A question arises why do cats lose hair on their tail. This is a good one, it comes from Sally and she says my cat is licking all the hair off her belly but I don’t see anything on the skin. This is really interesting when I see this question i can almost make a diagnosis from the question and I, I refrain from that because I always want you to take your pet to your veterinarian for a physical exam and consultation just to make sure there’s nothing wrong but something that happens with cats very commonly is we’ve got to remember cats usually they’re, they’re supposed to be out there hunting things they have natural instincts and we bring them into the home where their life is a little slower, not as stimulating, so they can develop behavior problems, frustrations, things like that.
And one thing that cats do, is they have a condition known as psychogenic alopecia and alopecia means hair loss, psychogenic means it comes from the mind and so it’s a psychological issue and so when they’re lethargic or depressed or not getting the stimulus, what will happen is they’ll often lick their belly and they’ll lick all of the hair off of the their belly and they’ll have a bald patch. Some cats will do it so badly that the skin opens up and they have a lesion in there. Now, the ways you can know that this is really what’s happening is if you look really closely at the hair because it’s being licked out. The hair will look what we call barbered meaning that not all the hair is just gone, there are actually hairs that are broken so you’ll see here is that are longer and some hairs that are shorter. That’s how you know your cat is traumatising the hair.
So we know the hair loss is actually from the licking by seeing that. The other clue is that on the skin there’s really no other reactions as Sally says, there’s no inflammation, there’s no redness there’s no pimple like things that are consistent with a bacterial infection and this is the only place obviously that it’s happening and this is classic for cats when they have this condition psychogenic alopecia. What you do about it is you address that stress. Now whenever I talk about stress to a cat owner they say what talking about my cat doesn’t have any stress. Well just being a cat inside a house can be stressful for some cats. Even a cat just being overweight can be stressful for that cat even though we’re not chasing it around terrorizing it, it can still be stressed out and developing some of these conditions. So I talk about environmental stimulus, playing with them more, getting them toys but then there’s also anti-anxiety things you can do.
There’s devices you can plug in the wall that emit a calming hormone into the air. Those things work extremely well for cats to calm them down and then there are natural supplements as well, such as a milk protein that comes from sort of the Queen’s milk and it with the kittens basically it calms them during lactation periods. They’ve taken this protein that put it in a supplement and it really has a calming effect. If this condition is really bad, then you can go to medications that are anti-anxiety like prozac or something called clomipramine and you’re definitely going to want to talk to your veterinarian about that, do some blood work before you start it, make sure it’s safe to give. Really start with the simple things so that we’re not having to put them on a medication but this is a classic common problem we see in a lot of cats.
Your cat may even be doing it and you may not know, you should lift them up and look at their belly and you might find that some of the hair is missing and they’re actually doing it from time to time without you knowing. Your kitties hair loss is nothing serious but neo plasia a term for abnormal growths caused by uncontrolled division of cells may cause hair loss in cats. Another serious condition that occurs secondary to cancer is para neoplastic alopecia which is hair loss associated with itching. Moist skin however these serious causes are rare. The bottom line on hair loss and cats and validation cats don’t panic. Just take your cat to the veterinarian for an exam. Chances are it is not serious but you don’t know that just by looking at the cat which is why it’s important to get it checked out.

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