Cause of Cat Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Cat Losing Hair

Cat alopecia is a condition that causes excessive hair loss, coat thinning or even bald patches. Cats lose hair during the shedding season and this is a natural process, but when the cat is losing fur outside this season, this should be a warning signal. Cat alopecia may be caused by different diseases, some of which may be serious. Very often, the hair loss is self inflicted, as the cat grooms excessively. However, this behavior is triggered by parasites or other conditions that should be diagnosed.


There are a number of parasites that will cause lesions and itchiness so the cat will scratch or lick himself causing hair thinning, bald patches and even injuries. Fleas, lice or mites can cause itchiness and fur loss. Cat may be allergic to flea or lice bites and this may also cause hair loss.

Parasites may be easily treated, just make sure you get proper medication and treatment.


The ringworm causes hair loss in a ring shape, so it will be easy to diagnose even at home. The ringworm is caused by fungi and will cause itchiness, crusty skin areas and may be treated with itraconazole or griseofulvin.


Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid hormone is secreted in excess; the cat may also have seborrhea, which results in excessive sebum, skin crusts, oily coating and scales on the skin. The cat's hair may be easily pulled out. The cat may lick himself, which leads to hair loss in time.


Allergies may be the cause for cat hair loss. Cats can be allergic to pollens, dust, chemicals, food, plants, parasites, bites, sulfonamides or topical creams that contain antibiotics or steroids.

You will notice redness on the skin, bumps, blisters and hair loss. The cat may also scratch or lick himself.

Food allergies will results in itchy limbs, inflamed ears, hot spots and redness.

You need to eliminate the allergen for an effective treatment of the allergies.

Antihistamines can work well in managing the allergies; alternatively the cat can get allergy shots or homeopathic treatment.

The cat may develop sun allergies, especially if the cat has white coat.


A stressed cat displays behavior such as licking, chewing or biting his paws and fur. Identifying the stress factor is essential in the treatment.

Cushing's Disease

An excess of corticosteroids lead to Cushing's disease, which causes rashes, acne or seborrhea. These symptoms will cause irritation and the cat tends to lick and scratch his body to relive the uneasiness. Seborrhea causes the hair follicles to be easily removable when the cat licks himself.

Hereditary Causes

Cat alopecia may be a hereditary condition, however it is rare. In cases of hereditary alopecia, the cat will not have itchy skin but will lose hair and have bald patches. The hair should grow back without treatment.

Other causes of cat alopecia include chemotherapy, infections with bacteria, lactation and pregnancy, leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, different nodules or granulomas.