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Your cat's skin

Loss of fur

My cat's going bald!

What's going on?

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem in cats. Bald patches can have a variety of causes.


Hair loss can be caused by an underlying disease, or hairs may also break off due to over-grooming 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 or bacterial overgrowth   
  • Allergies (atopy, food, contact)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • 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.

Note that a decreased hair density between the eyes and ears can be completely normal. If you notice a change in your cat's hair or skin, contact your veterinarian for a consultation to address the problem.

6 tips for healthy hair and happy cats

Providing relief from the itch and irritation, and restoring a healthy skin barrier ecosystem are the main goals of topical therapy.  

  1. Consult your veterinarian to identify and treat the problem.                                                                                                                                                  
  2. Help control the skin condition by using a high-quality shampoo, mousse or micro-emulsion spray to help soothe the irritation and to restore the skin's ecosystem. Many cases will benefit from special topical formulas for irritated, itchy, and sensitive skin.
  3. Feed your cat a high-quality, balanced diet.
  4. Keep your cat free from external parasites by treating against fleas, ticks and other pests with a topical product such as Vectra® for Cats and Kittens or Catego® for Cats.
  5. If your cat seems anxious or stressed, ask your veterinarian for advice about stress-relieving feline pheromones. 
  6. Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your cat's skin condition. Use the scorecard below to monitor your cat's improvements. Download the scorecard here!

For more information on feline pheromones, visit the Feliway® website.

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