Are you having a problem of hair loss while grooming your cat? Bald areas appearing on your cat’s body day by day? Then it’s a red alert for you!
Hair loss is called “Alopecia” and it is extremely awful for an animal whose beauty and grace, lies in its hair coat. Cats are magnificent creatures and have a fine quality of shiny, smooth and fluffy hair coat. Some bald patches on the body of your kitten, will make her appearance less elegant. Healthy cats are not expected to lose a great amount of hair, in routine grooming.
Some of the reasons of hair fall in domestic cats are discussed here.
Allergy is the leading cause of “Alopecia” or hair loss in cats. Like humans, cats may also develop allergy to anything and may develop hair fall as a result. Cats may get allergic to any agent like pollen, plastic or bad quality bedding. Allergy from drugs and medications is very common. Allergy from canned food and low quality litter sand, has also been observed. Allergy from metals has been seen, when a cat wears a newly purchased metal collar. This can be prevented by using fine quality plastic collars. Your cat may lose hair from its face, upper eyelid area, ears, its shoulder and back region. In this situation, you need to visit your vet immediately. Your vet will help to resolve this issue by working on it and ruling out the underlying causative agent of the problem.
Allergy can be treated with medication that includes injection of antihistamines like “Pheniramine maleate” , corticosteroid or glucocorticoid therapy. These drugs will lower the swelling and allergic reactions. Skin needs to be treated for dermatitis, with anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory drugs, used topically for a prescribed period of time. Topical use of antibiotic based ointments on skin is continued for 3 to 5 days. Some oral preparations are also available which reduce allergic reactions. Allergy can be prevented by adopting healthy measures of management, like keeping cat indoor if it is allergic to pollen, by using good quality toys designed primarily for allergic cats and reducing the contact with neighborhood cats. Moreover, never use any accessory already used by other cats and try to feed your cat with quality food especially prepared for allergic cats.
Parasites are responsible for causing hair fall as well. Parasites are also known for provoking a number of problematic conditions other than hair loss, including skin problems and dryness furthermore, moist dermatitis. Parasites should be treated on urgent basis.
A parasite known as flea is responsible for causing flea allergy dermatitis. In this condition, if fleas bite a cat, a very severe inflammatory response with small red hairless areas starts and your cat will feel so much pain that it may even bite itself, leading to worsening of the condition.
Other parasites which are involved in causing hair loss, are mites and ticks. They make hair coat rough and then hair fall occurs which if not treated, may lead to very a critical condition called anemia, as they suck blood.
This problem can be dealt with good quality parasite control sprays. Drugs like “Ivermectin”, “Cypermethrin” and organophosphates have good results against skin parasites. Sprays are available in the market, which kill the ticks and mites, and are frequently used in cats. Nowadays, collars impregnated with anti parasitic drugs are also present.These collars release drugs slowly and control parasites, over a prescribed period of time, as stated by a manufacturer. Some drugs are designed in injectable form, while other oral products are also manufactured.Mostly, sprays and collars are widely used.
Parasites can be controlled by improving hygiene and surrounding environment. It is instructed to remove litter immediately and to prefer litter sand over it, avoid body contact with other cats and use anti parasitic sprays at regular intervals.
Ringworm is a fungal infection and very notorious for causing skin problems. This fungus makes a round, dry, scaly and hairless patch of white to gray color, which may eventually turn black. This is not similar to hair fall caused by the allergy or parasites. There are no round and bald areas formed in these conditions, when compared to fungal infections.
In fungal infections, treatment goes on for a very long time, therefore visit your vet before ringworm increases in size, and instantly begin your pet’s treatment with anti-fungal drugs. Fungal infections get promoted due to moist and dirty hair coat, thus cats should be groomed regularly with quality accessories.
Topical anti-fungal drugs can also be used .As treatment goes on for an extensive period of time, hence usage of antibiotic based ointments for secondary bacterial infections is also advised.
Fungal infections are related with unhygienic condition and body contact with objects, that have been used for animal having ringworm. It can be prevented by keeping body dry and free from dust and dirt.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a condition, in which a cat licks and grooms itself, more than its required and repeats it excessively.Licking and scratching makes its hair coat weaker, and this habit favors hair loss. Some cats don’t stop this unreasonable licking making a sore or an ulcer, on their body. According to cat practitioners, it is due to multiple reasons such as when a pet becomes alone or bore, when it stays idle or has no one to play with, it starts to lick and bite itself to subside anxiety, stress or loneliness. It is a psychotic condition and may be treated by giving your cat proper time and attention.
Treatment of psychotic disorders is very prolonged and sedatives are used in severe cases.Using good quality toys and bright colored dispenser for water and feed, which are charming to your cat will help you divert your pet’s attention, and you may get success to reduce this habit.
Cats are sensitive animals and their hair fall is mostly left unnoticed, until they develop it very severely. It is advised that you groom your cat regularly, so that you can judge its health status and body conditions everyday. Hygiene is the key to good management and by improving this and giving your cat good quality food, you can help reduce this bad experience. As it has always been said, that prevention is better than the treatment.