Cat Alopecia - Causes and Treatment
Cat alopecia is common and can be frustrating for cat owners, affecting their beloved pets' appearance. In some cases, cat hair loss may just be a sign that your cat is feeling a bit stressed or uncomfortable, and in other cases, it could indicate something more serious.
If you notice your cat losing hair in large patches, or if it's happening more frequently, you should take them to the Vet for checkup.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is hair loss, and it can be temporary, but it can also be permanent. Cat alopecia is a condition in which the hair around an animal's neck or back gets thinned or lost. The condition is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including allergies, illness, and skin irritation from infestations.
There are two types of feline Alopecia: congenital Alopecia and acquired Alopecia. Congenital Alopecia occurs in newborns and kittens and is characterized by hair loss and aberrant hair growth. Congenital Alopecia is not accompanied by itchiness which is common in Acquired Alopecia. Acquired Alopecia is the most common form of cat hair loss and affects cats of all ages. It can be caused by various factors, including stress, illness, allergies, or environmental factors. Cats with acquired Alopecia often experience irritation and itchiness.
Causes of Cat Alopecia.
There are a variety of causes that may lead to hair loss in your cat. Some common causes of cat alopecia include:
- Infection which is caused by bacteria
- Allergies to food, fleas, or environmental allergens.
- Caused by other underlying diseases, such as inflammation in the kidneys, bladder, and gastrointestinal system.
- Metabolic stress, including pregnancy, fever, or nursing.
In some cases, hair loss may be a sign of a more serious health condition and should be checked out by a veterinarian.
There are many ways to treat cat hair loss, but it all comes down to what is the underlying cause of your feline pet's hair loss. Make sure to check with your Vet before applying any of the treatment options listed below.
Medications such as prescribed by your Vet.
Behavior-modifying medication to reduce stress levels and environmental enrichment, including playtime or interactive toys.
Parasiticide treatment: Parasites are a common cause of hair loss in cats. They can be treated with parasite medication.
Topical therapy: Topical treatments involve medicated shampoo or ointment.
Systemic antibiotics or antifungals
An elimination diet can take anywhere between 8-12 weeks of a limited-ingredient diet or a prescription allergy diet.
There are a few ways to manage and prevent further hair loss in your feline pet.
- Reduce your cat's stress levels by providing an enriching environment.
- Keep your cat well groomed.
- Make sure your cat is eating a balanced diet.
- Avoid flea infestation in the household.
- Avoid exposure to toxins and extreme temperatures, which could lead to illness or infection that causes hair loss in cats.
- Avoid exposing your cats to extreme humidity. Keep your cat's fur dry.
- Schedule regular visits to the Vet for checkups and diagnosis.
If you notice your cat losing hair, take him to your veterinarian for a complete exam, which may include blood work. If the cause of the Alopecia can be determined and treated early, your fur baby may not need to lose any more hair.
We offer everything from wellness plans to emergency and urgent care, from surgery and orthopedics to dentistry, from boarding to pet grooming.
Huebner Oaks Veterinary Hospital Is Here to Keep your Pet In Tip-Top Shape
At Huebner Oaks Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service at every stage of their pets' lives. We offer everything from wellness plans to emergency and urgent care, from surgery and orthopedics to dentistry, from boarding to pet grooming. For more information about how we can help you keep your animals healthy and happy, please contact us today!