Cat hair loss on ears

Written by jen marx
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Cat hair loss on ears
A variety of issues cause hair loss on cats' ears. (tired cat image by 26kot from Fotolia.com)

Hair loss on a cat's ears may simply be common shedding; however, the problem can also be uncomfortable and threatening for the cat. Noticing certain symptoms helps to find the root of the problem, but a vet should always be visited in order to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment for the animal.

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Alopecia Areata

Considered an autoimmune disorder, alopecia areata is characterised by the cat losing patches of hair, particularly on its head, neck, and body. Unlike many other feline hair-loss problems, itching does not occur with this condition. Additionally, this condition is not a common one. The animal will usually recover by itself; however, a vet can still diagnose the problem by using either a biopsy or by examining the cat's hairs through a microscope.

Cat hair loss on ears
Alopecia Areata does not cause itching discomfort. (Spanish Cat image by Peter Jarvis from Fotolia.com)

Solar dermatosis

Also known as sunburn, solar dermatosis is more common in cats with white ears. The nose and ears will first experience redness and scaling in addition to hair loss, and then crusts and ulcers will form. Vets will diagnose the condition based on the cat's medical history and breed, as well as by conducting a physical examination and a skin biopsy. The cat will have to stay out of the sun, particularly during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and may be prescribed sunblock and/or steroids.

Cat hair loss on ears
Cats get sunburns too. (sun image by Bube from Fotolia.com)

Erythema Multiforme

One of the more serious potential conditions, Erythema Multiforme is caused by a reaction to drugs or infections, as well as by cancer and other diseases. Vets examine the cat's history and symptoms, perform a skin biopsy, and make the final diagnosis by a process of elimination of other possible diseases. In addition to hair loss, the disease also causes lesions around the ears and groin and may spur on depression or a fever. The only treatment is to eliminate the underlying cause.

Cat hair loss on ears
Erythema Multiforme is caused by a reaction to drugs or infections, as well as by cancer and other diseases. (hunting stray cat image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com)

Ringworm

Ringworm causes hair loss that is usually concentrated around the cat's face, ears, and feet. Small patches of the hair fall out, and the skin that remains underneath becomes dry, flaky, and grey. Veterinarians prescribe a variety of different medications in order to eliminate the disease. Owners should heed caution if their cat has ringworm because it can be transmitted from animals to people.

Cat hair loss on ears
Cats can transmit ringworm to people. (Person image by Patrizier-Design from Fotolia.com)

Psychogenic Alopecia

Psychogenic alopecia manifests itself on any part of the body. When cats feel nervous, anxious, stressed, or afraid, they begin to excessively groom in order to relieve those feelings. Eventually, the excessive grooming, also referred to as obsessive-compulsive behaviour, causes the hair to fall out. Vets help the animals find relief for their problems by prescribing an anti-anxiety medication.

Cat hair loss on ears
OCD leads to hair loss. (cat face image by Viktor Korpan from Fotolia.com)

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