When you own a cat, you try to do everything you can to keep them as healthy and well-cared for as possible. However, if you suddenly notice that your cat is losing large amounts of hair or has spots on their body with no hair at all, you may find yourself perplexed. Cats do not normally lose hair aside from normal shedding. Get to know some of the possible reasons your cat may be losing hair. Then, you can get them to the animal clinic for treatment as soon as possible.
Stress and Anxiety
One of the more common reasons that your cat may be losing hair is stress and anxiety. When cats are experiencing extreme stress and/or anxiety, they can react by over-grooming and literally tearing their own hair out. Cats will often choose one or two places on their body to continuously groom and pluck, creating bald spots.
Eventually, if they continue to mess with these areas, the cat can develop sores or infections or create very large bald spots that can take quite a while to grow back. Stressors for your cat can include a recent move to a new home, a new addition (human or animal) to the household, or a major change in their regular routine.
Stress and anxiety in cats can be treated with anti-anxiety medications prescribed by a veterinarian. Other options like calming scents or natural stress-relieving supplements are also options some people try.
Another common cause of hair loss in cats is a type of infection known as ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. It is extremely contagious among animals and cats are especially prone to infection. And, as an added issue, humans can easily contract ringworm as well, meaning if your cat is infected, there is a decent chance you will be infected as well.
Ringworm causes hair loss in cats in the area of infection. The skin that is exposed with show a ring-like pattern. Usually a raised circle of skin surrounds the outside and then there is another solid raised patch in the center of the circle.
If you think your cat has ringworm, you need to get the the animal clinic as soon as possible. The sooner you get the condition treated, the less likely it will spread or infect other animals or people in the household. Antifungal medications, in the form of topical medications, shampoos, or even oral medications, will be prescribed to treat the infection. Ringworm can take several weeks or even months to treat successfully if the case is severe, so be prepared for that with your cat.
Now that you know some of the possible reasons your cat is losing hair, schedule your veterinary clinic appointment as soon as possible.