Hair loss (alopecia) can be caused by an underlying disease or an imbalance of the skin barrier's ecosystem.
Common conditions causing hair loss:
- Flea-bite hypersensitivity or other external parasites
- Fungal infections such as ringworm
- Bacterial infections
- Allergies (environment, food, contact)
- Stress or over-grooming
Less common causes include sebaceous adenitis, autoimmune disorders, Cushing’s disease, and cancer.
Have you noticed bald spots or areas with thin hair density? The underlying skin of that area can seem normal or it can show redness, bumps, scabs, and crusts. Sometimes, the condition is itchy and the cat will constantly lick or scratch the area causing alopecia (baldness) or lesions. This is uncomfortable and can be painful to cats, and left untreated, can cause additional problems down the road.
If you notice a change in your cat's hair or skin, or an increase in behaviors such as licking or scratching, contact your veterinarian for a consultation to address the problem. It is important to see your veterinarian early. This will allow you to work together to identify and manage the underlying causes and determine a treatment plan. Dermatopicals are an important component of treating dermatological issues, in order to support and repair the damaged skin barriers.