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Shedding is a normal process for all animals, but when it becomes excessive, it can be a sign of an underlying health condition. If you notice your cat shedding more than usual, take a close look at their fur. Is it coming out in patches? Is the fur itself thinning or brittle? These are all signs that your cat is suffering from excessive fur loss.
While some hair loss is normal, excessive shedding can be a symptom of something more serious.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Skin disorders
If you’re concerned about your cat’s fur loss, go see your vet. They will determine the cause and recommend treatment options.
Cat fur loss is characterized by localized fur loss. It is a skin condition that can have different causes. Abnormal fur loss should alert you. The causes of fur loss vary in severity, but all require appropriate care.
What Is Abnormal Fur Loss?
Spring and fall are shedding seasons for cats. During these times of the year, cats lose a lot of fur. Brushing your cat allows you to remove dead hair from his coat and this has several beneficial effects: it helps avoid that your cat swallows too much hair (often a source of vomiting), allows you to detect the presence of parasites, gives your cat a silky coat, and limits hair loss on your sofa.
In other words, regular brushing is important for both your cat’s health and your own peace of mind. So don’t be surprised if your vet recommends brushing your cat more often during shedding season. And if you’re not already doing so, now is the perfect time to start!
There are many potential causes of abnormal fur loss, including allergies, infections, hormonal disorders and autoimmune diseases. Many of these conditions can be quite serious, so it’s important to consult your veterinarian if you notice your pet losing fur.
“Pelade” is an abnormal loss of hair/fur. In veterinary language, it is called “alopecia”.
The loss of fur should alert you when:
- It is localized in one or several places of the body (neck, flanks, belly…)
- It is accompanied by red patches
- Dandruff is visible on the cat’s coat
- The cat scratches itself a lot or bites itself (a sign of itching)
- The cat licks itself frantically (also a sign of itching)
- You notice edema on the skin (red swelling)
- The coat is grey, dull, and even rough
- Crusts have formed
What Are The Possible Causes Of Cat Hair Loss?
There are a number of possible causes of cat fur loss. It could be caused by something as simple as fleas or an allergic reaction to a new food. It could also be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as hormonal imbalance, skin infections, or autoimmune diseases. If you notice your cat losing fur, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up to rule out any serious causes.
Here are some of the main causes of alopecia:
- Allergy to flea bites
- Presence of parasites (fleas, lice, ticks, worms, mites)
- Disease due to a fungus such as ringworm
- Viral disease such as Fiv or Coryza that attacks the immune system
- Hormonal imbalance (such as dermatitis or hypothyroidism)
- Food, drug or environmental allergies
Read our article “Is My Cat Stressed” to better understand your cat’s stress symptoms.
How To Treat Cat Hair Loss?
If you notice your cat is losing hair, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up. There are many possible causes of hair loss in cats, including allergies, parasites, and infections. Once the underlying cause is treated, the fur should start growing back.
It is not recommended to try to treat alopecia on your own. The treatment must be adapted to the cause. Only a veterinarian will be able to identify the origin of the fur loss. If your cat is in good general condition, you can start by:
- Give your cat a flea treatment (if you haven’t done so in over 3 months)
- Use a shampoo or a dermatological lotion for cats, to calm any itching
- Strengthen your cat’s immune system a course of probiotics
Be careful with natural antiparasitic treatments. They are not very effective when your cat is already infested.
The health of our furry friends is always a top priority, and that includes their skin. Just like humans, cats can suffer from a variety of skin diseases that can cause discomfort and even pain. While some skin problems may be minor and require no treatment, others can be more serious and require veterinary care. That’s why it’s important to never ignore a skin disease in your cat and to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Observe your cat’s general condition and look out for any additional symptoms that may be present, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, or dejection. These could indicate a more serious issue that requires prompt attention. In any case, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet for guidance on how to best care for your cat’s skin health.
Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of the fur loss and adapt the treatment accordingly. Among the treatments that can be prescribed:
- Antibiotic cream and/or an anti-inflammatory
- Antifungal treatment
- Targeted and adapted anti-parasitic treatment
- Specific diet if it is a food allergy
Good to know: Some parasites can be transmitted to humans. If your cat has scabies or ringworm, you will need to treat your home and your cat’s accessories to eliminate any possible contagion.
A Natural Treatment For Cat Hair Loss
When it comes to our feline friends, we want only the best for them. That’s why it can be alarming to see our cats suffer from fur loss. While there are a number of potential causes for fur loss, from allergies to parasites, sometimes the cause is something as simple as dandruff.
If your cat is experiencing mild fur loss and has no other symptoms, you may want to try a natural treatment. Colloidal silver has good soothing properties and can help with dandruff, mild skin irritation, and localized fur loss. If you don’t see any improvement after 5 or 6 days, however, be sure to consult your veterinarian. They will be able to determine the underlying cause of the fur loss and recommend the best course of treatment.
Colloidal silver destroys bacteria, parasites, mycosis and fungi. You can find it in organic stores and on some phytotherapy websites, in the animal category. It is applied directly on the skin of the animal with a compress, during several days.
Colloidal silver can also be used in a preventive way.
Prevent Peeling Or Skin Disease
Any cat owner knows that a healthy coat is one of the most important signs of a happy and well-cared-for feline. Not only does a lustrous coat add to a cat’s beauty, but it also helps to protect the skin from disease and parasites.
Unfortunately, many cat owners are unaware of the importance of regular grooming and fail to provide their cats with the necessary care. As a result, skin problems such as flea infestations and dermatitis are all too common.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that all cat owners can take to help prevent these problems. Regular brushing will remove dead hair and stimulate circulation, while regular worming and anti-parasite treatments will help to keep pests at bay.
Finally, it is important to resist the temptation to bathe your cat too often; over-washing can strip away the natural oils that protect the skin. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your cat enjoys a long and healthy life.
Behavioral Alopecia: What To Do?
If the fur loss is psychological, the treatment is quite different. Alopecia is like a cry for help from the animal. Putting the animal on antidepressants can calm it down for a while, but once the treatment is over, the attacks can resume, even more intensely. As long as the cause is not identified and resolved, a relapse is possible.
The veterinarian can refer you to a behaviorist or a cat educator. The recommendations of this specialist must be followed to the letter. Once the protocol has been followed and the animal has recovered, the cat must be monitored for life: a new source of stress can trigger a new crisis, even several years later.