Common Causes Of Cat Hair Loss And Related Symptoms
Flea allergy dermatitis:Catflea allergy occurs whena cat is allergic to the fleas saliva.
- Cat hair loss or thinning hair down the middle of the backto the rump indicates a flea problem. The chance that cat flea allergyis likely the cause increases if the hair loss is accompanied by bumpsor scabs.
- Symptoms include intenseitching , redness,scaly patches, and hair loss. This is treated bytreating both the cat and the environment for fleas. In addition, thecat may be treated with steroids and/or antihistamines for the itching.
- Cat flea problems can occur in indoor and outdoor cats aspeople can bring fleas into the home.
- Treatment involves using a product to kill any fleas on your cat with a herbal dip such as , and a preventative such as . Be sure to clean your cat’s environment as well.
Cat Hair Loss From FleaAllergy Dermatitis
FelinePsychogenic Alopecia:or Psychogenic dermatitis: Felinepsychogenic alopecia occurs if your catlicks herself, due to anxiety, stress, or boredom, until there is cathair loss and skin irritation. Thisis seen in 10 to 15% of cats and often in conjunction with otherunderlying causes.
Cat Skin Allergy
Various types of felineskin allergies can cause hair loss in cats including:
Cheyletiella or Demodicosis mange: this is caused bythe Cheyletiella mite. Symptoms include itching, scaly skin, and cathair loss. It is treated with medication. Diagnosis is done with skinscrapings. Treatment requires a miticide to kill the parasites suchas .
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 to come into contact with the infected area as humans can catch it too.
Home Remedies For Hair Loss In Cats
Are you continuously looking for home treatment for cat hair loss? If youre unable to get to a vet, there are luckily many remedies that can minimize cat hair loss at home. Sometimes, once the veterinarian identifies the source of the hair loss, it can still be treated by a home remedy or treatment depending on the vets recommendation.
Why Is My Cat Losing Hair Hair Loss In Cats
Hair loss in cats, or cat alopecia, is a common problem for felines. Cat hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns can varied or symmetrical. The skin surrounding the area of hair loss can appear normal, or it can have redness, bumps, scabs and skin loss.
Treatment options exist, though they depend on the cause of the alopecia and are limited for many of the more common causes.
Poor Nutrition May Cause Cat Hair Loss
Hair loss dueto poor nutrition often affects the whole cat, although it may affect areasthat are easily worn and over the back and hips where hair follicles haveshorter growth cycles and longer inactive periods.
For a healthyhair, it is important that your cat food contain nutrients that support healthyhair and skin, such as: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, Omega 3 and Omega 6fatty acids. Remember, poor nutrition will make your cat’s hair dull, loosen,and it will fall out.
Excessive Grooming In Cats
If your cat appears to be healthy otherwise, its possible that over-grooming to reduce stress also known as displacement grooming may be whats happening. Displacement grooming, which is considered to be rooted in anxiety, may serve to lower a cats stress level, help calm her and deflect aggression from other individuals. It is common to see a cat whos in a stressful situation suddenly begin to groom herself.
Over time, this displacement behavior can become independent of the initial stressor and eventually become compulsive in nature. This condition is known as psychogenic alopecia. This type of alopecia generally occurs on the inner forelimbs, the rear area of the abdomen, the groin region, the tail and/or the lower back area, and it may or may not be symmetric. The hair loss occurs only in places that can be reached by the cats tongue; secondary skin changes, such as redness or bumps, are rarely evident.
Fleas And Other Parasites
Fleas are one of the most common reasons to see hind leg hair loss in cats. Fleas are no fun for any cat and can cause your cat a lot of discomfort, many cats develop an allergy to flea bites. Flea bite hypersensitivity or flea allergic dermatitis is very common in cats. In these cats, just one flea bite can cause severe and prolonged itching which often results in hair loss and can lead to open sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection to occur. Many cats will excessively chew or lick the hair off their legs when they have fleas or FAD. Hair loss around the neck, legs, and base of the tail can also be seen along with small crusty scabs called miliary lesions, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds.
Since the flea saliva causes the reaction, the most important treatment for flea allergy is to prevent fleabites. Both indoor and outdoor cats can get fleas and it is recommended to keep your cat on a veterinary approved flea prevention monthly to prevent fleas.
Other parasites, including mites and ringworm can also cause excessive scratching, licking, or chewing, but fleas are the most common to cause hair loss on hind legs.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
If you observe your cat biting and pulling at its hair, do a thorough examination of its skin and hair at least once a week. Use a fine-toothed comb and part the hair so you can examine individual sections.
