Flea Allergy in Cats

Cat with bumps and weight loss

by RT
(Green Bay WI)


Our 2 year old indoor cat has bumps that feel kind of like scabs, but aren't, around his head & neck and has lost weight. He also cleans himself more than usual with extra attention to his tail & seems to be losing some of his hair. Can you please help?

Dear RT,

Itchy cats are usually suffering from a feline allergy, and 99% of the time, that allergy is to fleas. Although your cat lives indoors, all it takes is one bite from a flea for a cat to become terribly itchy and uncomfortable, so even if you don't see fleas, your cat could still be having a reaction to a bite.

The affected areas you described are the most common locations for a cat flea allergy to present itself.

In terms of weight loss, if your cat is uncomfortable enough, he can certainly be losing weight because of a feline allergy. Using a once-monthly topical flea medication, such as Frontline or Advantage for cats, would be recommended.

Of course, there are many causes of weight loss in cats and it is always a good idea to have a good veterinarian exam to find out if there are any medical causes of your cat's weight loss other than being itchy from allergies.

To learn more about cat allergies and feline allergy symptoms, please see this page.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

Return to The Role of Cat Flea Medicine in Feline Allergies.

Cat in TERRIBLE condition!

by Samima


I've recently found a cat in the neighborhood in terrible medical condition. It's ears seem to be completely eaten up by something (maybe insects) and its face also has signs of bugs/or whatever it may be. It definitely needs to be taken to the vet, but before that, I would like to know if I can do anything for it in my house. Please, if anyone can give me a thumbs up or a header, it would be appreciated very, very much! This cat needs all the help it can get, and sadly, I don't know much about what I can do.

Dear Samima,

The most common cause of the hair loss and scabbing you are seeing around this stray cat's ears and face is a cat allergy, most commonly a cat flea allergy. Considering that this is an outdoor cat, it is likely infested with fleas and very uncomfortable and itchy. To learn more about feline allergies, click here.

This is a very uncomfortable kitty, and if you haven't done so already, it should be seen and treated by a veterinarian right away. Fortunately, cat flea allergies are easily treated with topical cat flea medicines such as Frontline. But, because this cat has clearly been through so much, I would strongly recommend a thorough veterinary exam.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

Return to The Role of Cat Flea Medicine in Feline Allergies.