Almost every cat owner is worried about hair loss in cats. One reason for hair loss problems is lack of nutrition in the diet. Just like humans, hair requires nutrients that are only found in hair-friendly foods. If your hair looks ‘dull’ or becomes extremely brittle and breaks easily, your hair needs these particular nutrients to grow and be healthy.
Hair loss treatment in cats
In addition to hair-friendly foods, hair also needs the right hair vitamins for healthy hair growth. Hair vitamins include certain fatty acids as well as vitamin B and biotin, which are all found naturally in some foods. If this isn’t enough to maintain your cat’s hair at its typical luster, some hair-friendly hair products are available, such as hair shampoos and hair supplements. However, these formulas are made from natural ingredients for cats — if you have a dog or are giving them to a child, they can’t be used.
How much hair loss is normal?
Just like humans, most cats will lose about 100 strands of hair each day – this is called ‘normal hair fall’. These hairs grow back normally too. However, when you see more than the typical amount of hair falling out at any given time (e.g., your cat suddenly has noticeably bald patches), that’s when it’s time to investigate further. Hair fall problems may be caused by many reasons: improper diet, mites/ticks, hairballs, allergies, parasites, ringworm, fleas and a host of other hair loss causes.
Here are some hair fall symptoms to watch out for:
● Hair falls off in clumps – Cats suffering from hair loss will have large amounts of hair missing at one time. The hair looks like someone has pulled it out (picture above). This is often caused by a cat losing its hair due to stress or serious illness.
An example of hair loss is also due to the change in seasons as cats’ outer coats shed naturally twice each year (fall and spring) or during times when there may be extreme temperature changes such as moving from inside the house into much colder outside weather condition. A sudden shift in climate can be shock to the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
● Cats have bald patches – This is when hair falls out on specific areas of the cat’s coat. If you brush or pet your cat and notice thinning hair in certain parts of its fur, those are signs of hair fall or hair breakage. This type of balding will not grow back normally so it is crucial that you treat this hair loss problem right away!
Here are some reasons why cats lose their coats: [LIST NOT VERBATIM]
● Brushing/grooming too aggressively – Pulling hair out by brushing too hard is a common cause for hair loss in kittens as well as adult cats. Bacteria from your cat’s mouth can also cause hair to fall out.
● Hair loss due to hair mites/ticks – Ticks, fleas and lice are common hair parasites that rob hair of vital nutrients such as protein. Left unchecked, these hair parasites will continue completely sucking out your cat’s hair until the hair is completely gone.
Other hair-challenging problems that can be triggered by grooming include: [LIST NOT VERBATIM]
● Stress or anxiety – Cats have hair follicle receptors just like humans do and when you pet or play with them too roughly, it sends a signal to their body to release stress hormones into their bloodstreams. Excessive amounts of stress hormones being pumped into your cat’s system can cause hair loss.
● Grooming tools that snag hair – Using a hairbrush or comb to groom your cat that is too rough on their skin is not only painful, but it can also result in hair breakage. If you notice hair falling out after grooming, consider switching to a much softer hair care tool for your cat.
● Hair pulling during playtime – Aggressive play with cats will often end up with one cat biting another one on the neck or other body parts resulting in hair being pulled out of the skin/fur as seen in pictures above and below. It’s important that you don’t encourage aggressive play sessions between two (or more) playful cats because this may lead to hair loss.
● Changes in hair care routine – Altering the grooming habits you have come to know and love will not be a good idea if your cat is already suffering from hair fall problems. If you notice hair problems after switching to new hair care products, then it’s best that you switch back to its previous brand.
How will I know what caused my cat’s hair loss?
Some hair loss causes may be obvious when they happen but others can be confusing at first because they may look like completely different conditions. It is important to catch hair fall symptoms early on so that you can rule out everything as soon as possible before too much hair has been lost! A veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your cat to rule out hair loss causes such as mites, hair allergy and hair parasites. Your vet will also look for skin problems that might be causing hair loss such as ringworm, mange mites or a bacterial infection.
Do not wait too long before you take your cat in to see the veterinarian because hair loss can worsen if left untreated!
How do I treat hair fall?
The sooner hair fall is treated, the more chance there is of stopping it completely so it’s important to catch this condition as soon as you suspect something wrong with your cat’s hair. There are many treatment options available depending on what caused your cat’s hair loss. Here are some commonly used treatments: [LIST NOT VERBATIM]
● Medications – Treat hair loss with pills can be a quick fix to hair fall as it supplies your cat’s hair follicles with the right nutrients that they need for healthy hair growth. Normally, hair will regrow within two (2) months after starting hair fall treatment.
● Vitamins and minerals – Hair loss caused by vitamin or mineral deficiencies may take longer to treat because hair follicle receptors require more time to absorb topical vitamins properly into their bloodstreams. A hair follicle biopsy test is important before treating any hair problems in cats using oral supplements.
● Natural products such as olive leaf extract – Olive leaf extract is one of our favorite natural solutions for stopping hair fall fast so you should keep this hair fall treatment on hand at all times. You can find hair-growth boosting olive leaf extract in form of hair gel or hair oil that you can rub into you cat’s hair and skin whenever necessary.
● Hair loss surgery – Surgical hair follicle transplants are used to help cats with hair loss problems, but it is an expensive option that many pet owners cannot afford. If your cat has lost so much hair that its skin is exposed from their body then hair transplant surgery will be a natural solution for them! For more information about the pros and cons of hair transplant surgery for cats, please visit our helpful article .
Why are there bald patches on my cat? In some cases of extreme hair fall, areas on your cat’s hair will start to drop hair quickly and sometimes, hair follicles are completely wiped out! There is a good chance that your cat suffers from hair loss caused by trauma . Your cat may have been in tight spaces with other cats or dogs resulting in hair loss so it’s very important that you do not encourage active play sessions between more than one playful cat at home. The key thing to remember here is NEVER let your pets play with each other when they are unsupervised!
You may also see bald patches around the face of your cat if they suffer from hair fall problems because this area of the body is usually highly sensitive. Bald patches typically go away within four (4) weeks once hair regrowth has started.