How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Scarlett Your Own Question

Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4080
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
13866827
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Scarlett is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cats hair is coming out in clumps and the hair on her rump

Customer Question

My cats hair is coming out in clumps and the hair on her hind-quarters is no longer silky like her head and body. She does not display signs of arthritis, she regularly cleans herself and she is not overweight. She is 13.5 yrs old; is this a sign of aging?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doctor Jeff replied 4 years ago.

This can be a sign of a number of things including, an inability to groom. This can arise due to obesity, arthritis,etc. Certainly a bad coat in this area can arise from issue like fleas or metabolic disturbances (ie hyperthyroidism). Your vet may have a good moisturuzing spray that can help along with frequent brushing. However, it may be worth a basic blood test to make sure there is no underlying issue that could be slowing the desire to groom (ie kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, etc). I hope this helps and gives you direction.

Thanks

Dr. Jeff

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.
Hi,
Can I get a little more information? What does the skin look like where the hair is coming out? Is it smooth, red, scabby, scaly, etc? Is there any dandruff? Do you see her grooming a lot/does she seem itchy? Where on her body is she losing the fur?

Does she go outside? Are there any other changes in her condition--change in appetite, change in drinking, more vomiting? Have you changed her diet?

Thanks,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for your reply and your questions. The area under her fur appears to be normal (not red, scaly or itchy) and I have not seen her react differently (more grooming, itching). As I brush her, there does seem to be more dandruff. Most of the fur is coming out on her hind-quarters/back of her hind legs.

 

She has limited outdoor visitation and she is always monitored when she is out (she has no claws). She does seem to drink more frequently from her bowl/my glass/the sink and spends more time at her chosen watering hole.

 

I hope this helps... Thank you!

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.
Hi,
A typical cause of hairloss on the back end is a flea allergy. Usually cats with a flea allergy will have scabs on the skin, too, so this may be less likely in your cat's case. But since she goes outside, I would definitely treat her with a good flea preventative, such as Frontline or Advantage, to make sure a flea allergy isn't the problem. (One flea bite is enough to cause problems in an allergic cat, so you don't always see a live flea or flea dirt on the cat).

I would also be concerned about an endocrine disease causing the hairloss. The main ones in cats are diabetes and hyperthyroidism, although Cushing's disease is also possible. All 3 of these diseases can cause excessive drinking and urinating. Generally cats with these 3 diseases will also have very good appetites and, in the case of diabetes and hyperthyroidism, lose weight. I would expect the underlying skin to be normal, so these fit a bit better with your cat's problem. Bloodwork would be the first step in the diagnosis of these diseases; Cushing's disease can be suggestive in regular bloodwork but would require further testing to diagnose. All 3 diseases can be treated (although Cushing's disease is more difficult to treat in cats).

Other allergies can cause hairloss with normal skin underneath. Pollens, molds, house dust, etc can be culprits, as could an ingredient in the diet. If your regular vet thinks it could be an allergy, a steroid injection would be given. Because a steroid injection can increase the chance of developing diabetes, I would do bloodwork first!

Finally, some cats will pull out their fur due to a behavior problem--boredom, stress, etc. This hairloss tends to be symmetrical and the underlying skin is normal. This is hard to diagnose and other problems are ruled out first.

So I recommend taking your cat to your regular vet very soon for some bloodwork and an exam. If there is an underlying problem, the sooner you get it diagnosed and treated, the better off your cat will be!

Hope that helps-
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4080
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
Dr. Scarlett and 8 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4146
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3980
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    3268
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 years of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3188
    12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2873
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdrz/2012-6-7_16239_MeandDoncropped.64x64.JPG Dr. Z.'s Avatar

    Dr. Z.

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1936
    Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.