Hair Loss in Cats

hair loss in cats

Photo by General Wesc

Hair loss in cats is often a frightening sight for pet owners who immediately rush their companion to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. When it comes to the domestic cat, there are many conditions and diseases that can create a hair loss problem. Some instances are quite normal, while other hair loss in cats can indicate an illness that requires medical attention.

When self diagnosing your cat’s illness it is best to start with the most obvious cause and work away from that point. Of course it almost goes without saying that beyond dealing with fleas and lice (possible causes of cat hair loss) you should see a veterinarian. This page is meant to simply give some guidelines gleaned from extremely reliable sources.

I set out below the possible causes of cat hair loss in the order of most likely cause. Cat hair loss has many potential causes and tests may have to be carried out to assist diagnosis.

Common Hair Loss Conditions in Cats

Loss of hair in cats doesn’t mean the end of the world, as there are plenty of reasonable explanations why excess shedding takes place. Many of the following common hair loss conditions are reversible and sometimes avoidable when an owner learns of the substances or circumstances that affect their feline.

Allergic and Irritant Contact Dermatitis

A cat may experience an allergic reaction when they become exposed to a variety of substances and objects that comes in contact with the skin. This may include metals (such as nickel), rubber, wool, plastic, and chemicals (dyes and carpet cleaners). Irritating substances, such as poison ivy, may also cause the inflammation that can lead to hair loss in cats. Additional symptoms include cat skin redness, small bumps and blisters, and itching.

Atopy (allergic inhalant dermatitis)

When a cat inhales house dust, pollen, or mold, an allergic reaction may follow. As a result, they may display redness, itchiness, inflammation in the ear, and hair loss. In some cases, an infection develops or a cat experiences hot spots.

Mange

It is a particular mite species that causes the infection that leads to itchiness, scales, and some hair loss in cats when the condition is severe.

Facial Alopecia

It is normal for cats to lose hair located between the eye and ear when suffering this condition. Usually, facial alopecia is seen when cats are between 14 and 20 months old. Shorthaired and dark-haired cats are the most affected.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Many cats possess flea bite hypersensitivity, where an intense reaction to the saliva of the flea is experienced. Common symptoms include extreme itching, redness, scaling, and hair loss. An infection may also develop as a result of saliva contact with the flea. See Feline Allergies (new window). Cats will lick excessively removing hair. Miliary dermatitis can sometimes be seen on the skin (red lumps).

Painful or itchy area and licked to relieve it

If an area of the cat’s body is painful she may lick the specific area. If it is a disease that causes itchiness the licking will cover a wider area. As cats lick a lot anyway, under these circumstances she will over lick causing a potential hair loss.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine refer to cat doing this as “fur mowers”. The area(s) licked help in diagnosis. Fleas, for example can infest areas around the neck (where a cat can’t lick) and also at the base of the spine before the tail begins. If a cat overlicks there it could be flees. In fact I regularly flee comb the hotspots on my cat to check for flea infestation as we feed a stray cat.

An allergy to pollen or food may in result in “fur mowing” the back and abdomen for example.

Clearly licking is normal but when it results in hair loss it is not and their will be an underlying problem. Lice and matting might provoke excessive licking but in my experience matting doesn’t. The first call then is to check for the simple and obvoius mentioned above. If they are all clear it’s vet’s work and it may be due to stress.

Stress displacement behavior – licking

Any number of reasons can cause stress in cat. But is it normal licking behavior. For sure cats like stability and routine. These are very important. For example it can take many months (perhaps up to a year) to fully settle in to a new home. In the meantime she may be stressed.

Licking can be a form of displacement behavior (some more on this subject – new window). When we are uncertain we and trying to think through a difficult problem we scratch out heads ot bite out nails or fiddle with something! Cats do the same. The classic is to lick their nose (the human equivalent of head scratching). If it goes beyond that it can indicate severe stress and a habit. The route cause must be addressed. It will most likely be something that we have done to break the routine of destabilize the environment. These should be easy to rectify. It might be separation anxiety for example. On occasions I have given my cat a little bit of Rescue Remedy in her food to help with stress levels. A vet will probably prescribe a mild sedative and a change in lifestyle. And see next listing.

Pregnancy and Nursing Hair Loss

When a stressful situation (such as giving birth) takes place, a cat may experience hair loss. Sometimes a loss in hair can surface as a sudden symptom, which can spread across the entire body. When the underlying condition is treated or is no longer a concern, the hair will grow back.

Hyperthyroidism

Hair loss and strands that are easily pulled out are common symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which causes skin lesions in about 1/3 of affected cats.

Psychogenic Dermatitis

The constant licking that some cats possess as a habit can lead to hair loss. Some of the possible causes of this condition include stress, boredom, and a reaction to changes in their environment, such as a new member in the household. Symmetrical hair loss is a common symptom.

Ringworm

Several different kinds of fungus can cause the ringworm infection, which creates crusts, scales, and hair loss in cats. Cat ringworm is the same as human ringworm and it is transmittable from a cat to a human (zoonotic). This is a reason why (some say) a cat should not sleep on your bed (I totally ignore this).

The above product on Amazon gets two excellent reviews and it is cheap. I’d give it a try first before visiting a veterinarian.

****Diseases causing hair loss – popup window****

Sphynx cat
Not so much a case of hair loss more a case of never having it
Photograph is of a Sphynx cat copyright ©skithund

Rare or Uncommon Hair Loss Conditions in Cats

Sometimes hair loss in cats is not easily detected or beyond the remit of the average pet owner and it requires the assessment of a veterinarian in order to receive effective and accurate treatment. Below are a few instances that may or may not offer a straightforward remedy:

Apocrine Sweat Gland Cyst

Although a rarity in felines, water-filled nodules may appear in the head, neck, and limbs, which can cause hair loss in cats.

Alopecia Areata

With alopecia areata, patches of hair loss in cats are seen about the head, neck, and body. Itching is not a symptom of this condition. Usually, cats are able to recover from this suspected autoimmune disorder without any medical treatment.

Bacterial Infection

Hair loss in cats may take place when they are battling a bacterial infection caused by parasites, allergies, or a condition that affects the hormones.

Chemotherapy

When a cat undergoes chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer, they lose hair that eventually creates a soft and fuzzy appearance about their coat. Some cats may even lose their whiskers. After chemotherapy treatments are discontinued, the hair will grow back. Interestingly, the new hair may appear a different color or display a dissimilar texture.

Congenital Hypotrichosis

Kittens born with congenital hypotrichosis possess little to no hair. Any signs of hair are lost by the time the kitten reaches the age of four months.

Cushing’s Disease

When a cat produces or comes into contact with an increase of corticosteroids, they may experience a thinning of the skin, as well as hair loss. More on Cushing’s Disease.

Drug or Injection Reactions

Hair loss in cats sometimes occurs when they suffer a rare skin reaction to a drug that has been given orally, topically, or when inhaled. This type of reaction is most often seen when a cat comes in contact with penicillins, sulfonamides, and cephalosporins. Symptoms usually occur within two weeks of receiving the drug, which may also include itching, redness, swelling, ulcers, the formation of papules, and wound drainage.

Folliculitis

When an infection has attacked the hair follicles of a cat, pustules develop and open up to create crusts, which may itch and cause hair to fall out. Symptoms of folliculitis often surface on the face, head, and neck.

Solar Dermatosis

Some cats are more susceptible to the sun, where a reaction causes redness, scaling on the nose and ears, crusts, ulcers, and hair loss. This condition is mostly seen in cats with white ears.

Additional considerations that can lead to hair loss in cats include food allergies; feline acquired symmetrical alopecia (the symmetrical loss of hair on the on back of thighs, abdomen, and genital areas); granulomas (solid nodules); hair loss at the site of a vaccination (can last for months); infestation of lice; sebaceous adenitis (the unknown deterioration of the sebaceous glands); and seborrhea, which is inherited or part of a secondary infection.

Return from Hair loss in cats to the Home page

{top of page}

Sources for hair loss in cats:

  1. Header photo: Published under an Attribution 2.0 Generic creative commons license. The cat lost his hair after he broke his leg.

Comments

Hair Loss in Cats — 176 Comments

  1. My 18 month cat is losing his hair at the base of his tail on his back and the tail on the underneath about half way up from the bottom he has no fleas and is an indoor cat he is also declawed. His coat is beautiful except for this bare spot.

    • Hi, sorry to hear about your cat. It is hard to comment of course. Have you considered (a) feline endocrine alopecia (hormone skin disease) or (b) psychogenic alopecia? You probably know that (b) is compulsive grooming. It mainly occurs in the shape of a stripe down the back and on the abdomen. The base of the tail can be a target too. You can check for this easily by watching his grooming habits. Stud tail is also positioned at the base of the tail. But I would have thought you would have ruled that out. I think you might ask your vet to do a test for parasites in these areas (skin scrape). Good luck. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  2. 2 years ago i rescued a wild mom cat and her kittens who are now 2yrs old. they hold up in our finished basement room. mom and other kitten are people friendly with just my husband and i but this other female kitten does not allow human contact. she will come out to visit but no touching or we run and hide. we have noticed that she has lost a circular pattern of hair about 3inches from tail on her back. no sores or reddness is noted all cats are fixed ,wormed and parasite free. we noticed this happening after we had new a/c installed. could this of stressed her out since strangers were in her territory??????????

    • It may be due to overgrooming in that area And overgrooming can be due to stress. And the environment where a cat lives can cause stress. Well done in rescuing her and her kittens but do you think a basement is a suitable place for her to live? Is there natural light and/or access to an outside enclosure for example? How much stimulation does she get in general in play and interaction with people? Strangers going onto her territory might make her anxious for a while. Does she have a place to hide? But that would pass. I think you might look at the environment she lives in if you decide that stress is the cause (i.e. have ruled out other causes). Good luck. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. Hi,
    My female cat, aged 2 and a half seems to develop sudden bald patches. When we re-homed her 6 months ago, I found what was a very sensitive patch (about a centimetre) between her eyebrow and ear. It was very tender. It eventually healed but the fur did not grow back.
    I have noticed this week she had a very tender, very sore patch on her rear knee joint. This is a lot larger and the fur has been licked so much it’s permanently wet and matted to the skin.
    I’m really worried. It doesn’t seem to be like the conditions above, and none seem to be recorded on the knee joints. I don’t know what to do.
    Please help!

