What Can Your Vet Do To Help
Your vet will give your cat a thorough check over to find out whats causing their alopecia. If they discover fleas, which are a common cause of itching and subsequent hair loss, they may recommend flea treatment .
Your vet might also take hair samples or scrape a little sample of skin to test for ringworm and parasites dont worry, this is completely painless. Occasionally your vet may decide to take a small skin sample from your cat under anesthetic or to perform an allergy skin test to check for cat skin conditions. Alternatively, they may take a blood sample to look for underlying diseases that could be causing your pet’s hair loss.
If, at the end of their investigation, theres still no obvious reason for the feline alopecia, your vet may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist.
If, however, you or your vet suspect that there could be a behavioural reason for your cat’s over-grooming and making themselves lose hair, then you may need to discuss your cats lifestyle to work out what might be causing them stress.
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.
How To Remove Matted Cat Hair
So, we have established that a cats hair becomes matted because of excessive dirt, knotting, and a lack of grooming, and weve discussed why your cat could have stopped self-grooming in the first place. Weve also talked about how you can prevent mats from forming.
But what if your cat has matted hair right now? How can you remove matted cat hair?
Dematting a cat is not a nice experience and needs to be done correctly. Otherwise, it can cause your feline pain or damage their coat altogether! Thankfully, there are several ways that you can remove matted cat hair, from using a dematting comb for cats to homemade detangler spray for cats, and everything in between!
Try each of the below tools and see which one works for you.
Why Is My Cats Hair Coming Out In Clumps 8 Possible Causes
Owning a dog and a cat, or living in an area where the cat has easy access to the outside, could be the reason the feline is suddenly losing its fur. If it can go outdoors and mingle in nature or is in close contact with a dog every single day, it can get bitten by a flea.
Now, the cat may not shed hair because of themselves. The cause of alopecia, in this case, is a flea allergy. If the feline is sensitive to the fleas saliva, it can develop alopecia, especially in its hindquarters.
Unfortunately, it only takes one flea to trigger a rather unfortunate, and sometimes prolonged reaction. Thats why its a must to take the cat to the vet immediately to avoid any further skin and fur damage.
Luckily, the condition is easy to treat with some flea treatments and shampoo. If the itching is persistent, and the hair loss excessive, the vet may also prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids.
What Causes Feline Hair Loss
There are many reasons why your cat is suffering from hair loss. You should bring your cat to the vet to see if a source can be properly identified. They may uncover problematic conditions for example, think ear mites, ringworm, fleas, or even allergies. All of these conditions will cause discomfort, making it impossible for your cat to keep from scratching. Their over-grooming can lead to bald patches. Vets will also be able to identify any other serious problems.
Feline hair loss can also be a side effect of stress. A stressed cat may start to pull out their fur or over-groom certain areas. They may also try this technique on spots where they are experiencing a lot of pain, like sore muscles and joints.
Hormones can also lead to hair loss and balding in cats. There are specific hormones responsible for cat hair growth and they could be experiencing an imbalance. If they have too much or too little of these hormones, it can lead to losing hair. Some pregnant cats are also more likely to lose fur due to hormone changes.
A poor diet can also lead to hair loss, meaning the food that you feed your cat must be healthy and contain required ingredients like taurine and a named protein source. A quality commercial food brand will keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Home Treatment For Cat Hair Loss
Is your cat constantly scratching or biting at their fur? Are you noticing patches of hair missing on their head or body? While it can be concerning to see your cat in distress, there are luckily a number of home treatments for cat hair loss that can help keep them healthy and looking their best.
Cats are prideful pets who will often try to hide their discomfort from you. But once you notice a lot of itching, red skin, or excess shedding, its time to step in and ensure that your cat is healthy and not suffering from stress or anxiety, a condition, or other uncomfortable issues all of which can lead to hair loss.
