How to Treat Cat Hot Spots

February 28, 2023

It’s natural for cats to paw at, scratch, or lick their fur on a frequent basis. However, it can be a little concerning (and gross) when they do it incessantly with a fervor! But did you know this can actually be a symptom of a potentially damaging and painful skin condition known as hot spots? In this blog, we’ll show you about what hot spots are, how to identify hot spots, and how to treat cat hot spots. 

Facts about hot spots on cats

  • Hot spots on cats are characterized by bright red, wet lesions which are warm to the touch on the head, tail, thick, or neck.  They look angry!
  • Hot spots are often caused by pests, environmental irritants, and underlying health conditions.  Fleas or ticks are the most common source.
  • Cat hot spots can be treated by a combination of deep cleaning, applying topical medication, and taking preventative measures 

What are hot spots on cats? 

cat hot spot

The causes of cat hot spots are pests, environmental irritants, and underlying health conditions.

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are areas of your cat’s skin that become red, wet, inflamed, and then.. infected. They’re called hot spots because – weirdly – they feel very warm to the touch. Hot spots also get their name from their bright red appearance, which occurs due to an underlying inflammation. Hot spots can occur on almost any part of a cat’s body, but are most often seen on the head, tail, thigh, and neck. 

Symptoms of hot spots on cats 

Hot spots in cats most often appear as round, red, wet-looking lesions that are usually either oozing fluid or crusted over. Hot spots are also typically accompanied by hair loss or discolored fur that surrounds the lesions. Cats who develop hot spots may display a number of behavioral symptoms, including excessive grooming, scratching, or biting at their skin or fur. 

Unfortunately, hot spots in cats are not likely to go away on their own. That’s why it’s so important to make a vet appointment as soon as you discover hot spots. The sooner you can diagnose the underlying cause and begin the hot spot treatment for your cat, the better chance your cat will have at making a full and rapid recovery. 

Hot spot treatments for your Cat

It’s possible to successfully treat and eliminate your cat’s hot spots. All that needs to happen is for you to stick with your veterinarian’s prescribed treatment plan, keep up the daily, feline-friendly Banixx applications and lay on the love and patience!

Trim the fur around the hot spots

how to trim cat

Trim or shave the fur around your cat’s hot spot to effectively treat it.

In order to effectively treat the hot spots, you need to be able to see the extent of their severity. Good air circulation plays a key role in discouraging infection. To do this, you’ll need to trim or shave the fur around the spot. Be warned, this may be unpleasant for your furry friend. After all, the skin around this area will be very sensitive. 

Only trim your cat’s fur if you have someone close by who can help distract your cat (with love and treats) and keep her/him calm. Trust us – this will make the experience much safer (and more pleasant) for you and your cat. That being said, don’t be afraid to rely on the assistance of a professional feline groomer or your veterinarian! These individuals will have the necessary tools and expertise to make this whole process as painless as possible. 

Thoroughly clean the affected area

Just as with any other wound, hot spots need to be cleaned to remove any residual bacteria and prevent further infections. Make sure to only use clinically-proven wound and skin care products on cat hot spots such as Banixx Pet Care. This will ensure you can clean the wound without damaging any nearby healthy tissue or causing unwanted, additional irritation. While cleaning the wound, move your hands in soft, even motions. Make sure not to apply too much pressure to the affected area. Once you’ve cleaned out the wound, lightly dab up any residual moisture. Let the wound air dry before applying any additional treatments.

Apply a topical treatment – like Banixx Pet Care!

cat hot spot treatment

A favorite hot spot treatment for cats is Banixx!

Topical treatments are often used to treat hot spots in order to aid in the healing process, provide pain relief, and prevent recurrent infections. Our favorite hot spot treatment for cats is Banixx! It has a dual use.  It’s not only used as a gentle cleansing agent for any wound/infection. But it’s also used as a potent antimicrobial to speed a painless recovery.

Banixx is a clinically-proven antifungal and antibacterial solution that’s been shown to provide instant, sting- and odor-free relief from hot spots. Best of all, it achieves this relief without relying on pesky antibiotics or steroids. Instead, Banixx’s unique pH solution creates an environment on skin and fur that is inhospitable to bacterial or fungal maladies. Simply apply Banixx twice daily to the affected area and wait. Within a few days, your cat’s hot spots should begin subsiding and they should be feeling good as new. With Banixx, relief really is that simple. 

