Hair loss is a serious condition often associated with age. But sometimes, cats lose their hair even at a young age, and you tend to wonder, why? Is it natural? Does it have to do with infection, and what can you do to remedy it? Relax, we’ve got you covered in this piece.
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What is hair loss?
Hair loss, also known as Alopecia, is a condition that causes cat hairs to fall out of the hair follicles. Hair loss does not necessarily occur at old age in cats, it can happen to your cat at any age.
Your cat may experience partial hair loss in which only a certain part of their body loses hair. They may also experience total hair loss throughout their whole body.
Seeing your cat lose their hair may become a burden in your heart, and as a dog owner, you’d wish for an effective way to help your cat. In this article, we shall enlighten you on what to do when your cat experiences hair loss.
Causes of hair loss in cats and what to do
It may be challenging to figure out what causes hair loss in your cat. This is because there are a variety of conditions that can cause feline hair loss. If your cat experiences hair loss a few days after birth, it may be due to a hereditary disorder or improper development in the womb.
However, if a grown-up cat experiences hair loss, it may be a sign of diseases, toxins, cancer, infections, allergies, or disorders. Knowing the particular cause of hair loss in your cats will help you determine what to do.
Here are the causes of hair loss and what you can do to help your cat.
It is necessary to groom your cat regularly using appropriate grooming tools, but grooming your cat should not be done too often. Thinning shears and pin brushes, when used too often on your cat, can weaken their hairs and cause them to fall out of the hair follicles.
If you're grooming your cat every day, then you're overdoing it. Consider reducing it to three or four times a week.
Feline hair loss can be hereditary. If their mom experienced hair loss, your cat will most likely inherit the same trait. Hair loss caused by hereditary disorders shows up at an early age. If you notice that your young cat is experiencing hair loss, seek advice from your veterinarian immediately.
If your cat is attacked by ectoparasites such as fleas, mites, ticks, and lice, they will most likely experience hair loss. Ectoparasites stick to your cat's skin and fur causing the hair follicles to become irritated. This then results in hair loss from the hair follicles.
If you notice the presence of mites, ticks, lice, or other ectoparasites in your cat's fur while combing them, get a topical cream from a veterinarian store to completely get rid of the parasites.
If your cat is deficient in certain nutrients required to build the structural proteins of the hair, they will experience hair loss. Ensure you give your cat a balanced diet.
If you're giving your cat meals with high carbs and low proteins, they will likely experience hair loss. You can get meals specifically made for cats at pet stores to ensure your cat is not deficient in any nutrients. You may also add supplements such as vitamin tablets to your cat’s water.
Stress can cause hormonal imbalances in your cat, which may result in hair loss. Cats like to hunt for their prey in the sun and this can be stressful.
Consider keeping your cat indoors in a cool place and providing them with adequate food and water to keep them relaxed. This will prevent your cat from stressing themselves to hunt for food under the sun.
If your cat is infected with some bacteria that cause inflammation of hair follicles, they tend to suffer hair loss.
You may not be able to determine whether the hair loss is caused by bacteria, hence, you should take your feline to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
If the diagnosis reveals that your cat is infected by bacteria, then your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate antibiotics for treatment.
Tumors or cancer
Undoubtedly, skin cancer causes hair loss in both animals and humans. If you notice an irregular growth on a part of your feline's body, it may be a tumor. Do not rub the affected area with your hand to avoid being infected. The best thing to do is to take the cat to your veterinarian for chemotherapy.
If your cat likes to play in hot places, under the hot sun, or near the oven, they may get burns on their skin and experience hair loss. Sunburns are common in cats that are allowed to stay outdoors.
If you notice an inflamed area on your cat's skin, it may be a result of sunburns. Keep the cat indoors in a cool and well-ventilated place. Wrap ice in a clean towel and gently rub the burns with the towel for about five minutes to cool the affected area.
You may also apply a soothing oil such as Rosemary or Lavender oil to the affected area.
Cats may experience hair loss due to allergic reactions. The discomfort caused by the allergies may irritate the cat's skin and affect their hair follicles, causing the cat to experience hair loss.
In this case, antihistamines should be administered to the cat to reduce the body's response to allergens.
Other causes of hair loss in cats include fungal infections, Skin trauma, Defect at birth, Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, and Toxins.
What are the symptoms of hair loss in cats?
The first symptom of hair loss in cats is loss of hair in several patches throughout their body. Their furry coats begin to have bald patches, making them look rough. If you notice this, you should take immediate actions to help your cat from complete hair loss.
Several symptoms are associated with hair loss in cats depending on the cause of the hair loss. Common symptoms include Hair fall, Bumps, Blisters, Red skin, Itching and scratching, Cysts, Skin inflammation, Loss of Whiskers, Sores, Easy bruising, Dark patches, Hyperpigmentation of skin, Scaling, and Ulcers.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is best to discuss with a veterinarian that specializes in the treatment of cats for proper diagnosis and prescription of medications. Proper feeding and changing the cat's lifestyle may also be of help.
ConclusionWhat to do when your cat experiences hair loss depends on the cause of the hair loss. Knowing the cause of hair loss in your cat may be challenging but you may get some hints by paying attention to the lifestyle of your feline friend.
It is not appropriate for you to buy over-the-counter medicine to alleviate hair loss in your cat. Instead, you should consider visiting your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
You should be sincere in explaining the lifestyle of your cat to your veterinarian because doing so will help them in determining the possible causes of the hair loss and prescribe the appropriate medications.