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Balding on legs and belly.

Species: Cat
Breed: Long Haired
Age: 5-8 years
My cat is bald on the back of her legs and losing hair on her belly as well.




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Mary! I just have a few questions for you before I answer:

Does your cat have any lesions (red areas, bumps, flakiness)?
Are you using any flea preventative?



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

No lesions, just hair loss. We do not use flea prevention. I have had cats for 30 years and have never had a problem with fleas.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for that info!

The most common reason for a cat to lose hair in these areas is from overgrooming which is usually due to "stress". I say "stress" in quotes because often these cats live very peaceful lives and their owners cannot fathom that they could be stressed. But sometimes the source of stress can be something that seems insignificant to us but very important to the cat.

In most overgrooming cats I don't do a whole lot in the way of treatment unless they are causing themselves to have lesions.

You may also want to ask your vet about the possibility of a parasite called Demodex gattoi which can cause these patterns of hair loss, but it is not very common.
It is also not a bad idea to use a prescription strength flea product just to be sure as well.

If you do feel like she needs treatment many cats do well when prescribed amitryptilline to help reduce anxiety.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.