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Hair Loss in Cats

 by yunus on 18 Apr 2018 |
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Many people suffer from hair loss, but few know balding is also common in cats. From flea bites and hormonal imbalances to chronic over-grooming, a host of underlying causes can lead to your cat’s retreating hairline. Hair loss can be a symptom of more serious problems in cats, too, but fortunately treatments exist for most of its root causes.
Known as alopecia, balding can be either partial or total in our feline friends. The skin underneath your cat’s receding hairline may look normal or it could show signs of irritation such as redness, bumps, scabs and lesions. With so many variations, it can be hard to diagnose the underlying cause of your cat’s alopecia—especially given the host of potential problems. Some pets are allergic to flea bites, for example, while others lose their coats due to parasites that cause mange or fungal issues such as ringworm. Hormonal imbalances such as hyperthyroidism or increased levels of steroids can play a role in feline balding, and alopecia may also be a sign of a behavioral problem if anxiety is causing your pet to over-groom. Older cats diagnosed with cancer often lose their hair, too, and some cats, like people, simply go bald due to genetics. Whatever the cause of your cat losing his coat, it’s important to identify the problem. Small, red spots usually suggest allergies, while thinning patches of fur on your cat’s tail end can indicate a reaction to mange or fleas. Ringworm, on the other hand, can leave your cat with smaller, red circles with a white center. Whatever the source, most underlying causes of hair loss also cause our pets to itch and scratch, which can lead to more serious infections.
Enlist your veterinarian’s help, if necessary, to diagnose your cat. He can run blood tests to determine whether Kitty’s balding is due to hormonal or thyroid imbalances or take a skin sample to determine whether your cat is losing his fur due to dermatological issues. To rule out cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands, your vet may use X-rays and ultrasounds. Depending on the diagnosis, your cat may need a new flea preventative, medication or topical treatment to alleviate his symptoms. Other possible solutions include changing your cats diet or even trying new laundry detergent, cleaning products or other household products to rule out allergies as the source of your pet’s problems. If your cat’s hair loss is due to a behavioral issue, you should work to reduce his stress levels and may need to seek help from a behavioral specialist.
While there are no surefire methods to prevent hair loss in cats, keeping an eye on your pet can help address symptoms before they get worse. If you notice your cat is scratching one area more than the rest, pay attention that area and seek veterinary help, if necessary. You can also provide temporary relief from itching with prescribed topical treatments while getting to the bottom of your cat’s hair-loss problems.


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