Causes Of Hair Loss In Cats
A variety of conditions can cause hair loss in cats. Alopecia can be a sign of diseases, infections, toxins, disorders, cancers, allergies, or infestations. Hair loss that occurs at or soon after birth is often related to improper development in the womb or hereditary disorders. Some common causes of hair loss in cats and other companion animals include:
- Bacterial infections
There Must Be Something You Can Do On Your Own Though Supplements Special Foods Right
âThere are some supplements that I recommend, but it depends on what is causing the underlying issue. If it is truly an allergic skin disease causing the hair loss, then I will recommend a high-quality omega fatty acid supplement, such as Welactin. Omega fatty acids help strengthen the skinâs innate barrier and make it less susceptible to allergic reaction.
If the issue is self-barbering due to anxiety, then I recommend using a Feliway calming pheromone along with other prescribed treatments to help manage the catâs mental health. Beyond those specific conditions, though, supplements arenât really going to help with hair loss.â Itâs also important to remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so if you really want to add supplements to your catâs diet, make sure you do your research first. Or, at least, check with your vet.
Why Is My Cat Losing Hair On Her Belly And Legs
There are a few reasons why your cat may be losing hair on her belly and legs. One reason may be that she is overgrooming herself due to stress or anxiety. Another reason may be that she has a skin condition such as allergies, flea allergy dermatitis, or ringworm. If your cat is losing hair and you are unsure of the cause, it is best to take her to the vet to be examined.
If your cat has lost his hair or bald spots, he may have been attacked by a parasite, been stressed, anxious, or suffering from an allergy. A cat suffering from a disease may also lose a lot of hair. Fleas can spread through a variety of means, so it is very likely that your cat will escape to a warm place. Its possible that the issue isnt a flea, but rather a scabie or ringworm. Home remedies to treat bald spots will not work. In cats, fur does not matter it is always a symptom of a problem, whether it is a parasite or an allergy. Please include photos of your dog if you are making a query without committing to anything. The ethologist will examine the patient to determine whether there is a problem with the stressor or another cause.
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What Is Hair Loss
Hair loss in cats is a condition that causes cats to lose patches of their coat, resulting in bald sections on parts of the body that are normally covered in fur. A variety of factors can contribute to feline alopecia, so the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder can involve multiple steps. Alopecia may include full or partial loss that appears in asymmetrical or symmetrical patterns in the fur. Additionally, it can include different parts of the body like the neck, the base of the tail, hind leg hair loss, and more.
Allergies Causing Hair Loss In Cats
Allergies are the number one cause of hair loss in cats. Cats can be allergic to food, dust, pollen, medication, and even insect bites. To ease the itchiness and discomfort, cats may lick and scratch themselves until there are bald spots.
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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?
It Could Be Due To Hormonal Changes
Cat hair loss can be due to hormonal imbalance. Certain hormones are responsible for hair growth but could also be the culprit for hair loss. If there is an overproduction or deficiency of these hormones, hair loss happens. Pregnant and lactating cats can also lose their fur due to hormonal changes, but it is not a cause of worry since the fur will grow back eventually.
Aside from those mentioned above, other reasons that contribute to cat hair loss may include poor health, an unhealthy diet, or an undetected disease. Consult your vet on the necessary steps regarding how to correct poor eating habits. He can also determine any possible illness your cat may have by administering laboratory tests.
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Keep Up With Preventive Care
Use a preventative treatment that protects against all parasites, including fleas, mites, heartworms, and ticks. Be sure that any preventative you use is specifically formulated for cats, as many canine products are toxic to cats. It’s also important to see your veterinarian for routine wellness exams and baseline blood work to monitor for any changes in thyroid levels or endocrine diseases.
Can You Prevent Hair Loss In Cats
PetMD recommends giving your cat lots of toys to play with to help with anxiety-based disorders. If you suspect anxiety to be the cause there are many cat exercises and activities to help reduce stress levels. Ensure you inspect your cat for parasites and infections regularly and make sure to clean the bedding and fury toys. Use monthly flea deterrents to stop an infestation.
If an allergy has been identified, keep that allergen away from your pet if possible. Many pet companies will sell sprays and oils that may calm dry skin and soothe certain irritations. Make sure the products you are buying have good reviews and do not try to hide their labels. Also, keep in mind, not all forms of hair loss are preventable.