If you’ve noticed the cat scratching one area more than another, pay particular attention to that area. Also make sure that any bedding, toys, or scratch posts are not contributing to the issue by being too rough on the cat’s fur.
Ask your veterinarian to recommend a safe topical treatment to provide relief from pain and itching. If you can break the cycle of scratching and biting the inflamed skin, your cat has a better chance of healing.
How Is Thecause Of Cat Hair Loss Diagnosed
If you noticeyour cat losing its fur and you believe it is more than usual, it is best totake your cat to the vet to get a diagnosis for the loss of hair. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and pay takea closer look to the area. He will ask you questions, such as: if the cat hasbeen scratching, itching, how long it has had symptoms, if it has recently hadany medication .
Other diagnostic testsinclude:
- Fungus culture – To look for ringworm.
- Food elimination trial – Your veterinarian will place your cat on a food trial which usually lasts between 8-12 weeks. During this time, you must refrain from giving your cat any other foods, vitamins, minerals or chewable medications apart from the prescribed diet.
- Specific blood tests to check for hyperthyroidism.
- Specific blood tests to check for Cushing’s disease.
- Skin scrapings – These are studied under a microscope to look for mites.
Once a diagnosisis made, the vet will be able to prescribe the necessary medication to preventfurther loss of hair.
Please note, this page is purely informational, the best source ofadvice and treatment regarding cat hair loss, is your .
Signs And Symptoms Of Hair Loss In Cats
The first big sign is, of course, baldness. Whether your cat is losing patches of hair, or bald all over, if you can see more of your cats skin than fur, its probably not normal.
Other signs include itching, licking, and biting themselves. Biting behavior is common if your cat has fleas.
Sometimes cats may groom themselves a bit excessively, and this can also result in hair loss, as well as skin infections, sores, and bald areas. Remember that although some grooming is normal for a cat, too much grooming is not.
A good rule of thumb when monitoring their behavior is whether they show more interest in grooming over other activities like eating and playing. If they do, the behavior could be compulsive and stress related, or they could be suffering from an underlying medical condition prompting them to over-groom.
What Is Hair Loss In Cats
Hair loss in cats, also known as alopecia, is the complete or partial loss of hair in felines. The most common cause of alopecia which veterinarians suggest is skin allergies.
There are a few types of alopecia which exist. Some cats have hereditary alopecia, meaning that they can never grow hair and will never have any hair on their body, like the sphinx cat breed. Another type of alopecia is pinnal alopecia. It is usually known to develop outside of the ear pinnae. Pinnal alopecia is very common in Siamese cats and usually resolves with time. Another type of alopecia is the thinning of hair between the ears and the eyes. This type is known as preauricular alopecia and it is fairly normal in every cat.The skin surrounding the area of hair loss can appear normal or it can have redness, bumps, scabs, and skin loss. Alopecia may appear in a symmetrical form, or it might be in random areas of the cats skin.
Cats who do not have any of the above mentioned types of alopecia usually suffer from acquired alopecia. Acquired alopecia is not a disease in itself, as a cat is not born with it. It is often caused by external factors, such as those listed below.
What Causes Feline Hair Loss
There are many reasons why your cat is suffering from hair loss. You should bring your cat to the vet to see if a source can be properly identified. They may uncover problematic conditions for example, think ear mites, ringworm, fleas, or even allergies. All of these conditions will cause discomfort, making it impossible for your cat to keep from scratching. Their over-grooming can lead to bald patches. Vets will also be able to identify any other serious problems.
Feline hair loss can also be a side effect of stress. A stressed cat may start to pull out their fur or over-groom certain areas. They may also try this technique on spots where they are experiencing a lot of pain, like sore muscles and joints.
Hormones can also lead to hair loss and balding in cats. There are specific hormones responsible for cat hair growth and they could be experiencing an imbalance. If they have too much or too little of these hormones, it can lead to losing hair. Some pregnant cats are also more likely to lose fur due to hormone changes.
