Cat Bald Spots on Head

Cat Bald Spots on Head

While brushing your cat’s fur, you notice bald patches on his head and other body parts. Now you are worried if this is a symptom of a larger problem.

Generally, cats shed fur heavily twice a year, coinciding with the seasons. This type of shedding is called molting. Here, the hair loss should be even across your cat’s body. If there are bald patches on his head or other body parts, it means that your cat may be dealing with a larger problem, from parasites to other health issues.

What causes bald spots on a cat’s head?

Bald spots on a cats head are caused by allergies, ringworms, parasites, stress or thyroid issues.

Bald patches can appear differently, depending on the underlying cause. Some bald patches are concentrated in small areas in a cat’s body while others can cover a large area. These patches can appear on any body part, including your cat’s head.

If you notice bald patches on any of your pet’s body parts, it is best to consult a veterinarian. At the clinic, the vet will examine these bald areas to determine the underlying cause. Finding the root of the problem will help your vet determine the proper treatment for your cat.

1. Allergies

Allergy is one of the leading causes of bald spots in cats. Allergies can be classified as food or environmental allergies.

Whatever may be the underlying cause of your cat’s allergy, he will feel itchy. And as your cat continues to scratch itchy spots on his body, the hair will continue to fall off, leading to bald spots.

Your cat may be dealing with a bout of allergy if his bald patches are accompanied by symptoms like itching and dry skin. Typically, these symptoms vanish slowly when you stop your cat’s exposure to the allergen. 

However, if you are unsure of what is causing your cat’s allergic reaction, it is best to consult the vet. Your vet will put your cat through a series of tests to determine the underlying cause of his allergy. 

2. Ringworms

Ringworm is not an actual worm. Instead, it is a type of fungal infection that is characterized by the formation of circular lesions on the skin. Mammals, including cats and people, can become infected with ringworms. Furthermore, this fungal infection requires immediate treatment because it is contagious.

When a cat is infected by ringworm, the hair on the area where the lesions form become thinner or even fall off, thus creating bald patches on the fur. To confirm if your cat has ringworm, the vet will get a tissue sample from his skin.

3. Parasites

Parasites like fleas can also cause your cat to lose hair in different areas of his body. For flea infestations, the bald spots usually appear on the tail and lower back.

The saliva of fleas causes skin irritation, causing your cat to scratch an infected area. And when he scratches his skin to relieve the itch, he can lose hair on the affected area.

Flea bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some cats which in turn causes baldness, In such cases, a vet can treat the allergic reaction to relieve the symptoms. Hair can resume growth once the inflammation in the affected area has stopped.

4. Stress

Cats react differently to stress. Some may exhibit aggression while others may turn to themselves and resort to overgrooming. 

Regular grooming keeps your cat’s fur in tiptop shape. But overgrooming is an entirely different thing. A stressed cat will lick his fur to the point that too many hairs are pulled out, eventually leading to bald patches. 

Bald patches due to overgrooming are usually confined to the areas that a cat can reach and lick like his tummy.

Treating bald patches due to overgrooming entails removing the source of your cat’s stress. Cats can become stressed by a lot of things, from moving to a new home, the addition of a new pet, or a guest visiting your home.

You can also curb your cat’s tendency to over groom by redirecting his attention to other things like playing with a toy. Some cat owners have also found great success with using pheromones to relieve stress in their cats.

5. Thyroid issues

The thyroid is one of the most critical hormone glands in your cat’s body. It is responsible for a host of functions, from growth to metabolism to the regulation of different bodily functions. 

Unfortunately, cats can easily succumb to thyroid problems. Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland becomes overactive. Its opposite is called hypothyroidism where the glands become underactive.

Both conditions can adversely affect a cat’s fur, making it dull, lackluster, and even matted. Bald spots can sometimes be attributed to either of these thyroid problems. Among the other symptoms that a cat with thyroid problems might exhibit are lethargy, overactivity, noticeable weight changes, frequent drinking, and behavioral changes.

6. Others causes

Hair loss and bald spots can also be caused by injuries. For example, if your cat has figured in an altercation with another cat, he may suffer from a bite. In turn, that bite can turn into an abscess which is a type of infection.

Or sometimes, while your cat is out and about, he may suffer scrapes and cuts that lead to the formation of scars. Take note that hair cannot grow on scars.

Some types of medicines may also cause localized hair loss. 

Finally, hair loss can happen either as a symptom of leukemia or as a side effect of the medication used for this disease.

Can hair grow back on bald patches?

In most cases, hair can regrow on bald patches on your cat’s fur. However, it is crucial to identify and treat the underlying cause. Otherwise, the bald patches can crop up on other areas of your cat’s body or even come back even after the hair has grown back.

Because hair loss and bald spots are usually symptoms of a larger problem, it is critical to groom your cat and inspect his coat regularly. This will help you stay on top of the situation before things get worse for your pet.

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