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Anxiety Boredom & Stress
A cat rarely suffers from hair loss due to anxiety or stress. In rare circumstances, your cat may become stressed when introduced to a new environment, when you bring home a new pet, when you leave home for extended periods, or if a new human moves into the home. Some cats will self groom to ease their anxiety or stress, and chronic overgrooming usually leads to hair loss.
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.
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It Could Be Due To Allergies
Cats could be losing clumps of fur due to environmental and food-based allergies. These allergies can result in a patchy loss of fur and itchy, inflamed skin. It can be difficult to determine the exact source of the allergic reaction thus, a visit to the vet is advisable. He can administer a series of skin tests to determine the cause.
Remove certain objects from your cats play area or change elements of your cats diet to pinpoint the probable cause. Your vet may prescribe allergy medication if it is due to environmental sources. If the allergy is due to food, you must change your cats diet for a week and try to feed her with hypoallergenic cat food which is free from dairy, wheat, and beef.
Do Cats Shed & Whats Normal
Shedding is normal and healthy for cats. A balding or patchy cat is unusual, though. Its normal for felines to shed more around the spring, as the weather gets hotter for the summer. Typical shedding is light and looks different than hair loss due to medical ailments. Hair loss can be caused by allergies, infection, medication, stress, disease, cancer, and poor diet. In the vast majority of cases, the cause of hair loss is allergies.
It is essential to feed your cat a balanced and nutritious diet. Also, brush and groom your feline regularly. This gives you time to check for any excessive cat hair loss, infections, or parasites. Some cats just shed more than others. Long-haired breeds like a Maine Coon or Persian will shed more than short-hair breeds. Still, genetics may cause a short-haired cat to shed more than usual.
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Diagnosing Hair Loss In Cats
To diagnose the cause behind feline hair loss, veterinarians can take samples from the skin’s surface to look for infections like mites, yeast, and bacteria under a microscope. They may also do a skin biopsy or culture, along with performing a visual exam to see if fleas or other infestations are present.
If the results of these exams are normal, bloodwork will likely be ordered to determine whether a hormonal or thyroid imbalance is causing the hair loss. If the cause is still unsure, imaging tools like X-rays and ultrasounds can help your veterinarian rule out cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands.
Tips For Cat Hair Loss In Pewaukee Wi
The key to dealing with cat hair loss is to determine the cause, and one study examining cats with a diagnosis of hair loss and over-grooming found that medical causes of itching and hair loss were identified in 76% of the cats, while only 10% of the cases were found to be behavioral. The remaining 14% involved a combination of psychogenic alopecia and medical causes of itching and hair loss.
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How To Spot An Issue
Start by assessing the quality of your cats coat.
If your cat is healthy, they should have a smooth and shiny coat. There shouldn’t be any visible patches of bald skin, rashes, red or irritated skin, or signs of excessive licking, scratching or biting. There definitely shouldn’t be any hair falling out in clumps.
Could it be alopecia?
Thats right – cats can get alopecia too. This condition is described as bald patches or thinning/patchy fur, and is either a result of illness or your cat over-grooming due to pain, stress and itchy skin.
If you do notice any of these symptoms, we recommend consulting your vet, and also looking closely at whats in your cats food bowl.
So Should You Be Worried If Your Cat Is Losing Fur
If your cats fur isnt looking as full-bodied as it used to, its usually worth getting them checked out by a veterinarian. If they are well and the skin isnt damaged, its worth checking for fleas first in case a simple parasite treatment could solve the problem. However, skin irritation or even painful sores can be a consequence of some causes of hair loss, so its best not to delay getting veterinary help. Once the cause of your cats hair loss is identified and treatment has begun, it shouldnt be too long before your feline friend is back to their furry former self!
Featured Image Credit: Doucefleur, Shutterstock
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Is Your Cat Losing Hair 6 Reasons For Hair Loss In Cats
One of last years litters of foster kittens brought more than joy and heart-melting cuteness to my house. Unfortunately, the outdoor kitties and their mom came with a pack of fleas, and the pests took up residence in the fur of my resident cat, G.G., who had a maddening itch. The itch soon turned into thinning hair on her belly, at the base of her tail and on her hind legs. So, is your cat losing hair? What causes cat hair loss? In G.G.s case the hair loss turned out to be caused by a flea allergy. Lets learn more about hair loss in cats, also known as alopecia in cats.
Reasons That Your Cat Is Losing Hair
The causes for hair loss in cats are plentiful, and it can be very difficult to determine what is going on. Many reasons why your cat is losing hair can look externally similar, but identifying the underlying cause is key to fixing the problem.