    • Just to add to this – she gets plenty of fuss. We don’t tend to have a lot of strangers. She’s properly and watered, has a cosy bed, plenty of stimulant toys and a scratching post. We occasionally bring out a fishing rod toy for her to play with so she doesn’t get bored. She’s a well-loved cat who is never short of attention and love from us. She is our only pet – she didn’t get on with her previous owners other cat and was therefore taken to Battersea for re-homing. Her food tray and litter tray have not been moved about. She has plenty of her own space as well as space she comes to share with us. She’s certainly not a stressed cat – I did wonder if she was depressed through loneliness though?

      • She is licking the spot behind her knee to the point where it is sore – overlicking due to irritation of the skin or OCD. Is she licking a lot and/scratching? She may be stressed even though you have a nice cat friendly home. Just may have a nervous disposition. Stress can lead to overgrooming as you may have read on this site. But you would notice overgrooming. It is a bit manic. Flea bite allergy is a possibility. Are there small red bumps on the skin. You can “feel” them through the use of a flea comb. Do you flea comb? If she is licking due to skin irritation another allergy might be the cause.

  4. I have an indoor cat, 4 years old. She has a history of feline acne which was healed with a change in food and food dishes. She started losing hair on her tail 3 days ago. I’m starting to see hair loss on her hind legs. She does not exhibit any other symptoms. Any treatment ideas?

    • Just a quick thought. Is the skin in good condition in those hair loss areas? And if so, is she over grooming in those areas? Hair loss in hind legs can be due to overgrooming because hind legs are easy to reach places for a cat. Tails are groomed less it seems to me so this idea may be incorrect. Overgrooming is caused by personality problems/anxiety. If it is not that it will be some sort of skin condition in my opinion.

    • I have recently added another cat to our brood. he’s an older kitten with super soft fur, but had a small, scabbed-over bald patch under his chin. it has since become larger because he keeps scratching plus he has a little bit on top of his head now as well. the other cats are still fine, so I don’t think its contagious. any ideas?

      • Shannon, this page may help:

        http://pictures-of-cats.org/feline-acne-has-returned.html

        These problems have a number of possible causes, unfortunately. There are no obvious, straightforward solutions. Allergies and parasites come to mind typically. A simple possibility is the feeding dish may harbor bacteria. Use a ceramic dish instead. This is a speculative suggestion obviously. Good luck and I am sorry to hear about your cat’s health problem. A vet should run some tests and eliminate parasites and then move on to acne or allergies.

        • my cat is 15 years old and was fine for most of her life untill about 3 and a half years ago.she now has hair loss and itching with bad scabing and it gets better but dont completly go away she dont have fleas but it gets better in winter and when spring comes it gets worse.do you have any ideas.oh by the she is fixed and she is a ragdoll link

          • If there is itching something is irritating her skin. That means it is not one of the illnesses but some sort of allergy I suspect. Even though you say she does not have fleas, it only takes one flea bite from a single flea that is no longer on her to cause the flea bite allergy. The likely possibility is probably an allergy to the flea bite. If I am correct it is very difficult to prevent because it is hard to get rid of all fleas in a home or just outside the home if she goes out. Do you have more than one cat?

            What I would do is keep her in (if she goes out) and use all means possible to rid the home of fleas. Also of course administer Frontline drops to her but this should be done with caution. If you have more than one cat all cats should be treated carefully.

            Here are some posts:

            The best of luck. I always suggest people take their cat to the vet for obvious reasons because this is just guess work.

  5. my tuxedo cat is losing fur at bottom of both eyes. no itching, drainage,scales,bumps,nothing just hair loss about 2 centimeters each side. otherwise very spunky and healthy. hes 20mos. old. thank you elyce o’Leary

    • My gut feel on a common sense basis, is that he has might have discomfort in the eyes. This is causing him to rub his eyes with his paws. This is removing the hair. That is a guess. If it is correct, it will be due to an eye problem causing discomfort. You might check that out.

  6. Pingback: cat hair loss | Hair Loss and Treatment

  7. Pingback: hair loss in cats | Hair Loss and Treatment

  8. rescue from shelter–thought someone had burned her purposely–took to vet and not the case. big bald pink/red spots (about 3-4)–treated with antibiotic/prednisone–helped somewhat. vet gave shot and said it would last a month and then may reappear. after shot, she cleared up–coming up to a month and she is now re-developing them in the same areas. no bloodwork done yet–rescue trying to raise funding. i dont know name of shot but assume it is some kind of steroid. any ideas?

  9. My cat has been losing hair on her hind legs and the under part of her front legs. On each end (oppisite claws) of her hind leg is a red sore. i am thinking it’s overgrooming since we just got a new puppy 3 weeks ago but she is also not using her litter box for her feces. Are these common signs of stress and how can I help my cat?

    • Hi Jenny, these are classic signs of cat stress. She is overgrooming possibly (probably) which is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Grooming is reassuring for a cat. Not using the cat litter and depositing feces elsewhere is scent marking to try and re-establish ownership of her space after it has been invaded by another animal, your puppy.

      I find the answer to these problems tricky. You have to reassure her and give her back some of her space. The classic is to separate the parties and allow her to gradually get used to the new arrival. I guess the puppy should be confined a bit and your cat be allowed to have her territory with a gradual acclimatisation to sharing her territory (home range) with your puppy.

      I think too she has to get to be friends and companions with your puppy asap. That usually means a gradual introduction if there is not an immediate connection. I think it can be difficult to be honest but I don’t want to paint an uncomfortable picture.

      Good luck by the way.

  10. My cat was bitten in the neck I think maybe by a possum about a year ago. I was able to heal her wound. then about a month after that I noticed a nerve in her upper back is contracting from the middle of her back toward the tail. This happens all the time even when she is totally relaxed.Then she started loosing her hair in patches and all under her legs and from the middle of her underneith to the end of her body. She is constantly licking her self. She doesnt have any fleas or anything in her hair or skin.Her fur is very soft her skin looks very healthy.I was thinking that when she was bitten it may have caused her some nerve damage, but I dont understand her hair loss and the licking. If u have a posible answer, Please respond.

    • a nerve in her upper back is contracting from the middle of her back toward the tail

      My guess is that this is psychosomatic. I think it is a sign of stress or tension caused by the possum attack. She is showing signs of stress with overgrooming (OCD). Overgrooming is relaxing for cats. I’d focus on trying to get her to be less stressed. Be with her more often. Gentleness, quietness and calm and play with the removal of anything that might stress her. Remove the circumstances under which the possum attacked her. She may be fearful of another attack and/or an encroachment on her territory.

  11. I have a 6 yr old Calico female. Her health appears good, but over the last 1-1/2 months, she has lost all the hair under the backside of her otherwise beautiful fluffy tail. From the butt up to the tip of the tail. The hair on top is there but the bottom of the tail is down to the gray skin. She has no pain – Licks her fur but no great over-attention to the tail area (that we’ve observer). She recently was on 2x a day doses of Amoxicillin. That was stopped about a week a ago. Any thoughts and/or non-Rx treatments?

    • This may be feline endocrine alopecia or over grooming that you are yet to spot. Feline endocrine alopecia happens mainly with neutered males and spayed middle-aged females. It is caused by a hormone deficiency. However, a number of these cases are actually cases of overgrooming (called “psychogenic alopecia”).

      Hair loss that is symmetrical and in the genital areas is the symptom. This somewhat matches your cat’s symptoms. Another possibility is hyperthyroidism (less likely). This disease has many other noticeable symptoms so the disease be ignored quickly if they are not present.

  12. I have a 12yr old calico Persian. She is huge and very fluffy.She usually stays outside through the nice wheather and comes in when it gets winter out. she only stayed in a couple months this time. We built her a little house w/insulation and shingles. Yes she is spoiled rotten. Two days ago i noticed shedding spots on her around the shoulder blades. I ignored it and today it looked really weird. I moved her hair and she is missing her hair on left shoulder blade, arm pit, under neck baldness. no itching, no fleas, no irritation. She looks like a hairless cat in those areas. I am horrified. She still purred when I touched her. I don’t get it. Could it be from a stray cat like mange or something? I really don’t want to put her down.

    • I don’t think it is overgrooming (psychogenic alopecia) because these are hard to get to spots to groom or impossible to get to. It may be due to a hormone deficiency. Hyperthyroidism can cause alopecia. The hair pulls out easily. I don’t want to speculate. Also hyperthyroidism causes cats to have increased appetite and you have not mentioned that. Can you feel a small lump under the chin (feeling gently)? It might be a mange. Demodectic manage causes hair loss around the eyes and eyelids, however. It is not common. I think a vet check is in order to be honest to check out any underlying health issues.

  13. Hi, my ten year old cat just started losing the hair on his temples. He doesn’t appear to have any skin irritations, isn’t grooming more than usual, nothing unusual. Any ideas? Could this be aging? Thank you!

    • Becca – sometimes I have seen similar things on older cats. Perhaps it happens with seasonal change but I don’t really know. I know that pregnant cats lose a bit of hair on the temples and back of the ears when they are drained from giving birth and feeding their kittens. If it gets bad I would consult a vet though. I have had the same feeling about my cats in the past though. It also seems worse from certain angles.

  14. I have a tuxedo indoor cat, I recently gave my cat tuna for cats and I think my cat might be allergic to it. My cat has a bald spot between the shoulder blades the size of a half dollar. This has happened before, and has gone away within a few weeks and the hair has grown back with no problem. This time the spot seems to be getting bigger and I don’t see the hair growing back. In the past when this happened I put some neosporin on the bald spot and it went away. This time no suck luck. Please some advise. Thank You

    • Hi Gail, I am going to say something unexpected but which may, just may, be the cause of your cat’s hair loss between the shoulder blades. This is the exact spot where we are advised to put Frontline flea treatment drops. Frontline can cause hair loss at the place where it is applied. Do you apply Frontline flea treatment or a similar treatment to that position? If yes, that will be the cause. If no, I’ll respond with another idea. Thanks for visiting and asking.

