Why Does My Cat Have a Bald Spot?

We all know cats shed fur and that it is normal to find some cat fur on your couch and clothing. However, it is important to know the difference between normal shedding and abnormal hair loss. Cats hair thinning or hair loss, which is also known as alopecia, on hind legs can be caused by a variety of issues from fleas, allergies, a bacterial infection, or stress.

In these cats, just one flea bite can cause severe and prolonged itching which often results in hair loss and can lead to open sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection to occur. Food, environmental, and flea allergies as mentioned above may also be part of the reason why your cat is experiencing hair loss on their hindlegs.

However, if your cat is grooming themselves to the point of hair loss or skin wounds, they can be suffering from an underlying medical as noted above or psychological issue. The areas cats commonly over groom due to stress include the abdomen, inside of the thighs, and the lower back. Compulsive grooming , also known as psychogenic alopecia, is usually triggered by a change in the cats daily routine or environment, such as moving to a new house or the arrival of a new family member or pet.

The treatment is to establish an underlying cause with your veterinarian, identify any stressors and eliminate them if possible, provide mental and physical enrichment , maintain consistent routines, and create a less stressful environment.

Why does my cat suddenly have a bald spot on her head?

External parasites. Parasites such as mites or fleas are the most common cause of bald patches on cats. Usually, the problem is caused by your cat suffering a reaction to the saliva of the flea and a localised reaction occurs, particularly on the back, towards the tail.

How do you treat hair loss in cats?

Anxiety medications, synthetic feline facial pheromone spray, or other calming aids could prove helpful as well. Regular tick and flea control medication is also essential to keep the cat healthy and rule those pests out as a possible reason for hair loss. 3 days ago

Should I be concerned if my cat is losing hair?

“Generally, if we can reverse the cause, then we can get the hair to grow back,” Dr. Hayworth says. “This is especially true with over-grooming related to allergies. So, if you notice hair loss in your cat, it is definitely worth a trip to the doctor.”

Just like people, cats can experience hair loss. And while it may just be the result of old age or an unseen accident, it can also be a symptom of something more serious. Fortunately, its rather easy to know whether its time for a visit to the vet when a bald spot appears. If you find a single tiny patch of fur missing and there is no sign of blood, pus or irritation, it may just be that your cat scratched too hard or rubbed against a rough surface as we know they love to do. Keep an eye on the patch; if you dont see hair growing back within a week, the patch changes in size or appearance, your cat looks to be irritated by it or you start to see more bald patches showing up, youll know its time to visit the vet. We consulted PetCareRxs vet verified information to bring you five reasons your cat may experience hair loss. Read on to learn more!

TheCatnipTimes.com 2020-04-06T12:42:10-05:00

Is your cat losing hair? Perhaps youve noticed a new bald patch on your cat that you never noticed before? Or maybe there are multiple bald patches in your cats fur? Changes in your feline friends health or appearance can be a worrying thing for a pet owner, but fur loss is actually fairly common and may be no cause for alarm.

External parasites (such as fleas) Ringworm Overgrooming due to stress or anxiety Allergies Thyroid problems Genetic conditions Fortunately, the problem is usually fairly easy to treat, and the hair will grow back as soon as the fleas or mites are gone.

In some circumstances, external parasites such as fleas can cause feline acquired symmetric alopecia which could be signified by extensive hair loss down both sides of a cats body. Unlike a parasite, ringworm is a fungal infection that causes circular lesions on the skin, where the hair will thin or disappear completely, giving the appearance of a bald spot on your cat. These can live for up to two years, meaning your cat can catch it from any area an infected animal has visited.

Ringworm can be detected by taking a swab of the skin and treatment typically involves using shampoos or other medication to restrict the growth of the fungus. In rare instances, over-grooming can be a sign of a neurological disorder, particularly in older cats but, more commonly, it is a behaviour triggered by stress. Cats are keen self-groomers and take great pride in keeping themselves looking good by licking their fur regularly.