Commonly diagnosed causes of hair loss in cats include:
External parasitesCats are no strangers to external parasites. Even indoor cats can be affected by things like fleas and mange . Demodectic and sarcoptic mange are not visible to the naked eye and need to be diagnosed via skin scrapings examined under the microscope and/or empirical treatment. Fleas, while visible, can be quite difficult to find on cats due to their meticulous grooming habits. Likewise, a flea-allergic cat may need only a very small flea exposure to break out in some pretty dramatic skin changes.
Allergic skin diseaseCats, like humans and dogs, can suffer from allergies to environmental allergens like pollens and dust. They can also have food allergies. Unlike humans who typically end up with hay fever during allergy season, feline allergies often manifest as itchy skin and hair loss.
Skin infectionsCats can suffer from bacterial or yeast skin infections that affect the hair follicle. Ringworm, a contagious fungal infection, can also result in hair loss.
PainCats often overgroom when in pain. They may lick over a painful joint, an ouchy bladder, or an upset belly, resulting in hair loss.
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Cat Overgrooming Related To Anxiety And Stress
Sometimes behavioral issues in cats lead to hair loss. If your cat is highly stressed or anxious, he may overgroom himself to the point of baldness, especially in easy-to-reach spots like the belly, sides, and legs. This is more common in female purebreds, but can develop in any cat.
Treatment options: You may be able to ease your cats overgrooming by determining the cause of his stress: Has there been a recent change in his living environment or lifestyle? Might he have while youre out of the house? If all else fails, talk to your vet about prescription anti-anxiety medications.
Causes Of Cat Hair Loss
There are a few different reasons as to why your cat may be experiencing hair loss. Some cats are born with a skin condition , other cats lose their fur because they are sick or as a side effect to other conditions. The hair loss can also present in different parts of the body.
Knowing the cause of the hair loss will help you determine the best course of treatment for your cat. Here are some reasons as to why your cat may be losing its hair.
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What Do Bald Patches On Cats Look Like
Bald patches on cats can take many forms, from a singular bald patch right down to the skin, to a more patchy loss of hair covering a larger area. How your cats bald patch presents will depend on the ailment thats causing it. Vets will usually be able to rule out certain causes just by looking at your cats fur and bald spots.
These bald patches on their skin can appear on any part of their body, from their tail right to their neck or ears depending on the cause. The nature of the hair loss, rather than the location, is usually the best guide to potential causes and there are no areas of the body that should cause you direct concern if you notice a bald patch.
Cat Losing Hair Tips For Cat Hair Loss In Pewaukee Wi
If you are a cat owner and wonder whats causing your cat to lose its hair, there may be several reasons why fluffy may be going bald in some places. Cat hair loss can occur for many different reasons, but it is very unusual, except in hairless breeds, for a cat to lose its hair for no reason. If you discover bald patches on your cat, you might have to determine the underlying cause of the hair loss. To find out more about whats going on, take your cat to your veterinarian in Pewaukee, WI for a complete exam, including blood work, a thyroid function check, and a urinalysis. These tests will help to rule out any metabolic causes of hair loss, such as Cushings disease , hyperthyroidism, or urinary tract disease.
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Will My Cats Hair Grow Back
Fortunately, in most cases your cats hair will grow backprovided he has been properly diagnosed and treated. There is a chance that hair will not regrow if your cat experienced abnormal hormone levels that caused the hair follicles to die.
Cat hair loss is most likely caused by overgrooming. You can attempt to prevent alopecia in cats by using flea and tick prevention on your cat, as well as keeping him stimulated and as stress-free as possible.
Recovery Of Hair Loss In Cats
The chances of recovery from alopecia depend on the cause of the hair loss. The hair loss in both total and partial cases may be permanent, especially when follicle conditions are the cause. In the event that infections or other treatable conditions caused the loss, the prognosis is usually good after treatment of the cause. Continue to monitor your pets condition, follow all instructions provided by your veterinarian, finish the full course of medications, and return for further medical attention if the situation worsens. Reducing stress in your cats living environment and feeding them a healthy diet will aid in their recovery. Avoid making any major changes until your pet is well on the path to recovery. If hair loss is permanent, your pet can still live a full life. Special attention should be paid to the temperature of their living environment in these cases.
Hair loss can be symptomatic of a serious medical condition. To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today. The sooner you insure your pet, the more protection youll have from unexpected vet costs.
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