Can Hormones Make Cats Lose Their Fur
Bald spots on your cat and hair loss can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance. Specific hormones are responsible for your cats hair growth and a surplus or deficiency in this may also be the reason why your cat is losing fur.
You might also find that your pregnant or lactating cat loses their hair due to the changes in their hormones during this time, but dont be too alarmed as fur should eventually grow back overtime.
Types Of Cat Skin Conditions
The following are some types of common cat skin problems you should be aware of:
Cats with allergies will exhibit other traits like:
- Eosinophilic granulomas or plaques in Cat
- Asthma / respiratory symptoms
- Sneezing, nasal discharge, watery eyes
- Excessive grooming and hair loss
- Gastritis, vomiting, and diarrhea
Schedule an appointment with us as soon as you see any of these symptoms.
Diagnosis Of Hair Loss In Cats
Determining the cause of alopecia may require extensive diagnostic testing because of the numerous potential causes of the condition. Be prepared to discuss your pets medical history, any medications or toxins they may have ingested, and any symptoms you have observed. Your veterinarian will perform a full physical examination while paying special attention to hot spots and the condition of the skin. A smear, culture, or biopsy of the affected area may be required for analysis. Combing of the hair to identify lice, mites, or fleas and examination of the hair at a microscopic level may provide information on the cause. Veterinary staff may also draw blood and complete a full blood panel and a variety of tests for common infections. Analysis of urine, feces, or any fluids may also be required. X-rays or other diagnostic imaging techniques may be employed to look for internal causes like cancer.
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Cat Bald Spots On Head
While brushing your cats fur, you notice bald patches on his head and other body parts. Now you are worried if this is a symptom of a larger problem.
Generally, cats shed fur heavily twice a year, coinciding with the seasons. This type of shedding is called molting. Here, the hair loss should be even across your cats body. If there are bald patches on his head or other body parts, it means that your cat may be dealing with a larger problem, from parasites to other health issues.
Recognizing Cat Skin Conditions
So how do you recognize cat skin conditions? Here are some key signs to look for:
- Hair loss is a common sign of cat skin problems. Have you noticed any bald patches? Is your cat shedding more than normal?
- Excessive grooming can also indicate cat skin conditions are present. If the grooming appears more frenetic and less relaxed than normal, it may be because your cat is pruritic and uncomfortable.
- While brushing your cat, if you notice any red, scaly, patchy, or scabby areas, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
- Fleas and ticks are common parasites which may be found on the skin.
- If your cat shakes his head excessively, this could indicate he may have a skin problem or an issue with his ears.
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Treating Fleas And Mites
Because fleas and mites are such common causes of hair loss in cats, effective treatment for these parasites is an important part of treatment for many cats with hair loss. However, not all flea preventatives are equally effective and not all are also effective against mites. Your vet can help you find the safest and most effective options for your cat.
When To Be Concerned About Hair Loss
If your cat is losing a significant amount of hair, it may be a symptom of pain, stress, or a health problem. I
Since hair loss is rarely normal in cats and can be a symptom of pain or other diseases, its important to schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice hair loss or bald spots in your cat.
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Why Does My Cat Have Some Bald Spots
Although weve been talking a lot about your cats head and face, your cat can experience bald spots all over his body.
Many of the same reasons apply to bald spots over your cats body as they do their face.
You may also find bald spots on various other parts of your cats body. Take a look at some of these areas:
- The joints on your cats legs
- Behind your cats ears
- Your cats stomach
- The base of your cats tail
Skin Conditions Can Cause Cat Hair Loss
Some skin conditions or infections could cause your cat to be losing fur. Take a look at a couple of possible conditions that could be causing this:
- Your cat may have an infection such as cat ringworm
- An infestation of parasites such as mites or fleas
- A cat skin condition caused by an allergy.
As these will all be irritating to the skin, your cat might find it impossible not to scratch! By over-grooming or itching, they can give themselves bald patches and also fur-balls from swallowing hair as they lick or chew the area.
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Hair Loss Culprit #: Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a glandular disorder caused by an excess or shortage of thyroid hormone. Hair loss is just one of many symptoms, so do not panic at the first sight of it. The hair loss will typically present itself by becoming brittle and thin, losing its natural sheen and shedding in excess when you brush your cat. If you are concerned that your cat may have hyperthyroidism, head straight to the vet where they can run bloodwork to know for sure.
What Can Your Vet Do To Help Cat Hair Loss
Your vet will give your cat a thorough check over to find out whats causing their alopecia. If they discover fleas, which are a common cause of itching and subsequent hair loss, they may recommend flea treatment .
