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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of companion animal experience
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My cat (13 year-old female) has been shedding excessively all

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My cat (13 year-old female) has been shedding excessively all summer. when I brush her I get gobs of hair in the brush.

Dr. Steve :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve. As cats age there can be several causes of excessive hair loss. One is thyroid malfunction. Either producing too much thyroid hormone ( hyperthyroid) or not enough ( hypothyroid) . This is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and checking the thyroid hormone level. There are medicines that can address both of these problems if this turns out to be the problem.

Dr. Steve :

The other thing that I see is fatty acid deficiency. Some cats develop a higher requirement for fatty acids in their diet. A deficiency of fatty acids ( FA) can cause excessive shedding and poor haircoat;

Dr. Steve :

Can you see my responses so far. We have been having a little technical trouble.


She seems healthy, no changes in her behavior, eats well. no weight loss.

Dr. Steve :

With a FA deficiency, it can take 30-60 days of a supplement to see results. Unfortunately there are no blood tests to see if this is the problem. I use a product called Optima 365 that is aliquid that is added to the food once a day. There are also pills that work but are much more difficult to give. I tell my clients that if their cat i acting normally then they could try thr FA supplements for 30 days, but if the cat becomes lethargic or stops eating then the blood tests may be necessary. From what you are telling me, the FA supplement may be the first thing to try.

Dr. Steve :

These are available from a vet or online or pet stores. Most supplements are similar. I hope this has helped. If it has would you please click the submit button so I may receive credit for my answer. I have to check on a patient, but will check later on tonight to see if you have more questions. Thanks for using just answer and good luck

Dr. Steve :

I apologize , but my patient is here and i have to leave for a little while. When I get a chance to get back I will leaave any further replies to your questions and you can view them at your coonvenience. Thanks for your patience ad understanding.


I took her to a local vet and he gave me fish oil capsules to open and squeeze on her food. They didn't do any good because she wouldn't touch the food with the oil on it, so I'm afraid if I buy your supplement I won't be able to get her to eat the food it is on. Maybe I had better take her in for blood tests. Thank you.

Dr. Steve and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Barbara,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Spice. How is everything going?

Dr. Steve
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There's no change. You didn't respond to my concern that if I buy Optima 365 and put it on her food, she probably won't eat the food. Is there a trick to get it into her? Thank you.

I apologize that I didn't see your last concern. Optima 365 is a fish oil based product but it isn't as "fishhy" as some capsules. I do believe there is a money back guarantee on the optima 365 so if a cat doesn't it you can get your money back. This would be something yo would want to check with whatever supplier you could find the optima 365 from. Blood tests are always a good place to start. It does require more expense, but if it is truly a thyroid issue , then waiting the 30 days to see if the optima is going to help only postpones the thyroid treatment. The thyroid blood test will give you an immediate answer and if it is normal then you may need to try the optima 365. Good luck and please keep me updated. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you!

You are welcome. Good luck