My cat has scabs, what's wrong?

Scabbed cat

The cat has the peculiarity that it knows well how to hide its pain, for this reason, sometimes when we realize that something is happening to it, the disease or injury has already had time to get worse enough for the animal to complain. A) Yes, Feline complaints should always be taken as a red flag, because when we listen to them it is because the furry can no longer bear the pain or discomfort.

With skin lesions things get more complicated, because at the beginning and when they are small with the fur they are not seen. Therefore, you have to review it from time to time. Let's see why my cat has scabs.

Why do scabs appear?

White cats are vulnerable to squamous cell cancer

There are many causes for which scabs appear, and they are the following:

  • After having fought with another cat.
  • For having mites, a bacterial or fungal infection (fungus).
  • Immune system diseases, such as allergies.
  • Flea bites
  • Tumors

The cat may have scabs on its neck, head, and / or rear. But anyway, it does not hurt to examine it well for everything.

My cat has wounds on the skin

When we see that our beloved cat has wounds on his skin, we usually think that another feline has done them (if he goes outside), or that it may be something more serious. But in reality there are several causes of the appearance of dermatological lesions:

  • Allergies: be food or as an adverse reaction to some products. The symptoms, apart from injuries, are coughing, sneezing and / or conjunctivitis.
  • Cancer: such as squamous cell carcinoma, which is the most dangerous. It can appear on the nose, ears or eyelids, and is very common in cats with white hair (or those with white areas) from 7 years old, although it can appear at any age.
  • Infections: acne o tub. The first presents as black dots on the face, and the second as circular lesions and alopecia. The latter is contagious to humans.
  • Bites: caused by other animals during fights or games.
  • Parasites: be fleas, ticks or mites. When they bite, they itch, and of course, the animal reacts by scratching. Unless it is treated for deworming, and considering how sharp the feline claws are, it is normal for injuries to be caused.

My cat has black scabs on his nose

If the cat has scabs, it should be taken to the vet

Image - Flickr / Ryan McGilchrist

The causes of a cat having black scabs on its nose can be several:

  • Respiratory disease: like a simple cold accompanied by nasal secretions. If the cat cannot get to clean its nose well, and if we do not pay too much attention to it, those snot can turn black, like scabs.
    With gauze or cloth dampened with warm water, they are easily removed.
  • Cancer: In the first stage, it is simply seen with an almost insignificant wound, but as it progresses, we will see that it is as if the tumor "ate" the nose, starting with its surface. It is usually accompanied by other symptoms: bad breath (halitosis), loss of appetite, ulcers or sores inside the mouth, weight loss, listlessness.
    The most effective treatment is prevention: avoid the animal spending a lot of time in the sun, applying sunscreen for cats, and take it to the vet once a year for a complete check-up.

My cat has bald spots above the eyes

That a cat has bald spots is usually a cause for concern, but if it has them above its eyes ... even more. The causes can be:

  • Scabies or ringworm: two very infectious parasitic diseases, which occur with scabs and hairless areas, as well as intense itching.
  • Natural cause: from above the eyes to the ears these animals have less hair, and some are more noticeable than others.

My cat scratches a lot and gets wounds

You most likely have a parasitic infection. To get him back to calm, take him to the vet for examination. Thus, he will tell us exactly what he has and, if it is parasites, he will put an antiparasitic on it and give us a cream that will help him heal the wounds.

What symptoms can the cat have?

Symptoms can vary depending on the cat and the cause, but The main ones are:

  • Excessive licking due to itching.
  • Trouble breathing well in the case of tumors in the nose.
  • You may get to bite a little causing injuries.
  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • He is restless, nervous, and cannot rest easy.
  • Diarrhea and / or vomiting.

How are they treated?

The treatment will vary depending on the cause that has caused the appearance of the scabs, so it is necessary that, whenever we see that our cat has, let's take him to the vet for examination and treatment, which you can do by putting on a dewormer if you have fleas and / or mites, or you may choose to have the tumor removed if you have cancer.

Scabs in cats

What is feline miliary dermatitis?

It is a clinical pattern that characterized by the presence of erythematous papules with brown or black crusts that appear due to an allergic reaction. They appear in the dorsal lumbosacral area, on the inner thighs and on the neck, although they can appear in other areas.


There are several:

  • Food allergies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Yeast infections
  • Parasites: fleas, lice
  • Scabies


It will depend on the cause. For example, if it is due to a food allergy, the vet will recommend changing the feed; if they are parasites or scabies, it will give an antiparasitic treatment and some cream to heal damaged skin; if they are fungi, he will give you an antibiotic; and if it is due to mosquitoes, we can treat it with citronella for cats.

Well-groomed cats don't have to have scabs

Scabs can be caused by minor injuries, but they should be examined by a professional to avoid problems.

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  1.   valentin said

    Hello, I found a kitten on the street, I brought it to my house, I put it in a box and I gave it milk, it is small and I don't know if it gets scabies, its ears are not very hairy, but it doesn't scratch.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Valentin.
      It is best that you take him to the vet (I am not). He can tell you what to do.
      I hope you get better soon.
      A greeting.

  2.   Andrea said

    Hello, a cat came to the house last night, it had a lot of tobacco smell in its hair and scabs that were already bleeding a little. he may be allergic or something… I'm seeing if I can take him to the vet tomorrow; if you don't go back; The clinic where I go will not open on Sundays. He is not malnourished so I reckon he must have his home or where to stay. But he was meowing all night and scratching his eyes.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Andrea.
      Ugh, if it smells like tobacco, maybe it's because they smoke too much at home. And tobacco can kill you quickly.
      I hope you can take him to the vet because it is not a good sign that he also scratches and has scabs.
      A greeting.

  3.   Valeria said

    My cat has a hard black scab on her neck. She hasn't come out of each for a long time.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi valeria.
      It may be just an injury, but I would recommend taking it to the vet in case it is something more serious.
      Cheer up.

  4.   José Carlos said

    Good morning everyone, I tell you about my experience (Granada)
    We are quite concerned. My new cat has a kind of gray-black scab on one leg, above the nail. We took her to a vet on Friday and he told us to be careful, it could be a fungus (now reflecting it seems irresponsible on her part, but hey)
    Seen this, the typical thing, you start to investigate online and you get sick, to see that they can be fatal diseases, even that they can be transmitted to other cats and human beings. In short, we are not going to enter into anyone's professionalism. Tomorrow Monday, of course we will take her to another vet who cares and delves into what is happening to her, apart from charging.
    If someone has had a similar experience with their little ones, could you tell me something, I don't know, orientation, how it was, etc. thank you very much for reading, greetings

  5.   Vic said

    My cat has a scab on her nose and I feel like it comes off before it heals and after reading this if it scares me a little and she is white except for her ears and she has been like this for a while and looks very healthy except the scab thing
    A tip to calm me down because veterinarians here in Mexico are somewhat expensive and I need to raise money for both the consultation and the treatment

  6.   Elvira said

    Hello, I have discovered by chance that my cat has (I do not know how to define it) a wound or skin condition under the lower part of the mouth. I do not know if I can send a photo, it is irregular but it covers all that part from side to side.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Elvira.

      We recommend that you contact a veterinarian by phone. We are not veterinarians and we cannot help you well.

      Hopefully it's nothing. Cheer up.