Hello! Nigel, here. And before you go crazy…yes, yes…I KNOW that the kitty above is supposed to be hairless. I just wanted to get your attention. Today I am going to talk about skin disease in cats. There are just so many different things that can make your poor kitty lose his hair, that I don’t think I will be able to cover all of them in a single blog post. But we can at least talk about a few of the more common ones.
Many of you humans have had cats or currently have cats that are experiencing nasty spells of hair loss. Sometimes the skin underneath looks normal, and sometimes it can look quite disgusting. For some cats, the hair is just falling out on its own, while for others the hair is being licked off by the cat herself. Determining what exactly is causing the problem is the hard part. It can take many different tests and trips to the vet to get to the bottom of this frustrating problem.
The most common reason for hair loss, of course, is fleas. Even if you don’t see any fleas on your cat, they can still be there. And if your poor kitty is allergic to flea saliva, then just one flea on his body will drive him crazy! Luckily, fleas are pretty easy for your vet to find and there are great products available for getting rid of those nasty little blood-suckers.
Other reasons for hair loss include problems like mites (mange), ringworm, or bacterial infection. If there is nothing obvious like fleas causing the problem, then your vet may recommend doing some tests to look for these little creatures. This would include procedures like skin scrapings, fungal cultures and looking at cells from your cat’s skin under the microscope. All of these things can be helped by treatments either topically (on the skin itself) or orally.
Some of the more difficult problems to treat are hair loss caused by allergic (atopic) dermatitis, food allergy, or anxiety-induced hair pulling. These are all chronic problems that require life long treatment. Fear not, however, these problems can indeed be controlled!
If you have a kitty that seems to be going bald, or just keeps scratching so much that you say to yourself…”this can’t be normal”…then you really should give us a call at For Cats Only for an appointment with one of the doctors. As a faithful human servant, you owe to your cat master to help him with his awful condition.
That’s it for now. This is Nigel, signing off! Meow.