What is the cause of a cat chewing or scratching off its fur?
There are multiple causes for why cats losing hair. Unfortunately, the cause of a cat chewing or scratching off its fur is quite varied, and some attribute it to stress due to new situations or environments, there are different reasons “why your cat is losing hair.”
6 of the most commonly diagnosed problems for “why is my cat losing hair are
@Environmental Allergies (seasonal changes, dust allergy)
@Other skin parasites (e.g., mites)
@Food allergies and Food balance
Fleas or Flea-bite Hypersensitivity
One of the most straightforward problems to detect is Flea hypersensitivity. Identifying the little creepers on your Cat can be tricky. When checking out your cat for fleas, use a flea comb to brush through the fur, especially neck, and tail area. If no flea or flea dirt been found and the cat is continuously scratching a treatment with flea medication would be the best solution, and you should discuss it with a veterinarian.
If you have more than one cat, you need to treat all cats even they do not show signs. This way you can be sure to eradicate all the little intruders into your cat’s space.
There are many solutions to flea prevention like
#Flea collars they come in different colours and smells,
#Flea fluid Etc.
You will find a great range of flea collars in our online store My Pet Shop World we are reasonably priced. My favourite one is the one with natural fragrance.
They are pleasant for cats and owners and they also look right, there is no need than to have two collars around the neck of your cat.
Mites and other skin parasites
Other skin parasites can cause pruritis, and this comes from other skin parasites. Cats usually who are both outdoor and indoor cats might be more likely infested with these pests.
How do you find mites in your cat’s fur? You can see with multiple skin scrapings or hair combings; it is happening that false negative results occur when tested. In confirmed, suspected cases include a topical, broad-spectrum parasiticide or potentially lime sulfur dip.
Do not treat your cat without proper medication from your veterinarian. Please ask your Vet for proper advise.
The right food balance for your Cat
A cats diet affects much of its life, and how it feels, it changes how its joints are, how their fur looks, their bowel movements etc.
An essential factor to consider is if your cat is getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals and if your cat is also mainly eating wet food or dry food you have to find a balance.
A cats health is to determine what the cat is eating. When you look at the daily discharge (poop)of your cat you will see how healthy your cat is. Have a look from time to time when you clean the cat litter box.
If the Poop of your cat is hard and dry than for sure, your cat does not get enough fluid. If your cat has diarrhoea than some food is not in the balance with her stomach. A Balanced Diet for your cat is essential for a healthy fur and skin.
A lack of nutrients can cause the itchiness because of dry Skin and lose hair.
Did you know that your cat can have food allergies?
Unfortunately, as we humans can have food allergies so do our pets, food allergies also are known as cutaneous adverse food reactions. The appearance of food allergies are the same familiar symptoms as with fleas or flea-bite sensitivity. They appear around the neck and face with hair loss or scabs.
Different cats have different reactions, and they might also have on different parts of the body hair loss, scabs, diarrhoea and or vomiting.
A common belief is that food allergies appear after a diet change. Some of the most allergy-causing symptoms in cat food are fish, beef, and dairy. Much lower on the list are Corn, Wheat, Chicken and eggs.
An Argument always is that after so many years of eating the same food, and the cat never showed any food hypersensitivity in years only now the cat has symptoms of a food allergy.
Well, all I can say our body changes with age and that is the same for animals. How to identify a food allergy in your cat, can be done with the test and there are excellent laboratories who can verify and specify the allergic reaction to which food. There is an app available to download on Google play to check what is in your cat food.
I used to get one of the apps to check the food for our stray cat as she had diabetes. It was a great help.
All Around Allergies in Cats
Environmental Allergies is a subject all on its own. They often begin at a younger age of a cats life. You might have noticed them on a seasonal term and did not take notice of it.
Cats can have environmental allergies in spring and fall. For example sinus. The signs of a sinus infection over a period get worse and start to occur throughout the year. Another allergy reaction on indoor cats can be dust mites, and they cause a year around the problem.
Stress in Cats… Is your cat stressed?
