Have you noticed a bald spot on your cat? Has her fur become less thick? Or have been seeing more tufts of cat hair everywhere? Your cat’s coat says a lot about her overall health. Finding the root cause of the hair loss is key to giving her the appropriate treatment, but you can also try some home treatment for cat hair loss whether the problem is simply a cosmetic one or is a symptom of something more serious.
Causes of Cat Hair Loss
Depending on the breed, your cat may shed year-round and especially during cat molting season - which is during summer and autumn. You should be familiar with what normal shedding looks like for your cat, as well as her normal grooming behaviors.
Remember that consulting your vet is always the best option to properly diagnose the problem and determine the best solution. Understanding the possible causes of cat hair loss, medically referred to as alopecia, will also help you prevent it.
What could be causing your cat’s hair loss?
- Skin problems, which can be the result of an allergy; parasites, such as mites or fleas; or a fungal infection, such as ringworm. Itchy skin is among the common symptoms of these skin conditions, and your cat will have the tendency to over-groom, scratch, and chew on the affected area/s which, in turn, can lead to hair loss.
- Poor diet. Nutrient deficiency from an unhealthy diet can lead to hair loss.
- Stress. Just as stress can make humans feel the urge to “pull their hair out,” both literally and figuratively, so can it make your cat pull out her fur. Other pets, especially other cats; changes in her environment, such as moving to a new house, home construction, or noise and clutter caused by guests or kids in the family; or a change in your routine are common stress factors for domesticated cats.
- Pain or other underlying conditions. Hair loss can also be a symptom of pain from a sore joint or some type of injury, or it may be associated with an undiagnosed health problem.
- Hormonal imbalance. This can occur if your cat is pregnant or lactating; but other factors can lead to an unhealthy dip or rise in her hormones, which would require medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Home Treatment for Cat Hair Loss
If you notice hair loss in your cat that is beyond what is natural for her, you should take her to the vet for a check up. You can also try the following home treatments to help restore her healthy coat.
Treat her skin condition
Treatment for common cat skin conditions usually do not require a prescription and is available at pet stores. Alternatively, you can also try homemade bug and parasite repellents using natural ingredients you can easily find in your kitchen.
Of course, take the necessary preventive measures, especially during flea or allergy season. Minimize her exposure to known allergens and environments where she might get parasites or an infection. Give her regular baths, as this prevents overgrooming, minimizes shedding, and soothes dry or itchy skin; you may have to use a special shampoo for her skin condition or switch to a new product that is gentler and better for her skin and hair. Nettle and oatmeal are great home remedies for common and mild skin conditions in cats.
Keep an eye out for the usual symptoms of a skin problem, such as red, dry, and itchy skin; over-grooming; constant or obsessive chewing and scratching of the affected area; and patches of thinning or missing fur.
Switch to a new and healthier diet
You can try switching to a new brand or formula that is specially designed to promote healthy skin and coat. The right diet for your cat should include a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, as well as a mix of other nutrients for overall health. Check the nutrition information on the label, and look for fatty acids, especially omega 3 (EPA and DHA) and omega 6 - these are known to support healthy skin and coat.
Other great sources of fatty acids are fatty fish and fish oil supplements. Always consult your vet before giving your feline friend any type of supplement.
As much as possible, minimize her exposure to her known stressors. If your cat suffers from chronic stress, you may have to change her environment or try an alternative treatment that promotes calm and relaxation, such as CBD products. Again, seek your vet’s advice regarding alternative remedies.
If you have exhausted all possible and safe home treatments and the heavy hair loss persists, and especially if you notice other symptoms, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. It’s more than likely that she’s also suffering from another health issue, and immediate and proper diagnosis is important so she can receive the right treatment.
Home Treatment for Cat Hair Loss - Final Thoughts
Shedding is normal for cats; some breeds experience light to moderate shedding year-round, while others shed heavily during summer and autumn. Losing all their hair or having a lot of bald or thin spots may also be natural for your cat.
Groom and bathe her regularly to maintain healthy coat and skin; you can also give her supplements that promote skin and coat health.
It’s important to know what normal shedding looks like for your feline friend. Anything beyond this should prompt you to look at possible causes so you can make the necessary changes and give her the proper treatment.
Heavy hair loss that does not respond to home treatments and despite having a healthy diet and environment may mean that your cat has an undiagnosed condition. Schedule a visit to the vet at the soonest possible time.