Dietary Causes of Alopecia Areata in Cats

Cats may lose hair due to various causes including parasites or skin diseases. However, cat hair loss may be considered normal, as cats shed their coats. Alopecia areata is a rare condition that may cause hair loss in cats; there are very little things that are known about this condition. Even if the causes of alopecia areata are not fully known, the occurrence of the disease may be linked to the cat’s diet or his immune system.

Alopecia Areata

The real causes of alopecia areata are not known, so this type of hair loss is an idiopathic condition. Some researches have shown that the disease may be autoimmune; while others suggest that the cat’s diet may cause hair loss and bald patches.

The alopecia areata is a disease that is manifested through hair loss; the cat may even lose entire patches of hair and the hair loss will be more severe in the head, neck and back area. Typically the cat will not experience itchiness.

Most often, the condition will heal without medication in 2 to 3 weeks. The hair will start growing back the same as before. There will be no hair discoloration or color change.

Dietary Causes of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata may be caused by one or several ingredients in the cat’s diet. The cat may respond negatively to the food he eats on a daily basis. If the hair loss is caused by food, the cat will also display other symptoms including licking and chewing of the skin and feet, excessive scratching, redness of the skin or dermatitis and even hot spots. In some cases, secondary bacteria or fungal infections may occur.

The culprit ingredient may include beef, corn, soy, wheat or other ingredients.

The ingredient that causes hair loss should be detected through food elimination trials.

A change in diet is also recommended; the new diet should exclude the culprit ingredients and should also contain a lot of supplements especially fatty acids (omega 3 or 9 fatty acids) that will reduce the chances of hair loss and will give the cat a healthier skin.

Alopecia Areata As an Autoimmune Disease

If the alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, as it researchers suspect, the cat’s diet may play an important role in worsening or improving the hair loss.

A poor diet lacking the essential nutrients may weaken the immune system and the body will be less resistant to diseases and may also result in hair loss.

A suitable diet can support the immune system of the cat and he will be less likely to develop different health problems, including alopecia areata. The most suitable diet for your cat can be established by your vet; the vet should consider several factors when establishing the nutrients that should make up your pet’s daily diet.

Supplements such as fatty acids can also offer support to the immune system.