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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20567
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat has just recently started losing her hair in some

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My cat has just recently started losing her hair in some spots. She has never gone out. I have not changed her diet and she does not take any medication. She did just recently lose her sister.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** just turned 15.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Madison?
Customer: Nothing.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he been showing these signs?

Where on her body is she losing hair?

Are you seeing her grooming these areas more?
Any changes to the skin (ie pustules, pimples, redness, crusts/scaling, ulcers, or sores)?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She is losing her hair on her one back leg. She does lick it at times but not crazy. There are no changes to her skin. She has been doing this since Febuary. Shortly after her sister died. Could it be from a cat nip toy I bought her recently?

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, hair loss in cats can be due to a range of issues. Since Madison isn't showing any change her skin then we can put bacterial, fungal, and parasitic (including fleas) lower on our list of concerns with her. Furthermore, with her targeting this one area without visible severe overgrooming (which suggests she is otherwise doing it on the sly to cause this level of hair low), we'd also put allergies lower on our list of concerns. And with those all aside, our main suspects for this situation is stress overgrooming likely due to the stress of her sister being gone or possible displacement behaviour due her being uncomfortable (which we can see with arthritis, fecal issues, anal gland issues or even secondary to metabolic/organ troubles).

With this all in mind, we can take a few steps to try to reduce these signs for Madison. To start, to reduce stress based overgrooming, we can try a de-stressing treatment for her. Treatment options include Feliway, also known as Comfort Zone in the US pet stores, which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements like Kalmaid or Zylkene , that we often use to soothe anxious cats Some people have even found treats like Composure or Bach Flower Remedy to be helpful for settling kitty tension. And as these are not 'drugs', you can use any of these together to help settle her anxiety and reduce her need to overgroom.

Just in case she is uncomfortable with her joints, we can also consider either treating her with fish oil or glucosamine/chondroitin. With the fish oil (Omega 3 +6), this has an anti-inflammatory effect on joints. When offering this we tend to give 20mg per pound of their body weight and many cats have no qualms about a bit of fish flavor added to their food. And its available over the counter at your vet, pet stores, and local health food stores. Otherwise, with glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation, this is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). Normally we give kitties 50mg glucosamine + 15mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, this too would be something to consider for her.

Overall, her signs do raise some concerns. Its unlikely the cat nip is to blame here. So, we'd want to use the above as we keep a close eye on Madison. Of course, as you use these if you notice she is drinking more, losing weight, has rectal discomfort (a sign of anal gland issues), or passing lots of watery urine; then we'd want to have a check with her vet for those systemic concerns. Though otherwise, we'd hope to reduce stress and any joint related triggers for these signs.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Dr. B. and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. I think it is stress as well. I will look into getting your suggestions right away. If it persists I will take her to my vet.