Your vet might also take hair samples or scrape a little sample of skin to test for ringworm and parasites dont worry, this is completely painless. Occasionally your vet may decide to take a small skin sample from your cat under anaesthetic or to perform an allergy skin test to check for cat skin conditions. Alternatively, they may take a blood sample to look for underlying diseases that could be causing your pet’s hair loss.
If, at the end of their investigation, theres still no obvious reason for the feline alopecia, your vet may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist.
If, however, you or your vet suspect that there could be a behavioural reason for your cat’s over-grooming and making themselves lose hair, then you may need to discuss your cats lifestyle to work out what might be causing them stress.
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Hair Loss Culprit #: Psychogenic Dermatitis
A cat suffering from psychogenic dermatitis will lick itself compulsively to the point of balding. The good news is that this is not a disorder that can become fatal or cause any serious health risks, but you should still consider it a cause for concern as it may be a sign your cat is stressed, or it could simply be the result of a bored kitty. If boredom is the case, consider it a great reason to engage your cat and play with him every day. If stress is the issue, youll need to do some thinking. Did someone recently move in or out of your home, or have you and your cat moved homes? Have you rearranged furniture? Have you brought a new cat or other animal into the house? Has your daily routine changed? As you can see, a particularly sensitive cat can become stressed by a multitude of things, and they are not always easily remedied.
If you are having trouble relieving your kittys stress, consult your vet about the possibility of behavioral therapy or anxiety medication in extreme cases. As always, you should contact your veterinarian promptly to get a proper diagnosis and help your kitty heal.
About the Author
Dana Mack is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Oregon. Shes a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she studied multimedia journalism. Dana enjoys arts & culture and outdoor/recreation writing.
Ringworm Or Fungal Infection
Despite its unusual name, ringworm is not a parasite. Its a fungal infection that causes lesions on the skin that are circular in shape. It can affect most mammals and is highly contagious. If your cat develops a ringworm infection it will usually cause their hair to fall out around the infected area. This will leave either a completely bald area of skin or a distinctly thinner covering of hair.
Your cat can catch ringworm from fungal spores that can survive on objects for up to two weeks. This means that if your cat brushes against an object that an infected animal has come into contact with they will catch the infection. Ringworm is diagnosed by taking a sample from the affected area and testing it in a laboratory. If you suspect your cat has ringworm be careful not to come into contact with the infected area as humans can catch it too.
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Other Causes Of Alopecia In Cats
Stress in cats is another contributing factor to losing patches of hair. If we want to confirm that the root cause of this alopecia is psychological, we need to rule out any physical causes. Once we have done this, the vet should question your cat’s mental state. Stress causes cats to lick compulsively, but stress in general can also lower their immune system and lead to a lessening in the quality of their fur as well as possible bald spots. To avoid this happening, we need to understand the reasons for their distress and counteract them.
If the stressors are not obvious, you may want to contact an ethologist. This is someone who is an expert in animal behavior and welfare. Hair loss in cats due to stress may be due to a disorder known as telogen effluvium. If this is the case, hair loss will occur on the sides, belly and chest of a cat. In these cases, the hair loss is not caused by excessive licking, but due to a molting disorder.
The cycle of hair growth in healthy cats divides into three phases whereby the hair gradually renews. Stress can interrupt this cycle and leave it to remain in the telogen phase, during which the hair does not grow. Once the cause of stress resolves, new hair can displace the existing one during a sudden growth spurt. It does not require treatment, but can be frustrating for the cat. The hair will end up recovering, but we must avoid all causes of stress.
Cat Bald Spot Diagnosis
The most common causes of bald spots in cats include:
- Hereditary causes
Cat hair loss and bald spots may be caused by the natural seasonal shedding, but may also be caused by other diseases. Bald spots may be self inflicted, as the cat can lick and scratch his skin excessively due to different conditions. The cat bald spot diagnosis can be done by performing a few tests, but a few additional symptoms may also help detecting a possible medical condition.
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Signs Of Skin Conditions In Cats
Some of the most noticeable signs of skin issues in cats are how a cat responds to the affliction. These can include excessive licking, rubbing against carpeting or furniture, pawing at the ears and mouth, and chewing at the skin. You may also notice signs such as:
- Red or inflamed skin
The signs can vary depending on whats causing the condition. Different skin issues can also have similar symptoms, so you should contact your veterinarian when you first notice the problem. Your veterinarian can help accurately diagnosis the issue and recommend an effective treatment.
