Is your Cat Pulling Hair Out In Clumps?
A cat losing her hair can come from many different causes. It may be because she is grooming herself far too much, or that she chews her fur. Cat pulling hair out frequently? Most often than not, the cause of cat hair loss is because of excessive grooming.
A cat grooming herself is a regular sight among cat owners. In fact, cats are known to use fifty percent of their waking time to groom themselves.
However, some cats may begin to do too much grooming. There are time that cat parents may notice their cat pulling hair out with over grooming. This is a big cause for worry because bald spots can develop into skin infections.
There are also cases where the owner will not see the cat in the act of pulling tufts of their hair out, but will see alopecia, or patches of hairless skin on their cats. They may also notice a lot of hairballs lying around when their beloved cat tries to swallow their fur.
Dr. Valerie Fadok, a certified dermatologist from North Houston Veterinary Specialist in spring, Texas, stated that “Most cats who pull their hair out have a medical reason.”
Though there may be times that the problem is behavioral, “Behavioral problems are much less common,” the doctor continues.
A kitty’s coat is the meter of their general health. A healthy looking coat is the sign of a healthy cat. A coat unkempt, over groomed, and bald at some spots is a sign of an underlying health problem, whether physical or behavioral.
Cat Pulling Hair Out In Clumps – 3 Major Reasons
1. An Itch
For some cats, the reason why they pull their hair out is that there is an itch which they can only relieve by licking and pulling their hair out.
Putting your finger on the cause of the itch, however, is not easy. This is better done by a veterinarian.
Most vets will start by doing a physical examination, which includes checking for parasites such as fleas, mites or lice.
Even indoor cats can get fleas, so you should not eliminate the possibility of it when it comes to your beloved pet.
Some cats may get their itchy skin from food allergy. Usually the protein source is the cause of the allergy. If your cat does not suffer from parasites, according to the vet’s diagnosis, maybe changing her regular food will do the trick.
If your cat suffers from itchiness at certain times of the year only, she may be allergic to inhalants. Molds, spores or pollen might be the culprit of her allergy.
Another possibility is that your cat may be allergic to certain chemicals which they may come into contact with. Chemicals such as laundry detergents or disinfectants may be the source of allergy.
Fungal infection might also be the cause. Ringworm is extremely contagious, especially towards kittens. Unlike in humans, ringworms cannot be seen from the outside. You will need a vet to confirm the presence of a ringworm.
2. Something is Painful
Some cats tend to over groom on areas where they feel pain. Arthritis, cystitis or just infections will cause the cat to over groom on areas where they feel pain.
The most detectable source of pain is a wound. But most causes of pain are within her body, and cannot be seen. Usually, pain is accompanied with decreased appetite and limping.
If your cat begins to groom herself too much on one specific area, have that area immediately checked by a vet.
3. Behavioral problem
As Dr. Valerie Fadok stated, a cat pulling hair out may be because of a behavioral problem. Though not probable, compulsive behavior is the possible cause of over grooming for cats.
This is a condition called psychogenic alopecia, the plucking out of hair due to behavioral issues.
More often than not, the problem lies in an underlying stress or anxiety. The stress or anxiety may be caused by changes in the cat’s environment.
Such changes may be a new baby in the house, new people, or strange cats roaming freely in their territory. In some cases, the stress comes from plain boredom.
Because cats find grooming as a comforting activity, they may begin to relieve themselves with grooming when they become stressed or anxious.
Normally, cats suffering from psychogenic alopecia will also display other signs of anxiety. She may also display inappropriate urination or an undesired scratching behavior similar to dogs.
Cats who suffer from behavioral problems may need anti-anxiety medication and behavioral therapy to correct their stress induced over grooming.
But as Dr. Fadok said, compulsive behavior is rare. In fact, only about ten percent of cats who over groom suffer from psychogenic alopecia.
That is why it is important to make sure that your cat is properly examined for medical issues.
Get the Help Needed
Once the medical diagnosis is completed, and once the problem is identified, it is important to strictly follow the steps required to correct the problem.
A cat pulling hair out is an unwelcome sight. It is hard to bear to know that your cat is suffering from something that causes them discomfort.
In times like these, you should always be ready to go to the vet. Get the proper veterinary help and make sure that you follow their advice strictly.
Once the issues are taken care of, you should then make sure that your cat is always healthy.
Groom her with a brush regularly. Feed her full and balanced meals. Make sure her behavior are all natural, nothing is amiss.
If ever your cat displays signs of any distress, take her to the vet.
When her health is properly maintained, your cat will not only be comfortable, happy and content, she will also look more beautiful, sleek and adorable.