Irritated Skin on Your Cat’s Belly – How Do You Treat It?

What is irritated skin on your cat's belly?

When the skin on your cat’s belly becomes damaged for any reason, an inflammatory reaction occurs in the skin. This will cause an irritated skin on your cat’s belly. Substances are released from the damaged tissue that cause blood vessels to widen up and thus bring more blood into the skin. And that in turn ensures that more clearing cells come to the damaged tissue. As a result, the skin looks red and is somewhat damaged. Bacteria from the environment can also enter the wounds, resulting in an infection. This in turn gives your cat itching, causing it to lick, bite and scratch more. That way, the irritated skin on your cat’s belly gets even more damaged and the process starts all over again.

What does skin irritation look like on the belly of your cat?

Usually, the hair on the abdomen in cats is not excessively dense. But as a result of the irritated skin on your cat’s belly, baldness can also occur. Due to the balding coat you can also see that the skin is turned darker red than normal. When there is also an infection, the wounds are also quite moist. But you can also see dry crusts. If your cat licks it a lot, you can also see small hair stubble because your cat has licked its hairs off. It usually itches quite a bit, so your cat is often overly busy with it to groom it.

Cat has an irritated belly and is therefor grooming it a lot.

How do you treat irritated skin on the belly of your cat?

If the skin has a slightly moist appearance, a bacterial infection is most likely at play. As long as that infection is not treated, the skin will not be able to heal. It is best to apply iodine ointment here. You have to do this 2 times a day. Usually 5-7 days is sufficient. However, your cat will start licking this up and may start to have diarrhea from the iodine. It is therefore best to wear a medical pet-shirt so that your cat cannot reach it. He doesn’t like it, but it is effective.

Is your cat’s irritated skin dry and not moist? Then you can suffice with honey ointment. You also have to put this on the wound twice a day for 5-7 days. If you want, you can also apply the honey ointment half an hour after the betadine treatment. Honey has a bacteria-inhibiting effect by making a very small amount of hydrogen peroxide on the skin. As a result, bacteria do not grow well. That makes that infections are being suppressed. In addition, honey has a wound healing stimulating effect. But what’s even better is that it suppresses the irritating feeling for your cat. In principle, the skin should have clearly improved after a week. If not, there is an underlying cause.

Why does my cat have a rash on his belly? Underlying causes.

Unfortunately, if the skin does not heal with the treatment stated above, there is more to it. In that case, there may be a parasitic infection, a fungal infection or an allergic reaction. Stress or abdominal pain can also cause irritated skin on your cat’s stomach.

A parasitic infection

Fleas and mites in particular play a role in this case. It is therefore wise to treat your cat against fleas and mites. Unfortunately, this remedy is only available at your vet’s counter. In particular, the products Stronghold, Advocate or Bravecto work well against mites. A product dat you can buy without going to your veterinarian is Mange Relief for cats. But the products you can get from your veterinarian are stronger active. After using one of these remedies, the skin complaints should clearly improve after a week. While this remedy does its job, it is still wise to continue with the honey ointment treatment.

A skin fungus

In general, fungal skin patches are not very common on a cat’s belly. But it is possible. In general, these spots are more on the head or on the legs. Possibly on the back and flanks. If the non-healing spot on your cat’s stomach does not heal, you can try whether a fungal cream will prevent his skin inflammation. For this you can use an athlete’s foot ointment for humans containing miconazolenitrate. You have to put this on the small spot 3 times a day and you have to make sure that your cat does not lick it up. So use a medical pet shirt to prevent this. The skin rash should improve within a few days. Continue with this ointment 7 days longer than that you see skin irritation. 

If your cat’s irritated skin is a larger area, it is wise to have your vet look at it. Your cat can also remain a carrier of the fungus, which means that it could infect you and the rest of your family with the fungus. If you have skin lesions yourself, it is wise to contact your vet anyway. Your cat must then receive a much more intensive treatment.

An allergic reaction

Non-healing irritated skin on your cat’s belly can also occur if there is an allergy. In general if belly irritation occurs it is most likely to be a food allergy. But an allergy to substances in the air such as tree pollen, grass pollen, house dust mites, etc. is also a possibility. In addition, contact allergies also sometimes occur.

Food allergy

You can do a food allergy test yourself. But you do need some patience. To determine this, your cat may only receive a special food for 8 weeks that does not contain any substances to which it can react allergically. The best food for a food allergy is Hill’s Z/D. During the 8 weeks that your cat receives this, he should absolutely not eat anything else. No candies, no things from your fridge, nothing. Only the anti-allergy kibble.

You will not see any changes for the first 4 weeks. But in the last 4 weeks you can see the irritated skin on his stomach recovering if he really has a food allergy. If it is clear that he has an allergy, you can try whether the less strong, and therefore cheaper, anti-allergy foods also work sufficiently for your cat. But first you need to know for sure if it’s a food allergy.

Atopy, an allergic reaction to substances in the air

The only allergy that you cannot solve yourself is the atopy. This is an allergic reaction based on environmental substances in the air. So tree pollen, grass pollen, house dust mites, etc. Do you think this could be the cause of the irritated skin on your cat’s belly? Then it is wise to go to a vet. He can investigate further. For example, a blood test. He or she can also choose to prescribe medication that will suppress the complaints.

Contact allergy

A contact allergy is an allergic reaction to a substance that your cat’s skin comes into contact with. In case of an irritated belly it mainly is something on which your cat sleeps. So, for example, an allergy to a certain blanket, to a cleaning agent, or to a detergent that you use to wash his blanket. In that case, use only water as a cleaning agent (temporarily) as much as possible. If a cleaning agent is really needed, then green soap is an option. You can wash his blanket without detergent at a slightly higher temperature. As soon as his skin no longer comes into contact with the substance he is allergic to, his skin should start to look much better within about 3 days.


If a cat suffers from stress, it can groom itself excessively. They often do this especially on their belly in case of stress. This excessive grooming can cause wounds on the skin that become infected. Often owners know whether their cat could suffer from stress. If this is the case, it is best to use Zylkène tablets. Don’t like giving tablets? Then a Feliway treatment is a good alternative.

Abdominal pain

We often see cats grooming their bellies in an abnormal amount. And if the usual treatment doesn’t work, we will look further. Very often there appears to be a mild form of abdominal pain that causes the cat to lick its belly to suppress that pain. In most cases, a mild bladder infection appears to play a role. Especially if it is a younger cat. And that is in most cases caused by urine crystals in the bladder. Your vet can find out if this is the case in your cat. But he needs a urine sample from your cat. 

You can catch his urine with the help of hydrophobic cat litter. You clean his litter box with water, put this in his litter box and as soon as he has urinated in it you can use the pipette to get the urine. This urine you can put in the case that also comes with the hydrophobic cat litter. The granules do not absorb moisture, so you can easily get the urine. Then you take the urine to your vet within 4 hours. 

You can also put your cat on a urine crystal diet without knowing for sure if he has bladder crystals. His abdominal pain should be much less after a few days so the excessive grooming should stop. And the irritated skin on his stomach should definitely improve after a week or two.

When do you go to your vet with an irritated skin on your cat's belly?

If the irritated skin on your cat’s belly looks serious or if it bothers him a lot, it is wise to take him to your vet right away. He or she can then prescribe you stronger medication so that the complaints recover faster. It is also better to investigate what exactly seems to be the cause in your cat. I mean the underlying cause.

An abdominal bandage on the cat prevents it from licking the irritated skin on its abdomen.

Good luck!

We hope you find a solution for your cat’s irritated belly in this article. We wish you and your cat good luck!