Cat Hair Loss

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Cat Hair Loss:

If you have a cat losing fur you may be almost tearing your own hair out trying to find the cause and treatment for this unnerving and unsightly problem, especially if it is feline facial alopecia which is very visible. You might be a little relieved to know that hair loss in cats is actually a rather common occurrence. However, it can be very distressing for both the cat and the owner.

Below you will find a range of different causes of feline alopecia. If your own cat is suffering, finding out the reason for the loss of hair is a good place to start. Once you know that, then you can take action to stop the hair loss.

 

Cat Hair loss

Hair loss On a cat

 

Why is My Cat Losing Fur?

Cats are very much like us in regard to their potential health issues. The hair loss in cats can be just as disturbing for them as it is for us to see. There are many causes to this problem, some of which are attributed to mental and physical issues, some of which are down to the most normal of reasons. Some cases of alopecia (hair loss) in cats may require medical treatment by a vet.

Often cats may develop dermatitis or an allergic reaction to a certain substance such as foods, chemicals, fumes, plants, pollen or dust. These can be either be inhaled or in direct contact with the skin. Their skin can become red and inflamed, often showing bumps or blisters. This can then result in hair loss in that specific area or in their ears or coat.

Mites and fleas can also cause cat hair loss. Mange is particularly nasty as the mite causes an infection that then leads to itchiness, scales and hair loss in the most severe cases.

It is possible for cats to be hypersensitive to flea bites due to their saliva. Again, they will experience itching, redness, scaling, and hair loss. It is sometimes the case for a secondary infection to appear if there is saliva contact with a flea, and the licking of the sore area could also in turn cause hair loss. This over-licking can be attributed to the cat’s need to soothe the area or could possibly be due to stress, which of course is a whole different ball game.

Stress-related licking can be a result of an anxious cats need for comfort and routine. If any part of their lives is disturbed in any way, it may well cause the cat to become over zealous with its cleaning regime in a bid to ease the situation – not entirely dissimilar to cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans.  Cats are very emotional creatures, and to help relieve this stress, we must get to the source of it either with veterinary advice, medication or pure TLC.

Also check out this article:  Cat Flu Antibiotics

For a natural treatment for cat fur loss, go here: Hair Loss in Cats Natural Remedy

Cat hair loss may also occur during pregnancy or birthing. However in this instance, it usually grows back almost as quickly as it fell out – once the condition or situation is no longer apparent.

Another cause of alopecia in cats is sunburn, or Solar Dermatosis. Like us, some cats are more susceptible to the sun than others. It can cause redness and scaling on the nose and ears and is most common in cats with white ears. Applying sun cream is the easiest solution. Your vet can advise you on this.

The most common feline hair loss seen in cats is around the ear and eye area. This facial alopecia in cats is often detected around eighteen months old and it usually affects short and dark haired cats. Some cases can be attributed to thyroid issues, allowing clumps of hair to be pulled out. This can affect up to a third of the cat population.

Cat fur loss is also caused by fungal and bacterial infections such as ringworm or cat flu. A cat with a lowered immune system may find it hard to fight off these usually mild infection.

Seborrhea is often a secondary infection following on from these. It forms scales either dry or oily on the top surface, occasionally with an odor, causing hair loss. Supplements & medicated shampoos usually treat this effectively.  Some of these infections can be passed from cat to human. It is this that leads some people to suggest that shared sleeping arrangements with your cat is not a good idea.

In some unfortunate cases, feline alopecia is due to more serious health conditions. These include the rare Apocrine Sweat Gland Cysts where there are fluid nodules around the head & neck.  Patches of hair lost around the same area, but not appearing to cause any discomfort is likely to be Alopecia Areata.  This is an autoimmune disorder, medically un-treatable. Quite often however, the cat will recover on its own.

When undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, this too can cause a cat to start losing hair or even the whiskers.  As with humans, after the treatment has finished, the hair grows back, occasionally in a different colour!

Congenital Hypotrichosis is when kittens are born with no or little hair. This often results in any hair that was present, being lost by the age of four months. There is no explanation or cure.

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Cushing’s disease occurs when a cat produces or comes into contact with an increase of corticosteroids.  Hair loss, a thinning of the skin, spots & blackheads appear. The cat may also have a greater thirst, need to urinate and appear pot-bellied. This condition often results in surgery to the glands along with medication.

Other skin reactions may be down to specific medications given: penicillin, sulphonamides and cephalosporin are all used for a wide range of health issues. Naturally if a change of medication is needed for any ailments your cat may have, your vet should determine this appropriately.

Hair loss can also occur at the site of an injection. It is lost usually a few months after the puncture. There may also be some hardening of the surrounding skin & hyper pigmentation. Sometimes an infection appears in the hair follicles, causing pustules to develop, which may itch and cause the hair to fall out. This is most common on the face, head & neck – referred to as feline facial alopecia. This is treated effectively with antibiotics.

Symmetrical Alopecia is when hair is lost on the thighs, stomach and genital area, in a corresponding pattern. The cause is unknown and there is also no known treatment.

Granulomas or solid nodules are caused by the body’s reaction to a foreign substance or infection. They harden and sometimes drain, causing hair loss. It may be necessary to surgically remove these lumps, depending on the cause and growth of the foreign body.

Another rare disease is that of Sebaceous Adenitis. This is when the sebaceous glands have deteriorated. Its cause is again unknown. The scales enable clumps of hair to be pulled out easily, leaving the skin exposed. It is usually treated with steroids and supplements. Stud tail is also linked to the sebaceous glands. It occurs near the top of the tail and enlargement is seen, usually in unneutered male cats. The gland becomes oily and crusts over. Medication is the cure, not castration.

Needless to say, if you discover that your beloved cat is losing its fur, it is always advisable to see your vet if there is no immediate cause you are aware of. If your cat is suffering fur loss, then hopefully this article might help you to figure out why it is happening, and then you will be able to take steps to remedy the problem.

For a natural treatment for cat fur loss, go here: Hair Loss in Cats Natural Remedy

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