Is your cat’s fur thinning? Maybe you’ve discovered a new bald patch on your cat that you weren’t aware of before. Or perhaps your cat’s fur has several bald patches? Changes in your cat’s health or appearance can be alarming, but fur loss is common and may not be cause for concern.
To put your mind at ease here’s everything you need to know about cat bald spots, from how to recognize them to why your cat might be getting them and what kind of therapies they might need to get rid of them
What does a cat’s bald patch look like?
A bald patch on your cat can have a variety of appearances, and your cat may have multiple patches of fur loss or only one or two. Depending on the cause, you may notice scabbing in areas where your cat used to have fur. For example, an external parasite can cause both hair loss and scab in cats, as the parasite damages both the hair follicle and the skin in general.
If you just detect fur loss and their skin looks to be in fine condition, your cat may be suffering from stress-induced hair loss. Where the bald spots are located is a good indicator of what is causing your cat’s fur loss. The bald patches on your cat could be the result of overgrooming if they’re in the usual grooming places.
It is critical to seek the counsel of a veterinarian if you discover new bald spots or scabbing on your cat’s skin, regardless of the source. Although not all causes of bald patches in cats are dangerous, some can have long-term negative consequences for your cat’s health.
What is causing my cat’s bald patches?
The emergence of bald spots in cats could be caused by a variety of factors. Depending on the reason, you may need to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Here are the causes of fur loss or bald patches in cats are as follows:
Parasites from outside the body (such as fleas)
Excessive grooming as a result of stress or anxiety
Diseases of the genome
Parasites from outside the body
Parasites such as fleas or mites are the most common cause of bald patches in cats.
The problem is usually caused by your cat’s reaction to the flea’s saliva, which causes a localized reaction, often on the back and towards the tail. Fortunately, the condition is usually simple to resolve, and the hair will regrow once the fleas or mites have been removed.
Treatment for parasites on the outside
This problem is best treated with parasite-killing medications such as spot-on.’ Veterinarian-recommended products are usually the most successful, but other treatments, like steroid therapy, may be required to ease itching.
External parasites, such as fleas, can cause feline-acquired symmetric alopecia, which is characterized by the severe hair loss on both sides of the cat’s body.
Infections caused by ringworm
Ringworm is a fungus, not a parasite, that causes circular ulcers on the skin where the hair thins or goes completely, giving your cat a bald area. Ringworm is a highly contagious fungus spread by direct contact with spores. Your cat can catch these parasites from any area where an infected animal has been because they can live for up to two years.
A ringworm treatment
A fungal culture on a sample of hair is typically used to diagnose ringworm, although looking at the hair under a microscope or examining the complete hair coat with a UV lamp (wood’s lamp) might also provide information. Ringworm can be identified with a swab of the skin, and the fungus is usually treated with shampoos or other treatments to keep it from spreading.
Excessive grooming as a result of stress or anxiety
If you observe your cat brushing themselves more frequently than usual, it’s possible that they’re losing their fur. Over-grooming can be an indication of a neurological problem in rare cases, especially in older cats, but it is more usually a stress-related behavior.
It’s critical to avoid developing a habit of over-grooming. One of the most effective ways to deal with excessive grooming in cats is to intervene. If your cat is licking excessively or for an extended period of time, politely intervene. Play a game or give them a reward.
Cats are excellent groomers who take great satisfaction in grooming themselves by licking their fur on a regular basis. They can, however, over-groom by licking or chewing and nibbling their fur excessively. This might cause your cat’s fur to thin or perhaps go completely bald, especially on the front paws.
Contact with an allergen can cause hair loss as well as other symptoms such as dry skin and blisters. Allergic reactions are most commonly caused by the cat’s environment, such as interactions with plants.
Treatment for allergies
Some foods may cause an allergic reaction in your cat. necessitating testing. If your cat’s fur starts to fall out after you change his or her diet, go back to the old one and consult your veterinarian.
When a cat produces too much hormone, it suffers thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism). It’s also worth noting that cats don’t get hypothyroidism unless their hyperthyroidism is treated excessively.
One of the signs is the appearance of bald patches on your cat. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can both be detected with blood tests. Treatment for an overactive thyroid in cats is usually as simple as taking medication prescribed by a veterinarian, though surgery may be necessary for exceptional situations.
Treatment for thyroid problems
Oral medicine, surgery, and radioactive iodine therapy are among the options for treating hyperthyroidism.
Some cats lose their fur due to a hereditary disease. There is no treatment for this, however, it is usually only temporary, and the hair regrows in a few weeks.
Cat owners should also be aware that some cats’ hair thins naturally, particularly on the tops of their heads and other parts of their bodies where they brush up against people and objects. Different breeds exhibit this differently, but it is most obvious in cats with dark fur and pale skin. It’s typically not a concern until you’re fully bald.
Some breeds have no hair or fur at all, while others lose their fur naturally. To put it another way, bald patches on cats aren’t usually the result of something harmful.
What is causing my cat’s baldness?
Your cat may have just grown its first bald spot, or you may notice that they have lost, or are about to lose, the majority of their hair.
Whatever the cause of your cat’s hair loss, whether parasites, allergies, or stress, it’s critical to seek help from your local veterinarian as soon as possible to ensure your cat’s recovery. It’s possible that your cat is merely overgrooming or that the hair loss is natural; if this is the case, visiting the doctor has at least put your mind at ease.