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huntdvm, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 382
Experience:  Small animal & equine vet with special interest in ER/critical care, advanced medicine, and surgery.
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my cat has lost fur round bottem tail and belly

Customer Question

my cat has lost fur round bottem tail and belly
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  huntdvm replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having some fur problems and hope to provide you with some help.
Is the hair loss in small patches, perhaps the size of small coins, with sections that are normal in between? That can indicate a fungal infection like ringworm or a bacterial skin infection that can accompany allergies.
Is the hair loss in larger patches, or an entire section of the cat? That's what it sounds like in your post. There are a few causes of this. One can be parasites such as fleas or mites. Are you using a good quality monthly flea preventative on this cat and all other dogs and cats that it has contact with? If not, your first step should be to start one. There are a number of good ones, including some that you can get over-the-counter such as those containing the active ingredient fipronil. I would avoid Sargent's and Hartz as I have seen some negative reactions with them, along with limited flea-killing power.
Beyond parasites, allergies are the next most common cause. Cats can be allergic to fleas (which means the bite of as little as one flea can trigger the reaction!), environmental allergens such as pollens, or food (by far the least common). Allergies are typically treated using short-term steroids in cats. These are medications that your veterinarian will need to prescribe.
And finally, we have some cats who will pull out their own fur as a response to stress. Typically I do not presume that this is the case until I have ruled out everything else. So, for example, if I have pulled fur and tested for ringworm, done a skin scraping for mites, examined the cat for fleas, and have tried steroids with no improvement... then I start to think about stress over-grooming. But I mention it here in order to give you a complete look at possible causes.
If your cat's hair loss is patchy and it could be an infection, I would recommend a vet visit early this week for evaluation because infections can grow worse and can actually in some cases spread to humans! So we want to get that treated if it is.
If your cat's hair loss is a whole section and you haven't been using flea preventative, I would start there. Depending on how much your cat appears to be itching and pulling out fur, a vet's visit possibly to get some steroids to improve the cat's comfort may be a good idea. Regardless, if you aren't using a flea preventative, definitely start--even if it's not flea-related, can you imagine how much worse your cat could get if he/she were to also get fleas? It's so important.
I hope that this has been helpful in giving you some clarity on what may be going on and suggesting immediate next steps. Please let me know if you have follow-up questions, and best of luck with your cat!