Cat Hair Loss on Tail

Cat hair loss on tail may be due to fleas or other skin infections, but may also be due to stress. Detecting the causes of hair loss on tail is important in finding the best course of treatment and avoid further complications.

Causes of Hair Loss on Tail

Cats may shed hair on a regular basis and change fur typically at the beginning of summer. However, this won’t cause visible bald spots. If you detect any bald spots on the cat’s body or tail, this can be a signal your pet is affected by a medical condition.

The most common cause of hair loss on tail in cats is the presence of fleas. Fleas irritate the skin and the tail, so the cat will chew and bite the tail, having access to his tail.

Stress is another factor that can cause hair loss, as the cat can chew on his tail to relieve stress. Stress can be caused by various changes or events that the cat cannot adapt to.

Allergies can cause skin irritation and itchiness and the cat may lick and chew his tail to reduce the discomfort.

Other possible causes of hair loss on tail may include:

  • Skin infections
  • Hormonal dysfunction, causing sebum overproduction
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Skin cancer
  • Certain drugs
  • Poor diet
  • Alopecia, a rare inherited disease
  • Poor grooming habits, which may be due to obesity and the inability of the cat to clean his tail

Additional Symptoms

In addition to the visible hair loss, the cat may display a few additional symptoms which may include:

  • Bumps on the skin, caused by allergies
  • Skin swelling
  • Scratching, licking and chewing
  • Sneezing, due to inhalant allergies
  • Melanomas on the skin
  • Dry, flaky skin, which can be caused by allergies or a poor diet
  • Excess sebum, due to hormonal abnormalities
  • Coat color changes, may be caused by hormonal issues or medications
  • Skin lesions
  • Bleeding of tail
  • Increased thirst, which can indicate the pet is affected by a hormonal problem

Detecting the Problem

The vet will examine the cat and see what other symptoms the cat may have. According to these, the vet will determine if additional tests are needed. Other tests may include blood tests, skin scraping, a biopsy or an ultrasound.

If the vet detects fleas, no other tests are necessary.

Treatment Options for Hair Loss

Detecting the underlying problem and applying suitable treatment will solve the hair loss problem. The treatment for the underlying condition may be:

  • Flea elimination products
  • Allergy treatment (drugs or allergy shots)
  • A change in diet
  • A change in medication
  • Antibiotics for skin infections
  • Immune system support including vitamins, supplements (i.e. selenium or fatty acids)
  • Proper grooming

If the cat has alopecia, this condition doesn’t have treatment, but the hair should grow back without any treatment.