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Why Does My Cat Have Bald Spots? Your Query Answered by Vets

Why does my cat have bald spots? Feline alopecia is the medical time period for extreme hair loss in cats and is a frequent cause for session on the veterinary clinic. The very first thing to do is determine whether or not it’s a pathological hair loss. Seasonal hair loss is predicted in felines. Outside cats shed twice a yr, whereas indoor cats are inclined to shed year-round.

Brown cat

Bald Spots in Cats

Bald spots in cats are a complete or partial lack of hair affecting totally different physique areas. Alopecia could be a consequence of:

  • An alteration within the manufacturing or development of hair (hereditary). Instance: Congenital alopecia in Sphynx cats.
  • Extreme hair loss self-induced (Alopecia secondary to pruritus or a psychogenic dysfunction).
  • A spontaneous extreme hair loss not self-induced by the animal (major alopecia).

Primarily based on these mechanisms, totally different feline ailments may cause fur loss in cats.

Why Does My Cat Have Bald Spots?

Main Alopecia

It is probably not pathological in sure breeds or sure physique areas. For instance:

  • Preauricular alopecia: much less hair on the perimeter in entrance of the ears.
  • Alopecia on the ear pinnae of older Siamese cats.

Or they will end result from pathologies comparable to:

  • Folliculitis (an infection, immune-mediated illness).
  • Para-neoplastic alopecia
  • Cushing’s syndrome

Pathological major bald spots are uncommon in cats in comparison with self-induced alopecia.

Secondary or Self-Induced Alopecia

Numerous ailments may cause self-induced bald spots on cats. Hair loss is the consequence of the animals’ licking or scratching. It could additionally happen with scabbing, pores and skin redness, flaking, and many others.

On this article, we’ll concentrate on the causes of self-induced hair loss, as it’s the most typical type of presentation in cats.

The place Do Feline Bald Spots Seem?

The bald spots areas may be:


The animal has one or a couple of hairless areas. As in circumstances of joint ache, the bald space is above the joint in query.


Cat hair loss in patches can have totally different shapes and sizes relying on the trigger that provoked them. Felines have a number of bald sports activities areas on the physique. For instance:

  • On the face and head within the case of mange.
  • Ringworm impacts the ears, head, and extremities.
  • Dermatological manifestations of meals allergy are on the pinnacle and neck.
  • Neck and base of the tail within the case of flea chew allergy.


When the absence of hair is in depth, a lot of the physique is hairless. Atopic dermatitis causes: 

  • Bald spots on the edges of the physique or the stomach, 
  • Wounds across the head and neck, 
  • Recurrent otitis, and 
  • Generalized pores and skin irritation.

Psychogenic alopecia causes symmetrical hairless areas on the again of the physique the place the cat can lick itself.

Cat with skin disease

What Causes Bald Spots on Cats?

Pruritic (intense Itching)

Ectoparasites: Fleas, Lice, and Mange Mites

Fleas are essentially the most frequent parasites of cats and are seen to the bare eye as black spots that transfer quick by means of the feline’s fur. One other solution to diagnose fleas’ presence is by visualizing little black balls caught to the cat’s fur within the chin and neck space. As these are flea feces, we will observe that they stain crimson when moist.

Lice and mange will not be as frequent because the earlier one. Lice also can seem on the animal, however not like fleas, they don’t seem to be as quick. Mites will not be seen to the bare eye; the most typical in cats is within the ears.

Infections: Bacterial and Fungal

Bacterial infections are secondary to a earlier damage and want applicable remedy to permit the injuries to heal.

Fungi trigger fungal infections, and “ringworm” is its acquainted identify. Ringworm happens in immunosuppressed animals comparable to kittens or adults below stress or poor dwelling circumstances. It’s a zoonotic illness, so people can develop it.

Allergic reactions: Meals, Environmental, and Flea Bites

Allergic reactions have gotten extra widespread within the cat world and are noticeable by means of pores and skin or hair ailments.

Some cats are allergic to flea saliva. Thus, a single flea that feeds on the cat will set off an allergic response all through the cat’s physique. Allergic reactions will also be on account of proteins within the meals or some environmental substance comparable to pollen, grass, chemical substances, and many others.

Others: Hyperthyroidism and Cutaneous Lymphoma

In grownup cats with pores and skin issues, embody each ailments within the differential prognosis.

Non-Pruritic (Non-Itchy)


Cats are vulnerable to stress when there’s a change of their surroundings. A transfer, loud noises, the addition of one other pet, and even any change within the animal’s habits may cause a cat to turn out to be harassed.

Worrying conditions lead cats to develop obsessive behaviors comparable to extreme hair pulling and licking. Licking the fur is an endorphin releaser, making your cat really feel higher.


Ache ensuing from trauma, musculoskeletal problems, or neuropathies generates extreme licking by the cat to alleviate discomfort.

