Categories: hair loss

Cat Health Tip: Hair loss

This is probably the best tip cat owners will read on cat hair loss. It gets to the point and narrows causes down. There are other pages on hair loss on this site. One has hundreds of comments. Click this to see some more pages on cat hair loss. Obviously feline hair loss is a concerning health problem among the cat owning public.

Overgrooming due to itchiness

Hair loss in cats is invariably caused by excessive self grooming due to a generalised feeling of itchiness. These are the words of Dr Bruce Fogle in his book Complete Cat Care. I found the tip interesting and quite surprising. This is because a lot of people are looking for reasons why their cat has lost some hair but if what Dr Fogle says is to be believed, and he is very believable, then nearly every cat owner need look no further than over-grooming because of an itchy coat.

Feline endocrine alopecia hair loss

Hormonal

Of course, the difficult part is then deciding what is causing the itchiness. Dr Fogle also states that in cats, hormonal skin diseases are so rare as to be virtually non-existent. On that statement you can almost write off the endocrine system (glands secreting hormones) as a possible cause.

Can cat litter cause allergies and hair loss? This is contact dermatitis.

Allergen

The next most obvious cause will be an allergen to which the cat is allergic and these are very difficult to diagnose. Perhaps the most common are: flea bite allergy, airborne allergens and food allergens so strict flea control, a change of environment and a change of food might be the logical steps to take. Of these, the flea bite allergen is the most common by far, I suspect. The flea bite allergy is also called flea allergy dermatitis which is a form of miliary dermatitis.

Scabs along the midline of the back and around the neck due to over grooming suggests an allergy to fleas. It is possible and perhaps likely that the single most common reason why cats are taken to veterinarians for treatment is the cat flea.

He also states that skin problems are the most common reason why cats are taken to veterinarians. Following on from the above, he says that most skin problems involve itchiness.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • How true this is. Remember when i sent you pics of my cat when he was losing some hair on his tail and around his face area? I ended up taking him in to the vet and she told me the cause was from fleas. I had been treating him with Frontline and while she said it was working, that now i needed to treat my home. Once i did that, things turned back to normal. He still is experiencing itchy skin however, and i do not know how to treat that. Trying to figure out if this is residual effects from fleas or what?

    • The residual itchiness may be due to another allergy or even if there is one flea left (and they are damn hard to eliminate) a single bite from that flea can cause an allergy to the bite and itchiness. You are probably doing it but if not I'd flea comb him twice per day or more, all over, to check for fleas. It must be a 32 to the inch flea comb. If the fur is dense it should be done very gently and gradually over time to tease the fur out. Good luck and sorry I missed your comment earlier.

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