Cats

My cat has bald spots. Should I be concerned?

cat has bald spots
© Photo by Eric Han on Unsplash

The health of our pets tops the list of priorities for those of us who live with an animal.

In cats, the coat is a fundamental element that can reflect how well (or poorly) fed a cat is or other factors such as its emotional stability or the level of stress it is exposed to.

Almost any alteration in the health of felines, to a greater or lesser extent, can be seen on their skin as if it were a thermometer. For this reason, we will dedicate this space to find out what happens to a feline when it has bald spots.

Origin of bald spots in cats

Before analyzing ” why ” your cat is losing its hair, we must remind you that You should not take bald spots lightly. Whether localized or generalized, bald spots can have very diverse origins (even having been transmitted by humans, as we will now see).

That said, let’s see what the most common diseases that can cause bald spots in felines are:

1) Ringworm

It is a skin infection due to the presence of fungi. They generally attack cats with low defenses and, in some cases, young cats. It is recognized because the hair loss is circular and well-marked, and in the affected areas, we can realize scabs and even some inflammation.

This is a highly contagious disease. It manifests itself on the skin, coat, and nails. If you suspect that your cat might have contracted ringworm, be careful when changing its litter or washing its blanket or toys because you could catch it. The contagion occurs when breathing spores are suspended in the air.

Lack of hygiene and excess humidity are the leading causes of ringworm. Still, you must also emphasize that the animal can regenerate the skin damaged by ringworm without the need for medications, just by strengthening its immune system.

You will know if your cat has ringworm when:

  • Your body gives off an unusual odor
  • You have scabs and flaking on your bald patches
  • It licks, bites, and scratches insistently, which causes the fungus to spread easily

To avoid contagion, frequently clean and vacuum the area where the sick cat lives, emphasizing the places where it rests.

2) Acne

As you read it, cats are also affected by acne, and that causes hair loss. You recognize it by large black dots, and sometimes it even develops red pimples with pus-like in humans.

3) Scabies

Scabies can cause folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle). They usually appear on the head, ears, and neck area. However, cats with low defenses could appear anywhere on their bodies.

In this case, bald spots are caused by constant scratching in the affected area, so it will be important to go to the vet in time to avoid serious injuries.

If you have other animals at home, it is possible that they also become infected since it is a highly contagious disease.

To find out if your cat has scabies, see if:

  • You have skin rashes
  • Burning
  • Alopecia
  • Decay
  • Bad smell
  • Bad-smelling, dark yellow earwax

Treatment usually consists of special lotions or shampoos, ampoules, and oral medications.

4) Allergic dermatitis

The most common is caused by the flea ( the famous DAPP, Flea Bite Allergic Dermatitis), although a food allergy can also cause it. As with mange, dermatitis causes itching that causes the cat to scratch and lose hair in that area.

When the parasite’s blood comes into contact with the animal’s skin, it causes allergies and itching.

If you want to know if your cat has fleas, check if:

  • Leaves minor blood marks on the bed or floor.
  • Grooms himself excessively.
  • The coat is somewhat dirty and unkempt due to the excrement of the parasites.

To eliminate them, you must disinfect the home and the animal since these parasites hide in any corner and reproduce quickly.

The allergy can also be caused by solid perfumes or some food in bad condition, but in these cases, the veterinarian will be the most appropriate to diagnose the disease.

The tail, abdomen, flanks, and neck base are usually affected.

5) Stress

Psychological illnesses are one of the leading causes of hair loss in cats. And it is that cats tend to suffer from stress before any change and reflect it, among others, with skin lesions.

If you notice that your pet is grooming more frequently and intensely, he is probably stressed as grooming releases endorphins that make him calm down and feel better.

To attack this problem, you can provide new toys to entertain themselves, especially if their owners spend many hours away from home.

A feline ethologist will be in charge of giving you the pertinent recommendations to get the cat out of this problem.

6) Thyroid

Hormonal changes related to the thyroid can cause occasional hair loss in cats. Check with your vet if this may have been the case. In this case, they will have to do tests to determine the cause of the bald spots.

In terms of treatment, it will probably require medication, which in some cases may be throughout the life of the cat to ensure that it can live a “normal life.”

Other less common reasons:

In some cases, we can find ourselves facing alopecia or specific bald spots as a reaction to elements that have no relationship.

Injections: Some cats may suffer reactions to certain injections that lead to hair loss in the area where the puncture occurred.

Castration: Although it is not common, castration can produce, generally in male cats, loss of hair in the area of the abdomen and close to the animal’s genitalia.

Shaving: Something that we must take into account if we decide to shave our cat is that if the shaving has been carried out during the resting phase of the hair, it may take longer to grow, and therefore we will see that for a while hair does not grow in the shaved area.

If your cat has been in any of these situations recently, it can relieve you to know that in these cases, the loss of hair does not carry any risk and will be something temporary that will correct itself.

Final Tips

  • Go to your vet for the first signs of baldness.
  • If bacteria, allergies, or fungi of any kind are not appropriately treated, they can also cause bald spots, ulcers, and severe skin lesions.
  • Deworm your cat frequently.
  • Complete the vaccination plan recommended by your veterinarian,
  • Feed your feline in a varied and balanced way, so you will achieve a beautiful coat and, above all, healthy skin.
  • Keep their habitat completely clean and away from moisture to prevent the spread of fungi.
  • If you notice that your cat is stressed, try to identify the source of his distress and eliminate it immediately. Give him lots of pampering and play with him to distract him.
  • Brush your cat frequently, so you will readily detect if it has any external parasites in time.
  • Do not hesitate to take your cat to the vet if you suspect he has any of these pathologies that we have described above.
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