Sat. Mar 25th, 2023
Cat Hair Loss: Why It Occurs and How to Help

If you notice that your cat is balding, it’s critical to determine whether the cat hair loss is typical or abnormal. Cat hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons. Shedding is an illustration of typical hair loss. Any hair loss that is abnormal or not related to normal shedding needs to be investigated.

Quick Overview: Cat Hair Loss

cat excessive hair

Urgency: Depending on the various signs currently present, there may be a little to moderate urgency (itching, scratching, reddened skin, etc. increase priority)

Requires a visit to the veterinarian: Yes, especially if there are other symptoms or worsening symptoms.

Seen in Cats: Frequently

Linked to: Hormonal imbalances, starvation, dermatitis, excessive grooming, fleas, ringworm, and skin diseases.

Treatment options: Treatment options include antibacterial medications, antiparasitic drugs, stress-relieving drugs or supplements, and dietary adjustments, depending on the underlying condition. Topical products including sprays, ointments, and medicated shampoos may also be used in some situations.

Normal Hair Loss: Shedding

cat hair loss persian
While shedding hair is common and healthy, severe hair loss can also be brought on by a number of medical conditions.

Whether they shed a lot or a little, cats often do so all year. Additionally, during certain times of the year, usually in the spring and summer when the weather warms up, some cats tend to shed more. Due to seasonal shedding, your cat may shave more frequently during particular periods of the year.

Although it can be normal for your cat’s coat to appear less fluffy and full during the hot summer months, you shouldn’t see any bald spots or regions of hair loss.

Why is My Cat Losing Hair?

cat hair petting
For a number of different reasons, such as flea infestation, allergies, skin illnesses, and more, your cat may begin losing hair.

Any cat hair loss that does not coincide with typical shedding is most likely abnormal. Abnormal hair loss is referred to as alopecia. It’s important to have your cat inspected by a veterinarian if you notice odd patches, bald areas, or severe thinning of the hair coat in your cat because many different medical conditions can cause hair loss. Another warning sign is hair that comes out in tufts or clumps when you gently tug on it.

If you’re unsure whether the hair loss is simply seasonal shedding, wash your cat. Make sure to work the shampoo into the coat completely. Brush your cat after a thorough rinsing and drying.

A vigorous bath, blow-dry, and brushing should be used to get rid of the majority of the falling hair. If your cat is losing a lot of hair despite bathing and brushing it, or if you notice that its coat is thin or uneven, it’s time to visit the vet.

Causes of Cat Hair Loss

cat bathing

The factors listed below are the most typical causes of cat hair loss. Hair loss is something that your veterinarian should keep an eye on because some of these disorders are serious.

Allergies that cause dermatitis: Dermatitis is a term for skin irritation. Dermatitis is frequently caused by allergies, including those to fleas, foods, the environment, or contacts. Because of her skin allergies, the cat might lick, chew, or scratch at her skin, which can result in sores, lumps, crusting, scabbing, redness, and hair loss. Sometimes a cat’s entire belly will go bald.

Fleas and Parasites: As a result of scratching and biting their irritated and itchy skin, cats with infestations of parasites that live on the skin, such as fleas, ticks, or mites, may lose hair. Flea bites can cause allergic reactions that cause severe skin rashes and hair loss, even in cats.

Hormones: Certain hormonal abnormalities, such as Cushing’s disease (high cortisol levels) and hyperthyroidism, can result in hair loss (an overactive thyroid). Female cats may lose a large amount of coat during childbirth or while caring for her kittens due to hormonal imbalance.

Ringworm: Ringworm is a fungal infection, not a worm at all. Along with skin sores, ringworm can cause hair loss. The telltale sign of ringworm is a circular skin lesion that resembles a ring. In addition to cats, humans, dogs, and cats are also highly susceptible to ringworm.

Skin infections: If your cat has a skin infection caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungus, it may scratch, lick, or bite at the skin.

Malnourishment: Cats who eat an imbalanced diet run the risk of becoming undernourished, which can lead to a number of problems, including hair loss.

Mange: A profusion of skin-dwelling mites causes mange, which is much less common in cats than in dogs. Uneven hair loss and inflamed skin are side effects of mange.

Age: As cats age naturally, they frequently experience hair loss. Senior cats may have less luxurious, more lustrous coats. Senior cats do not typically have shedding or patchiness, nor do they typically have large areas of missing hair.

Over-grooming: Some cats groom themselves excessively, which causes cat hair loss. Psychogenic alopecia, also known as excessive grooming alopecia, is the name given to hair loss that results from anxiety or stress. Cats with itchy skin may also groom themselves excessively.

Cat Hair Loss Treatment

cat hair combing

The underlying cause determines the method of treatment for feline alopecia (cat hair loss). This is why it’s so important to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian. The vet will ask about your cat’s hair loss, examine your cat’s skin and body, and possibly recommend blood tests or other testing. Your veterinarian may recommend one or more of the following treatments once they’ve identified the cause of your cat’s hair loss:

Medications: The prescription of particular drugs may be necessary depending on the underlying cause of your cat’s hair loss. Skin infections require the use of antibiotics or antifungal medications. If stress or worry is the cause of excessive grooming, anxiety medication may be advised. If the cat is itchy, your veterinarian might suggest an antihistamine.

Diet: If your cat’s hair loss is caused by malnutrition, your veterinarian may advise switching to a different food that helps treat nutritional deficiencies. Can your cat eat bacon?

Shampoos: To treat skin conditions and mite infestations, a combination of oral medications and recommended shampoos is usually employed. Giving your cat a wash with a moisturizing shampoo will help soothe dry or irritated skin.

Supplements: Some supplements may improve the skin’s and coat’s condition. Consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your cat’s diet.

How To Help If Your Cat Is Losing Hair

If you notice that your cat is shedding hair more frequently than usual, that its coat is thin and moth-eaten, or that it has bald patches or spots, don’t delay to get them treated by a veterinarian.

Hair loss can be a sign of serious health problems, and if your cat is losing hair because of itchy skin, she may be in a lot of pain. Your cat’s hair loss can be treated by your veterinarian, who can also recommend the best course of action and help your cat’s skin and coat get back to normal.

Read more: Do cats like to be kissed?

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