Hair Loss and Allergies in Cats

Our fluffy friends sometimes have allergies, too.
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If you're petting your fluff ball's back and all of a sudden notice that she's experiencing conspicuous hair loss, don't rule out the possibility of allergies. Although you may associate allergies with eye itchiness and sneezing, it can also trigger hair loss in felines, bizarre as it may sound.


Whether your little one is allergic to grass or to dairy products, she may experience one of the most unpleasant allergy symptoms of all -- extreme itchiness. When your kitty scratches, licks and chews her skin obsessively, it can often lead to the appearance of unsightly and often uncomfortable skin lesions, along with marked hair loss -- yikes.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are a relatively common woe in felines. According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, hair loss is a typical sign of dietary sensitivities. If you notice that your cutie starts losing hair a lot when she eats a certain type of food, take her to the veterinarian for a physical examination and food allergy trials. If hair loss is an issue, also keep your eyes peeled for other key indications of food allergy -- think a messy-looking coat and skin lesions.

Skin Disease

Flea allergy dermatitis is a disease that is also often responsible for hair loss in cats. The skin disorder occurs when a cat gets bitten by a flea and then develops an allergic reaction. The allergy typically arises from proteins that are part of the pest's saliva. One of the most prominent signs of the disease is, unsurprisingly, severe itching, particularly around the neck and head. The itchiness causes often painful hot spots in those specific areas and ultimately, noticeable hair loss.

Excessive Grooming

If you observe that your cat is grooming herself just a little too much, don't dismiss it as "neat freak" behavior. Instead, consider the possibility that she is suffering from a frustrating allergy problem. One of the consequences of obsessive grooming and licking is -- you guessed it -- large patches of hair falling out. Poor kitty! Be wise -- get your kitty to the veterinarian immediately to determine what may be the root cause behind her hair loss and compulsive grooming, allergy or otherwise.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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