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My cat is shedding hair: ought to I be involved? (Veterinarian’s reply)

Close-up of the bald part of the fur of a domestic cat

You might begin noticing thinning hair on sure components of your cat’s physique. This thinning hair can progress to finish alopecia or lack of hair. Sure circumstances that trigger hair loss could also be itchy, and cats could chunk or chew on these alopecia areas continually. It might additionally seem that your hair is falling out. There are various causes of hair loss in cats, together with fleas, allergy symptoms, stress, and infections. We’ll clarify what causes every of those and whether or not you have to be involved.

What causes hair loss in cats

1. fleas

Veterinarians typically prescribe flea and tick preventatives. This implies making use of or taking medicines to forestall flea and tick infestations, inflammations and infections. Many individuals imagine that their cats is not going to get fleas as a result of they solely preserve them indoors. That is fully mistaken. Whereas it is true that outside cats are extra prone to fleas, indoor cats may get fleas. All cats, no matter the place they stay, ought to take common flea preventatives prescribed by their veterinarian.

2. allergy

Cat allergy symptoms might be tough to acknowledge and diagnose. Allergy symptoms in canines and cats trigger itchy and itchy pores and skin. This causes affected cats to excessively lick, chew, and chew themselves resulting from itching. Cats groom themselves recurrently, so you could not discover something uncommon till they begin shedding rather a lot. You might then discover that your cat is licking or grooming itself greater than regular.

3. stress/anxiousness

As with allergy symptoms, typically you do not understand your cat is over-grooming till the fur is gone. When cats are pressured or anxious, they could lick, chew, groom themselves, or bodily pull their fur. This situation doesn’t itch or itch like an allergy, however appears very related.

4. an infection

Cats have a bacterial or yeast pores and skin an infection referred to as pyoderma. A fungal an infection often called ringworm can also be seen. All of those infections can generally trigger hair loss within the affected space.

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what does this hair loss appear to be

1. fleas

If fleas are shedding your cat’s fur, you could or could not discover the fleas. It is necessary to do not forget that simply since you do not see fleas does not imply your cat is freed from fleas. Most frequently, cats itch across the neck, the bottom of the tail, and the hind legs/thighs. You might discover your cat itching, scratching, chewing and chewing on these areas, however they may ultimately shed their fur. The cat could have irritated the pores and skin, leaving abrasions and scratches on the pores and skin beneath. You might discover small darkish spots on the pores and skin or clogged in fur, nevertheless it’s truly flea grime, or flea droppings.

2. allergy

This sort of hair loss happens over time as cats overgroom the itchy areas. Cats typically expertise extreme itching on their face and neck. They rub their faces and necks relentlessly towards rugs, furnishings, and ft. Take into consideration how itchy and infected the world will get when a mosquito bites you. This persistent, persistent itch could also be what your cat is feeling. The extra the cat itches, the extra irritation and irritation within the space, the extra itchy the cat. The pinnacle, neck, and face are the most typical areas which might be itchy from allergy symptoms, however any space of ​​the physique might be itchy.

3. Stress/Nervousness

This trigger additionally manifests itself as compulsive over-grooming. Not like allergy symptoms, this mostly happens within the stomach, groin and internal thigh areas of cats. You might discover that your cat is continually grooming its bellies or utilizing its mouth or entrance paws to bodily pluck its fur. You might not discover something uncommon till a big bald patch develops in your cat’s stomach or underside. Itching just isn’t the trigger.

4. an infection

In case your cat is excessively scratching or excessively groomed for any of the above causes, the pure micro organism in your cat’s mouth and pores and skin may cause infections. It might seem as scabs, pimples and/or pustules, and flaky pores and skin. Secondary hair loss could happen in contaminated areas of the pores and skin. Or you could discover that while you take away the scab, the hair comes together with it.
With a fungal an infection or ringworm, there’s normally a round space of ​​reddened crust and hair loss in the midst of the circle. Signs could seem similar to these of a bacterial or yeast an infection. The primary distinction from ringworm is that it’s contagious to different animals and folks. You, your loved ones and different animals in your house can develop related itchy lesions.

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Ought to I fear?

Any explanation for itching needs to be handled by a veterinarian. That mentioned, none of them are emergencies that must be addressed the second they grow to be conscious. Nevertheless, it is best to make well timed appointments in order that your cat might be seen by a veterinarian. The longer this situation lasts, the extra irritable and depressing the cat turns into.

Think about once more the instance of a mosquito chunk. The extra stings you get, the extra your pores and skin turns into irritated and extra uncomfortable. The longer the reason for your cat’s hair loss persists, the more serious the situation, the extra uncomfortable, and the tougher it may be to deal with.

How is my cat’s hair loss handled?

Fleas are a situation that must be addressed each for contaminated cats in addition to different animals within the house. Different animals that come and go indoors and outside can observe down indoor fleas, and fleas can bounce in your cat and invade your house surroundings to breed. Along with animals, your house needs to be handled for not less than just a few months to rid the surroundings of the complete life cycle of fleas. It is vitally necessary to deal with your cat solely with veterinarian-prescribed medicines particularly for cats. Flea preventatives for canines, like many over-the-counter medicines, are poisonous to cats and might be deadly.

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Allergy symptoms are a lifelong battle and might be straightforward or tough to handle. We don’t suggest simply giving your cat Benadryl and even simply altering their weight loss program. Please seek the advice of your veterinarian first. It is best to debate a plan of motion earlier than quite a lot of issues change and nothing will get higher. Your veterinarian could prescribe an anti-itch treatment, give your cat a flea preventative, or suggest a prescription weight loss program. Allergy symptoms are complicated and might be very tough to deal with.

In case your cat is affected by extreme grooming stress, your veterinarian will attempt to take a multi-pronged strategy to remedy. Which means that we’ll analysis potential stressors in your surroundings to your cat and will prescribe anti-anxiety medicines, pheromones, and probably ache relievers. Like allergy symptoms, this is usually a lifelong battle and requires intense care and follow-up.

Remedy of any sort of an infection requires applicable treatment prescribed by a veterinarian. It isn’t beneficial to use over-the-counter salves, ointments, or sprays to your cat as they are often poisonous in case your cat grooms or licks them. Relying on the kind of an infection, your veterinarian could provide you with a long-lasting injection of antibiotics or ship you house with oral medicines or medicated wipes.


Hair loss in cats can have many causes. Some might be simply handled, corresponding to fleas and bacterial infections. Alternatively, different causes corresponding to aggravating over-grooming and allergy symptoms might be complicated and sophisticated to diagnose and deal with. All causes of hair loss will must be addressed eventually, however there isn’t any have to rush to pressing care to your cat in the midst of the evening. Scheduled visits and common follow-up along with your veterinarian are anticipated to assist deal with your cat’s signs and promote hair progress.

Featured picture credit: Firn, Shutterstock

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