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Cat Balding – Causes And Treatments

Cats are known for being clean animals. They bath themselves all day long. However, sometimes they do it for another reason than just keeping their fur clean and shiny. Learn how to make a difference between every day, seasonal and unhealthy shedding. Discover what ‘hot spot’ is and how you can cure it.

Cat balding is one of the issues that your feline friend might be exposed to. There is no specific time when this condition can occur in feline’s life.

You are probably familiar with the fact that cats shed, it’s normal. Moreover, it’s a common state especially seen in season changing. However, if you notice that your feline is a little less furry lately and losses a lot of hair, there might be a problem that you should address too.

Cat Balding

Cats are known for being extremely clean animals. Actually one of their best traits lies in the fact that they are excellent in self-maintenance. Most of the times you can see them licking themselves. This is known as ‘bathing time.’ During these sessions, they manage to remove a small amount of their own fur.

Also, as a true cat lover, you are definitely aware of the hair that they leave around the house occasionally. In most cases its nothing to worry about, its just the part of their natural self-maintaining process. When they shed extra it means that the winter is coming, or any another season whatsoever. Therefore, a little additional hair on your furniture counts as more than normal.

However, if you notice an excessive shedding on a daily level for some period of time already, the chances are that your furry feline is in some kind of trouble. You should act accordingly and resolve the issue as soon as possible, and in an adequate way.

How To Recognize Cat Balding On Time?

As mentioned before there is no specific time when your cat can start experiencing this condition, or if she ever will. However, the earliest signs of cat balding are seen in her daily routine.

Therefore, if you notice a constant scratch or licking, or moreover, if your cat is interested in licking more than in any other activity (opposite to food and playing, for example) that’s a clear alarm. This is the moment which can be red flagged.

There is a number of reasons why your cat might be losing her fur, but some of the most common reasons are seen in certain skin condition (usually a harmless skin condition), it can be a side effect of mostly an easy-to-treat condition, or last but not least it can be a sign of serious health condition.

Regardless of the main reason for this condition, one thing is for sure, excessive shedding is a clear sign that your cat is currently sick and it is up to you to unfold the reason behind it with proper steps.

What Is Cat Balding?

Cat hair loss is also known as alopecia. Alopecia is a unique skin condition in which a cat’s hair falls our or simply does not grow. Furthermore, it can occur in cats of any age. Moreover, hair loss can be total or partial.

  • Partial hair loss means that hair loss will be seen randomly across the body, in different patterns. Those patterns are usually symmetrical or random. In most cases, hair loss is localized to at least one or more specific areas. Those specific areas are known as ‘hot spots’.
  • Complete hair loss is rather self-explanatory. This stage can happen overnight or hair can entirely disappear in a short period of just a couple of days. This stage is extremely shocking for cats.
  • In both cases, medical diagnosis is necessary to identify why cat balding is happening in the first place. This is also the best way to learn about the possible underlying cause. Alopecia is a sign of a variety of conditions, and it may be a symptom of a serious or even life-threatening issue.

    Causes Of Cat Balding

    In most cases, cat balding is not a sign of a fatal medical condition. Regardless, you shouldn’t leave it untreated. Also, you will have to check with your veterinarian for a final diagnose. In the meantime, you can look out for some common causes for cat balding.


    Allergies are at the top reason for cat balding. Just like humans, cats can be allergic to different food, medicines, pollen, dust, or insect bites. In order to ease the itch of the skin, your cat will lick her fur until there is a bald spot or spots. This is easy, simple and inexpensive to treat. However, medicine for this condition may be taken for years, if not until the rest of your feline’s life.


    Parasites such as lice, mites or fleas can make her scratch and lick intensively, as well. This can lead to bald spots. Treatment, in this case, is easy and fast. You just need to check with your veterinarian what medicine to use, especially if your cat is just a furry kitten.

    Stress And Anxiety

    Stress and anxiety are not strictly reserved for humans. Felines are as well sensitive to these external and internal factors. When a cat is stressed she can lose her hair. This condition is known as ‘psychogenic alopecia.’

    Cats can pick their belly, legs, and sides. These areas are especially sensitive when it comes to dealing with nervous personalities. Learn from your veterinarian how to treat her wounds and what are the best-recommended antidepressant. Also, there might be needed some changes in her environment, like keeping dogs away.

    Good to know: Nervous personalities are most common in female purebreds.

    Ringworm infection

    Ringworm infection is a fungal infection, and usually the first sign of this condition is a scaly ring of missing hair. Also, your veterinarian is the only one that can tell you that for sure and prescribe antifungal creams, oral meds or medicated baths.


    You probably know so far that cats are excellent when it comes to hiding pain. However, it doesn’t mean that pain cant manifests differently. Therefore, one of the most signs of suffering pain is hair loss.