Table of Contents
Treatment Of Hair Loss In Cats
The treatment prescribed for your cats hair loss will depend on the cause veterinary staff is able to diagnose. Treatment plans will vary widely because many of the causes do not share similar treatment methodologies. The success of remedies will depend greatly on accurate diagnosis of the reason for the alopecia. In some cases, like those involving congenital or hereditary hair loss, no treatment is available. Some common treatments include:
A topical cream is often used when treating alopecia. In some cases, the topical cream may treat the cause of the hair loss, but it is also common to use one to remedy symptoms like skin irritation. When hair loss is caused by fleas or similar problems, fungal infections, certain skin conditions, and skin traumas, this is a popular option.
Antidepressants or Antianxiety Medications
In cases of psychogenic alopecia, or hair loss caused by mental conditions like stress, medication may be prescribed to help the cat cope with the issue. This treatment has worked successfully in most cases, completely eliminating excessive grooming while the medication is being taken. This treatment carries some risk of side effects from the medication, but they generally are not severe. Behavior modification and removal of environmental stressors is often used in conjunction with this type of therapy.
Why Is My Cat S Hair Falling Out And Losing Weight
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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?
Healthy Diet Healthy Fur Healthy Kitty
A soft, shiny coat is a sign of a healthy cat. Its also a sign your cat is eating an optimal, high-meat, species-appropriate diet!
Cats are obligate carnivores, after all. They need a high-protein, meat-rich diet to thrive.
When your cat digests animal proteins , amino acid ‘building blocks start to build and strengthen your cats coat. The problem with most commercial cat foods is they rely on gluten-based protein to boost their protein levels, but cats don’t have the digestive enzymes to efficiently utilize these proteins.
Cats that aren’t fed a meat-rich diet also dont get the moisture their organs need to function safely. Without this moisture, your cats digestive system cant transport hairballs.
Treatment For Cat Hair Loss
The easiest cause of hair loss to treat is fleas. Your veterinarian will prescribe an effective method of prescription flea and tick control and recommend products for cleaning your home. If the alopecia is due to a skin disorder , thyroid imbalance or other hormonal imbalance, there are cat medications and topical treatments available. If cat hair loss is due to a behavioral issue, your vet might prescribe anxiety medication for cats. Treating the underlying issue may prevent further hair loss, but without restoring the hair.
Preventing Hair Loss In Cats
There are a few different ways to prevent hair loss at home and its all about noticing the signs and symptoms before it becomes a bigger problem. Although cats can be very stoic and will attempt to hide their discomfort, there are still ways you can identify some warning signs and then provide comfort for your cat even if they wont admit they need it.
If you start to see your cat biting and pulling at their fur a lot, do an examination of their skin and fur at least a couple times a week. By using a fine-toothed comb, youll be able to closely examine specific sections for hair loss and skin problems while also revealing pests like fleas.
You should also make sure their bedding, cat trees, and other popular destinations within your home are closely examined for any possible correlation. Sometimes bedding can be too rough for your cats hair or youll notice signs of pests and other home invaders on their toys and trees.
When you notice your cat constantly grooming a certain area or you see signs of irritated skin, you should bring your cat to their veterinarian. This could provide you with a reason and a solution before your cat starts to lose hair in response to the discomfort.
Hair Loss Culprit #1: Fleas
Some cats are allergic to the saliva left behind by flea bites . While a flea-ridden cat will exhibit the typical symptoms of extreme discomfort and excessive itching and grooming, a cat who is allergic to their unwelcome friends will also experience patchy hair loss exposing raw, irritated skin, particularly on the neck and face. It is important to note that this allergic reaction can occur up to two weeks after all the fleas are gone. WebMD Pets says, Your pets veterinarian will recommend a topical, oral, or injected medication to ease your pets itching and inflammation. They also recommend giving your cat year-round treatment with flea prevention medication to stop the reaction from occurring in the future, but you shouldnt stop there. It is equally important to treat your home for fleas and eggs by cleaning the carpeting, bedding, furniture, etc.
