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What are some causes of cats losing fur?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of fur loss in cats include stress, allergies, parasites and ringworm, reports WebMD. Less common causes are immune disorders, cancer, diabetes and thyroid disorders.

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Called psychogenic alopecia, stress and anxiety can lead to hair loss in felines, according to WebMD. Cats afflicted with this often lick and scratch at their legs, sides and stomach. Most common in female purebreds with nervous personalities, veterinarians can treat the condition with antidepressants and a change in environment. Cat owners should treat the wounds and then consider environmental adjustments such as creating an elevated perch so that the cat can be above sources of anxiety.

Hair loss often occurs when a cat licks or scratches compulsively, which happens most often because of allergies, explains WebMD. Just like humans, cats can be allergic to dust, pollen, food, insect bites and medicine. While medicines can treat these allergies, the medications are usually lifetime commitments. Bald spots and sores can follow intensive itching caused by parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites. Veterinarians can prescribe and suggest some quick, easy and effective treatments.

More prevalent in dogs than in cats, cancer often develops later in felines and leads to more expensive and time-consuming treatment, notes WebMD. In addition to hair loss, other signs of cancer in cats include lumps, vomiting, difficulty breathing and diarrhea.

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