Stop your cat from scratching 

Once your cat’s hot spots have begun to heal, the next step is to get them to stop licking the spot. No licks allowed!, no scratching, no itching – no nothing! Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Luckily, tools like cat cones and Elizabethan collars offer humane, comfortable ways to help your feline friend refrain from irritating their wounds. Ask your veterinarian about which option is best for your cat. They will vary given their temperament and the severity of their hot spots. 

Address any hidden, underlying causes – what’s causing this destructive behavior in your kitty?

Hot spots in cats don’t typically just appear out of nowhere. Instead, hot spots can be caused by a variety of hidden, underlying health conditions. Many cat parents only focus on the hot spot treatment without a thorough investigation of the Cause! then they become a never-ending cycle of misery for your cat and you!

This is why veterinary examination and diagnosis of hot spots is so important. Your veterinarian will be able to detect things that you can’t find at home. Once you know what the underlying cause of your cat’s hot spots is, you can begin treating that condition which should take care of the hot spots too.

What causes hot spots on cats?

cat scratching

Itchiness becomes unignorable, which leads to scratching, biting, and, eventually, hot spots.

There are a number of underlying health conditions or hidden problems that can lead to hot spots on cats. 

Bites from pests

Bites from fleas, ants, mites, and other insects can severely irritate and inflame your cat’s skin, causing hot spots. In fact, flea bites are by far and away the most common culprit of seasonal itching and hot spots in cats. This is because cats’ bodies release histamines in reaction to these insect bites, which causes intense itchiness. Over time, the itchiness becomes unignorable, which leads to scratching, biting, and, eventually, hot spots. Anti flea or mite medication is easily obtained from your Vet.

Food and environmental allergies 

Similiarto humans, cats’ skin can develop allergies that cause negative physiological reactions to what they’re eating. If a cat eats a food they’re allergic to, or spends time in spaces containing environmental allergens, their skin can become itchy. As this itch intensifies, they will begin scratching to relieve themselves and, well… you know the rest. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to do with an allergy. Instead, your best bet is to work with your vet to figure out what exactly is the offending allergen for your cat. 

Lack of proper grooming 

Cats – especially those with longer hair – need to be regularly groomed in order to keep their skin and fur healthy. Cats who aren’t groomed regularly may develop knots or matts in their fur which are ideal spots for bacteria to fester. If left unkempt, these mats harbor moisture and bacteria and bingo!…a hot spot develops. This bacterial growth will begin irritating and inflaming the skin, leading to your cat inevitably scratching at it. Are you sensing a pattern here yet about what kinds of things cause hot spots in cats? 

How to prevent hot spots in cats

It’s only natural to want to protect your pointy-eared pal from something as painful and irritating as hot spots. Luckily, there are a few different ways that you can prevent hot spots from developing on your cat’s skin. 

  1. Keep your cat’s coat clean and well-groomed: Regular grooming can help prevent tangles and mats from forming in your cat’s fur and irritating their skin. Try using a slicker brush or comb to help remove loose hair and prevent knots from forming in your cat’s fur.
  2. Monitor your cat for any signs of skin irritation: If your cat is scratching or biting at a specific area of their skin all the time, this may be a sign their skin is irritated or inflamed. Paying close attention to your cat’s behavior and taking them to the vet can help catch hot spots before they have a chance to do real damage.
  3. Keep your cat’s environment clean and free of irritants: Certain environmental factors, such as fleas, allergies, or exposure to harsh chemicals, can irritate cats’ skin. Keeping your cat’s living space clean and free of these irritants can help prevent hot spots from forming. Additionally, providing your cat with a comfortable bed or blanket can help reduce the risk of skin irritation.

We hope that you found this article informative and useful. Hopefully next time you’ll investigate if you see Whiskers licking the same spot for a little too long. In the meantime, we hope you’ll return to our blog to learn more about how to keep your purry pal happy and healthy. To start you off, ever wonder why a cat gets hairballs? Or why cats knock things off the table


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