Friday, May 2, 2008
Why Do Cats Lose Fur?
There are many reasons why animals lose their fur. With cats, the problem can be caused by a number of factors. The number one cause of itching, allergies, and hair loss in both dogs and cats is an allergy to flea saliva, while bad odors have numerous causes. Hair loss and bad odor is always a sign of a health problem. A trip to the veterinarian is essential in determining the specific cause. Your veterinarian may discover changes in your cat's health that you have overlooked. It is always better to contact your vet just to be safe.
Hair loss can also come down to something as simple as grooming. Cats keep clean by licking themselves - but not every cat is an expert, particularly overweight cats! Since cats are so clean, they tend to prevent a lot of problems.
Excessive licking, which can lead to hair loss, is considered a displacement behavior but can be greatly reduced by calming and comforting your cat. It can sometimes become habitual if the source of the problem is not properly identified and addressed. Have there been any changes in the house recently? A recent move, the addition or loss of another pet in the home, or even a change of schedule can cause anxiety in the cat. Try to set aside some extra time every day just to play with your cat, pet her and talk to her. That will help reduce her stress and hopefully help to resolve her excessive licking problem.
If your pet is nervous by nature, she may be chewing herself raw or just losing hair from stress. A flea eating the flesh causes animals to become stressed if they have had problems with them for a little while and have had to handle the itch with constant scratching.
Hair loss in only certain areas could be a symptom that possibly indicates ringworm, but it could also indicate other skin conditions/allergies or health problems. If the lesions are all over her body, the vet is definitely the best one to advise you, make a diagnosis, and prescribe a treatment.
Another cause of fur loss is simply the process of aging.
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NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.