Hair loss of your cute kitten must be so heartbreaking. The bald patches on your cat’s skin mean PROBLEMS! Continuous shedding of your little pet’s hair can cause it to cough hairballs and many other problems.
Hair loss which is also called alopecia is a very common issue. Not every kind of hair loss in cats means the same.
The hair from your cat’s skin can either completely shed off. Or, it will leave in patches from specific places. The bare, hairless skin of the cat can either be normal or with a little redness. There can be bumps, or you can also spot skin losses.
There can be many reasons for the hair loss in cats, and can be broadly categorized into either:
- Your little cat has had a skin issue since birth,
- It is not well, or
- It is a symptom of a disease that can be easily treated.
The major reasons for this hair loss in cats can are mentioned below.
1. Due to Ringworms
Scientifically called Microsporum canis, fungal spores are suggested to be the main agents of the ringworm. These are carried away from any infected environment or by the contaminated animal. This can make the kitten remain infectious for a couple of months.
This is generally the most common cause of hair loss in cats. Since it is contagious through a contaminated environment, it can occur frequently in cats.
Your cat is always sleeping, that you know. But when it is not, it is playing. The cat playing is not like that you saw in the YouTube videos of cats with woolen balls. It runs from one place to another. Goes inside any hole, any channel it thinks it can pass through. It gets hurt many times.
Your cat hesitates to let you groom itself, whenever it gets hurt. You will never know what happened to your cat. These wounds invite infectious contaminators. There are other ways through which these pores get inside like the wounds by bites and scratches. This infection starts from the outermost layer of the skin or the follicles of the hair loss in cats. Grooming helps in getting rid of these infectious spores. Due to the avoidance of grooming, a cat will be more prone to hair fall. Even in its unhealthy situation, the chances of getting infected increases.
Ringworms are easy to be treated. This requires a lot of sanitization. Keeping good care of your cat by a scheduled time table will be a better way. Since, it can communicate easily, keep yourself to a safer situation. If you see any signs, then, better is, consult a vet. As soon as possible!
2. Due to Excessive Grooming
A cat can help itself in cleaning and grooming. It is born with the skills. But it still requires a lot from your side. You need to help your cat in grooming in a scheduled manner for their healthy skin. But every action has side effects. Same way, grooming too causes hair loss in cats
Self-grooming of a cat involves licking. It licks its fur coat and skin with its tongue. The tongue of a cat is rough. That is how it licks away all the dirt away. The rough tongue brushes away the parasites, dead debris, dead hair and all types of irritants.
But the stickiness of the saliva can cause hair to fall in the areas where the cat is licking. This causes hair loss in cats. It is still not in that high amount to make the skin bald. But when the cat continuous to do this grooming then the problem occurs. That part of the skin starts becoming balder. Even if the hair starts growing, it is of very poor quality. Also, excessive hair loss can cause other problems. Your cat might be licking these hairs and this ingestion causes hairballs. The stomach cannot digest these hairs and cough out the hairballs.
If your cat is overdoing it, you need to consult the vet. There must be some issue with your kitten.
3. Due to Cat’s Diet
Of course, the food and its nutrients play an important role. For the health of your cat, you should feed it with the best food. A healthy cat will lead to a healthy fur coat. If your cat does not get an adequate amount of nourishment, then the hair growth will be of poorer quality.
Like any mammal in the world, cats too, need protein in their diet for quality hair growth. From the total amount protein that a cat took in its diet a day, 30% gets used for hair growth. Due to the lack of the protein, the hair growth will be thinner or brittle in texture. There are some kinds of proteins that your cat may not be able to digest. This will end up with the same result. This is yet another cause of hair loss in cats.
Vitamins like A and E are other nutrients that are necessary for a healthy fur coat of your cat. This helps in the reduction of hair loss in cats. Vitamins A and E work as natural antioxidants and hence, regulate the growth of the cells. The deficiency of these vitamins has adverse effects. The cat’s body may stop producing the important hair component, which is keratin. That is how the hair problem can occur.
4. Due to Stress
Over-grooming in your cat is a cause of hair loss. You are acknowledged with this piece of information. But why does your sweet pet over grooms? There is a major reason behind it, and that is stress. A stressed-out cat can be seen over licking itself. Apart from over licking, you can also find your cat biting or chewing its hair. And hence, causing thinner fur coat or complete baldness. Especially in the front paws.
Over-grooming is caused due to neurological disorders in some rare instances. This is mainly found in older cats. Most common in cats of all age groups is the stress factor. It gets triggered due to it. What do we do when we are stressed out? We scratch and pull our hair. That is so painful! But the cat does not love pain, hence it starts licking itself more frequently.
The cause of this stress can be a change in the surroundings. It can be due to the introduction of a new element or member in the house. You either need to find the thing that is bothering your cat. If it still does not feel good then, that is the moment you need to consult the veterinarian.
5. Due to Allergies
There are other reasons for the hair loss of your cat. It includes allergies. Your cat can be allergic to anything in the surroundings. Allergens do not only cause hair loss. They can even result in dry skin or blisters.
Plants are the most common allergens to your cat. When your cat comes in contact with the outer environment, it may get contact to that specific allergen plant. And hence, it can show reactions to it. Other allergens can be some sort of food. This all can lead to hair loss. You need to test these allergies. Notice the reaction the cat gives to the change in diet.
6. Due to External Parasites
External parasites include flea and mites. This is also common in cats. The cats especially, go out and play. These can be found sticking to the cat’s back to the tail. The cat may get allergic to the saliva of these parasites. Therefore, baldness in the fur coat can be seen in the cat’s body.
It not that of a serious problem if treated on time. You have got to remove the parasites by picking them off. You can also use the flea removal products that are suggested by the veterinarian.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The first step of treatment is diagnosis. For that, the veterinarian will check for the parasites. If there are any, then the removal treatment will be done.
The next diagnosis will be for allergies. Allergies can be detected by wounds, only sometimes. The wounds may become large with time.
Through some chemical tests, the veterinarian might check for the thyroid or hormonal misbalances. The tests for chronic diseases like that of adrenal glands and cancer can also be done.
Though this is not a big issue when read. But, hair loss means a lot of disorders in the cat. Knowing your feline friend is a challenge. For their healthy being, you need to go through the above reasons for this happening. You need to prevent it before the hair loss can even affect the cat. You need to keep your pet away from fleas. Moreover, you need to provide your cat with the required games and toys. This will keep it stress-free. That is how you will stay a promising parent! If you have a dog and he is facing the same issue, we have a similar article for hair loss in dogs.