    • You say “very dry”. What does that mean? The outside of ears are normally neither wet nor dry. I sense that there may be a parasitic infection on the outside of your cat’s ears or your cat has scratched them and the skin was broken and partially healed. Please check. This is a case for a veterinarian because it can be very uncomfortable for your cat. Please see a vet.

  15. My 17 year old black long haired female has lost an alarming amount of hair In the last month. We had a bad flea infestation that we had to fight hard to get rid of with three other animals in and out of the house and thought that once that issue was taken care of, all would be fine. However, she is almost 100% bald now from the mid body top and underbelly and all he way up to the tip of her tail. There are no wounds, pustules, raised red marks of any kind, she is not over grooming and has actually never been big on grooming herself anyway. The strangest part is, she is a big girl with very long thick black hair, and that hair is no where to be found. There are no clumps of hair or even excess hair in the house AT ALL. She is strictly and indoor cat so now that the fleas are gone, I am dumbfounded. All of the possible causes would still leave noticeable lost hair all over the house right? I have noticed increased litter box use and lethargy, so I’m thinking it is Cushing’s disease but where is the massive amount of lost hair? My home is immaculate so it’s not the case that I just haven’t found it yet and she does not groom herself. She never has….

  16. Generally, hair loss in patches signifies alopecia areata. Alopecia areata typically presents with sudden hair loss causing patches to appear on the scalp or other areas of the body. If left untreated, or if the disease does not respond to treatment, complete baldness can result in the affected area, which is referred to as alopecia totalis.

  17. Hi,I have a 9 week old kitten that was left behind by her mom when she moved her kittens from a neighbor’s barn. She was 2-3 weeks old and healthy, except her eyes were sealed shut from discharge. Once her eyes were cleaned, they were fine. I bottle fed her and she is a happy, healthy, kitten, but about 2 weeks after bringing her home her hair coat started to thin, but only the long hair, her fuzzy undercoat is thick and her skin is healthy. I thought maybe an allergen and my vet looked at her and said she was pretty young for that but it was possible. I changed her cat litter and weaned her off formula. She now has no hair but the fuzzy undercoat, except she still has long hair on her tail, legs and a thin collar around her neck. The hair on her face is normal. She looks like she has been shaved. She does not scratch or lick excessively, and her skin is completely healthy, no lesions or red areas. She is very active and healthy otherwise. My vet recommended a biopsy and I will do that if she is still “naked” when she is spayed. Do you have any ideas? (I did find one flea on her shortly after I brought her home, but her hair is so short that there is no place for any to hide and she is not itchy.) Thank you for your time.

    • My cat is two. As a kitten she had a beautiful coat of hair and a tail so full that I called her Gracie la Plum! Her hair has gotten shaggy looking because it kind of stands up. The hair from the middle of her body to the back has become short and thin. Her tail has lost a lot of its plumish fullness. I think she is a runt because she is very tiny, almost kittenish. I took her to the vet a year ago when her hair started to change. They did little for her. They told me it is unusual to see a cat who does not groom herself (as they accused Gracie of not grooming). I think she cleans herself, but even if she didn’t, I had combed her daily for months before I took her to the Vet. Could she need vitamins. I love her so much; I want to make sure I do the right thing for Gracie

      • Hi Maggi. Thanks for visiting and asking. As you can imagine it is very difficult to respond well to your query. I get the impression that Gracie does not itch. That in itself is a very good thing because it rules out allergies and they are very uncomfortable conditions. Could you confirm that she does not scratch herself because of itching?

        The hair change could just be congenital (born with that tendency – a genetic condition). Is he healthy other than her hair loss?

        The classic medical conditions that cause hair loss are excess thyroid hormone production (hyperthyroidism) and under production of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). Another hormone related problem is feline endocrine alopecia. The hair loss for this is symmetrical (even on both sides). Is the hair loss symmetrical? You can search for information on these on PoC using the custom search box at the top of this post.

        The first question to ask is, “is she otherwise healthy?” Decent activity levels and eating, defecating and peeing normally? You might like to ask a vet to check out these hormones. Good luck Maggi and Happy New Year to you both.

  18. I have a 2 year old neutered male cat, Reubin. He weighs 12½ lbs. About 4 days ago I noticed a bald spot under his chin… directly under his lower jaw. There’s no bleeding, but he has been scratching it, with his FRONT PAWS, while bathing himself, making it slightly raw. Reubin is strictly an indoor pussycat…. (the looks I get sometimes for not allowing him access to the “great outdoors”….LOL) Does anyone have any ideas on what this maybe?

    • It could many things but what comes to my mind is a form feline acne caused by the feeding bowl. You might try a ceramic feeding bowl if you are not already trying it. Some feeding bowls (plastic for example) harbor bacteria which can cause feline acne. The position of the baldness is significant. There is irritation there and the scratching is causing the baldness. This is a guess but I have heard this before on my website. Please give some feedback.

  19. I have a three year old cat who has lost a lot of hair in the last couple of weeks. We travel a lot and our neighbor takes care
    of her. She, with our other two cats, are fed and watered in our garage while we are gone. They all love to be outside most of the time and use the pet door in the garage. Her hair loss is on the belly, her chest, the sides of her body, her legs and her tail.
    I just noticed this hair loss yesterday. Prior to that I thought she was getting very thin.
    Help me.

    • Hi Joyce. I am not a vet. There are many reasons for hair loss. I can only guess. You should take her to a vet.

      However, she has lost weight as well. She may have hyperthyroidism. This cause a range of symptoms. Please check them out, including hair that pulls out easily and hair loss. It is caused by excess thyroid production. It can be controlled.

      But as I said, there are many possibilities. A vet is the only sensible route. Certainly with this sort of hair loss, over large parts of the body it will not be something like stress causing and OCD reaction.

      Good luck to you both.

  20. I have a 10 year old short hair that just recently we let outside for a few hours a day. We noticed a hair loss on her ears along with red scales. We took her to the vet and was told it is mosquito bite hypersensitivity. She was treated with corticosteroids. The hair grew back in a week.

  21. Hi Michael, I have a dozen stray cats that I feed regularly, unfortunately I can’t keep them in as I travel a lot. Anyway I feed them dry food, and they are all healthy. Only this one has this hair loss on one of her ears, she has a good appetite, but she basically lives on the street, so I know nothing about her history except that the hair loss is not expanding and doesn’t itch. I thought about trying an anti fungal, but decided to consult you first. Appreciate your help very much.

    • Please give me a little while to ponder this. Thanks for visiting and asking. I’ll respond soon.

      The photo does not show hair loss very clearly. It is just below the ear. Is that correct?

      Update: I see the hair loss now – at the top of the outside? of the ear flap.

    • The obvious reason is ear mites and the cat scratches causing hair loss but this appears not to be that because it does not itch. Mind you it is not always clear to observers if it itches or not.

      The picture is not that good to be honest so it hard to see where the hair loss is but it looks like the top of the outside of the ear flap.

      It does not look like she is scratching as you imply.

      A possible cause is overgrooming due to being a bit stressed. Food allergy is another possible but that should itch.

      If it is not itchy all the parasite causes are eliminated. Fungal infections can itch too so I am not sure that an anti-fungal will help but it won’t do harm.

      The cause could be sunburn and/or frostbite over the years he/she has lived outside. That part of the anatomy is very prone to damage living outside.

      If the cat looks well in himself and appears not to be in discomfort from the hair loss, then it should OK to watch and see what develops. That would help with diagnosis. What about trying to get a little scrape of the skin at that point, put it in a clean receptacle (get it from the vet is possible) and ask the vet to analyse it (if that is financially viable)?

      The trouble is the potential list is long so it is pretty well impossible to help you, Nerin. I am sorry. Good luck though.

  22. I have a male domestic short hair cat approx 3 years old. Brought home three years ago as a new born kitten along with 3 female kittens whos mother was killed by a coyote. Ringo, the male has developed circular bald spots on both hind quarters and a couple a little bit higher up. He licks them a lot and now has developed little sores in the bald spots. All four of the cats were neutered. The female cats do not show any signs of hair loss just the male. Any ideas as to what might be the cause of the hair loss?

    • Hi Bill, if there is no sign of any sore spots or scabs etc. on the skin anywhere on the body (check the skin the fur), then this has the signs of being due to stress, causing overgrooming.

      Overgrooming can be due to straight stress because grooming is calming for a cat.

      It can be difficult to see why a cat is stressed. It might not be obvious. Feliway, a pheramone you can buy might help if this is the cause. Male cats are probably more prone to stress because of their innate territorial temperaments.

      Normally overgrooming an area causing the fur to be removed is due to that place being itchy and irritating or injured. In turn the itchiness is often due to things like flea bit allergy or some other allergy or perhaps ringworm or even an immune system malfunction. Anything that causes the skin to develop red sores.

      But without any indication that there is itchiness in the skin then, for me, it points to what is called feline endocrine alopecia.

      Click on this page for other articles including this one on hair loss in cats and the best of luck.

  23. My tuxedo cat is half bald. It started 3-4 months ago when it was a small bald patch. I have brought her 3 times to the vet, the first one said it might be caused by fleas or parasites so I got her treated for fleas, but the balding became worse and the bald spots grew larger.The 2nd trip to the vet, I was told that it might be allergy to food, so I changed her diet to Royal Canin Skin Care.The first few weeks her fur looked less white, but then she’s started to go bald again, and even worse than before. I have her treated with fleas every month, and she is still eating Royal Canin. She has also been showing signs of discomfort (running all around the house and excessive meowing). What might be the cause of this problem? If it is stress, what can I do to relieve it?

  24. Hello, we have a 6 yr old Mane Coon cat. About 3 months ago she started losing fur at the base of her tail. Then we noticed all along the back side and down her back legs. Recently noticed her front legs are now getting bald. The hair seems to be growing back, but the skin does look red and irritated. We tried with flee issues but she doesn’t have any fleas and is an indoor cat. Food hasn’t changed. Please let me know what you think?
    Thank you
    Karen H.

