Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

How Old is
Your Cat?

Adult Cat
(1-10 years)

Select a stage on the timeline to view more content.

Hair Loss in Cats

Alopecia

 

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem for cats. The hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns varied or symmetrical. Treatment options exist, though they are limited.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Signs include partial or total hair loss. The skin surrounding the area of hair loss can appear normal or it can have redness, bumps, scabs, and skin loss. Alopecia may appear in a symmetrical form, or it can be random on the cat's skin.

 

Causes

 

In older cats diagnosed with cancer, alopecia is common. Nervous disorders (e.g., over-grooming) can also cause cats to lose their hair. Hormonal imbalances, specifically too much thyroid or increased levels of steroids in the body, may lead to hair loss. Some cats experience skin allergies, which can also cause hair loss to occur. Parasites that bring about mange, and fungal issues like ringworm, are also a common cause of alopecia. Another less common factor is heredity.

 

Diagnosis

 

A complete blood count (CBC) is often done to determine if there are hormonal or thyroid imbalances causing the alopecia. Various imaging tools, such as X-rays, are used to rule out signs of cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands. Meanwhile, if the veterinarian believes hair loss is due to a skin issue, a skin biopsy or culture may be done.

 

Treatment

 

If the alopecia is due to a skin disorder (e.g., skin erosions), thyroid imbalance, or other hormonal imbalance, there are medications and topical treatments available. If hair loss is due to a behavioral issue, modification treatment can be taught to lessen the problem. Overall, treatment options are fairly limited.

 

Living and Management

 

Other than administering the appropriate medication, you should observe the cat's condition to make sure it does not become worse.

 

Prevention

 

There are no surefire methods to prevent hair loss in cats.

Comments  0

Leave Comment

Sign up for the Cat Care Journal

Monthly expert tips and stage-by-stage advice to help care for your cat.

By subscribing you agree to receive special offers from Pet360 Inc and Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the makers of ARM & HAMMERTM.

Common cat Questions

  • Q: Should I speak to my kitten?

    View Answers
  • Q: How can I stop my kitten from shredding my furniture?

    View Answers
  • Q: How can I stop my kitten from climbing up on my shelves and other high places?

    View Answers
View All

Featured Breed

Skittles

Exotic Shorthair

Featuring Skittles
A breed with only 50 years of history, the Exotic Shorthair, also known as the Shorthaired Persian, is a popular breed for cat fanciers who walk on the calmer side of life. This breed...

LEARN MORE