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What are the causes of cat losing fur?

(January 7, 2010)

Also referred to as alopecia, hair loss is a condition that is characterized by the loss of hair, or in the case of animals, fur. While cats do shed a lot of fur, an abnormal loss of the same is the indication of a problem. Alopecia in cats may be seen as bald patches on specific body parts or in the form of impaired hair growth. Apart from this, the coat may feel grimy and the fur may also appear frail and dry. A cat that is alopecic will keep biting or scratching itself constantly. This constant scratching and biting can then lead to secondary skin infections, which would only indicate more complications. Alopecia in cats, can be brought about by a large number of reasons, the challenge lies in identifying the cause, so that the right kind of treatment can follow.

Fleas, mites and various other parasites can cause hair loss in cats, particularly on their inner thighs and stomach. The irritation caused by these tiny parasites can be so severe that the cat begins to scratch, bite and lick itself constantly. Cats can develop allergies to certain types of food too, just like humans. The reaction may be to certain type of ingredient present in its food or to a certain type of food. Food allergies in cats is said to be caused mainly by the ingestion of certain types of proteins. The inhalation of allergens could also result in hair loss. Allergic reactions to dust mites, molds and pollen can cause atopy, which then leads to a loss of fur.

Ringworm and other fungal infections can cause fur loss in cats. Being highly contagious, a cat can contract this kind of an infection if it comes in contact with another infected animal, from an infected human or if it comes in contact with infected objects such as grooming tools, furniture, carpets and bedding. Hair loss is seen in the form of circular patches on the ears, body and head. A hormonal imbalance could also result in fur loss. This kind of hair loss is referred to as endocrine alopecia. The endocrine system is responsible for regulating the release of hormones into a cat’s body. There are specific hormones which are concerned with hair growth. A deficiency or a surplus in these particular hormones, results in hair loss. Lastly, hair loss could be induced by nervousness, fear, stress and anxiety. This is termed as psychogenic alopecia.

Submitted by M A on January 7, 2010 at 05:44


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