My cat loses fur causes and behavior

Cats usually have "the hair nice". This is usually due to the fact that they feel half the day grooming and bring their individual hairs in line and limb. Healthy cats belong to the cleanest animals at all and have accordingly always a shiny, great coat. Animals lose hair naturally every day – some more, some less, depending on breed, living conditions and so on. Only when diseases of various kinds become a problem, or parasites infest the cats, the owner must intervene. Excessive hair loss in a cat is a sure warning that something is wrong and you need to pay more attention to the health of the animal, preferably with a visit to the vet.

The natural loss of hair in cats

When cats vomit, there are often balls of hair in the vomit. These originate from intensive grooming and licking and end up in the digestive tract through ingestion. Usually the house cats regurgitate these hairs – a completely natural process. However, if so many of the swallowed hairs accumulate that digestive problems (up to intestinal obstruction) can occur, the cat may lose its hair!), one must help also here by intensified fur care and medical support. The natural hair loss in cats is completely within limits as long as the coat does not appear patchy or thin, as long as the hairs themselves look silky and not brittle. If the coat changes in a conspicuous direction, action must be taken.

Less a natural hair loss, but still without pathological causes, is when the fur of the cat shows clear traces of a scuffle. A small or larger scratch can occur here, but also the large-scale pulling out of entire sections of fur, which, however, usually grow back after some time. Cats often injure themselves by pinching their tails (e.g. in doors) – unfortunately, large abrasions are sometimes visible for the rest of the cat's life, but even this is only a visual problem after initial treatment, not a health problem.

Disease-related causes of fur loss in cats

One of the most common reasons why cats lose fur are allergies. It is not uncommon for this to show up most clearly on the animal's skin, which is naturally completely covered in fur. However, the cat will then lick its fur to relieve the itching of the skin. Due to this "mechanical" stress, often lasting for hours, caused by the rough tongue of the velvet paws, hairs break off and fall out – bald patches develop. The loss of fur does not usually occur as a result of the allergy, but is noticeable as an accompanying symptom. Any allergy must be fought at the root, which means that the animal must be protected from the trigger of the symptoms. Allergies in cats can be triggered by various allergens.

a) Allergy to food ingredients

Skin irritation occurs when animals react to food ingredients. In question are proteins, but also chemical additives in the feeds. If the food was changed in the foreseeable future before the abnormalities in the coat, a step back to the "old" food could help to eliminate the symptoms. In the case of small kittens or persistent problems, however, a test at the doctor's or an exclusion diet must prove the exact cause. Thus the trigger of the allergy can be identified and avoided. Allergies can develop, as in humans, but also in the course of a lifetime.

b) Allergy to flea saliva

Fleas also cause allergies. A clear indication of a flea infestation is increased itching, which is not caused by the presence of the animals per se, but by their bites. The saliva triggers itching and allergic skin reactions – in turn, the intense licking against the itching is the cause of the cat's hair loss. At the vet you get the fastest help against the flea infestation. Cat owners must also remember to use environmental sprays or powders to treat all the pet's contact points and any other members of the household. The cat tree, the cuddle place and so on: everything can harbor flea eggs and cause a new infestation with the parasites. If the fleas are defeated, the allergy also disappears and the loss of fur regulates itself.

c) Reactions to detergents, cleaning agents and co.

As with humans, cats may react to chemical products that have little to do with them. Mistress washes the cuddly blanket with a particularly good smelling fabric softener? The litter box becomes hygienically clean with a sharp disinfectant? The cat tree needed a basic cleaning – and the liquid detergent was not removed completely? All these can be reasons for an allergy. The investigation of the cause is best done in cooperation with a veterinarian, who can uncover some of the mistakes made by humans by asking specific questions.

d) Reactions to coat care products or human cosmetics

With the "normal house cat" such problems often do not occur at all, since these animals are rarely bathed and more than sporadic fur controls (regarding injuries and Co.) are necessary.) is not necessary at all. Long-haired pedigree cats, however, in which the fur care in a natural way by the animal alone is no longer to manage, are often affected by allergies caused by humans. The conditioner, which is supposed to help against matting, the shampoo for shiny fur – these are only two examples, which provide good services at the moment, but then often have nasty consequences.

A principle of pet care is in any case: use only care products that are made for animals. These are designed for the pH values and other properties of animal skin and fur. Human cosmetics have no place in the care of animals! Allergies can in some cases also be triggered by special animal products. The reaction occurs promptly after the changeover or first application, so that a conclusion is easily possible.

e) Diagnosis Atopy

If the vet diagnoses atopy after an allergy test, it is clear that there is no cure for this disease (in humans and cats). A complaint-free life is still possible, because special medical care products and medications are used to reduce the sensitivity to mites, plant pollen or fungi (mold). The cause of atopy is a disturbance of the natural skin barrier – the immune system reacts to the "intruders" by allergic reactions, which among other things trigger the itching and thus the loss of fur.

Other reasons: Why does my cat lose fur?

An even and regular hair loss occurs seasonally twice a year. In spring the winter coat is shed, in autumn the summer coat is shed. Naturally the hair loss is stronger when the dense winter coat is lost. By brushing and combing one supports these periods in the year, otherwise is usually no need for action.

Heating air can not only dry out the skin of humans, but also that of pets. Because of their fur they can't apply body lotion, so you have to help them by humidifying the air, possibly by using pet-suitable moisturizing sprays from the pet shop or certain oils. If the humidity or the moisture content of the skin is right again, the itching will stop – the loss of fur will disappear.

Another reason for constant licking and thus hair loss in cats (and dogs) is psychological stress. This is caused for example by a change of residence, the death of an owner, stays in an animal shelter or other serious interruptions in the accustomed life. In this case, the only thing that helps is to take care of the cat with patience and care until it can regain its inner peace and balance.

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