Why Is Your Cat Losing Hair or Fur?

If you notice your cat losing hair you should find the cause of this condition. In some cases, the hair loss is a natural process, while other cases can signal a disease that can be severe or even fatal. Cats shed hair on a regular basis, but if you notice that he's shedding more than usual, you should look for other causes.

Hair Loss and Allergies

Cats may be allergic to pollens, dust or chemicals and these will cause the cat to scratch. Hair loss is common if the cat scratches too hard.

Cats allergic to fleas and flea bites may lose hair. The fleas cause itchiness and the cat tends to bite or chew his paws or other areas of his body, causing hair loss.

Other parasites may cause allergic reactions and hair loss in cats. Watch out for:

  • Lice
  • Ringworms
  • Mites
  • Tapeworms

Food allergies cause inflamed ears, itching, hair loss and rashes. The cat will lick his fur and you may even notice some infected areas. Try finding the food that is causing the allergy and eliminate it from the diet.

The cat may be allergic to drugs or injections. Cats may lose fur because of the administration of penicillin or sulfonamides.

Sun can cause allergic reaction and will make the cat lick and scratch, causing hair loss.

Cat Alopecia

Cat alopecia is thought to be a hereditary disease. Different research shows that alopecia may be an autoimmune disease. The skin is not itchy. The cat loses hair or even patches of hair, and the hair usually grows back.

Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection may occur as a result of allergies to food or parasites. Scratching can cause lesions that are at risk of getting infected.

The follicles of the hair may get infected and cause the hair to fall out. The infections should be treated with antibiotics.


A cat under chemotherapy treatment will lose a lot of hair. The whiskers may also fall out. The hair should grow back after the therapy is discontinued, but the color or texture of the hair may change.

Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease is caused by an excess of corticosteroids in the body. The cat will also have rashes, a bloated abdomen, seborrhea, acne, increased thirst and more frequent urination.

Pregnancy and Lactation

Pregnant cats and cats that lactate may lose fur due to the hormonal imbalance. The fur should grow back after the cat stops lactating.


Hyperthyroidism causes excessive secretion of the thyroid gland and this may easily result in hair and fur loss.

Stress and Psychogenic Dermatitis

Stress can cause strange behavior in your cat. He may lick himself excessively and even chew his fur. You will notice hair patches and bites on his skin. Find the cause for stress and get therapy if needed.


The presence of granulomas may result in hair loss. A granuloma is a swelling nodule that may be caused by infections. The real cause of the nodules is not yet known. A biopsy may be needed to determine the treatment or if it can be removed.