Hair Loss In Cats

Hair Loss In Cats

There are many reasons why your cat is losing fur. Most times it is because of chewing his hair and breaking it off or yanking it out through over-grooming. Sometimes you may actually catch them in the act of chewing out fur, or maybe you’ve noticed that they are grooming a lot. It is more likely though that you have noticed a hairless patch or two. Occasionally, you will notice clumps of hair in their normal hangouts, or you may just notice a sudden increase in hairballs.

Hair loss from any cause is called alopecia. To treat the alopecia, it is necessary to determine the cause of the problem.

The most common cause for cats to pull out their hair, especially around the base of the tail, is an allergy to flea bites. For cats that are allergic to flea bites, it can only take a single bite to produce an intense and sometimes prolonged reaction.

Hair Loss In Cats

Hair Loss Factors

Mites are another parasite that can cause cats to pull out their hair. Mange is caused by several types of mites, which can cause cats to lick and chew themselves to try to relieve the itching.

Ringworm is a fungus that is also a common cause in cases of hair loss, especially in the areas of the face, ears, and feet. Hair will disappear in small patches, as the skin turns dry, gray, and flaky. Animals that have a ringworm can transmit them to humans as well.

There are some glandular disorders that can also cause cats to lose hair, usually in a symmetrical pattern along the sides of the body. These types of conditions are caused by overproduction of steroids from the adrenal glands.

Localized pain can also cause cats to lick an area excessively. An abscess that is forming under the skin can be painful and will attract a lot of licking. Hair loss over joints may be an indication of arthritis.

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Hair Loss In Cats

Hair Restoration

Once you are able to rule out parasites and medical problems, there are still two major causes of hair loss to consider. Food allergies can show up first in the skin as small red spots that spread. These can turn into scabby sores that can become infected if the cat rubs or scratches them. Itching around the head and face are usually common signs of food allergies. Allergies to dust mites or pollen can also produce similar symptoms. Food allergies and inhalant allergies can all lead to eventual hair loss.

Lastly, another main cause of hair loss can be psychogenic alopecia. This means that your cat is pulling or chewing out fur due to psychological factors, this can include nervousness, anxiety, fear, or stress. This condition is actually more common than most people realize. Cats are very sensitive to their environment, and they can function better when they are on a steady and consistent routine. Pretty much anything can stress out a cat, including a new baby, another pet, new guests, a change in food, and even a change in weather! Cats will groom themselves as a way to calm down. Think about the last time your cat did something silly or dumb, like misjudge a leap or accidentally fall off of the couch. We might think it is cute or funny and laugh, but the cat immediately starts to groom. A cat that is chronically stressed may turn to excessive grooming as a means of dealing with anxiety.

Hair pulling and chewing behaviour is a sure signal that something is wrong with your cat.

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