Mr. Fluffernutter approaches for some quality pets and scratches, and you automatically run your hand down his back. Then you notice an unusually smooth patch between his shoulder blades. The hair is completely gone, leaving a bare patch of skin. What's giving your kitty male pattern baldness?
Spot On Reaction
The chemical cocktail that sends fleas to the Great Beyond could have an adverse effect on your cat at the same time. Some cats are sensitive to the ingredients in spot-on flea treatments, resulting in skin problems and hair loss. The spot between the shoulder blades is a good area to apply these treatments, as your cat can't easily reach it to lick off the medication. Many owners report a subsequent bald spot after treatment, but say their kitties usually regrow hair in a few weeks.
Flea Bite Baldness
As if going bald from the medication used to prevent fleas isn't bad enough, your cat could lose hair because of the little bloodsucking freeloaders themselves. Flea bites trigger an allergic reaction in some cats, resulting in irritated skin and hair loss. The spot between his shoulder blades is a great hiding spot for fleas, because your cat can't reach that area easily to get rid of the little buggers. So the fleas could retreat there and party with little threat of eviction. The skin typically looks crusty and raw as your cat scratches like a kitty possessed.
A cat's coat is an outward indicator of his underlying health, so the nicer the coat the healthier the cat. Take a close look at your kitty and see if the rest of his hair is thinning or if there are any other bald spots over his body. Medical conditions such as ringworm, tumors and hormonal imbalance can cause his hair to fall out easily, and that spot between his shoulder blades could just be the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Check for scaly, red or irritated skin or other signs that your cat isn't feeling well such as changes in appetite, behavior or litter-box usage.
Before searching for kitty toupees online, give your vet a call to schedule a visit. In most cases, dealing with the underlying condition lets your cat's skin heal and regrow the hair. Topical ointments, allergy shots and other medications may be prescribed to ease Mr. Fluffernutter's suffering and get him back on the road to health.
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