    • Hi Karen, the trouble with hair loss is that there are so many causes. It is impossible to give firm information in a comment. However, the skin is inflammed. This could be caused by your cat scratching and/or over-grooming. Does she scratch or lick (a lot) the areas where there is hair loss and red skin? It would appear that this is not the case as there is hair loss at the base of the tail. This is a spot that is hard to get at to lick! In which case an allergy could be ruled out. You can rule out flea bite allergy if she genuinely has no fleas. Although it only takes one flea bite to cause the allergy.

      The next possible cause is a disease that causes hair loss. Feline endocrine alopecia causes hair thinning. However, the red skin might be caused by contact dermatitis. Do you use some sort of chemical on the carpet or other area of the house? Some household products can cause an allergic reaction in a cat causing itching and scratching/licking leading to hair loss.

      Conclusion: my gut feeling is that this might be caused by an allergic reaction. If the hair loss is caused by grooming then stress could be a factor too. Cats groom to relieve stress. This can remove all the hair and inflame the skin. Ask yourself if there have been any changes in the home that might make her stressed. Good luck and Happy New Year.

  25. Hi my cat is a stray that I have had for two years. She sleeps and eats inside but does her bathroom business outdoors. She doesn’t liked to be touched by anybody except for my 6 year old. She is more of a stray than an actually pet. We took her to the vet and fixed her as well as adopted her. We have not had any problems with her. A few days ago I let her outside and when she came back inside she was missing about 2 inches of hair on her tail. Her tail was fine when she left the house. We thought her tail may have been caught in a car motor that she might have been sleeping in but her tail appears to be missing more hair. We also had recent changes in members of our household, including a dog that now sleeps inside (she was previously an outdoor dog) and another child added to the house. I want to take my cat to the vet but she hates people and its difficult to get her into a carrier. I’m hoping someone has had this issue and can help me with this problem before I resort to taking her in. The posted images are from when I first noticed she won’t allow me to get closer to take new pictures.

    • A few days ago I let her outside and when she came back inside she was missing about 2 inches of hair on her tail.

      Hi Tarah, Happy New Year…Sorry to see this. Your cat was outside for a relatively short time it seems to me. The skin is raw. A cat can’t lose hair that fast through allergy or overgrooming or any disease. It takes longer. My first thought was that this is an injury. She may have been attacked by a person who threw something at her and it caught her tail. The continued hair loss in the area may be due to the skin being damaged slightly. It looks as though a person may have thrown hot water at your cat. That is a wild guess.

      Personally and I am not a vet, I would watch carefully and wait for a few days. Watch for overgrooming the tail. You might see if you can gently wash that bit of the tail. There may be a chemical of some sort on the skin. That is a guess to but a gentle wash with luke warm or cold water won’t do any harm. If she resists don’t continue.

      I would also keep her in at least for the near future and do a little bit of nosing around the area to see if someone dislikes your cat.

      The changes in the house might stress her as you imply but that would only cause local hair loss if she overgroomed there to calm herself down and you’d see that and It would take several days and more for this sort of injury to show. The injury happened faster than that.

      Good luck. Please report back if you have time.

      • Reporting back with images of my cat. I left her tail alone just to see what would happen and all the hair on her tail eventually fell off and is now regrowing back all on its own! I still don’t know what caused such an injury on her tail but it appears that she is going to be just fine.

  26. My cat daisy is now 17 years old, she does not go out very much now, she has lost a lot of coat on her back near her tail and under her back, she has also started to eat her cat litter

    • Hi Susan. This is a guess… but I sense that this might be anemia caused by an old age linked illness that slows the production of red blood cells. Has she got pale gums? Diseases could be kidney failure combined with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Anemic cats sometimes eat inedible stuff. There might be an element of PICA (eating non-digestible things) due to stress. If the litter is clay based she must be prevented from eating it because the clay expands in the digestive tract forming an obstruction. I’d take her to a vet,

      Best of luck to you both and Happy New Year.

  27. outside 8 month old cat, noticed an area where hair seems to have been shaved or like mowed. with inclement weather we have brought him inside, now noticed a second area that appears the same. not excessively grooming or licking, skin not red, inflamed or broken. your opinion?

    • Hi Karen, if there is a distinct patch of hair loss that is the sort of hair loss caused by overgrooming that area. However you say this is not overgrooming. Are you sure? You might want to watch him to double check that. Flea bite allergy causes irritation leading to licking certain areas. Close inspection of the skin might reveal small red areas. An outdoor cat is more likely to get fleas. Have you checked for fleas? If not comb him with a 32 teeth to the inch flea comb at base of tail and around the shoulders and see what comes out. I’d check these things first. If it is not these then it could be an injury of some sort but from your description that seems unlikely. Cats will lick injured areas to relieve pain. I’d watch and wait to get more information. If you can upload a photo that would be nice.

  28. I have a year and a half year old cat. He is starting to have bald spots on the inside of his front paws and inbetween his eyebrows and ears. He never used to have them until about a month ago. We got a kitten in November. They love playing with each other. More rough than anything. Could his balding stress from her, or playing too rough? Or possibly something serious?

    • My immediate gut feel is that this could be overgrooming due to (a) possibly stress or possibly (b) licking after contact with your new kitten. I think it is (b). I presume that your cat looks and acts as if he is healthy. I seems that he is washing his face with the inside of his paws (this is normal) but is doing it too much which removes the fur.

      I don’t think he is stressed by the new kitten because they get on so well. The only question I think you have to ask is “Is there some disease or illness causing the hair loss?” (which you are asking already). To answer that, I’d watch and wait. Is he washing his face a lot? Are there other signs of illness? If in doubt ask a vet.

      Also check out the obvious: flea bit allergy. Is his skin clear and normal? Are there red patches like blisters on the skin which indicate an allergy? Good luck and take care.

  29. We have 4 kittehs. One of whom has an issues with extreme hair loss. We do not know why. We took Toffee to the vet, they were saying the over- grooming , possible stress because I was gone for 2 weeks. However. He was put on antibiotics (injection) and put on Elavil 5mg q 24hr. Two weeks has passed since the shot, one week on the Elavil. So far nothing. Toffee is watched closely. He does not over groom. He lays around and sleeps. Eats well, drinks, no interest in play anymore. The whole litter is here. 4 of them. They are 10 years of age. The other 3 are fine. They do not go outside anymore, have not been for at least 8 months. He had been through a bout of being constipated also. He finally, through three treatments and SEVERAL hundred dollars later on track now. :) But the fur is unbelievable. He lays down, gets up, a pile is where he was. You pet him, hold him, you are covered. The vet was shocked. Any ideas? Other than what we have done, all I can think of is steroid therapy.

    • They are 10 years of age

      Hi Dorothy, I presume you mean 10 months of age (as you refer to them as kittens). There are many reasons for excessive hair loss. Hormonal imbalance comes to mind as a reason. The first step is to eliminate all diseases that can cause excessive hair loss. That is for the vet. I have to presume that the vet has checked out diseases and conditions such as: mange, feline endocrine alopecia, hypothyroidism. I don’t like the fact that he is sleepy and does not play. That indicates he is depressed. This may be caused by the antibiotics but could be an underlying illness not yet diagnosed. I wonder whether you should get a second opinion from a different vet. Vets vary in quality.

      Is there darkening of the underlying skin?

      If all the boxes have been ticked and passed then rarely it might be congenital hypotrichosis. This is a genetic condition where kittens lose hair they are born with but it is lost within about 4 months and you say he is 10 months of age. So that might not be the problem.

      I hope this helps a bit. The trouble that hair loss can be quite a complicated health issue. If it is congenital hypotrichosis then he is not ill. It is just a genetic condition that is making him hairless. The very best of luck to you both.

  30. My cat Gato is a yr old male Siamese mix. He was born with a deformed hind leg. It is four to five inches longer that his other legs and appears to have formed backwards in the joint area. When I got him he was maybe a week old, covered in fleas and his eyes were matted shut with green puss and it was definitely the worst case I had ever seen. After sever months of removing the gunk with warm wet wash cloth,he finally appeared to be ok. About a month ago he started itching a spot on his head So I look and he had some small yellow mites around the area. I was kinda shocked because he has never been out of the house, infact he never leaves the top story of my house and when I bring him down stairs he acts scared and hides. I looked on the computer and found that they can be treated with the main ingredient in lice shampoo. I treated him and my dog both. Within a week of treatment a baseball size rash appeared around his neck area and he was constantly scratching. After a day or so the area started getting larger and more irritated. Then really dry with what looked like little bumps with dried yellow liqudid around them. The vet gave him a shot for itching and sent us home with antibiotics. It healed quickly. Maybe a week ago he started itching and using his mouth to pull out his fur.Under his stomach, the sides of his shoulders and expecially his elbows and arm pits on his front legs are red,hot and dry. At first it looked like his hair was just thinning out in places but now on his elbow and under his arm have round extremely red spots with no fur at all in the spots. One actually looks like it is scabbing over in the middle. Could it be because The upstairs where he stays is all carpet? There are so many possibilities that I have no Idea what to do.I love him so much but am not financially able to keep taking him to the vet and Im scared to try anything on him without knowledge of the proper diagnoses I could just make it worse. Please help!!!! I hate to see him suffer.

    • Kelli, please tell me exactly what chemical (insecticide) you used when you say this:

      I looked on the computer and found that they can be treated with the main ingredient in lice shampoo.

      • Hi, I do believe the active ingredient was permethrin I do believe. Since I last posted I bought a fungicide that is safe for almost any animal or so it says on the bottle. It hasnt gotten worse but it isnt better either.

        • These are horrible insecticides. Sorry, but I’d never ever use nasty chemical pesticides. They are very poisonous. Always play safe. This is possibly the cause f the hair loss and irritation. Good luck. Then also watch out for parasites once this condition has subsided.