A poor diet can also lead to hair loss, meaning the food that you feed your cat must be healthy and contain required ingredients like taurine and a named protein source. A quality commercial food brand will keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Feed Your Cat A Nutritious Diet
The best way to avoid hair loss caused by food allergies or a poor diet is to feed your cat a healthy food from the onset. Choose foods high in protein where the first ingredient is meat, preferably salmon or turkey. Other meats, such as beef or even chicken, may not provide your cat with all the necessary nutrients. The best foods will have the most digestible ingredients for maintaining cat health. Turkey and salmon are both considered meats a cat would eat without human intervention, and both offer the most digestible proteins for felines. Some veterinarians warn that fish-based foods can lead to hyperthyroidism; however, this is generally only the case with very low end foods. To avoid this disorder, augment your cat’s diet with a Vitamin E and Vitamin B supplement.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Hair Loss
As a first diagnostic step, your vet will do a thorough physical exam, focusing on the skin and coat and looking for evidence of pain or any fleas.
Your vet will also ask about any other symptoms you might be seeing, like any scratching, head shaking, behavioral changes, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or urinary issues.
Mites, bacteria, yeast, and fungi like ringworm, can only be seen with a microscope so your vet will probably recommend checking for these with testing like skin scrapes, cytology, and fungal cultures.
Allergy testing can be done with a blood test or a skin test. Your vet may recommend blood and urine tests as well. Some unusual cases may need additional testing like a skin biopsy or may be referred to a specialist veterinary dermatologist.
Feline Paraneoplastic Alopecia In Cats
Feline paraneoplastic alopecia is a cancer related skin condition. This condition is rare, and generally is a sign of internal tumors. While the link between skin lesions and cancer is unknown, most cats with paraneoplastic alopecia have pancreatic cancer. By the time the skin lesions appear, the cancer may have already spread to other areas .
Because this condition is linked to cancer, many parts of the body are affected. There is the initial tumor and any additional cancer that has spread internally, and externally; the skin will then display lesions and cats will lose hair. Weight can also be affected, with some animals refusing to eat .
This condition is not linked to a specific breed. Age does appear to be a factor, as the majority of cases seen are between nine and sixteen years of age, with an average age of 12.5 years.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Fleas
Cat fleas are a few millimetres long and fast-moving. They can be hard to spot unless there are large numbers, especially in black cats! Given that each flea can lay 50 eggs per day, even a few fleas can cause a big problem. Not seeing fleas does not rule them out, especially as cats will eat many of them while grooming.
Use a fine-toothed comb to groom your cat, tapping any debris onto damp cotton wool. Black specks that turn reddish brown with water, due to the blood contained in the flea poo, is evidence enough. Cats may show no signs but others will scratch, have hair loss, or scabs. Some cats are allergic to flea saliva, and the scabbing, hair loss and itching can be severe. Fleas can also spread tapeworm if eaten by your cat.
Ask Our Vet A Question About Cat Hair Loss
Have a question about cat hair loss? Our veterinarian will answer it for free. To help provide the best answer possible, please include your cat’s medical history such as age, breed, medications, skin condition, location your cat is losing hair and any changes in behavior. Please include a picture if you can.We will do our best to answer questions quickly . If you need an immediate response we suggest using this online cat veterinary answer service that is available 24 hours a day.
How To Stop And Reverse Cat Hair Loss
“Cat hair loss is not always a problem, with shedding a natural part of a cat’s life. Cat’s shed more during warm weather months. Shedding also varies by breed. The biggest difference between normal shedding and hair loss that isn’t normal is when new hair doesn’t replace any thinning hair or bald patches. A cat that is losing hair has multiple potential causes including flea allergy, excessive licking, mange, ringworm, stress and thyroid disease . Treatment is based on diagnosing and eliminating the underlying cause.”
Excessive amounts of cat hair loss is not normal an canindicate some type of underlying disease. Cat’s normally shed, withmore hair loss during warm spring and early summer months. Italso varies by breed. If your cat is losing hair, but thehair is then replaced, then this could be normal for your cat. If the feline hair loss results in a thin or bare area, thenyou should consider problems that are not normal.
The location where a cat is losing hair can indicate thecause as described below.
Why Do Cats Lose Hair On Their Hind Legs
Hair loss occurs in response to many factors, including poor nutrition, autoimmune disease, fungal infections, allergies, and parasites. Cat hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns can vary or be symmetrical. The skin surrounding the area of hair loss can appear normal, or it can have redness, bumps, and scabs. Hair loss is a symptom, and the underlying cause must be determined in order to be treated. If a cat has hair loss and is scratching the area excessively, the itching problem should be investigated first. Below are four of the most common causes of hair loss on hind legs in cats.
