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Bacterial and Fungal Dermatitis Conditions in Cats

Dermatitis issues can arise from food, environment and parasitic allergies. However, bacterial and fungal infections are also common causes of skin conditions. In this article, we explain the most common bacterial and fungal causes of dermatitis.
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How Do Bacterial Infections in Cats Arise?

Bacterial infections in cats may arise when their immune system has been weakened or compromised. Cats that have recently been ill, kittens and older cats may be more susceptible to bacterial infections.

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What Is a Fungal Infection?

Fungal infections arise when a cat has inhaled or come into contact with fungal spores. If the fungal spores take over a large enough area of the cat's body, it can overwhelm their immune system and result in common dermatitis signs, such as inflamed skin, crusting and hair loss.

Fungal Ringworm Infections in Cats 

Although ringworm in cats is not life-threatening, it is highly contagious and should be treated as soon as signs appear. Look out for a round or ring-shaped rash appearing on their skin.

Ringworm is caused by fungus settling in and feeding on the skin and can be spread by contaminated animals and objects.

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Bacterial Infections in Cats

Staph is the most common type of bacterial infection that can affect cats. You may also see staph referred to as pyoderma in some articles. Staph infections can be caused by a number of issues, such as food allergies, parasites, environmental allergies and even open wounds. Your veterinarian will look for signs of hair loss with red and inflamed skin.

If your cat is diagnosed with staph your veterinarian is likely to first resolve the infection and then identify the underlying issues, before assessing long-term management options.

Causes of Chin Acne in Cats

Chin acne is also known by veterinarians as follicular keratinization and can arise from food allergies. Chin acne occurs when there is an overproduction of keratin, a protein in the skin. This excess of keratin causes hair follicles to become blocked, especially around the chin area and can result in small spots appearing, often alongside blackheads and whiteheads, with hair loss and redness potentially arising in serious cases of chin acne in cats.

Speak to your veterinarian for information on diagnosis and management options.