Is Your Cat Losing Hair?
Is Your Cat a Little Less Furry These Days?
Some hair loss, like shedding his/her winter coat, is something normal. Something to be concerned about can appear if your cat loses a lot of hair.
Can you see bald patches in their fur in different areas of the body?
Those bald patches can be wide-ranging and quite common in cats. However, it is important to know the difference between normal shedding and abnormal hair loss.
Also, many cats can have thinning fur on the strip of skin between their ears and eyes and this has nothing to do with their breed.
They’re 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, she’ll lick her fur until there are bald spots. It’s simple to treat, but you might have to give her medicine for the rest of her life.
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Fleas, mites, lice, and ticks can make cats scratch and lick, causing bald spots and even sores. This is one of the most common causes for allergies in cats (that are allowed to go outdoors). Click on one of the buttons below for more related information:
Treatment is usually quick and easy. Ask your vet which medicine you should use. Monthly flea prevention is very important to prevent flea bites!
A ringworm is actually a fungus, not a worm.
Ringworm infection is perhaps the most frequently encountered infectious skin disease of cats worldwide.
Any system with a low immune system is also predisposed to infection.
An infected cat will develop lesions on his head, ears, paws, and forelimbs. The lesions cause circular bald spots which sometimes look red in the center.
In severe cases, the infection can spread over most of the cat’s body. A scaly ring of missing hair is a sign.
Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. We would normally prescribe a medicated shampoo or ointment to kill the fungus in mild cases. Severe cases may need oral medications, in addition to clipping the fur.
If you suspect that your cat has ringworm, your vet will be able to confirm whether they have the infection or not through a range of tests.
Stress and anxiety
A cat can lose hair if he/she is stressed. We call this “psychogenic alopecia”.
This results in excessive licking that is usually caused by stress or boredom.
Cats that have it tend to pick at their belly, sides, and legs. It’s most common in female pure-breds with nervous personalities.
Try to treat the wounds she may have and ask your local vet if she needs an antidepressant. Other things that must be taken into consideration are: environment modification or keeping dogs and other animals away.
Endocrine disease (hyperthyroidism)
Hyperthyroidism is the most common glandular disorder in cats. It is most frequently caused by an excessive concentration of circulating thyroxine (a thyroid hormone better known as T4) in the bloodstream. Click on the button below if you want to know more about blood tests:
Feline acquired symmetric alopecia is formerly called “feline endocrine alopecia”. Hyperthyroidism may stimulate overgrooming resulting in symmetrical alopecia.
Just like in humans, thyroid issues can cause your cat to lose hair. About a third of the cats with hyperthyroidism will have excess hair loss. For this kind of diagnostics we need to take a blood test that will help us determine if your cat has thyroid disease or not. Medication can help manage the thyroid, but sometimes surgery or radioactive iodine is needed for treatment.
Another potential hormonal imbalance is called Cushing’s disease which can leads to an excess of steroids in the body. As a result, the hair follicles die.
Cats with arthritis may lick themselves at the site of the pain to ease discomfort. A cat will lick a particular area of the body too much because the tissue underneath the skin hurts and they think that in this way, maybe this can reduce the pain. We also tend to touch or scratch ourselves if we have some sort of pain in that area, right?
Pure breeds, like Himalayans and Bengals, are more likely to have genes that cause hair loss. Others, like the Sphynx, are bred to be hairless.
Oriental pure-breds may carry genes that are more likely to cause alopecia in cats. Siamese cats are more prone to hair loss on the outside of the ears.
Congenital hair loss may or may not be hereditary. It is caused by a lack of development of hair follicles. It may be apparent at or shortly after birth. Or, the cat may be born with a normal coat and then local or generalized hair loss occurs when the cat becomes a young adult.
Tell your vet all about your cat’s diet, behaviour and home to help them understand better what can be the reason. Below you have a different article that may also help:
Why is my cat losing hair?
Those bald patches can be wide-ranging and quite common in cats. It is important to know the difference between normal shedding and abnormal hair loss. There are lots of different things that can cause hair loss in your cat, including allergies, stress and anxiety, hyperthyroidism or even pain. Your cat may groom excessively with an infestation of fleas or mites as well as a fungus like ringworm, causing hair loss.
What cat breeds are predisposed to hair loss?
Congenital hair loss may or may not be hereditary. It is caused by a lack of development of hair follicles.
Pure breeds, like Himalayans and Bengals, are more likely to have genes that cause hair loss. Oriental pure-breds may carry genes that are more likely to cause alopecia in cats. Siamese cats are more prone to hair loss on the outside of the ears.
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