Fleas And Other External Parasites
If your cat is suffering from a flea infestation youll usually notice other symptoms including a noticeable increase in itching. You can eliminate fleas with routine spot on treatments or by using other preventive treatments. If your cat has had an allergic reaction to a flea bite that has caused baldness a vet may administer an injection or other treatment to help reduce the allergic reaction and help calm the area. Hair will usually grow back once the inflammation resolves.
Home Treatment For Cat Hair Loss
Is your cat constantly scratching or biting at their fur? Are you noticing patches of hair missing on their head or body? While it can be concerning to see your cat in distress, there are luckily a number of home treatments for cat hair loss that can help keep them healthy and looking their best.
Cats are prideful pets who will often try to hide their discomfort from you. But once you notice a lot of itching, red skin, or excess shedding, its time to step in and ensure that your cat is healthy and not suffering from stress or anxiety, a condition, or other uncomfortable issues all of which can lead to hair loss.
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Preventing Hair Loss In Cats
There are a few different ways to prevent hair loss at home and its all about noticing the signs and symptoms before it becomes a bigger problem. Although cats can be very stoic and will attempt to hide their discomfort, there are still ways you can identify some warning signs and then provide comfort for your cat even if they wont admit they need it.
If you start to see your cat biting and pulling at their fur a lot, do an examination of their skin and fur at least a couple times a week. By using a fine-toothed comb, youll be able to closely examine specific sections for hair loss and skin problems while also revealing pests like fleas.
You should also make sure their bedding, cat trees, and other popular destinations within your home are closely examined for any possible correlation. Sometimes bedding can be too rough for your cats hair or youll notice signs of pests and other home invaders on their toys and trees.
When you notice your cat constantly grooming a certain area or you see signs of irritated skin, you should bring your cat to their veterinarian. This could provide you with a reason and a solution before your cat starts to lose hair in response to the discomfort.
Seek Veterinary Care For Fur Loss In Cats
The information presented here is not meant to replace professional veterinary diagnosis and treatment. If your cat displays any symptoms of hair loss, ask your vet to examine your pet to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Remember, your cat’s fur protects its skin, so fur loss can become a serious problem if left untreated.
Your Cat’s Excessive Shedding Can Be A Sign Of Bigger Problems
Part of being a cat owner is knowing that if you wear dark clothing around your cat, it might not remain dark due to being covered in hair! Cats shed their furits just a fact. But what happens if you feel like the fur you are discovering around your home is too much to be normal?
While the consistent shedding of dead hair is to be expected, shedding an excessive amount of hair might actually indicate something is wrong. As a pet owner, you have the responsibility of monitoring your cats and paying attention to the amount of fur they shed, so youre able to catch if something is very wrong early on.
First Lets Define Cat Hair Loss
A cat losing hair also called alopecia in cats can be complete or partial and happens in felines for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is skin allergies, experts say. Dr. Fiona Bateman, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Georgias Veterinary Teaching Hospital, regularly sees hair loss in cats at her clinic.
Diagnosis Of Cat Alopecia
First your veterinarian will examine the characteristics of the hair loss. She will likely check for fleas and flea dirt. If the veterinarian believes that the hair loss is due to a skin issue, then a skin biopsy or culture may be done.
Apart from fleas, allergies can cause hair loss. Some cats develop wounds called eosinophilic granuloma complex that can become very large.
A blood serum chemistry panel is often done to determine if there are thyroid or other hormonal imbalances causing the alopecia. Various imaging tools, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, are used to rule out signs of cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands.
Is Your Cat Losing Hair What It Could Mean
Shedding fur is a natural part of feline evolution. However, its important to recognize the difference between your cats typical shedding and what may be abnormal hair loss. Is your cat losing hair to the point of thinning fur or even baldness in some spots? Cat hair loss, also known as alopecia in cats, can have several causesmost of which are easily treatable.
Cat Losing Hair: Why It Happens And How To Help
If you notice that your cat is losing hair, its important to determine if the hair loss is normal or abnormal. Cats can lose their hair for many different reasons. Shedding, for example, is an example of normal hair loss. Outside of typical shedding, hair loss is generally abnormal and requires investigation.
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?
What Causes Hair Loss In Cats And Dogs
Pet hair loss can be very upsetting to pet owners that thick fluffy coat you love to stroke may begin to have bald patches or areas of thinning hair. Pet hair loss may indicate an underlying illness or problem. Our furry friends are experts at hiding symptoms of disease and the first sign of trouble we may notice is hair falling out. Here are the leading causes of hair loss in dogs and cats.