  31. No…I did not mean 10 months. The term “Kittehs” is just a term lightly used in humor for cats. It has been used for years. Anyway….
    Toffee keeps loosing fur and walks real softly. Almost as if his feet hurt. But after another $181.00 spent at teh vets * there are several vets at Acredale, so there is no need for second opinions as he has been seen and observed by several different vets there.
    Anyway…. He is depressed in my opinion. He is taking Elavil and yes it will take time (3 weeks or so) for that to work and in the meantime we are dealing with his fur all over. I bought some Aveeno Skin Relief fragrance free body wash and some 100% natural Oatmeal Formula Moisturize Dry Skin Plus Itch Relief by WAHL it’s for pets. It’s a waterless no rinse shampoo. Do you think these will help calm him?
    I don’t know what else to do. The vets are racking their brains too. He does not scratch, there are no patches, nothing. It’s the oddest thing you can think of. No other brothers nor his sister has any issues what-so-ever.
    He seems to be growing in new fur. Not sure if the photo helps or not.

    • Hi Dorothy, I couldn’t make your picture readable really to be honest but the picture of him walking indicates to me that he looks very ill. He has sore paws as well and is losing weight. He hurts basically.

      The treatments you are valiantly trying may ease symptoms but I don’t think they will touch the cause.

      It appears to be something rare and not obvious otherwise your vet would have successfully diagnosed it.

      As vets (plural) have failed to sort this out, it is going to be (sadly) impossible for me.

      My gut feel is that it is related to an immune system problem as these are notoriously vague or perhaps cancer? Has that possibility been checked out?

      Here is page on hair loss related to cancer:

      http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_Feline_Paraneoplastic_Alopecia

      I don’t think the hair loss is caused by a skin problem. It is caused by an underlying serious illness. Sorry Dorothy. I’ll do a bit more work on this today and if I find something

  32. Here is another photo of Toffee. He use to be fuller. However, his fur is just falling off of him. See above statements.
    Sorry separate, could not figure out hoe to do more than one photo per comment.

  33. Here is another photo of Toffee. He use to be fuller.
    Sorry separate, could not figure out how to do more than one photo per comment.

  34. If you’ll notice how thin his side is. I just pet him and I get fur in my hand. This is very odd wouldn’t you say. He doesn’t itch at all. Just sits in my lap and lets me pet him. Two days ago he actually lost over 1 oz of hair. He weighed 8.121 pounds at the office. Yesterday he was exactly 8 pounds.

  35. Hello. My ragdoll cat Lizzie is having issues with matted fur and now bald patches on her stomach. Most of her knots were on her stomach. I have tried to cut most of them off when she lets me, but most of the time she wont let me remove them from her stomach area. but I noticed in the last week or so,
    Large clumps of her hair around the house and when she sleeps now, I’ve seen the huge bald patch on her stomach. I’m not sure what I should do. Should I take her to the vet? Is there a cream/medicine I should use on her? Please help, I know she is uncomfortable.

      • Jessica, Sorry to hear this. Your photo is too big to upload. You can reduce the size. Click on the link below the comment. Better still take her to the vet asap. If you know she is hurting and I believe you do there is only one thing to do and you know what it is. Sorry to be hard on you.

        • Im planning on taking her to the vet tomorrow and to see if they can do anything for her. On top of everything she is pregnant. All she is doing just just laying around. Barely eating. She had this bad smell and nasty puss like on her stomach n chest area. You cant pick her up r barely move her.

  36. Hi Sabrina, thanks for visiting and asking. In the photo her skin doesn’t look irritated. It looks fairly normal. Are there signs of irritation: bumps, red spots,lumps, blisters etc.? If not this is probably not an allergy.

    How do you know she is uncomfortable? If she shows that by licking the area that may be why the hair is not growing. That would seem unlikely for such a large area. This does not look like overgrooming.

    There are so many reasons for hair loss that you should take her to a vet. Thyroid problems come to mind by the way.

    I would either: groom her daily and wait and see if her hair grows back and don’t medicate in any way or take her to a vet asap.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful. It is just that there are many reasons for this.

    • Thanks so much for responding! I said she was uncomfortable cause I see her licking the area a lot & probably just me over-worrying, haha. There is two small red bumps she has near the edges of where her lack of fur and the fur meet. I think since its still winter weather here ill focus on grooming her everyday till it
      warms up some for me to take her to the vet. I’ve just never seen her with such a huge patch of fur missing. It’s just hard to figure out what’s going on. Thanks again for responding.

  37. I tend to collect stray/feral cats. One such cat had a kitten and left when she was very young. I tamed her and she’s been my buddy ever since. I cannot afford a vet for her because I feed so many, but she seems very healthy. She’s not a house cat, but she does come in quite a bit and is friendly to those of us who live with her, but not to strangers. Lately, I have noticed that her coat is thinning around her bottom and down her back legs. She has no redness or sores or anything, but she’s always scratched and groomed a lot. I have also noticed that she’s a little thinner, but her appetite is very good. I usually feed her hard kibbles mixed with soft food. She eats a lot of left over chicken, too! I have heard that indoor cats shouldn’t drink milk, but my Theadora always has and has no problems because of it. Do you have any idea what the problem could be?

    • Hi Angela. Thanks for sharing. These causes come to my mind:

      Feline endocrine alopecia
      Hyperthyroidism – excessive thyroid.
      Hyothyroidism.

      I think this is an endocrine problem. If she is thinner but eats OK, of these 3, it indicates hyperthyroidism. I guess she is not young anymore. Is that correct? However, the symptoms don’t fully match.

      Causes of hyperthyroidism.

      The best of luck and well done on helping cats.

  38. Hello, my cat (Max) is going to be 12 this year and I noticed last week his fur started to fall from this back and lower tail and there are also red spots. He bites his back and licks. Any idea what this could be? I made an appointment to the vet for this Friday. :(

    • Hello. This is an allergy, almost certainly. One of the most common allergies that causes these sorts of red spots on the skin accompanied by excessive grooming to alleviate the irritation is the flea bite allergy. If it is caused by the cat flea don’t be upset. It only takes one cat flea bite to cause a flare up of the allergy.

      It may be caused by some other allergy. It is the cat flea allergy then you will have two make sure that a cat flea never bites your cat again. In addition you’ll vet will recommend that you apply a spot treatment such as Frontline. If this medication is used the instructions should be followed carefully as it can be quite dangerous.

      I wish you the best of luck for Max.

  39. My 6yr old female cat has licked all the hair off her behind, tail and belly. She now has an open wound on the top area of her tail about 1cm long by 1mm wide, it is got clear fluid coming from it any suggestions?

  40. I have a cat that showed up on our doorstep 10 years ago and he was full grown at the time so i don’t know how old he is. He has lost most of his hair all over his body except for his head, shoulders and front legs. He has also been sneezing blood for a couple of months now. His legs have bald spots on them and it hurts him for them to be touched. I have given him antibiotics, i’ve wormed him and defleaed him. My Dad won’t let me take him to the vet, but i have been very worried because i know he doesn’t feel good. Do you have any idea what it could be?
    I also have a 1 year old cat and he has recently started dropping his back end when he walks. I had wormed all my cats and they still have worms. I am trying a new worm medicine, is their a kind of worms that are immune to the medicine?
    One last quetions. I have 3 cats that are 9 months old and they are still the size of a 2 month old kitten. NOT EXAGGERATING. They came out of a litter of 6. They all seem very healthy. Do you think their is something wrong with them?
    Thanks for reading all of that.

    • Hi Melissa. Thank you for commenting and asking. It upsets me that your father will not let you take your cat to the vet. This seems very wrong to me. You probably know that it is impossible to provide proper cat health advice over the Internet because a veterinarian needs to have the domestic cat in front of him. I vet needs to be in the presence of a domestic cat to properly diagnose and illness. Your father should realise that. In any case, all I can do is provide the best advice I can under the circumstances which are far from ideal.

      The disturbing thing about your hairless cat is that it hurts him when you touch his legs and he’s sneezing blood. anyone can tell that your cat is seriously ill. The could be multiple problems and you simply cannot specify a single illness with any degree of success over the Internet with a description. That is not to criticise you because you are clearly very concerned and are a good cat caretaker. When I read your comment about this cat my overriding desire is to put him out of his pain and discomfort. Cats are very good as you know of putting up with pain and discomfort and this may have gone on for a long time.

      Your cat is bleeding from the nose. This may be due to an erosion of the nasal membrane caused by an infection, tumour or parasite. Alternatively, he may have had a blow to the face which has damaged the nose. Is there any possibility that this may have happened? Might he had been hit by somebody?

      Hair loss of this extent this may be due to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or congenital hypotrichosis but this of course is pure guesswork. The sort of extensive hair loss that you describe is most likely due the diseases that I have mentioned.

      However, I have a feeling that your cat is ill by another disease as well because he is sensitive to the touch. You may have a serious underlying illness. Perhaps someone in the family wants him to be dead and I’m sorry that is a are highly provocative statement but that thought does come to mind, ugly though it is.

      Why are you sure that a cat that droops his back end when he walks is suffering from worms? I do not think that your 1-year-old cat is suffering from worms if it is only a symptom as you describe. It almost seems like he has an injury to the rear end of his body. Are you at home all the time? Are you able to supervise your cats at all times? Do you know what is happening to your cats when you are not at home? I would strongly recommend that supervised at all times and of course as stated there is only one course of action that is satisfactory which is your cats must see a veterinarian. if you are unable to do that then I feel that someone else should care for them and I stress once again that that is not a criticism of you.

      I am a bit shocked at the illnesses and symptoms you describe. Is there someone at your home who is fighting with you personally over the fact that you like to keep cats at home? I may be barking up the wrong tree completely and if so I heartily apologise but I think you need to ask this question 1st and I would tend to at least consider the possibility of re-homing. I am terribly sorry to make that statement but it does come to mind.

  41. Hey um my cat has had weight loss and hair loss with white things on the bottom of where she looses hair and its in patches around her body and some places are completely bald also she licks alot and pulls it out alot and I’m wondering what it is because whenever we take her to the vet they don’t know so do you?

    • My gut feeling is that your cat is old but you do not tell me how old she is. I sense that she is old and that she’s not grooming herself properly. She may be very static. She may have an underlying illness that goes with old age that may be linked to her thyroid gland. She may also be stressed and is over grooming and pulling out her hair due to stress.

