Causes of skin infections in cats can be quite varied. Trauma and bite wounds, external skin parasites (including ringworm and mange) and bacterial infections from underlying allergies (flea bites, inhalant/contact allergens, food allergies) may all cause cat skin infections. Viral infections such as feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus may also predispose some cats to secondary skin infections.
Symptoms of skin infections in cats may include hair loss, crusting, scaling, swelling, papules, pustules, redness, and in some cases the development of pus and discharge. In cats with bite wounds, localized abscessed swellings may be quite painful, and appetite loss and fever may also develop. If wounds involve the extremities, varying amounts of limping may also occur. With bite wounds and abscesses, it is often best to have a thorough veterinary exam, since many cats with skin infections may need surgical drainage and antibiotic therapy to allow healing.