A Home Remedy for Miliary Dermatitis in Cats

One of the things that most people love about cats is their softness. Sometimes, the fur on long-haired cats can get matted, and they need help with detangling. But in general, that soft, warm fur along with meowing and purring like a little motor are so comforting.

white cat with red spots sits and looks in side. home beautiful cat with green eyes
Miliary dermatitis is one thing that cat owners sometimes have to deal with.
credit: Alexey Degtyatev/iStock/GettyImages

Cats can develop skin issues though, and miliary dermatitis is one thing that cat owners sometimes have to deal with. Cat dermatitis is sometimes called "scabby cat disease," and while this is not a pleasant name, it is one of the most common skin disorders in cats, according to Cats World.

Feline miliary dermatitis

VCA Hospitals says that feline miliary dermatitis is a general term that most often describes an allergic reaction. The term 'miliary' comes from the Latin word for "millet," which comes from an early thought that the appearance of the small scabs looked like millet seeds. If your cat has long or thick fur, you may feel these little scabs by running your hands over their skin, even if you can't see them.

The cat with "scabby cat disease" will likely be licking, biting, and scratching at these scabby spots. If they are allowed to bite and scratch, the scabs could get bigger. Common areas where these scabs will appear are the lower spine and around the base of the tail, face, ears, neck, sides, and belly. Excess biting and scratching may cause some of your cat's fur to become thin.

Most of the time, miliary dermatitis is caused by an allergy to flea bites. If your cat is especially sensitive to flea bites, even a single bite may cause a scab. Allergies to something in her diet can also occur. Contact dermatitis, which is caused by something in the environment rubbing against your cat and irritating her skin, is a possibility, although this is less likely.

Treating miliary dermatitis in cats

The overall treatment that you choose will depend on the cause of the allergic reaction. If your cat's miliary dermatitis is caused by fleas, a comprehensive flea treatment should be part of the solution along with one of the home remedies for cat scabs. Likewise, if the reaction is caused by diet, treating the scabs but not addressing the diet will not improve things.

Home remedy for miliary dermatitis

According to Animal Wised, an oatmeal shampoo can soothe your cat's skin and moisturize the scabby spots. Or you might try Wilderness Cat's recipe for a home remedy for miliary dermatitis or cats with dry skin in general, which involves nothing but pure coconut oil. You might already have some coconut oil in the kitchen for cooking with. Try applying it to your cat's rough skin.

Making homemade oatmeal shampoo for cats with skin problems is easy following The Fluffy Kitty's recipe for a dry shampoo. They suggest simply warming up some oatmeal on a tray in an extremely low oven (around 250 degrees) for five minutes. When it's ready, simply massage the warm oatmeal into your cat's fur. Allow it to sit for five minutes, then wipe it off and brush your cat's coat.