Reactions caused by contact with an allergen can result in hair loss and other problems such as dry skin and blisters. Treating an overactive thyroid in cats is often quite straightforward, using medication prescribed by a vet, though, on rare occasions, surgery might be required. Whatever reason for the fur loss, whether it be parasites, allergies, or stress, its vitally important to get support from your local vet to ensure your cat gets on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

Is your feline friend a little less furry these days? Some hair loss, like shedding their winter coat, is normal. But if they lose a lot of hair, there might be a problem.

Your vet can tell you for sure and prescribe antifungal creams or ointments, medicated baths, or even oral meds.. Treat their wounds, and ask your vet if they need an antidepressant or changes in their environment, like putting up high perches or keeping dogs away.

Its unlikely, but hair loss can be a symptom of an immune system problem, diabetes , an overactive thyroid , or cancer .

Fleas and Other Parasites

Fleas are one of the most common reasons to see hind leg hair loss in cats. Fleas are no fun for any cat and can cause your cat a lot of discomfort, many cats develop an allergy to flea bites. Flea bite hypersensitivity (allergy) or flea allergic dermatitis (FAD) is very common in cats. In these cats, just one flea bite can cause severe and prolonged itching which often results in hair loss and can lead to open sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection to occur. Many cats will excessively chew or lick the hair off their legs when they have fleas or FAD. Hair loss around the neck, legs, and base of the tail can also be seen along with small crusty scabs called miliary lesions, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds.Since the flea saliva causes the reaction, the most important treatment for flea allergy is to prevent fleabites. Both indoor and outdoor cats can get fleas and it is recommended to keep your cat on a veterinary approved flea prevention monthly to prevent fleas.Other parasites, including mites and ringworm can also cause excessive scratching, licking, or chewing, but fleas are the most common to cause hair loss on hind legs.

Pain

Cats who are exhibiting pain can over-groom the areas that are painful. Feline lower urinary tract disease and arthritis are two common causes of pain and discomfort for cats. In response to this pain, they may over-groom to the point of hair loss on their lower belly, the inside of their hind legs, and around their genitals.Pain can be difficult to assess in cats and it is important to be aware of signs of pain in cats and to contact your veterinarian.Always consult your veterinarian for an appropriate pain therapy plan. Their plan can include pain medications, laser therapy, acupuncture, and supplements.

Allergies

Food, environmental, and flea allergies as mentioned above may also be part of the reason why your cat is experiencing hair loss on their hindlegs. The first step in treatment of allergies is to find the source of the allergen and eliminate it. When it comes to food allergies, most cats are actually allergic to a protein and not other nutrient sources. A hydrolyzed diet is a food that has gone through a process where the protein is broken down into its individual amino acid components. This prevents your cat‘s immune system from identifying the food as containing an allergen and prevents your cat from having symptoms of an allergy flare up. Other allergens, such as mold in the environment can cause itching, scratching, and overgrooming.

Stress and Anxiety

Cats are meticulously clean creatures and fastidious groomers. Cats typically spend between 30 percent and 50 percent of their day grooming themselves. However, if your cat is grooming themselves to the point of hair loss or skin wounds, they can be suffering from an underlying medical as noted above or psychological issue.Grooming is a normal reaction of cats to make themselves feel better during stressful situations or when they are anxious. This can become compulsive if the grooming behavior is performed out of context and so frequently that it disrupts normal activity. The areas cats commonly over groom due to stress include the abdomen, inside of the thighs, and the lower back. Cats may groom excessively when the caregivers are not present, so it can be difficult to note. Most caregivers will notice areas where the hair is thin or absent. Some cats will lick in one area alone while other cats may groom excessively in more than one area.Compulsive grooming, also known as psychogenic alopecia, is usually triggered by a change in the cat’s daily routine or environment, such as moving to a new house or the arrival of a new family member or pet. Other stressors can include tension between cats, too much competition for resources, and boredom.It is important to have medical issues ruled out by your veterinarian. Cats with psychogenic alopecia will often have hair loss without inflammation of the skin, although severe overgrooming can result in secondary infections and irritation, and your cats hair under a microscope will appear pulled out entirely or broken off near the skins surface.The treatment is to establish an underlying cause with your veterinarian, identify any stressors and eliminate them if possible, provide mental and physical enrichment, maintain consistent routines, and create a less stressful environment. You can create a less stressful environment by adding hiding and vertical places for your cat, playing with your cat more, and using products that mimic a chemical that cats emit through the glands on their faces when they are feeling calm and want to communicate that to other cats in the area.