    On the other hand, there are also some rare causes that are reserved for pure breeds, like Bengals and Himalayans. Other pure breeds, like the Sphynx, are bred to be hairless.

    In addition, a hair loss can be a significant symptom of diabetes, cancer, an overactive thyroid, or an immune system problem. Make sure that you share with your veterinarian all relevant information, including your cat’s behavior, cat’s diet, and daily habits.

    Symptoms Of Cat Balding

    Symptoms of hair loss in cats are rather simple and obvious. In most cases, symptoms are seen in patches all over the body or in loss of hair randomly. Symptoms of cat balding in a nutshell:

    • Hair loss
    • Red skin
    • Skin loss
    • Easy bruising
    • Excessive grooming
    • Darkened patches
    • Foul odor
    • Depression
    • Abnormal behavior
    • Scaling

    Hair loss may not leave the bald patches at first. But it can begin with rapid changes to the coat, rough fur, excessive shedding or even including fuzzing. Also, symptoms may depend on the underlying cause of the loss. Bear in mind that there may be various symptoms that do not appear related to hair loss.

    Diagnosis Of Cat Balding In Cats

    Setting the right to diagnose can be a rather long process. Alopecia requires times due to the numerous potential causes of the condition. In order to help the veterinarian to set the proper diagnosis as soon as possible prepare the cat’s medical history just in case, you are having a new veterinarian.

    In addition, the veterinarian will run full physical examination. Special attention will be distributed toward ‘hot spots’ and overall condition of the skin.

    Your cat may have to endure a small tap for getting the blood test in order to see if any common infections are present. Also, analysis of feces, urine, or any fluids may be required. Examinations that include X-rays are reserved for looking for internal causes, like cancer.

    Treatment Of Cat Balding In Cats

    The treatment for this condition depends strictly on the cause veterinarian is able to diagnose. The success of the treatment only depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis. There are some cases when treatment is simply not available, like for hereditary hair loss and congenital hair loss.

    Some common treatments include:

    • Topical treatments that include a topical cream which is often used when it comes down to treating alopecia. There are also some cases where a cream can be used to treat the cause of hair loss, but it is widely used to calm symptoms like skin irritation. This type of treatment is also popular when there is a sign of fleas, fungal infections, or similar skin conditions
    • Antianxiety Medications or Antidepressants are when alopecia is caused by mental conditions like stress. In that case, medications may be prescribed to help your cat to cope with the issue. In most cases this treatment is successful. However, there are some possible side effects from these medications
    • Cause-Specific Treatments a number of different treatments can be used for the underlying condition that has resulted in your pet’s hair loss. Speak with a veterinarian to understand how each treatment works toward specific condition
    • Antihistamines are used to reduce the body’s response to certain allergen. Basically, when an allergic reaction is the cause of skin discomfort and hair loss, this category of drugs will be used to reduce the body’s response to the allergen. In addition, this is a very low-risk treatment


    There are no certain steps that can guarantee total prevention of cat balding a.k.a alopecia in cats. However, there are some moves that can postpone this condition. These steps include effective flea prevention and infections of parasites that can lead eventually to hair loss.

    Don’t neglect your cat’s need for mental stimulation and play time. This way you will avoid nervous disorders, including stress and anxiety.

    Unfortunately, there is no clear way to prevent most forms of hair loss in cats.

    Recovery Of Hair Loss In Cats

    Recovery of alopecia is possible. However, it does depend on the cause of the hair loos originally. The hair loss may be permanent, total or partial. Luckily, the prognosis is good when the cause is an infection or other treatable condition. It is important to monitor your cat’s condition and to notice the first major changes as soon as possible.

    Also, reducing the stress in cats environment is a good start for final recovery. In addition, avoid some grand changes when your cat is on a path of recovery.

    Your cat can live happy and full life even if the hair loss is permanent. However, special attention should be paid to the temperature of their living environment.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How Can I Treat My Cat’s Hair Loss?

    Make sure that your cat is not attacked by fleas. You can use proper shampoo and different treatments. Use a regular spot-on treatment.

    2. Why Is My Cat Going Bald On Her Belly?

    This could be for a number of different reasons. Some of them may include fleas, lice, and even mites causing bald spots. Treatment is usually quick and easy. This condition is also known as alopecia – cat balding.

    3. Why Is My Cat Balding?

    There is a number of different reasons for this condition, including rear skin allergies, parasites or infections like ringworm. One of the reasons may be a nervous disorder as well.

    4. Why Is My Cat Balding On His Head?

    Fleas, mice and similar parasites are the most common reasons for this condition.

    5. How Can I Treat My Cats Hair Loss?

    The best option is to make a veterinarian visit first. However, some of the most common treatments include topical treatments and Antidepressants.