The term “dermatitis” covers a wide variety of skin problems, all involving some sort of inflammation. Feline pruritus (itching) is one of the most common dermatologic problems affecting cats. Beyond simple itching, cats seem to display dermatitis along three distinct clinical patterns, regardless of the underlying cause. Of these, hair loss is one of the most common presentations, especially on the abdomen and inner thighs.
The other two common feline dermatologic patterns are miliary dermatitis and eosinophilic granuloma complex. Miliary dermatitis involves a collection of seed-like skin lesions covering the skin. Meanwhile, eosinophilic granuloma complex manifests in a number of ways. It can include eosinophilic plaque, which presents as moist, flat-topped bumps – usually red or salmon in color – on the skin’s surface; linear granuloma, which presents as linear, raised, hairless and flat-topped lesions on the hind legs; corneal (eye) lesions called indolent ulcers; and mouth lesions called oral granuloma.