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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21422
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat has tiny dark spots on her abdomen. What is this

Resolved Question:

My cat has tiny dark spots on her abdomen. What is this? They don't itch and they're not raised. She's not an old cat but she is fat and she does have arthritis.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.

Are the spots all over her abdomen, or mainly around her nipples?

What is her coloring? Does she have a white abdomen and pink skin?

Is your cat presently on any monthly flea preventative, like Advantage?

Is your cat eating, drinking, eliminating and acting as usual?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
They're mostly in one area around her nipples.
She is calico with light grayish fur on her abdomen and yes - light pink skin.
Could it be a thyroid or hormonal problem?
She doesn't take any flea medicine because she doesn't go outdoors. She did take one step outside for just a second the other day, though. She is acting normally. Before Christmas I went to my inlaws and I could swear I got a flea bite there - even though they think that's impossible. They have 2 cats that go in and out.
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your reply and helpful additional information.

These black spots could be flea 'dirt', and the test for this, is the following: take a slightly dampened tissue or paper towel (anything white), and try to clean these spots. If the white surface turns brownish-red, it's flea dirt, which is comprised of blood.

Even though your cat doesn't go out, considering that she ran out a short time ago, plus, you were at your in-laws, whose cats are indoor/outdoor, and you think you have a flea bite, there could definitely be fleas in your home and on your cat. Some cats are more sensitive than others, to flea bites, and when my cat (also, indoor only) had fleas, a few years ago, he didn't scratch at all.

I'm also thinking, if the flea dirt test is negative, that these black spots are particles of hardened skin oils which have come to the surface of the skin. My cat has these all the time, and they're harmless. He's also part calico (mom was calico), and his coloring is orange and white. He has these black spots frequently around his nipples, and they just seem to be hyper-pigmentation on his skin. Orange and white cats and Calicos are more prone to these 'freckles' or hyper-pigmentation--just extra melanin (coloring in the skin).

For the moment, if these are not flea dirt, and not bothering your cat, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but do have her checked out by the vet, when you can. If you do feel she might have fleas, start her on Advantage or Frontline (only use flea treatments from your vet, not bought in pet stores or online, as these are not effective and have been known to cause severe adverse health affects).

I hope your cat will be fine!

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