Is your cat seems a little less furry these days? It's normal for a kitty to lose some hair, like their winter coat, known as cat alopecia. But if your cat loses a lot of hair, you need to notice this to fix it.
Is she constantly scratching and licking? It's not uncommon for cats to groom themselves, which can cause hair loss, skin sores, and infections. You should be concerned if your cat seems more interested in licking its fur than playing or eating.
There are several reasons why your cat loses hair:
- Skin condition from birth. (Harmless)
- Food allergy
- They are ill.
Common Reasons for Hair Loss in Cat
It's best to check with your vet. In most cases, it's nothing serious, but possibilities include the following:
Allergies: A top cause of hair loss are allergies. Like you, your cat can also get it from food, insect bites, medicines, dust, or pollen. When they get itchy, they'll lick their fur until it's bald. The treatment is simple, but they'll have a lifetime of medication as suggested by the vet.
Parasites: Fleas, mites, lice, and ticks cause them to scratch and lick, causing bald spots. In these cases, the treatment is quick and easy. Consult your vet about which medicine to take.
Ringworm infection: It isn't a worm but a fungal infection. A scaly ring of missing hair is a sign. The vet can tell you and prescribe antifungal creams, ointments, or even oral medications.
Stress and anxiety: Cats who are stressed and obsessively lick and scratch can lose their hair too. Vets call it psychogenic alopecia, most common in female purebreds. If they're depressed, talk to your vet about antidepressants, placing high perches, or keeping dogs away.
Pain: Cats with arthritis may lick themselves to relieve their pain.
Hair loss treatment for cats
Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your cat's hair loss. Some options include:
- Parasiticide treatment: Usually lasts eight weeks and is given to all pets. In most cases, cats are excellent groomers so that you won't see parasites on their hair coats.
- Topical therapy: Products like shampoo, mousse, and ointments can help.
- Meds: Systemic antibiotics or antifungals.
- Elimination diet: Try a prescribed allergy or a limited-ingredient diet for 8 to 12 weeks.
- Medications: Prednisolone, cyclosporine, or antihistamines for itch relief.
- Behavior: modifying medication: Give them fluoxetine, along with better access to food, water, litter boxes, playtime, and interactive toys.
Cat Hair Loss recovery and management
Depending on the underlying cause, cats with alopecia can take weeks to months to recover. However, if the underlying cause is identified and treated, your cat's hair will likely grow back.
Most diagnoses require long-term management, like flea prevention, specialized cat food, topical therapy, or medication. Make sure you follow up with your vet and take their instructions for follow-up visits.
Over time, cats' skin and haircoats get dry, dull, and brittle from lack of protein, fat, and energy, so ensure they get enough of these nutrients.
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