credit score: Mariya Ilmaz, Shutterstock

4. Ringworm

Ringworm is brought on by a fungus, referred to as Dermatophytosis, that infects the pores and skin. It’s commonest in younger cats and might be onerous to establish as a result of it will possibly look so completely different.

The basic case of ringworm is a spherical lesion with dry, flakey pores and skin. However the an infection can even create little pockets of pustules that blister and scab over. The fur can get caught within the scab and even whether it is now not connected by the foundation, it will possibly get caught to the pores and skin by the scab, camouflaging the an infection beneath a mat of fur and scabs.

The excellent news is that ringworm is often not extreme, and most cats will treatment themselves after a number of lengthy weeks. However the unhealthy information is, it’s contagious to people and different animals, so eliminating it as quick as potential with medical therapy is often the most suitable choice.

5. Climate Accidents (Frostbite/sunburn)

The ideas of the ears and nostril have much less protecting fur, so they’re extra delicate to excessive climate than different components of the physique. Particularly in cats with gentle or white fur, the ears and nostril might be injured by frostbite or by sunburn.

These accidents kind because the pores and skin turns into infected and dies off forming a scab that turns right into a scar. The ideas of the ears particularly are inclined to kind scars that from a distance appear like recent scabs as a result of they’re often, such a darkish reddish-black.

Defending cats from excessive solar and chilly is one of the best ways to keep away from this kind of scabbing and everlasting scarring.

cat with skin allergy
Picture Credit score: eremeevdv, Shutterstock

6. Bug Bites

Bug bites can even kind small scabs significantly if a cat has an allergic response to the chunk, or they over scratch it.

Mosquitos and different biting flies are inclined to chunk cats the place there’s much less fur, so on the ears, nostril, across the eyes, and even the toes.

These scabs are often small and pinpoint. They are often pink and infected across the scab itself. And they are often itchy, so for those who scratch or rub them your cat might lean into it.

Even a tick chunk can go away a scab if the tick has fallen off or the cat has groomed the tick off. Ticks have a tendency to cover in hard-to-reach locations such because the ears.

7. Zits

Allergic reactions in a cat look very completely different than they do in people. Whereas people have itchy eyes and sneeze, cats often develop itchy pores and skin rashes – amongst different signs. These allergic pores and skin rashes kind pustules that kind into scabs.

One frequent place for these rashes is across the decrease chin. Small, pink bumps that may appear like pimples or blisters kind and burst forming little scabs poking out on the chin. As a result of this kind of allergic response seems to be a lot like teenage pimples it’s sometimes called chin pimples.

Cat rashes acne_
Picture Credit score: FCG, Shutterstock


Scabs are fairly frequent in cats, however they do must be taken care of earlier than they flip right into a worse inflammatory response. Figuring out the supply and reason for the scab might help you stop them and hold your cat comfortable and wholesome.  


  • Scherk, M., Little, S., Maddison, J. E., Murrell, J., Hibbert, A., & Taylor, S. BSAVA Handbook of Feline Follow. A Basis Handbook. BSAVA British Small Animal Veterinary Affiliation.
  • The Merck veterinary handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ :Merck & Co., Inc.


Featured Picture Credit score: Yaya Photographs, Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *