Cat owners know what an eyesore the litter box can be. Here are 5 suggestions for products to help you hide it. Get your weekly DIY fix with our customized newsletter. You’ve been added to our list. Good stuff is on its way!
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community. Don’t let your cat loose its good looks because of hair loss around its ears. Get this list of 12 causes and how they’re generally treated before it’s too late. Please fill out this field. If you’re feline’s head is beginning to look a little sparse, it may be time to take a closer look at what’s going on.
In cases of hereditary hair loss, there is no underlying cause except for a transfer of genetics, so bald patches do not exhibit any irritation and don’t seem to bother an affected cat at all. There is no course of treatment to stop the loss or encourage hair to grow again once it has been lost. Acquired hair loss is typically a sign of other conditions in play that cause itching. Affected cats will scratch, chew, lick or rub the itchy patches until the hair is literally rubbed away. If hereditary factors are ruled out, this leaves a host of other possible causes, and some of them are contagious. Just keep in mind that the info presented here is not meant to replace a professional diagnosis from your vet. Otodectes cynotes, can cause severe itching and results in cat hair loss on the ears and head.
These mites are easily transferred to other cats, and will sometimes even transfer to people although they cannot survive on humans. Ear mites are easily diagnosed using an otoscope. Treatment usually consists of thoroughly but gently cleaning out the ears and applying a vet recommended medication directly into the canals. It is usually necessary to repeat the treatment for seven to ten days to kill any new hatchlings. Although hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, the head and ears are especially vulnerable to hair loss when cats rub themselves against furniture and carpets as they try to find some relief. Fleas are easily detected by their physical presence or by the small droppings they leave in your cat’s fur. Infestations can be treated using a number of insecticidal products including sprays, shampoos, dips and spot on medications such as Frontline for cats.
It’s actually an itchy fungal infection that lives in hair follicles and feeds on dead cells. As the fungus populates in the hair shafts, the shafts break off at skin level and leave bald spots. Sometimes crusty patches develop around the ears and other affected areas. Ringworm is very contagious, and it can be diagnosed by culturing the hair for the fungus. There are a number of possible treatments to eliminate the infection. Skin in the affected areas shows a good deal of hair loss, and the skin typically begins to cover over in a kind of grayish-yellow crust that is similar to a bad case of eczema.
Either type is diagnosed by taking a skin scraping from the affected area and viewing it under magnification for the presence of mites. To treat mange, it’s necessary to clip away long fur and apply a dip of lime sulfur once a week until subsequent skin scrapings show the mites are gone. Treatments may be repeated as many as six to eight times to cure the infestation. Affected cats quickly begin to lose hair, and chronic ear infections contribute to the problem. Getting a diagnosis of a food allergy requires a series of food trials where your vet will prescribe a restricted diet that will slowly reintroduce foods one at a time until an allergic reaction is noted to a particular item. Sometimes more than one food is involved in a reaction, but all problem foods will be permanently eliminated from your cat’s diet.
Once the offending substances have worked their way out of your cat’s system, the sores heal and the hair tends to regrow, although it may be slightly different in color and texture than the original fur. Perhaps a less obvious cause, chronic stress does play a role in hair loss. Cats comfort themselves by grooming and the more stressed they feel, the more they groom. Constant licking and paw washing eventually wears away at the fur, especially in areas with very short fur like the head and ears. Managing feline stress requires pin-pointing the things that cause the anxiety and eliminating them from your cat’s environment as much as possible. This relieves boredom and gives your cat something to focus on besides himself. It appears to cause the most hair loss around the head, neck and back due to excessive scratching. Vets mainly attempt to treat the condition by testing for food allergies and then eliminating those allergens from the cat’s diet. The allergic reaction produces intense itching that causes a cat to scratch a lot, especially around the head and ears.