What would cause a cat to lose its hair?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Ulmer, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I have a neighbor who seems pretty negligent with their cat, and it is always coming over to my place looking for attention. The cat is an outdoor cat, and I'm sure it is a scrapper, but it is also very friendly, so I am concerned over the amount of fur it is missing from its back, which seems to be getting worse.

    The cat doesn't look to be that old, maybe a few years, but it is now missing about a third of the hair on its back. It has no flea collar, so I'm wondering if it is some kind of parasite or something. There are some signs of lesions, but the cat doesn't stay still long enough for me to really examine it.

    This cat has also decided my house is his as well, darting inside any time I open the door. I don't really mind, but don't want to be tracking in feas or ticks if I can help it.

    Any ideas what could be causing the hair loss?
     
  2. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Malnutrition, parasites, allergies...could be lots of things.
     
  3. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    The only way you'll know for sure is if you scoop him up and take him to the vet, which I can't advise strongly enough.

    If the cat comes looking to you for attention, it's pretty clear that his owners aren't doing anything enough to keep him at home.
     
  4. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cats have rather loose hairs (that's why you never hear about cat-fur coats). It may be a mechanical cause: e.g. constantly rubbing one place (or biting in case of an allergy or something, in which case you may see a wound or sour spot). Unbalanced food, causing a shortage of some vitamins is a very frequent cause. Try giving it some yeast-products and milk.

    Cees
     
  6. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Fleas, dermatophytosis, fleas, fighting, fleas, other trauma, fleas.
     
  7. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    I can't advise you strongly enough to disregard this advice. If you're truly concerned about the cats welfare call the authorities.
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    My wife's aunt had a cat that was neurotic and it would pull it's own fur out on it's legs. It was pretty goofy seing this rather heavy cat walking around on these "chicken legs".

    I doubt that's your problem since it's on a hard to reach area on the cat's back. But, you never know. Particularly if the animal is distressed about the lack of attention from it's owners.
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Third the advice of going to the vet ASAP.
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This isn't my cat, and I'm in no financial position to assume responsibility for him, so taking it to the vet is not an option. I did call the vet, and from my description, their assumption is that this is a flea related alergy.

    I may take him in to the SPCA though, as they will treat him and neuter him while they are at it. If the owners claim him, they are responsible for the costs, if not he goes up for adoption. I'm not sure what to do at this point.
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Oops, sorry Jeff. I did not read closely enough. It is really pretty hard to advise on what to do.

    Both of our cats were ones that were either lost or abandoned and had made their way into the system. They are now living the life that its clear they consider their due.

    So you may want to consider a shelter of some type. A quick call to the local SPCA may yield positive results.

    Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
     
  12. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    My cat Marbles is something of an emotional wreck at times (she's a tortiseshell, a notoriously attention-starved "breed" though they are really just genetic abnormalities).

    When we moved, she spent all day in my closet or under my bed and would come out only when I was in the room and demand to be petted or held at all times. If I just set her on the bed, she immediately would start licking her stomach, even doing that little chew thing they do when they itch. She'd sit for as long as 10 minutes with her head bent over, licking her stomach. She ended up licking off all of the fur... looked like it had been shaved.

    Eventually she adjusted and it grew back, but she knows if she starts in with the licking I will likely pick her up, so she does do it from time to time.

    Also, she'll sometimes sit on a cardboard box under my bed and lick it for hours, or do the same to the bedspread. Once I even woke up to find her perched on my back and licking my hair.

    My cat has problems.
     

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