Last Updated on: January 11, 2021
Frequent and persistent scabbing on your cat’s body is not normal. Keep track of where the scabs appear on your cat’s body and schedule a visit to your veterinarian immediately once you notice them.
Treatment of the cause varies widely but is often simple to address. And once you know how to treat the cause you can start working on reducing the discomfort of your feline friend.
In this article, we’ll go into detail on five cheap, effective home remedies to help keep your cat’s scabs clean and irritation-free!
Common Causes of Scabs on Your Cat
The best thing you can do if you see scabs appearing frequently or persistently on your cat is to talk to your vet. Finding out the cause of the scabs and treating that is the only way to stop them from appearing.
Here is a list of the common causes of frequent scabbing on your cat:
Home Treatments for Scabs on Your Cat
Though the long-term treatment will vary based on why your cat has scabs to begin with, there are several things you can do in the short term to help mitigate your feline friend’s discomfort.
The main thing to remember is that scabs are there for a reason. Picking or scrubbing them off will do more harm than good. Scabs keep germs out of wounds and help skin heal.
Treat your cat’s scabs as gently as you would any injury. You want to soothe skin irritation and help soften the scabs so that when they do fall off naturally, they will do so with ease.
1. Warm Towel Wrap
Sometimes the best solution is the simplest. A warm towel wrap will reduce any itching your cat may be experiencing and soften the scabs themselves.
And if there’s less itching, your cat is way less likely to scratch themselves raw and open up those healing scabs.
Soak a clean towel in warm water – not lukewarm, but not hot to the touch either. Wring it out so that it is damp, not dripping. Wrap the affected area of your cat in the towel for as long as they will allow and then help them dry off a little.
2. Epsom Salts
Epsom salt baths are a natural and exceptionally inexpensive way to soothe irritated skin — if you can convince your cat to get into a bath, that is!
The warm water will help soften scabs up, the Epsom salts bring down swelling, and you can take the opportunity to clean the area as well.
Chamomile is another all-natural remedy. It’s a bit of a wonder plant and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. German chamomile has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
You can use very small amounts of chamomile oil to help keep scabs clean and soften them a little. But if your cat will allow it, one of the best ways to administer chamomile is via wet compress.
Steep a strong cup of chamomile tea. Once it is warm, but not hot, use a washcloth and hold some of the brew on your cat’s scabs. The moisture and warmth will be extra helpful for softening up crusty messes.
The quality of the chamomile does make a difference. If you can find it freshly dried and organically grown from a local herb merchant, that’s your best bet. You can also find it at farmer’s markets, or even grow it yourself.
Teabags of chamomile will have some of the wonderful benefits, but the age and questionable growing practices mean that the healing properties will be significantly less efficacious.
Oatmeal baths are a super gentle treatment to help reduce any itchiness that may be associated with your poor kitty’s scabbiness. Plus, the warm bath water will help soften the crust and gunk!
You can make your own fancy spa treatment for your feline by finely grinding dry oatmeal and adding it to warm water. Allow your cat to sit in the bath for at least five minutes, if they’ll tolerate it.
No need to rinse after because oatmeal is completely safe if your cat licks a bit off later. Just gently dry your cat off as usual.
The best product available for oatmeal baths is the Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment. It only has one ingredient: colloidal oatmeal.
5. Aloe Vera
You may know aloe as the perfect way to soothe a summer burn, but this friendly succulent is useful in a variety of other ways.
The one we’re most interested in here, however, is its ability to alleviate skin pain and irritation. The gooey, gel-like inside of an aloe vera leaf has antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-reducing properties.
To extract the gel, simply cut off a piece of an aloe plant and slice it open. You can also buy it, but make sure it’s 100% pure aloe and does not have any added colors or preservatives.
Caution is necessary when using aloe vera for cats. The leaves are mildly toxic if ingested by felines, and we don’t recommend using this remedy on cats that won’t stop licking their scabs. Getting minuscule amounts in their mouth won’t hurt them, but repeated or excessive ingestion should be avoided.
Symptoms of aloe vera poisoning are diarrhea and vomiting. The ASPCA says that the gel is edible and it is the leaves only that are toxic, but better safe than an emergency trip to the vet!
Also, though it is incredibly rare, some humans and animals can have allergic reaction to aloe vera. To make sure this is a safe remedy for your cat, put a test dab on their skin and monitor it for a few hours.
If the skin reacts to the test spot with any signs of irritation (i.e., redness, swelling, hives), forgo further use entirely.
Your first step in helping your cat with scabs is to find out why they are there in the first place. Once you have a treatment plan from your vet for the cause, then you can go about treating the symptoms too.
With some home-grown plants and convenience store scores, you can help alleviate the itchiness, crustiness, and keep your cat’s scabs clean in no time.
Featured Image: Pxfuel
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.