Is your cat constantly scratching or biting at their fur? Are you noticing patches of hair missing on their head or body? While it can be concerning to see your cat in distress, there are luckily a number of home treatments for cat hair loss that can help keep them healthy and looking their best.
Cats are prideful pets who will often try to hide their discomfort from you. But once you notice a lot of itching, red skin, or excess shedding, it's time to step in and ensure that your cat is healthy and not suffering from stress or anxiety, a condition, or other uncomfortable issues — all of which can lead to hair loss.
What is Hair Loss in Cats?
Cat hair loss can be defined as your cat's fur coming out in patches, falling out in larger chunks, or even just a noticeable thinning of their coat. Keep in mind that shedding is completely normal for cats. Their shedding will also increase when the weather changes. So don't panic if you notice extra fur on the ground or on your clothes. You should instead be looking for shedding that's out of the ordinary, like big clumps of fur from one particular spot on their body.
What Causes Feline Hair Loss?
There are many reasons why your cat is suffering from hair loss. You should bring your cat to the vet to see if a source can be properly identified. They may uncover problematic conditions — for example, think ear mites, ringworm, fleas, or even allergies. All of these conditions will cause discomfort, making it impossible for your cat to keep from scratching. Their over-grooming (itching, licking, chewing) can lead to bald patches. Vets will also be able to identify any other serious problems.
Feline hair loss can also be a side effect of stress. A stressed cat may start to pull out their fur or over-groom certain areas. They may also try this technique on spots where they are experiencing a lot of pain, like sore muscles and joints.
Hormones can also lead to hair loss and balding in cats. There are specific hormones responsible for cat hair growth and they could be experiencing an imbalance. If they have too much or too little of these hormones, it can lead to losing hair. Some pregnant cats are also more likely to lose fur due to hormone changes.
A poor diet can also lead to hair loss, meaning the food that you feed your cat must be healthy and contain required ingredients like taurine and a named protein source. A quality commercial food brand will keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Symptoms of Hair Loss in Cats (What to Look For)
- Excessive licking and scratching
- Patches of missing fur or thinning fur
- More shedding than usual
- Skin color change
- Scaling of the skin
- Thickness or redness of the skin
Home Remedies for Hair Loss in Cats
Are you continuously looking for home treatment for cat hair loss? If you're unable to get to a vet, there are luckily many remedies that can minimize cat hair loss at home. Sometimes, once the veterinarian identifies the source of the hair loss, it can still be treated by a home remedy or treatment depending on the vet's recommendation.
Since fleas can cause a lot of skin irritation. Creating an effective flea repellent treatment will keep your cat from excessive scratching. This will give them a sense of relief and a break from these irritable pests while you find a more permanent way to eliminate them from your home.
For an easy home treatment for cat hair loss, first cut a lemon into quarters and place the pieces in a pot of boiling water. Let this steep overnight. The next morning, put this mix into a spray bottle and then apply it to the entirety of your cat's head, legs, torso, and tail. Give a special focus to behind their ears, the base of their tail, and their underarms.
You can also create an environmentally safe insecticide for both humans and cats. The homemade spray, called Pyrethrum, is made of dried African Chrysanthemum flower heads, which are crushed into a powder. This is also found in aerosol foggers and existing flea sprays.
To create this pest remedy, crush the flower heads into a fine powder. Grab two handfuls and put them into one liter of hot water for an hour. Blend this mixture until it turns into a puree that can be poured into a spray bottle. Spray it all over your cat, avoiding their eyes, mouth, and inner ears.
Other natural flea repellents include garlic, brewer's test tablets, and apple cider vinegar. These household items give your cat a particular smell on their skin that fleas dislike.
Related article: Home Remedies for Fleas on Cats [Helpful Tips Inside!]
Using a cat shampoo with natural ingredients, regular bathing is a great at-home treatment for cat hair loss and can get rid of your cat's excess hair. This reduces shedding and will also keep them from over-grooming certain areas. Add chamomile to your cat's bath to promote healthy skin and reduce dandruff from dry skin. The addition of nettle can also inspire healthy fur and skin.
You can also soothe itchy skin with oatmeal. This can relieve dryness as well. Leave a mixture of oatmeal and water on your cat's skin for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
If you can get approval from a vet, try treating hot spots with Listerine, baby oil, and water. Mix an equal amount of all three of these ingredients in a spray bottle. Then massage a small amount into your cat's skin three times a day.
Always wipe your cat down when they come in from the outdoors using a wet towel. This will ensure that outdoor allergens are not present on their skin or hair for longer than necessary. You can also keep your cat indoors to avoid run-ins with allergens, pests, and infectious diseases.
CBD Cat Products
If your vet associates agitation or nervousness with your cat's hair loss, you may want to try CBD cat treats, oil tinctures, or capsules. All-natural CBD cat products react with the cannabinoid receptors in your cat's Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Some of these receptors are involved with nerve development, soreness, immune function, and discomfort.
Using CBD may stimulate these receptors and promote calmness throughout the body. A calm relaxed cat is less likely to entertain nervous behaviors such as excessive grooming. If you are wondering how much CBD to provide your cat, or if you want to learn more, check out our CBD dosing chart.
Switch Cat Foods
If your cat is experiencing hair loss due to an allergy, their food is often the culprit. Cat allergies are usually linked to the protein source, such as beef or chicken. Some cats are also allergic to grains and corn. Cats are often allergic to dairy and eggs, according to Tufts University's Cummings Veterinary Medical Center.
You'll often notice if your cat has a food allergy between the ages of two and six. Food allergy symptoms include itchy skin, reddened skin, hair loss, and even vomiting, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite.
You may need to switch to hypoallergenic cat food, but ask your vet for more insight. You will need to feed your cat the new diet for about 12 weeks (and nothing else, including treats, eggs, and toothpaste). Their sensitive stomach should clear up between two and four weeks. Itchy skin or missing fur will take around 12 weeks to clear up since that's how long it takes for a cat to grow a new outer layer of skin cells.
Adding a complete oil to your pet's diet is another hair loss treatment. Safflower, peanut, and sunflower oils are a few examples. These contain essential fatty acids that could help keep your cat's skin and hair healthy. Add a half teaspoon of this complete oil to each of your cat's meals.
PREVENTING HAIR LOSS IN CATS
There are a few different ways to prevent hair loss at home and it's all about noticing the signs and symptoms before it becomes a bigger problem. Although cats can be very stoic and will attempt to hide their discomfort, there are still ways you can identify some warning signs and then provide comfort for your cat — even if they won't admit they need it.
If you start to see your cat biting and pulling at their fur a lot, do an examination of their skin and fur at least a couple times a week. By using a fine-toothed comb, you'll be able to closely examine specific sections for hair loss and skin problems while also revealing pests like fleas.
You should also make sure their bedding, cat trees, and other popular destinations within your home are closely examined for any possible correlation. Sometimes bedding can be too rough for your cat's hair or you'll notice signs of pests and other home invaders on their toys and trees.
When you notice your cat constantly grooming a certain area or you see signs of irritated skin, you should bring your cat to their veterinarian. This could provide you with a reason — and a solution — before your cat starts to lose hair in response to the discomfort.
If your cat won't stop licking a certain spot on their back or you notice that the hair on the back of their ear has excessively thinned, you might be dealing with symptoms of cat hair loss. Baldness in cats can be caused by a lot of conditions, pests, and behavioral issues, so it's important to bring your cat to the vet to identify the source. Fortunately, there are many home remedies for cats, hopefully, these hair loss remedies will leave your cat feeling relieved and have their hair looking healthy once again. Find more info here.