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Dr. Olivia
Dr. Olivia, Feline-Exclusive Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 145
Experience:  10 yrs experience in animal care/vet fields. Special interests in behavior and geriatrics.
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cat losing hair on hind quarters

Resolved Question:

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Olivia replied 10 years ago.
It is most likely an allergy or some sort of skin infection -

how old is your cat? Does she go outdoors? Is she on any medications? What is her diet? How long has this problem been going on? Any recent increases in drinking or urinating? Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Olivia's Post: Sorry I didn't get back sooner, I apologize.

My cat is an indoor cat (I did bring her in in from outside about 4 yrs ago, no problems then).
Shes not on any meds. Her diet consist of dry food (chicken soup for senior cat hairball, cat chow for indoor cats, and a small serving of can food friskies-usually some sort of seafood flavor). She stays inside now, plus I have 4 other cats, and they all have no signs of fur loss. As for urinating Its hard to tell with other cats in the house.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX appreciate the site
Expert:  Dr. Olivia replied 10 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

If you haven't recently changed her diet or exposed her to any possible allergens, then, at her age, her hairloss could be due to an internal problem.

The most common senior cat disease that can cause this type of hairloss is hyperthyroidism. This is an overactive thyroid gland which causes an increase in the cat's metabolism. It is very common and easily treated with either medication or radioactive iodine treatment. It is easily diagnosed with a simple blood test. Owners of hyperthyroid cats often feel that their cats are not sick, because the increased metabolism causes a cat to have lots of energy and a great appetite. It is important to diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism, however, because excess thyroid hormone is toxic to heart muscle and can eventually lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Here are a few links for you about hyperthyroidism:

Other possible internal causes of hairloss include diabetes or certain cancers. It is also possible that your kitty's skin and hair are just not as healthy as they used to be now that she is a lilttle older. Sometimes older cats benefit from supplementation with fatty acids - something you can easily purchase over the counter. Fish oil and salmon oil are the best sources. However, the extent of her hair loss makes this less likely to be the cause.

Since she is an indoor-only cat, an infection such as ringworm or other fungal infection is not very likely. Do make sure you know her FELV/FIV status, however, because of her background. If she is positive for one of these viruses, then she may be experiencing an immune system problem causing her hair loss.

Please do have your cat looked at by a veterinarian - as an older cat, it is important to rule out any potentially serious causes for her problem.

Best of luck to you and your cat and let me know what the vet says,
Expert:  Dr. Olivia replied 10 years ago.
Also, it's low on the list given that she is indoors and it is wintertime, but flea allergy can also cause this pattern of hair loss. However, if she has never had this problem before, it is unlikely to suddenly be an issue.

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