Keep in mind that cats are notorious for hiding or masking signs of a condition or illness. Even if cats are itchy, they might wait until their cat parents leave the house or seek out private spaces to satisfy that itch. You can watch for these 5 signs your cat is sick, and be sure to visit your veterinarian for annual exams.
Those annual exams are really important for cats, but unfortunately, many felines dont get to the veterinarian regularly. Regular visits can help to identify issues like skin conditions early before they turn into bigger problems. If youre not taking your cat to the veterinarian for financial reasons, you should consider cat insurance. A plan with wellness coverage can help you cover the costs of routine preventive care.
Preventing Hair Loss In Cats
Now we have identified the most common reasons why a cat may lose patches of its fur and have bald spots, we should consider the preventative measures to stop this happening. They include:
- Hygiene and brushing: hair care must be integrated into a cat’s basic routine so that its fur remains strong.
- Deworming: it is necessary to establish a deworming schedule for both internal and external parasites. This should be maintained throughout a cat’s life and also be carried out on other animals present in a home.
- Avoid contagions: if our cat’s hair loss is due to ringworm or fleas, we must take extreme precaution. The fungus which causes ringworm is very contagious as are other fungal, bacterial and even viral infections. Ensuring we deworm our cats and keep them away from contagions can help prevent hair loss.
- Diet: an appropriate diet with sufficient vitamins and minerals will help maintain a cat’s coat. This means providing the right proteins, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids to improve quality and growth of fur.
- Stress: as stress is such a contributing factor to patches of hair loss, we need to make their lives as stress free as possible. This means providing sufficient environmental enrichment, paying attention to them, playing when needed and removing any obvious stressors. This will help a cat avoid boredom and frustration, bringing their defenses up.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Cats
Feline fur loss may have fungal and parasitic causes, such as ringworm, mites or flea allergies. Food allergies are another possibility, as are metabolic conditions such as hyperthyroidism, the term for over-production of thyroid hormones. In some cats, urinary tract issues reportedly cause continual licking, with hair loss as a result.
Answers to the following questions may help reveal the cause: Does she groom herself a lot? Is she itchy and does she scratch herself often? If you have other cats, what is her relationship with them harmonious or contentious? Have you changed anything in your home lately that could be causing increased stress in your cat?
Why Do Black Cats Have Bald Spots Above Their Eyes
Cats have bald spots above their eyes as a result of alopecia.
While alopecia sounds like a scary disease, it is relatively common for cats.
Black cats are no more susceptible to alopecia than other colored cats, but it is easier to notice with black cats.
When your cat has white hair, its skin does not have a stark contrast. Conversely, a black cats skin has greater contrast against its dark fur.
Thus, the effects of the facial alopecia are easier to see and, possibly, easier to keep looking at whenever you see your cat.
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The Most Common Reasons
Youâll need to check with your vet to find out exactly whatâs going on. In most cases, the cause isnât serious.
It could be:
Allergies: Theyâre the top cause of hair loss. Like people, your cat can be allergic to food, insect bites, medicines, dust, or pollen. To ease the itch, theyâll lick their fur until there are bald spots. Itâs simple to treat, but you might have to give them medicine for the rest of their life.
Parasites:Fleas, mites, lice, and ticks can make them scratch and lick, too, causing bald spots and even sores. Treatment is usually quick and easy. Ask your vet which medicine you should use.
Ringworm infection: No, itâs not a worm. Itâs a fungal infection. And a scaly ring of missing hair is a sign. Your vet can tell you for sure and prescribe antifungal creams or ointments, medicated baths, or even oral meds..
Stress and anxiety: When cats are stressed and obsessively lick and scratch, they can lose hair. Vets call this âpsychogenic alopecia.â Cats that have it tend to pick at their belly, sides, and legs. Itâs most common in female purebreds with nervous personalities. Treat their wounds, and ask your vet if they need an antidepressant or changes in their environment, like putting up high perches or keeping dogs away.
Pain: Cats with arthritis may lick themselves at the site of the pain.
Hair Loss Caused By Genetics
Genetics may be to blame for your cat losing hair on its ears or head. In situations of hereditary hair loss, there is no underlying cause other for a transfer of genes, therefore bald patches do not exhibit any irritation and dont seem to bother an affected cat at all. Once hair has been gone, there is no treatment to stop it from falling out or to encourage it to grow back.
Cats of the following breeds are more likely to suffer from hereditary hair loss, according to ProVet Health Care:
- Devon Rex is the name of this person.
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