      The white things you refer to on her skin where she loses her hair is worrying. Although unlikely, these white things may be maggots. When a cat is very static and not grooming herself properly flies lay their eggs in the fur and the eggs become maggots.

      If this is correct in this instance then the solution is to very gently begin to groom your cat yourself and remove any of the maggots that you see.

      Having done that you should carefully watch her all times and consistently groom her.

      The weight loss may be associated with a thyroid problem so you should take her to a vet as soon as possible, in any case, because what I can say on the Internet is simply inadequate.

      However, I’ve just noticed that you have taken her to a vet and they don’t know what to do. I find this very surprising indeed but if it is true I would select another veterinarian and ask for a second opinion.

      If a cat is pulling out her own hair either with teeth or over grooming then either she is very stressed (and this is a way of calming herself down) or her skin is causing a lot of irritation and she wishes to remove that irritation. There maybe underlying pain, as well, because cats lick areas that are painful to once again try and remove some of the pain.

      I’m in no doubt whatsoever that you should seek a second opinion from a decent veterinarian who should, very quickly, diagnose the problem. I wish you the very best of luck and particularly I wish your cat the best of luck.

  42. Thank you for responding she hasn’t lost alot of weight quickly sorry for not saying that and I don’t think the white things are maggots they look like part of the skin itself I can send pictures and we are going to a vet tomarrow but the hair is coming out by itself actually I just took a picture me holding hair that got pulled out my me just petting her and the spot where its happened

  43. My cat bella is 4 and recently within a month has developed dark spots above her eyes that trail back to the inside of her ears. She has clean ears and I did try to wash it incase it was dirt but it’s not. She is also starting to loose hair around the spots. Any idea what is causing this?

    • Hi Kristine. If your cat is seems to be healthy I am not sure that the spots and hair loss you see is significant.

      Cats do have thin hair above the eyes and you can see the skin. The skin may have some pigmentation. This may all be normal but I’d like to see a photo if you could upload one to a follow up comment.

      Sorry about the slow response.

  44. My tuxedo cat has been losing hair on the backs of each leg, but moreso in the front legs. The hair loss has started taking effect on the front part of her right leg as well. She has shown no signs of discomfort since she’s fine with people touching it and I don’t see her grooming it very often. It doesn’t appear to be irritated or problematic at all; it’s just normal, healthy skin. She’s been acting the same as always but the hairloss makes me a little nervous. She’s about 7 years old and we don’t know what kind of mix she is since she used to be a stray

    • Have you noticed her grooming excessively in those areas? This can be hard to spot. She may be over-grooming if she is healthy. This can be due to stress. Something may have changed to cause that.

  45. I have just obtained a 9 month female who has very thin hair between her eyes and ears. I would like to know if it looks normal please.
    Any help and advice would be appreciated.
    Andy

      • I have a 2 yr old female cat with same condition as cat in picture however she has clusters of brown freckle like areas. With in the last couple of days the hairless area has turned into open sores and has expanded to the ears. Have any ideas?

  46. About a week or more ago I treated our cat (11 years old) with Profender on the back of his neck. He usually has some hair loss with this product, but this time it is much more than before. The patch has become much more noticeable in the last 2/3 days – now completely bald with tiny red marks on it which I assume is because he has scratched himself. No other obvious symptoms – doesn’t seem to have lost his appetite and his coat (apart from bald patch) is shiny. Would this bad loss of fur be due to Profender – in any case, I’m reluctant to use this product in future.

    • Hi Jan. The side effects you describe are a risk with this drug and it seems your cat has become more sensitive to it. These drugs are powerful. When you read the instructions it makes me wonder whether they should be used at all:

      “children should not come in contact with the application site for 24 hours while the product is being absorbed.”

      In other words the drug can hurt children but is OK for cats. I don’t see much difference. It is like spot flea treatments which can poison cats. Insecticides are generally pretty poisonous. Some of the spot treatments can kill cats if misapplied (cats given products designed for dogs or overdosing).

      I’d tell your vet and stop using it. Take care. He or she might not mind too much and say it will pass. Thanks for visiting and asking.

  47. Thanks for your prompt reply Michael. Having seen the latest bout of hair loss on my cat, I agree with you. I will make an appointment with the vet so that our cat can be checked out. He’s had a rough time of it lately – having had his first bout of Idiopathic Cystitis and is now on a special prescription diet. So maybe using Profender at this time has had more of an effect on him. In any case, I will ask the vet for an alternative to Profender. Thanks again for your help.

  48. We have a 5-6 year old cat, black short hair, we think he is a Bombay. He is healthy and active, indoor/outdoor, neutered & has all he’s shots. A couple days ago my spouse noticed 2 streaks about 1/3 the width of my little finger on top of his shoulder where the hair was gone. The streaks come together at one end to form a ‘V’ shape. No redness, tenderness, spots, flakes, sores anything. The flesh looks perfectly healthy. We thought he must have caught himself on something outside, but he seemed fine. A day later he has a small spot on his head where hair is gone, just a small place like the tip of your finger. No skin irritation there either.

    I had been away for a week and returned the following day. We thought he may have been stressed out because I had not been away for more than a weekend before. But a couple days later, the current spots had not changed but he has acquired 2 more on his head. Now I can see on those and one of the prior spots that there is a dot in the middle of the hairless spot, it looks like a little pricked area.

    He has no fleas, healthy clean ears & good skin. He is an active cat, a hunter and likes to pounce on and tumble with our older cat. This used to be fine play with the both of them but the older one is maybe 6 year older than the black cat and has had a back injury so he is now skittish and slow and does not want to be bothered with the black cat. We got the black cat a new playmate, a bit smaller cat, a Manx, about 5 months ago closer to his age and personality. We went through several weeks of introduction and acclimation and they are getting along fine. But they play hard. I am wondering if their play is causing the ‘pricks’ from the Manx’s nails and the pricks causing the hair loss. Although we only find a prick in a couple of the small spots where the hair is gone and there is no evidence of any skin breaks in the furless ‘V’ area.

    I cleaned to pricks and put antibiotic ointment on them last night and I have been searching the internet for an answer and nothing matched this. I do not know if I am on the right track thinking it is the rough play or not. The Manx has no such areas on him and he is definitely the smaller of the two and seems to get the rougher tumbling when they play.

    I would really like to avoid a vet bill right now since I have been laid off of work but I do not want to sacrifice his health. I know that is not much to go on, but I want to make sure I am not missing anything in my assumptions and my care for him.

    • Hi Saunet. Thank you for visiting an asking. You have written a very full comment. I can tell right away that you are a thoughtful cat caretaker. My initial impression is that you have covered pretty much all the ground that needs to be covered.

      Also, my initial impression is that the small areas of hair loss are due to injury in play as you suggest rather than some underlying illness or a parasitical infection (or allergy). You describe your cat as being healthy in every respect. I can tell you are observant. You know your cat better than anybody else including a vet so you should be able to tell when there are behavioural changes indicating an illness and/or discomfort and pain.

      It may be significant that these small areas of hair loss are on the shoulder and the top of the head. These are the areas where cats are most likely to be injured when fighting. In this instance I’m referring to adult tomcats fighting over territory. You often see a damaged ears and abscesses on the top of the head.

      Perhaps the fur is being pulled out. As you say, they play hard. Hair loss around irritated areas of skin caused by an allergy such as flea bite allergy is due to over grooming in that area. Clearly that is not applicable in this case because a cat cannot groom the areas you have mentioned and in any case there are no fleas.

      My gut feeling is that you should watch and wait. If something is wrong then it will become apparent and if your assessment is correct then the spots will heal up. Watching and waiting will provide you with more information and as your cat appears healthy it will not be detrimental to your cat.

      If you agree that then I would be pleased if you would come back to the website in about a month’s time also and tell us what happened. Thanks again for visiting.

      • Thank you for your quick reply. I was away and could not respond to you. Audie Murphy came in the day after I talked to you and more hair was gone – this time it was gone from the back of his thigh. I checked it out and it had a dozen or so of the little red marks – like pricks – similar to those on his neck. I think maybe he went to nap near an ant hill? They are not inflamed and th ara is not red – just the little prick spot itself is red. I noted that he was trying to scratch his neck and he was nibbling at his leg. I cleaned and applied antibiotic ointment to both areas. (He promptly scooted out the door and rolled in the dirt – he acts more like a dog than a cat) He seemed to be losing more hair in the neck area the next day so I cleaned it and applied Gentian Violet – he can’t roll that out in the dirt. I will put the ointment on again when he is in for the night. I am also giving him a tablet of chlorpheniramine – one in the AM and one in the PM. I think he seems to be scratching less with that. I tried to get pictures of the areas for you but between my poor cell phone camera, his blackness (fur and skin) and his wiggling (I truly believe he has ADD) I have had no success. I wanted to post you and say thanks. I will talk to you in a month with an update. Thanks again.

  49. Hello, my 2yr old cat, Bruno, is losing a lot of hair! It started 2 1/2wks ago, he got a scratch and then bloated up and turned scaly with red/yellow crust. I took him to the vet and it was to much $ for me but luckily one vet just looked and said it is ringworm. I’ve been using fungal cream with 1% clotrimazole USP up to 3 times aday and selsun blue with 1% selenium sulfide once a week. After week one it was looking much better, now going on week 3 it’s looking worse that before. Yes the scaliness is gone and no more yellow, but he is losing more and more hair. He wears a cone all day everyday so he won’t scratch or clean, if just scared it’s going to go down his neck or to his face. He is a beautiful cat (Korat) and I can’t bare to see him with no fur. Am I doing the right thing? Are there other cheap medicines I can use that would work better? Is it still spreading if he is still losing hair around the wounds? Is it even ringworm?

    The photo there is cream in his fur, he just had a bath yesterday with the selsun blue and the red cuts, well as he got away from me, after the bath, he scratched it but it was pink skin.

  50. Hopefully this photo goes through. He had a bath yesterday and the fur looks like that from the cream and he managed to scratch is head when he got away after the bath. That’s why it is alittle scratched.

