Common Cat Hair Loss Treatments and Remedies
Alopecia, or hair loss in cats is not an uncommon occurrence and is usually nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, it’s best that you get immediate treatment for your kitty if you notice bald patches or if your cat is shedding more than usual. There may be plenty of reasons as to why your cat is losing its hair so you will need to identify the cause of hair loss for the most effective treatment.
Cat hair loss treatment
Successful treatment of cat alopecia depends on pinpointing the underlying cause. If there are no obvious reasons, your vet might perform a full medical examination on your cat to identify the cause. As this might take some time, your vet may also provide pain relief medications to help your cat cope with the itching and discomfort.
Here are some common cat hair loss treatments:
Treatment for External Parasites
External parasites such as fleas can cause hair loss in your cat. You can eliminate cat fleas and other external parasites by using products such as ‘spot-ons’. Common products that are effective for this include Fipronil (Frontline Plus), Imidacloprid (Advantage), and Selamectin (Stronghold/Revolution). A cat flea collar is another option you can try.
If your cat is losing its fur due to parasites, you can also head to the vet for additional treatment to relieve the itching and discomfort. A course of steroid treatment may be prescribed to help your cat heal faster.
You will also need to ‘de-flea’ your home as fleas can roll off your cat unto your house furniture. Clean or wash carpets, beddings, sofa covers, and other fabrics that your cat comes in contact with. Frequent vacuuming will also help to pick up flea eggs before they hatch.
Treatment for Ringworm
Once your cat is diagnosed with ringworm, treatment usually involves using shampoos such as topical lime sulfur baths to stop the growth of the fungus. Oral antifungal medication will also help to kill off the fungal infection.
If your cat is licking itself and over-grooming to relieve discomfort caused by allergens, then your vet will most likely prescribe some antihistamines. Antihistamines are medications that will help reduce your cat’s body’s response to the allergen.
While your cat will feel better with some antihistamines, you will still have to find out what exactly your cat may be allergic to. By doing so, you will be able to totally remove the allergens from your household.
As the hair loss can also be due to a food allergy, you may also have to change your pet’s diet.
Your cat needs a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins, and fatty acids for healthy skin and hair. About 30% of your cat’s daily protein goes towards building and renewing their skin. Lack of high quality nutrients may cause your cat’s hair to become thin and brittle and thereafter, result in hair loss.
As for food allergies that are causing hair loss, you may need to switch to hypoallergenic cat food such as Petcubes’ lamb, duck and venison. You could also start a food trail to identify the offending food. Do consult with your vet before starting one.
Anti anxiety medications and antidepressants
If the hair loss does not seem to have any physical cause, your cat may be suffering from psychogenic alopecia, where emotional states of stress or anxiety are affecting your pet. If this is so, you will most likely observe your cat liking himself bald. You may prescribe anti anxiety medications or antidepressants to help your cat. While these medications may have some side effects, they will most definitely work to eliminate the excessive grooming that is causing hair loss. These medications are often used together with therapies such as behavior modification and the removal of environmental stressors.
Reduce your cat’s stress
While there are medications that can be prescribed to help your cat cope, here are some other ways that you can help your cat to reduce stress:
- Place climbing posts in key areas to encourage your cat’s natural tendency to rest on high surfaces. Your cat will love viewing her environment from her perches.
- Spend time playing with your cat using interactive toys to stimulate her instinct as well as to burn off excess energy
- Enrich your cat’s environment with some cardboard boxes or paper bags. These offer your cat some privacy as well.
- Use a cat pheromone diffuser to release a synthetic version of a feline pheromone. This pheromone helps calm your cat.
Will my cat’s hair grow back?
In most cases, your cat’s hair will grow back once the underlying cause has been treated. This is especially true if the cat alopecia is caused by over-grooming related to allergies and stress. Regardless, it might take a few months before your cat’s fur is back to its healthy state. So if you start noticing bald patches on your cat, the sooner you head to the vet, the sooner you will be able to reverse the unsightly bald spots.
Supplement for cat hair loss
Without a doubt, a quality, nutrient rich diet will help to ensure that your cat’s skin and coat stays healthy. You may also want to add a supplement for cat hair loss into your kitty’s routine.
If you do, choose a supplement that contains the A, E and B vitamins as they all work to maintain healthy skin and coat. Hydrolyzed proteins will also do wonders for your pet’s skin and fur by stimulating growth and repairing damaged cells in the skin follicles.
Do consult your vet before starting your kitty on supplements to ensure that it is safe to do so.
While thinning, brittle hair and bald patches on your cat may look unsightly, they are really nothing to worry about. With the right treatment your cat’s fur will be as good as new. Just remember that it’s always best to check with your vet before you decide on any treatment for your cat.