When to Take Your Feline to the Vet

Veterinary consideration is just not essential within the case of preauricular alopecia and that seen on the exterior a part of the pinnae. In pathological major or secondary alopecia, seeing a veterinarian as quickly as potential is important to deal with the situation.

Moreover, do not forget that a few of the ailments that produce a patchy cat may be zoonotic, so it’s critical to keep away from the potential of contagion by treating the animal as quickly as potential.

What Do Cat Bald Patches Look Like?

Basically, cat bald spot could manifest with the next traits:

  • Hair loss
  • Reddening of the pores and skin
  • Itching and scratching
  • Extreme grooming
  • Scaling
  • Crusting
  • Self-induced scratching lesions
  • Lumps or blisters

But, some pathologies current specific traits.

Ringworm is a fungus that causes bald spots on cats’ heads, ears, and faces, though it might additionally have an effect on the legs. It manifests by a number of round, well-defined bald patches.

Mites contained in the ears trigger head tilt and shaking on account of discomfort and a darkish, foul-smelling otic discharge.

In hyperthyroidism, a standard endocrine illness in felines, there’s a lack of coat high quality (on account of lack of grooming habits), and the animals’ basic situation is poor. Lymphoma is a uncommon cat tumor characterised by patches, plaques, and cutaneous nodules, with localized or generalized distribution and no choice for any physique half.

The attribute of psychogenic alopecia is that it’s symmetrical, and cat hair is misplaced on the again close to the tail, on the posterior face of the hind limbs, and the edges of the physique.

Will My Cat’s Hair Develop Again?

The reply is sure, so long as the reason for the alopecia will get identified and handled. It is very important bear in mind that it’ll take one to 2 months for the hair to develop again, so be affected person till your kitty appears as good-looking as earlier than!

Veterinary Therapy Plans to Fight Bald Spots in Cats

The remedy for hair loss in cats will rely upon the particular trigger that produced it. As the explanations are many, arriving on the correct prognosis is essential, as every case can have a selected remedy.

Step one is to assemble as a lot data as potential in regards to the lesions firstly of the issue; which got here first: the bald spots or itching? The presence of lesions on different animals or individuals within the family. Then, the dermatological examination needs to be full and detailed to detect the presence of any alteration.

  • To determine lice, mites, or fleas, comb the hair with a positive comb and use adhesive tape to get parasites, eggs, feces, or superficial pores and skin scrapings and otic samples for microscopic remark.

At the moment, flea remedy in cats is with spot-on pipettes positioned on the pores and skin of the neck. Mites want injected therapies or native antiparasitic drops.

  • To examine for bacterial and fungal infections, carry out cytological, bacteriological, and fungal examinations. The cytological examination additionally could counsel non-infectious ailments that may trigger pruritus, comparable to immune-mediated ailments or cutaneous lymphoma.

Therapy will probably be native with antibiotic or antifungal lotions or systemic, with oral or injectable tablets.

  • If the suspicion is allergic, elimination and problem weight loss program testing diagnose meals allergy symptoms. Environmental or atopic allergy prognosis depends on pores and skin or blood allergy checks.

Therapy consists of eliminating the reason for the allergy. For meals allergy symptoms, supply hypoallergenic meals or meals with hydrolyzed protein. Within the case of atopy, take away the causative component from the surroundings surrounding the animal if potential. If this isn’t potential, use antihistamines and corticosteroids in lotions, tablets, or injectables to scale back signs. Medicated shampoos are additionally a superb choice for cats accustomed to water.

  • To diagnose hyperthyroidism, carry out a blood check.
  • Within the case of psychogenic bald spots, suspicion arises when sufferers manifest extreme grooming and don’t reply to antipruritic remedy. However first, rule out all causes of pruritic bald spots. Therapy consists of antidepressants or anxiolytics to assist the cat cope whereas eliminating environmental stressors.
  • If there may be obsessive grooming habits in areas of ache, administer treatment to scale back this painful situation.
Cat itch and wash

Prognosis and Restoration

In self-induced (secondary) scratching hair loss, the prognosis is favorable after we determine the trigger that produced the bald patches in our cats they usually obtain satisfactory remedy. Restoration from the situation is speedy, but our mates will look untidy for the primary few months till their hair returns.

Main alopecia is a symptom of a set of signs of extreme and sophisticated ailments. On this case, the prognosis stays guarded due to the severity of the image.

At-House Therapy for Cat Hair Loss

  • Weekly brushing of the hair
  • Satisfactory inside and exterior deworming
  • Keep away from contagion by isolating the sick cat
  • Balanced and good high quality meals
  • Lower stress components

That’s a Wrap

Keep in mind that the well-being of your kitten consists of the care of its pores and skin. Attempt to maintain it wholesome and, above all, in the very best situation.

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