External parasites

The appearance of bald spots on cats could be down to one of many causes. Depending on the reason, you may need to seek the advice of a vet at the earliest opportunity. The most common causes of fur loss or the development of bald patches in cats are:

Ringworm infections

Unlike a parasite, ringworm is a fungal infection that causes circular lesions on the skin, where the hair will thin or disappear completely, giving the appearance of a bald spot on your cat. Ringworm is highly contagious, and it can be transmitted by direct contact with the fungal spores. These can live for up to two years, meaning your cat can catch it from any area an infected animal has visited.
Ringworm is usually diagnosed by performing a fungal culture on a sample of hair but examining the hair under the microscope or examining the whole haircoat using a UV lamp (wood’s lamp) can also provide clues. Ringworm can be detected by taking a swab of the skin and treatment typically involves using shampoos or other medication to restrict the growth of the fungus.

Overgrooming due to stress or anxiety

If you notice that your cat is grooming themselves more often than usual, this may be causing them to lose their fur. In rare instances, over-grooming can be a sign of a neurological disorder, particularly in older cats but, more commonly, it is a behaviour triggered by stress.
It’s important to try to prevent over-grooming becoming a habit. One of the most effective ways to treat over-grooming in cats is by intervention. Whenever you notice your cat licking excessively or for a long period, try to interrupt calmly. Perhaps play a game or offer a treat.Cats are keen self-groomers and take great pride in keeping themselves looking good by licking their fur regularly. They can, however, over-groom by licking too much too often or even biting at and chewing their fur. This can result in the thinning of fur or complete bald patches on your cat, particularly on the front paws.

Allergies

Reactions caused by contact with an allergen can result in hair loss and other problems such as dry skin and blisters. Allergic reactions most commonly stem from the cat’s environment such as contact with plants.
Your cat may be allergic to some foods, and so might need testing. If you have changed your cat’s diet and noticed fur loss, then revert to the previous diet and contact your vet.

Thyroid problems

Thyroid problems in cats arise when the animal produces too much of a hormone (hyperthyroidism). It’s also crucial to understand that cats do not suffer from hypothyroidism unless hyperthyroidism is overtreated.One of the symptoms is the development of bald patches on your cat. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be detected using blood tests. Treating an overactive thyroid in cats is often quite straightforward, using medication prescribed by a vet, though, on rare occasions, surgery might be required.
There are a range of treatment options available for hyperthyroidism, including oral medication, surgery and radioactive iodine treatment.

Genetic conditions

Some cats will lose hair because of a hereditary condition. There is no treatment for this but, usually the problem is sporadic, and the hair will grow back within a few weeks.Cat owners should also be aware that some cats have naturally thinning hair, particularly on the tops of their heads or parts of their body they use to brush up against people and objects. This varies between breeds but is most noticeable in cats with dark fur and light skin. It is not usually an issue unless complete baldness occurs.Some fur loss is natural, and some breeds have no hair or fur at all. So, in essence, bald patches on cats isn’t necessarily always a result of a serious condition.

The Most Common Reasons

You’ll need to check with your vet to find out exactly what’s going on. In most cases, the cause isn’t serious.It could be: