Reasons for Cat Hair Loss

By | January 23, 2012

Most people know that a healthy full coat is a sign of good health in animals. Cat hair loss can then be a cause for concern. What should you be looking for if you are facing cat hair loss?

There are several possibilities in hair loss issues. The first is to check for parasites. Mites, fleas and ticks can cause scratching and hair loss in cats. Mange is another possibility to consider. If parasites aren’t a problem the next thing to look at is diet.

A natural diet with meat as the primary ingredient is less likely to have issues with food allergies. Poor diet and food allergies can cause hair loss due to itching and irritated skin. A good quality diet that – no pun intended – feeds the cat’s natural requirements is the best solution if this is a possibility. Low end foods with high grain content can increase the chances of problems. Your cats hair loss might come from things you can’t see.

You’ve tried a few alterations and have determined although the health is improved there’s still cat hair loss. There’s four other possibilities all which will take testing by a veterinarian to determine or rule out for sure.

• Cushing’s disease has not only hair loss but increased thirst, appetite as   well  as the cat being lethargic. Perhaps the skin is easily irritated or petting  seems to hurt her. The hair is usually missing from the same areas on both sides.
• Addison’s disease is an adrenal gland issue that can also cause lethargic behavior as well as hair loss and skin issues. The good news is that this is not common in cats but the bad news is when it is found it’s often brought on by cancer or a pituitary imbalance. There is little to do but keep the cat as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
• Hypothyroidism is a hormone imbalance that causes a cat to groom excessively. They might be obsessive about licking and biting themselves due to the skin itching and the hair might fall out in patches. They might overeat and gain weight. If this is obvious along with vomiting it means a trip to the vet as this can indicate a kidney disease.
Hyperthyroidism takes it the other way with weight loss lack of grooming themselves, increased thirst and greatly increased appetite. This can be controlled with medication.
• Another possible reason for hair loss is an autoimmune disorder that causes loss especially on the head, neck and body with no itching noticed.
• Allergies to food are sometimes considered but not allergies in the air or bedding.
• The symptoms of licking feet, inflamed ears, redness, itching, “hot spots” can be the same. Occasionally it can be a symptom of a drug reaction. Stressed cats can also have hair loss including some during pregnancies.

Hair loss in cats is sometimes difficult to pin down a reason for. Talk to your veterinarian to weed out the most serious causes first if you are seeing cat hair loss in an individual cat.


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