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Cat losing hair in patches

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed
Age: 1-2 years
Our cat has started loosing hair in spots. HE is an orange tabby. White spots started appearing on his sides and we realized it is where his skin is showing. HE has no visible skin irritation just spots with no fur. What could be causing this?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question. There are a number of things that can cause a cat to lose hair in patches.

Does he have any matts in his fur? I have seen a number of cats who had bald spots because they had groomed away a matt. Matts are usually really close to the skin and so when they are groomed away they leave a bald spot.

Is the spot itchy? Does it have any crustiness or lesions? If so, then I would be worried about a bacterial infection or a fungal infection such as ringworm. Ringworm doesn't always have to have lesions, but usually it does.

An allergy to something (i.e. fleas) is possible but this will usually cause scabs and itchiness.

If the spots are not bothering him then it is ok to just leave him for now and see how things go. If he does have matts I would highly advise having a groomer get them out for you and then brushing him regularly.

I hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.

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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.