Cats love to lick themselves. Sometimes, though, all that licking has less to do with good grooming and more to do with trying to ease a sore. In those instances, licking, biting, and scratching can lead to painful, infected lesions known as hot spots. There are several ways feline hot spots can come about. A hot spot might begin with skin allergies, flea bites, fungal infections like ringworm, a nick from a groomer, or even just a habit some cats have of scratching and chewing on themselves. Working a specific area of the skin creates these swollen, hairless spots on your cat. These may ooze and even have an odor.
Pet Medications for Hot Spots
Typically veterinarians will recommend hot spot treatments such as topical creams or oral antibiotics. In extremely severe cases, your cat may need to be treated with intravenous antibiotics or other prescription medications that ease the pain of hot spots and help avoid further complications.
Added to shampoos, creams, or skin ointments, benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial solution that eases hot spots as well as other skin infections.
This prescription bactericidal is only available as an injection and is specifically used in hospitals to treat bacterial skin infections that result from hot spots as well as other types of skin infections, bladder infections, or other conditions.
A powerful corticosteroid, desoximetasone may be used to treat inflammation that can result from hot spots, but it should be used with extreme caution and under the close watch of your vet.
Preventing Hot Spots
The best solution to feline hot spots is prevention, especially if your cat is prone to them. If your cat already has a wound that might begin to itch as it heals or if there is a rash or other irritation that you’re worried your cat might chew and scratch at, consider using a smart collar or Elizabethan collar. Using products that help deter flea infestations, soothe dry skin, and manage dermatitis or other skin irritations can also be effective ways to prevent hot spots.
At-Home Remedies for Cat Hot Spots
For cats who do develop hot spots, you can try at-home remedies such as cool wash cloths applied to the area or tea compresses. There are also over-the-counter solutions like which contain no steroids or antibiotics and are safe for felines to ingest in case they still do lick at the wound.
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