    • Hi Sarah, I’ll respond fully very soon. If you want to add a photo just make sure it is not too big (more than 2 million bytes). There is a link below the comment box explaining this.

      • He can sometimes get past the cone around his head idk how but he manages, but if i see him doing this i stop him. I bathed him last night and so much just kept coming off easily. The scratch he has on it now was from yesterday after his bath when i was clean his cone.

        • Sarah, ringworm on its own does not cause hair to fall out. That is my assessment. Ringworm causes scaling of the skin. What causes the hair to come out is over grooming in that area because the ringworm itches.

          So when you talk about hair loss due to ringworm you’re talking about over grooming in my opinion but as he is wearing a cone and as the ring worm is on the top of his head he cannot groom that area unless he can do so with his paw.

          The inflamed bit of skin (the red bit) does look a little bit like ringworm. So the vet could well be correct. However, I have a feeling that the treatment is going wrong. It may be exacerbating hair loss. I think what I would do is to stop the treatment and watch your cat to see whether he grooms in that spot all the time.

          If it is ringworm and if it is simply located in that sole area then you might ask your vet if you can apply an anti-fungal cream designed for people to that particular bit of inflamed skin.

          I recall treating my cat with ringworm and I used some cream that I had for ringworm that he had given to me. In short we both used the same cream and it cleared up his ringworm in that area.

          Ringworm is hard to clear up. And it is difficult to diagnose. But I would treat the exact location as described but always seek vet advice.

          You might try another vet. That is what I’d do to get a second opinion on diagnosis and treatment.

          I hope this helps but please keep corresponding about this.

  51. since we talked Bruno is now losing even more hair! I don’t know what to do. I was cleaning it with a towel and warm water, combed it and hair was falling out, put the cream on and combed it through and even more hair was coming out. The two wounds are now connected, almost his whole head. The photo it is wet from the cream.

  52. My cat is approx 10 months old and I have just noticed she has lost some hair at the tips of her ears. She is white and the skin seems quite red, dry and is sore to touch. She was neutered and given a worm dose not too long ago, any idea what it may be?

    • Cora, does your cat go outside? If so it might be sunburn. Keep her out of the sun. White cats are more prone to sunburn. If she is not going outside and if it is not sunburn, I’d watch and see if she is causing any damage to her ears by scratching. If so it may be an allergy causing irritation. Good luck.

      • Ah, that makes sense yes she is outdoors except for night time and it has been pretty sunny over the last week or so, thanks very much for the response I’ll keep her in if it’s sunny for a while!

  53. My cat is one year old. I noticed she had been licking a lot. I have had her on worm meds sense I got her. When I noticed she was licking and losing hair I checked for worms and ear mites. Didn’t see any but am treating her for mites as well. The hair is not growing back and she seems to be very thin to me. She eats well and is loving and playful. Does not act ill. She also eats the dog food. There is no way to keep her from eating it. She is an indoor cat and has never been outside the apartment. She has not been neutered. Can you help me with this?

  54. My cat is one year old. I have had her on worm meds since I got her. I noticed she was licking and scratching a lot. I checked for ear mites and didn’t see any but and treating her for that as well. She has lost hair on her back and tail and it doesn’t appear to be growing back. She also looks very to me. She is an indoor cat and has never been outside the apartment. She eats well and is playful and doesn’t appear to be ill. She also eats the dog food. Any help you can render would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Firstly stop your cat eating dog food as it is harming her health. This may be the cause of her scratching. See this page:

      http://cat-chitchat.pictures-of-cats.org/2008/01/cat-eating-dog-food.html

      As for ear mites it is very hard to check for them and treat them adequately. Please read this page:

      http://pictures-of-cats.org/the-truth-about-treating-cat-ear-mites.html

      If you think she might have ear mites see a vet please as they are v.uncomfortable.

      Your cat’s skin is itching. This can be due to many causes. Flea bite allergy is probably the most common. Make sure she is completely free of fleas and the entire home.

      The food she is eating may be causing food allergy dermatitis. Buy high quality wet cat food only.

      How long have you been administering worming meds for? These are chemicals and they can damage the skin and cause irritation. I would check the time you should give de-worming medication to a cat and make sure you comply with the instructions. In fact I’d stop giving the meds and see what happens.

      Good luck and thanks for asking.

      • Thank you for your quick response. I have been treating her for worms since she was a kitten according to the guidelines on the medicine bottle. The ear mites I have been treating for two months. Again going by the guidelines. There are no fleas on her, my dog, or in the home. I will stop giving the meds and have but the dog food up and will not free feed and see what happens. I was mislead, as I was told by a vet that it was alright to let my cat eat the dog food but not alright for my dog to eat the cat food. I will let you know of our progress. Thank you again for your help.

  55. Hi I have a pair of 7 month old siamese. My female cat has suddenly started losing hair from the tip of his tail upwards. Im worried. I saw her biting off her tail hair n chewing it. She has beautiful coat otherwise. Please can anyone help why is she doing it? Ive changed my house recently.

    • Hi Sana. Feline hyperesthesia comes to mind……I guess you probably know that over-grooming or manic grooming might be a sign of stress due to the move. If that is a correct assessment and if she is OK normally, she may settle down in due course. Cats do self-groom to excess to relieve stress because it makes them feel better.

      Over-grooming due to stress overlaps with a condition called “feline hyperesthesia syndrome“. I have a page on that. Siamese are said to be predisposed to suffer from this condition. Good luck to you both.

  56. I have a 2 yr old female cat that has the same condition as Andy’s cat picture dated 5/24/14 looks like the same kind of cat. However my cat has clusters of freckle like condition. In the last week the sink has turned into open and kind of runny sores all the way to her ears. It doesn’t seem to bother her as she doesn’t scratch it. Any ideas?
    Thank you

    • In Andy’s picture his cat just had thinning hair which is not unusual for that position on the body but if your cat has “runny sores” it means either a skin condition and/or your cat is scratching itchy skin.

      The usual causes are parasites or allergies – both cause irritation and allergies cause inflammation of the skin.

      Either way a vet needs to check it. Good luck.

  57. My 4 year old cat cocoa is an indoor cat but she gets out sometimes i recently changed her liter to all natural liter and gave her a dose of small cat advantage 2 which was dose number two of three but instead of every month i give her every couple months never noticed her being allergic to it but after letting her inside one day the day after i noticed she was hiding out on top of a bin i lifted her up and she waslimp for the next couple of days she wouldnt eat or get up when she did it took a lot of energy i noticed a line of fur missing no wound and nowher belly near her nipples is reddish brown i have an appt in a couple days but it is killing me not knowning please help

    • Chelsea, I sorry to hear this. It is horrible waiting to find out. However, from your description it is impossible make a sensible comment. Are you saying the day after you gave her the flea treatment she was limp? That seems to be it. Well, I did a bit of research and found this in Amazon:

      The first couple of days after applying this product to my cats it seemed to be working great. Especially for my cat who seems to be very sensitive to fleas. However today I watched one of them fall off a fairly tall piece of furniture twice (something he is on every day and has never fallen off of before) and strangely like he went limp or something. Then a little while later I watched as my other cat who was just standing on the floor fell with her back legs slamming together and her front paws trying to get a grip. Then I read on a few different websites that it has been found that in RARE occasions this product can have neurological effects….

      Cat goes limp on being given Advantage 2 flea treatment

      This may be what has happened – It is a guess. Your vet will tell you. How is your cat now? Best of luck to you both. Stop using the treatment.

    • Pleased that she seems OK. Your picture was probably too large to upload. There is a link below near the words “It failed?” which discusses how to get a photo into a comment. Good luck.

  58. Not much to go off of but thank you for the response you are doing a really good deed with this blog helping a lot of people out for a while

    • This looks like the area where the spot treatment was placed. It looks a bit nasty. From what i have read you should stop using this product entirely. But don’t use any sprays – they are worse. In fact I would avoid all insecticides at least until you have a handle on the problem. Insecticides are potentially dangerous.

  59. Yeah no more of that I always put it on the back of her neck but something must have gone wrong. It is like bulging but like I said no wound looks like a huge bruise.. You think she will need surgery? Doesn’t seem like the inflammation has gone down

  60. Hello!
    My cat is having similar issues to that of Mysa. Thinning of the top coat on his left side predominantly. It was noticed during a visit in march, where my 7 year old orange male cat Stewie was sick, vomiting diarrhoea etc.

    After xray, bloodwork, and no blockage, he was given meds for a bug and was fine as far as sickness goes once the round of antibiotics kicked in. The dr wasnt too concerned about the hair loss, although she noticed it first, I thought it may have been excessive licking due to the diarrhea. Bloodwork was great as usual, no problems in the urine or fecal department. Hes been on a steady diet of C/D for struvite crystals since he was diagnosed at 1 year old. A heart murmur was detected at the visit and were going to revisit that (the dr seemed to think it was stress from being sick) he was down a lb.

    Since then, the hair loss has gotten bigger, his coat goes from bright orange and soft in the face chest torso to dark orange coarse and only undercoat on the one side. His back hip/butt bones stick out and it looks like hes still on the low end of weight, I know hes getting older and with the C/D he doesnt get much more in compensation for diet. No fleas, I’m a stickler and always check to make sure I dont bring them home. No inflammation, no redness, no scratching and I’m not catching any excessive grooming whatsoever, but hair is everywhere.

    Hes always been a big eater (always getting into the trash, trying to steal our food, hes always been this way on the C/D) and very energetic, that hasnt changed, but he has become more clingy and loveable, even sleeping with us, with as funny as it sounds is a bit out of character for him. Hes always been one to come and go as he pleases. I have been giving him extra attention in hopes that maybe its seperation anxiety or excessive grooming that I’m just not seeing, but it hasnt changed. Wouldnt the complete blood panel have picked up a thyroid issue several months ago?

    I have never seen something like this in my short journey as a vet tech a couple years ago, most other things that come up I dont worry about much since I know how to take care of them, but this has me worried. I am planning on taking my cat in asap, but until then an opinion would be nice. Thanks for reading and responding when you have the chance.