Looking at how stress affects cats, we see profound similarities and differences between them and us. With both of us taking to comfort and repeating actions to “clear our head”.
The difference between our cats and us though is that as long as that variable remains in their general area, the longer they stay stressed.
Although we can get over the stress and have “swings” for the amount of stress we are experiencing, for cats, they may calm down for a short while, but as soon as the stimulus returns, they will revert to their “original” state.
When Cats become stressed, they may also take to cleaning themselves much more than they would usually do, this is of course due to the way the cats will handle themselves when stressed.
To deal with this or identify this, see what might be causing your cat to feel stressed and attempt to either help them overcome their stress (through playing with them, trying to get them used to it etc.) or try and calm them down once you are close to them and they aren’t afraid.
When looking at their bites, trying to get them used to the situation may be the best way to stop them from licking themselves, another method could be to try and “rewire” them, by either petting them or giving them attention once you notice that they are getting stressed.
A great way to calm down cats is with Lavender oil. Use a drop of Lavender oil and mix with Carrier oil and massage and pet your cat’s fur with it. (see our blog on essential oils for pets. )
It may take some time, care and careful consideration of how your pet acted before.
Furthermore, you have to see how far the scratching progresses, and how long the duration of itching takes as if it stops after one week, its guaranteed to have been some form of stress or discomfort. Even then though, you should consider action to see what was the original cause and either remove or prepare your cat for the same situation the next time.
Two more familiar causes why your cat is losing hair
Your cat’s fur is shedding
Another reason for your cat to be itching and losing hair is shedding. Your cat may start to lose many hairs, be it due to the natural winter-summer loss of fur, ageing, or be sick.
The amount of hair loss is also proportionate to the amount of hair getting stuck in the cat’s body.
When you pat your cat, do you notice a lot of hair clumps up in something akin to a ball?
That’s when the cat’s hair starts to irritate the cat itself, as the hair still falls off when the cat is doing its day to day activities and merely is trapped near the cat’s skin, leading to the cat scratching/licking itself to remove these hairs.
That causes merely more hairs to be let loose, generating an “infinite cycle” of hair loss and gathering.
Besides brushing your cat each day, not much else can be done about this issue, as this is merely a natural part of the cat’s life.
Always consult a Veterinarian if problems persist. Do not treat your cat without consulting a veterinarian.
Bugs and pimples
Oh yes, your cat also can get pimples. She might be biting and licking excessively due to sensitive skin conditions. If you recently changed the food or the shampoo, your cat might be having an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients.
If you have mosquitos around the little lumps can come from mosquito bites, and they cause the cat have itchy skin. It is, of course, a visible marker, but many owners merely look for ticks or bugs, rather than also looking for pimples and other such things.
Either way, these irritate the skin of the cat and causes it to attempt to get rid of the bug through chewing, even if this entails chewing off some fur to do this. Cats have quite sensitive skin, and even minor irritations can cause the cat to completely occupy themselves with the attempt to remove the said irritation.
As long as the annoyance persists, the cat would continuously and almost obsessively attempt to remove the irritant, leading to hair loss and fur scabs.
A way to remove or identify this is to give your cat a thorough pat down or attempt to feel where you notice your cat has been biting a lot, and try and feel/find out if there are any discrepancies on the skin.
If your cat has pimples or warts/lumps which are causing him/her issue, I would suggest taking them to a veterinarian, where the vet can identify and remove/help sooth the itch.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in Cats.
It is short OCD. It is a behavioural disorder where a cat is engaging in repetitive, exaggerated behaviours that seem without purpose. Grooming is one of the examples where cats chew and groom themselves to the extent that they rub of the fur and chew themselves until no coat is left.
Other than that most of these problems are easy to solve, they merely require one to be observant and know how your cat interacts and reacts to specific situations.
Furthermore, if you are unsure or worried about your cat or have noticed that the itching prevails for longer than one month, and is either staying at the same level or becoming progressively worse, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s opinion, as it may give you insight into what is happening.
all the best