Pet Wellness Guides > Hair loss in Cats: Causes and Treatment - Pet Insurance Review

Hair loss in Cats: Causes and Treatment

Posted: 12/10/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Cat , Health problems , Pet care

One day your cat comes to you for some pets and you notice your furball isn’t as furry as usual. Hair loss in cats is fairly common and typically nothing to be too concerned about. However, it is still always recommended that you take your cat in for a checkup.

Keep reading to learn some of the most common reasons for hair loss in cats and what can be done about it.

hair loss in cats

5 Common Causes of Hair Loss in Cats

Diet? Allergies? Or something else entirely. The following are some of the most common reasons why your cat may be losing hair:

Poor Nutrition

Cats need very specific nutrients in their diet to have a shiny, thick coat. If their food is lacking certain vitamins and minerals, they can experience hair loss, which is thankfully not permanent.

There are a lot of commercial cat foods on the market, and sadly, many of them are not offering optimal nutrition for our fur babies. Speak to your vet to see what brands of cat food they recommend. 

In addition, many cat parents have decided to make their cat food themselves. This can be a healthy alternative but you must make sure you are providing your cat with all of the nutrients she needs to be healthy. Again, ask your vet for guidance.

Fleas and Ticks

No one wants to experience a flea infestation, especially not your poor kitty! Fleas and ticks bite our pets and feed off of their blood. They can also carry disease. Many dogs and cats wind up developing rashes that can cause hair loss. 

Preventing fleas and ticks in the first place is essential. Keeping cats indoors at all times is one of the best ways to keep the fleas and ticks at bay. If you have one of those cats that makes a fuss if they can’t be outdoors then let them be outside, but be certain to check their bodies when they come in at night for any fleas and ticks.

Skin Allergies

In addition to being sensitive to flea and tick bites, cats are also sensitive to other environmental allergens. Skin allergies are one of the biggest causes of hair loss in cats and it can be very tricky to figure out what is causing their reaction. Currently there is no one test that can diagnose what your cat may be having an allergic reaction to.

Cat parents need to work with their veterinarian to try and go through a process of elimination. Once you can pinpoint what may be causing the allergic reaction and remove it from the environment, your cat’s hair will grow back.


Your cat’s thyroid gland is responsible for many bodily functions, like the creation of multiple hormones, including the growth hormone. Hyperthyroidism is common in aging cats and can result in patchy hair loss. Luckily this disease can be managed effectively through medication.


No living thing responds well to stress, and that includes our cats! Cats that have experienced a trauma (an accident, a surgery/hospitalization) or are anxious from something (a move, a new pet in the home) can wind up scratching themselves as a response. If this behavior goes on for a long time, the result can be hair loss as well as  potential open wounds and skin infections. 

Preventing Hair Loss in Cats

As we’ve just learned, there are a variety of reasons a cat may experience hair loss. So how do you prevent it from happening? You start by making sure they are getting not just adequate, but optimal nutrition. Protect them from fleas and ticks and do your best to make their environment as stress-free as possible. There will be those times when the hair loss is caused by an allergy or an underlying health condition, and for these you’ll want to work closely with your vet to bring your kitty relief.

Whenever you first notice hair loss in your cat, always take them to the vet to be checked out. While the cause of their hair loss may be quite benign, it’s always a good idea to make sure nothing more serious is going on.

Did You Know?

1 out of 3 pets require emergency vet care each year? This care often leads to a bill in the thousands of dollars.

Are you financially prepared should your fur baby suddenly experience an accident or illness? 

Most pet parents need help paying vet bills these days, which is why so many are turning to pet insurance. It’s there when you need it and some policies will pay as much as 90% of the bill.

If you’re considering pet insurance but aren’t sure which company to go with, here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,477
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,196
4.3Pet Assure12






The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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