    • Hi this is my answer right now but it is not very good:

      • vomiting
      • diarrhoea – mess around bum because of excessive licking due to diarrhoea
      • potential urinary problems
      • heart murmur
      • underweight
      • good appetite
      • energetic

      “Wouldn’t the complete blood panel have picked up a thyroid issue several months ago?”

      – Answer: Yes. I would have thought so.

      The symptoms to a layperson point to hyperthyroidism but as you say wouldn’t this have been picked up.

      This page has a list of diseases causing hair loss.

      • Thanks for the response. I agree that some of his symptoms sound like a thyroid condition, but possibly endocrine too. I’ll have to check with the dr at his appointment if anything on his blood results was boderline or possibly needs to be looked into further.

        I just wanted to clarify that the vomitting an diarhhea cleared up after a week, due to the virus he had back in March, it just so happened to be the time we noticed the hair loss. He hasnt had any vomitting or diarrhea since (hes not even the type to spit up furballs). There Is no hair loss around the bum or tail, mainly just his left side, by the hip/torso and now seems to be starting to lose hair in the same spot on the right – which I have read symetrical hair loss could be cushings. Also we always get his urine checked, the C/D is preventative from the crystals coming back, so as of his last check up/complete panel he had no urinary issues. I keep wondering if the constant use of this food may be triggering something, we switched from chicken to seafood to see if maybe it helps the hair loss.

        For now he seems happy and healthy otherwise, I just hope there isnt something more serious going on, only the dr can tell.

        • PLease give us an update on your cat. The symptoms you are discribing are very similar to my 10yr old stray..Peanut.. I’m frightened by the chunks of hair I’m finding from a short time on the couch, with no grooming..

        • Thanks Alyssia. My reading of these comments etc. indicates what you mention: some sort of hormonal problem. But they are rather mysterious these hair loss problems. If you can find the time to tell us your vet’s diagnosis it would be nice.

  61. My tuxedo cat has had an issue with hair loss on her ears and sometimes her eye lids. She has been given cortisone, mometamax, atopic and tresaderm. We have changed her diet to a rabbit and pea only food and began using dinovite. Her excessive itching began years ago. She is indoor only and still gets a yearly flea treatment… Today I have found a big patch of skin attached to her white fur. I feel at a loss. I just feel like her ears will always have bald spots. Occasionally they scab. Some days they look healed.

    • Laura, thanks for this. Has your vet scratched his head on this condition? Sorry for the pun. This seems to be an unidentified allergy. I guess you changed the food in case it was a food allergy. Allergens are hard to pin down. Might it be a good idea to change the environment she lives in for a while to see if that helps?

      I am guessing but I sense that this is a long-standing unresolved problem. It seems that the medication is not resolving the matter. Sometimes medications can make things worse as I’m sure you are aware. Depending on how desperate your cat and you are, you might consider stopping all the medications and placing your cat in a foster carer’s home for a while and see what happens. That would at least remove any allergens that are in the environment where your cat lives. This may seem a crazy idea to you (and it may be crazy) and it may be totally unworkable but if an allergen is causing the problem, the solution is to remove the allergen.

      What about removing the flea treatment as well? I know that is not going to be suggested by your vet but flea treatments are insecticides and insecticides are rather nasty chemicals.

      Cats are especially sensitive to pyrethroids. VetMD: “symptoms are based on the type of reaction the cat undergoes, such as: Allergic reactions,itching…..

      Possible reason?

      Try and make her environment as totally natural as possible and if after that the problem is still there you can at least say that the problem is created internally as part of her genetic make up rather than the environment.

  62. I’m going slightly insane… my kitty is losing a lot of fur, he’s always had what we assume is a flea problem and has had very mild fur loss, taken to the vet twice, they’ve given an injection to make it all milder, which does help in that he doesn’t scratch, but it’s never cured. We’ve now tried at least 4 different flea treatments, always working them for a couple of months to see if it takes a while to react, but no help. He’s now looking a lot more “worn”, and has lost specs of fur all over, and his belly is now showing pale skin (he’s a black cat). He’s one of 5 in our house. If it is fleas, the others are in no way showing that same reaction. Part of me is reluctant to take him to the vet as he gets an injection of something and they say to try the flea treatment, which we are… but it does nothing. He’s just constantly scratching and licking himself, and I get it might not be easy to diagnose, but regardless, we’re trying to solve the flea problem and it isn’t seeming to work. The first time we took him to the vet he got an injection of something, plus we got some flea treatment and some spray for the house. It didn’t seem to work.

    I cannot guarantee it’s fleas, but I would assume it is… but as none of the others are so affected, and we are trying… having so many flea treatments and it not working is driving me mad. I want to take him to the vet again but I’m worried it’ll cost packets. Since we have 5 cats, it’s financially a pain to spend hundreds of pounds on a cat if it doesn’t cure it… they just give him an injection which doesn’t work for long. What can we do?

    • Hi Sarah. Sorry to hear you are having difficulty with hair loss on your black cat. I have a black cat too. He developed a flea bite allergy which caused him to lick the areas where the irritation was. You can tell a flea bite allergy because the skin shows small red inflamed areas. Does your cat have small dots of inflamed skin? On the basis that it is a flea bite allergy that is causing your cat to over-groom in the areas where his skin itches then the only solution really it to remove all fleas from your home.

      This is because you can use a spot flea treatment successfully but it only takes one flea to bite your cat to cause an allergic reaction in him which then causes the irritation and the over-grooming. Therefore you have to remove the all the fleas from the environment. When I happened to move to a different home with my cat he no longer suffered from the flea bite allergy and he is flea-free.

      Obviously, in your home with five cats is harder to keep it free of fleas. Perhaps they go outside as well which increases the possibilities. The books say you have to use all methods to remove fleas from the home as well as provide spot treatments on individual cats. Do the other cats receive a flea spot treatment? If not they should be treated as well unfortunately. Also, do you have carpets? Carpets are good for harbouring fleas. Success might come if you remove all carpets have a clear hard floor, use frontline flea spot treatment on all your cat, perhaps place some diatomaceous earth at the exits and entrances to your home and of course ensure that your home is fully hoovered regularly. It is a challenge.

      Of course all that I’ve mentioned is based upon the fact that your cat has a flea bite allergy and is being bitten very rarely but sometimes by a flea despite being treated with Frontline.

      Be careful with flea treatments. Good luck. Please tell me if he does not have a flea bite allergy. Does your vet say he has a flea bite allergy?

  63. Nope, no blood marks that I can see, he’s always been distrusting of humans, so isn’t the type of cat to sit on your lap, but I’ve never seen any areas of blood. They are all indoors, and all get the flea treatment. He’s sitting near me now, licking away like he always does. Doesn’t look harsh, but since it’s constant I assume it must be… and the hair loss is a worry. The vet has never done anything to test it, we’ve been twice and they said it was linked to fleas (may be true, but no test) and each time costing £50 seems harsh as it’s not anything that cures it, just stops it itching him for a bit, but he doesn’t seem to stop licking completely, just it stops being as harsh an outcome. Confused…!

  64. I think my cat, Mooshu, has been sick for a long time now. A few months ago, he’d get these very infected abscesses every month on his paws, head, and stomach. Even some of our other cats have gotten these abscesses, though ever as bad. He’s stopped having the abscesses thankfully but ever since they started, he started becoming very thin. Usually Mooshu likes to stay outside for 2-3 days exploring before coming home to rest for a day or two. Well earlier this week he came back as usual but he never left. He hates staying inside for long periods of time and so far this week, he’s only gone outside maybe once or twice each day just to use the restroom. He’s been very tired and has been sleeping the days away. Every since he came inside, I’ve noticed very rough white stuff appear all over his back paws, front paws, elbows, cheeks, groin, and forehead. It feels extremely rough to the tough and doesn’t seem like it’s his skin. If I pick it up it literally lifts all the surrounding skin aloud with it. The parts on his cheeks and elbows can be slightly scratched off but not the ones anywhere else. His mood doesn’t seem different besides the fact that he’s so tired and as far as I know, this isn’t an allergic reaction as we haven’t bought different cat food in a few months; we always get the same brand.

  65. hello my chat is loseing hair first we noticed it arround the neck area were it is little bumps dried scabs with slight hair lose. now his belly hair seems to be thining alot. he also be coughing and vomiting his food after he eats it. any suggestions of what this could be?

    • Hi Julie. I am afraid that this is going to be too complex to resolve over the Internet like this.

      It might be the case that the vomiting and coughing is not linked to hair loss but it might be and their lies one difficulty.

      But let’s say that the vomiting is linked to hair loss then in my opinion you have a potentially serious illness, an underlying illness which can only be resolved by taking your cat to the veterinarian.

      It made for example be an allergy. Have you considered it being a food allergy? Have you tried hypoallergenic cat food?

      It is probable that the hair loss around the neck is due to scratching which means the skin itches. Itchy skin can be caused by a number of things including flea bite allergy. That is the area where please congregate so here is another question: can you guarantee that your cat is free of fleas? Do you comb your cat with a flea comb?

      I would all these basics first and I would certainly take your cat to the vet. Thanks for asking anyway and I’m sorry that it is impossible to provide a more complete answer.

  66. Hi. I have a question, please. Thanks for your site and information. My 14 year old persian has a bunch of very thin, bald like places on his back after I combed him last week. I think I am one of those people that is too aggressive with the grooming and need to leave it to professionals :) He is not ill , the hair thinning and loss is just from me. I worry that i have done some damage to his coat. Will this grow out? If this is not the forum for this I apologize, but just looking for answers. Thanks and take care.

    • It will be OK and come back in my opinion. I guess you used a Furminator too vigorously or something like that. Just allow time and be gentle for a while. I hope he accepts grooming in the future because it was probably uncomfortable for him. Good luck. At least you know what happened and why.

      I always like questions ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.

To upload a photo (1) place the photo on the desktop of your computer (2) write your comment (3) click on the "browse" button below the comment area (4) select the photo (5) click on the "post comment" button (6) wait and it will appear if you are a regular. It failed? Please click this. Thanks.