Cat Hair Loss On Legs
The bald spot on cat leg usually makes your cat appear ugly and to several people that can be very heartbreaking and they will do anything to ensure that does not happen. However, to ensure that you prevent hair loss you should be at least familiar with two to three reasons that make that happen.
Here are some of the reasons. First, is the allergic reaction. Indeed, an allergy regardless of the cause can result to a partial or complete loss of hair on your cats legs.
That can happen on any part of the leg, and it usually leaves your cats skin exposed to the environment. Hence, that part can be a good entry for pathogens entry into your cuts body, thus making it sick.
Fleas And Other External Parasites
If your cat is suffering from a flea infestation youll usually notice other symptoms including a noticeable increase in itching. You can eliminate fleas with routine spot on treatments or by using other preventive treatments. If your cat has had an allergic reaction to a flea bite that has caused baldness a vet may administer an injection or other treatment to help reduce the allergic reaction and help calm the area. Hair will usually grow back once the inflammation resolves.
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.
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Hair Loss Average Cost
Is It Dangerous For Cats To Lose Hair In Clumps
If you see any signs of illness in your cat, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian and set an appointment. Hair loss can be a serious condition in cats. They may:
- Be unable to regulate their body temperature
- Be more exposed and vulnerable to the sun
- Damage their skin while pulling out hair
- Create wounds that lead to infection
- Damage hair follicles and stop the hair from growing back
Why Does My Cat Keep Pulling Hair Out
Its scary to find your cat frantically pulling out its own hair. This is not natural behavior. While cats do groom themselves and remove shed hair, its not excessive. A cat thats removing large clumps regularly is experiencing a serious health issue.
You may even find the cat biting, yowling, and scratching at itself. If you find your cat pulling out fur and losing weight, youll need the intervention of a vet. It could mean that your cat is dealing with:
Symptoms Accompanying Cat Hair Loss
Besides your cat losing hair on places such as the underbelly, underside of the tail, hind legs, sides, or genital area, you may notice these other signs of alopecia in cats:
- Itchy, scaly, or dry skin
- Red patches on the skin or darker skin coloration
- Excessive shedding
Many adult catsregardless of breedexperience thinning fur on the strip of skin between their ears and eyes.
Not Getting Enough Food
Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think.
Do you have another cat or dog in the house? Additional pets in your home could be eating your cats food or obstructing your cats access to their food bowl.
Or did you recently change brands of food? The calorie content in a cup of food can vary greatly from one brand to another.
Is the food dish up high on a counter? Your cat could be experiencing pain from that is making it difficult to jump up to where the food dish is.
Your veterinarian can help you determine if there are obstacles in your home that are preventing your cat from getting enough food.
Cat Losing Hair Treatment
Treatment for alopecia in cats depends on the cause of the hair loss. This is why its so important to take your cat to the veterinarian for an exam. The vet will ask questions about the hair loss, examine your cats skin and body, and possibly recommend blood tests or other testing. Once the cause of your cats hair loss has been identified, your vet might recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Medications: Certain drugs may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of your cats hair loss. Skin infections require antibiotics or antifungal medications. In the case of overgrooming due to stress or anxiety, anxiety medication may be prescribed. If the cat is itchy, your vet might prescribe an antihistamine.
Diet: If your cats hair loss is caused by malnutrition, your veterinarian might recommend a different food that can address nutritional deficiencies.
Shampoos: Skin infections and mite infestations are often treated with a combination of oral medications and prescription shampoos. Bathing your cat with a moisturizing shampoo can help soothe dry or itchy skin.
Supplements: Certain supplements may improve skin and coat quality. Always ask your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your cats diet.
