While most cat owners will tell you that cats can be good at keeping health problems a secret from their owners, some symptoms are obvious. Hair loss in cats can be a sign of a variety of different health concerns, and this is not something that any cat can hide from their owner. If you have noticed that your cat is losing hair, you might want to learn more about the reasons that your cat might be experiencing this problem.
While some kinds of cat hair loss are nothing to worry about, cats can show hair loss as a symptom of a more serious health issue. Knowing why your cat is losing their hair can be key to making sure that they are in the best possible health. Taking your pet to the veterinarian is always a good idea if you have noticed that they seem to be shedding a lot or losing more hair than normal.
1. Poor Diet
This can be a common reason for cats to lose hair. While pets that are being fed a quality kibble diet are not likely to be at risk for hair loss, feeding human food or other kinds of treats and snacks that are not ideal for your cat can still lead to hair loss. Cats that are not getting enough nutrients or cats that are being fed a lot of different foods that they cannot digest might experience hair loss.
Thankfully, this kind of hair loss is rarely permanent, and correcting your pet’s diet can usually resolve the problem. Don’t be afraid to get some help from your vet if you are not sure about the right way to balance your cat’s diet or which type of cat food to get for your pet.
2. Skin Allergies
Skin allergies can be caused by your cat’s food, or they can be environmental in nature. Cats can also have seasonal allergies, like people who have hay fever. When your cat is having an allergic reaction to a substance, they might groom to excess and rip out their own hair, or they might scratch all the time, which can lead to hair loss. When the allergic reaction is more severe, your cat’s hair might fall out on its own.
Your vet will need to help you to calm down your cat’s histamine response with some medications, and they can help you to start the process of eliminating common causes of allergic reactions in pets. It can take some time to identify the allergen that is causing your cat’s symptoms, but it is worth taking the trouble to do so to get your cat’s skin and hair coat back on track.
3. Fleas and Ticks
Pests like fleas and ticks can cause your cat to have itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin. Cats will usually groom excessively when they have fleas and ticks, and severe infestations can cause skin health problems that can lead to hair loss and things like sores.
Fleas and ticks can be prevented with a proper treatment regimen. Your vet can provide medications that will kill the fleas and ticks that your pet is currently dealing with, and they can also give you medications to give your pet at home on a regular schedule to prevent fleas and ticks from coming back.
Cats that have experienced significant changes to their home, such as adding a new pet, or experiencing a move to a new house, can sometimes get so stressed they start losing their hair. This can also be a sign of stress related to a health issue that is making your cat feel sick. Your veterinarian will be able to help you to identify hair loss due to stress, and they can also prescribe some medications that will help your cat to be less stressed as they adjust to their new home or other changes to their environment.
5. Systemic Issues
Things like thyroid problems, cancer, or kidney failure can all lead to hair loss in cats as well. A cat’s haircoat tends to be the first thing that suffers when their overall well-being is impacted by a disease process or something like an infection. Hair loss might be the only symptom that your pet is showing off these diseases or conditions in the early stages.
If your pet seems lethargic, doesn’t have a good appetite, or seems to be drinking a lot more or a lot less than usual, they might be struggling with a more significant health condition like the ones listed above. These conditions can usually be treated with the help of a veterinarian. Your vet can help you to figure out which of these problems is the reason for your cat’s hair loss, and they can help you to treat both the hair loss and the condition that is causing it.
Cat Hair Loss Can Be Caused by a Variety of Things
There are many reasons that your cat might be losing hair. Stress, serious health conditions, and food allergies can all be reasons for your cat’s hair loss. Make sure to take your cat to the vet if you have noticed that they are losing their hair. It can offer you peace of mind to be sure about why your cat is experiencing this issue, and you might also be able to catch a more serious health condition in the early stages just by seeing the vet.
Cat hair loss can be a sign of something more serious, or it might just be an indicator that your pet has felt a little stressed by changes in the home. Always be sure that you pay attention to other indicators of poor health, like excessive water intake, weight loss, or things like vomiting and diarrhea. Cats can be a bit secretive about their health, but attentive owners learn to pay attention to the smallest signs that something might not be right with their cat’s overall well-being.