What Are The Most Common Health Issues You See That Cause Hair And Coat Problems In Cats
Parasites and allergies are really the #1 cause. While Colorado is lucky in that our climate is dry and fleas arent as severe here, they do exist. Along with mites and lice, these parasites can give your cat an allergic reaction that results in hair loss, itchiness around the head and neck, and inflamed skin. Bacterial and fungal infections are also frequent in cats with allergies.
The second most common issue involving poor skin and coat is when a cat has dry, flaky, or oily skin. Usually a feline with these problems isnt grooming itself because it is not feeling well. The cause could be an internal systemic illness, such as:
- kidney disease
- autoimmune problems
Cats will often also lick an area that is in pain, causing hair loss or a skin lesion. They may lick at a sore joint, or even their belly as a sign of a bladder infection.
Hair Loss In Cats Around Neck
The presence of a bald spot on cat neck is an indication that your cat needs urgent medical attention because it could be suffering from mange. This condition called mange is usually caused by excessive clustering of mites on the cats neck, precisely near the ears. These mites are dangerous because they block the hair follicles making eth fur to be loose and brittle.
When you notice that your cat is over-scratching its neck and there are sores and dandruff, then be assured that your cat is suffering from mange.
If you are lucky to notice those signs earlier enough, you should take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that he or she can administer appropriate medication to treat and hinder the spread of mange to other area of the neck.
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
Cat Losing Hair On Front Legs
There is nothing irritating as seeing your cat losing its beautiful fur on its front legs. To some people, especially those who like walking around with their cats, that is a total shocker because that technically sends a message to other people that you are not taking good care of your cat.
For those who love their cats, they would take them to the physician to be told what is happening with their cats. However, for the dont cares, if their cats were for instance suffering from a bacterial infection, that can spread over the entire front legs under their watch.
How To Prevent Weight Loss In Cats
You can prevent weight loss in your cat by regularly monitoring body condition and visiting the vet regularly for wellness examinations. Cats are experts at hiding illness and injuries, but your vet may be able to detect a problem before it gets out of hand. Be sure to report any changes in your cat’s behavior to your vet right away. It is much easier to treat a health problem in the early stages than to wait until your cat becomes very ill.
Signs Of Cat Overgrooming
If youre not sure if your pet is overgrooming – or just keeping themselves clean – there are a few signs to watch out for. A cat who is overgrooming might:
- Repeatedly lick, pluck, chew or bite on an area of skin
- Pull out tufts of fur
- Have patches of thin fur or bald areas
- Have areas of red or broken skin caused by biting – often on their feet or tail
Common areas to look for excessive grooming are in places that your cats can reach easily with their tongue. Their stomach, sides, inner hind legs, as well as their legs, paws and tail may be affected – and often your pet will overgroom symmetrically on both sides of the body.
Why Is My Cats Hair Coming Out In Clumps Other Conditions To Keep In Mind
- Arthritis: In some cases, localized pain may be to blame if the cat is losing chunks of fur. It may decide to lick the parts that are in pain until theyre bald to get some relief.
- Medication Side Effects: Some conditions, such as allergies and irritable bowel syndrome, may require the use of steroids, specifically prednisone. Although it could help with inflammation and management of cancer , one of its side effects is alopecia.
- Stud : In case of uninterrupted secretion of the supracaudal glands sebaceous glands, the cat may have a waxy patch and blackheads at the base of its tail. This is a skin disease called a stud tail that can be treated with antibiotics or neutering. The use of antiseborrheic shampoos is advised as well.
Diagnosis Of Cat Alopecia
First your veterinarian will examine the characteristics of the hair loss. She will likely check for fleas and flea dirt. If the veterinarian believes that the hair loss is due to a skin issue, then a skin biopsy or culture may be done.
Apart from fleas, allergies can cause hair loss. Some cats develop wounds called eosinophilic granuloma complex that can become very large.
A blood serum chemistry panel is often done to determine if there are thyroid or other hormonal imbalances causing the alopecia. Various imaging tools, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, are used to rule out signs of cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands.