Cat Losing Hair On Back Near Tail – Causes And Prevention

Our felines own our hearts, and a perfectly healthy cat has a beautiful, luxurious coat. So seeing discontinuity and patches in your cat’s perfect coat can be distressing. All cat parents are used to cat shedding, but thinning and bald patches are a whole other story. It can be unsightly and very concerning, and you may be wondering why this is happening. Why cat losing hair on back near tail?

If you notice bald patches, or alopecia, on your cat’s skin, this generally points to an underlying condition. In most cases, fleas or other external parasites are to blame for cats’ bald patches. Cats’ lower backs and tails are especially susceptible to this. An allergic reaction to flea saliva causes your cat to overgroom, which results in hair loss. So you need to go to the vet and get your cat examined. This article is all about the different reasons why cats lose hair and how you can keep your pet’s coat healthy and intact.

What Causes Hair Loss in Cats

What Causes Hair Loss in Cats? Signs and symptoms to Expect

Hair loss occurs when hair follicles weaken, causing the hair to slide out of the skin. Hair follicles are microscopic holes in your cat’s skin that consist of the root of the hair. Hair grows from its root and out past the surface. When its cycle is over, it sheds. This is why a certain amount of shedding is expected and normal in cats. The problem happens when you start noticing bald patches.

If your feline is losing more hair than it can grow, it is either because the hair cycle is disturbed, the follicle is being damaged or the hair is being pulled on excessively by constant grooming. Some examples include:

  • Auto-immune attack on the hair follicles
  • Inflammation of the hair follicles
  • Stress grooming
  • Follicles being damaged by parasites

You may notice accompanying symptoms with hair fall, as balding in cats is a tell-tale sign of illness. Some of these include:

Reasons for Cats Losing Hair on Back & Tail

Reasons for Cats Losing Hair on Back & Tail

There are many ailments that cause regional alopecia in felines. All of the given conditions cause hair loss on the back near the tail instead of the entire body. Before you take your cat to the vet, give the following conditions a read to be fully informed:

1. Fleas Infestation

Fleas cause irritation and inflammation to feline’s skin by biting into it and sucking their blood. Fleas like to gather on the base of your cat’s tail, causing intense itching in that specific area. Your cat will brutally scratch itself in this area with its sharp claws, damaging the hair follicles and causing the hair to fall out. Moreover, if your cat is allergic to flea bites, it may develop flea allergic dermatitis, which makes the inflammation and itching even worse than just an ordinary flea infestation. You will notice scabs and open wounds in your feline’s coat.

If you think your cat has fleas, you will notice your pet is excessively itching, scratching, biting and grooming itself. All these things cause hair to weaken and fall out. Your vet will prescribe a topical anti-flea medication and topical steroid cream for the itching and will perhaps recommend an Elizabethan cone. 

Also Read: Best Flea Treatment for Kittens Under 12 Weeks

2. Ringworm Skin Infection

This is a fungal infection of the skin that causes ring-like raised, inflamed lesions on your cat’s skin. The fungi feed on the keratin of your cat’s back skin, which is the most common site of infection. However, ringworm skin infections can occur anywhere on your feline’s body and cause plenty of hair loss. 

Your cat’s hair falls out because fungal spores make themselves at home in your feline’s follicles, essentially displacing your pet’s beautiful hair. Fortunately, ringworms are easily treatable. Your vet will prescribe topical and systemic antifungal medications. Once the ringworms are treated, your feline’s hair will start to grow back; and will soon be as good as new.

3. Allergies

If your cat is allergic to something and is exposed to the allergen, it causes a strong histamine response in its body, causing sneezing, a runny nose and skin inflammation. The resulting inflammation and redness of the skin contribute to hair loss. It also makes your feline really itchy, so it will scratch itself and over-groom, contributing to more balding.

Your cat can be allergic to anything in its environment or its food. Ironically, food allergies have mostly to do with the protein component in your feline’s food. Additionally, allergens can be dust, pollen, mould or artificial fragrances. You will need to figure out what your cat is allergic to and eliminate it. Also, your vet can prescribe oral antihistamines for your furry friend.

4. Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia

Supracaudal glands are sebaceous glands located at the base of your cat’s tail. These glands secrete sebum that maintains your feline’s fluffy and glossy tail. Sometimes, due to male sex hormones, they may go into overdrive resulting in a very greasy tail. The excessive sebum causes increased shedding at the base of the tail. 

This condition is most commonly seen in male, non-neutered cats, so it is sometimes referred to as “stud tail”. It is very rare in neutered or female cats but it is possible. If you think this is the case, neutering your cat can solve the problem because the issue is basically a hormone overdrive. You can also try anti-seborrheic shampoos to clear out the excess sebum and deal with the problem.

5. Psychogenic Alopecia

When cats are stressed or depressed, they groom themselves excessively as a way to comfort themselves. They do this on their legs, their lower back and their stomach. This overgrooming pulls at the hair, breaking them prematurely and causing baldness. 

Cats need consistency and familiarity in their lives to stay grounded. The slightest change in their everyday routine can throw them out of whack. Cats shed excessively when going through something difficult, but psychogenic alopecia refers specifically to their grooming habits.

Other than over-grooming and balding, you will also observe your cat:

6. Urinary Tract Disease

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in cats. Most cats contract a UTI at least once in their lives. If your cat has a UTI, it will experience extreme pain while peeing. So you will notice your cat going to the litter box frequently or spending a lot of time there trying to pee, only to be able to pass a few drops out. Your cat will also vocalize its pain. In rare cases, you might notice blood along with its urine.

The pain and discomfort that UTIs cause make your cat overgroom that area in an attempt to relieve itself. However, cats have rough tongues with tiny hook-like structures. The hair catches onto these structures and is pulled out of their follicles, causing balding in that area.

7. Arthritis

Feline Arthritis is the breakdown of your cat’s joints(Inflammatory joint disease). It occurs in elderly and obese cats and results in a lot of joint pain. Because these cats are not mobile, they tend to over-groom one particular area of their body that is easy to reach. That area receives the brunt of your cat’s rough tongue, resulting in regional alopecia.

Your cat will exhibit other signs as well, such as:

  • Stiffer and slower movements
  • Less moving around
  • Does not jump or climb stairs
  • Aggression when painful areas are touched

8. Other Painful Medical Conditions

Any health condition that causes your feline a lot of pain will make it over groom to comfort itself, leading to potential bald patches.

How to Prevent Hair Loss in Cats?

How to Prevent Hair Loss in Cats

Generally speaking, cats start growing back their coat after the underlying cause has been treated. If you notice bald spots at the base of your cat’s tail or on any other part of its body, it’s best to visit the vet. The following are some things you can do to maintain your fur ball’s luxurious coat:

Find Out: Why Does My Cat Have Bald Spots And Sores?

1. Routine

Try not to disrupt anything about your feline’s environment, food or routine. If you need to switch its food, do it gradually by mixing it with its old food. If you recently got a new pet, slowly introduce the new addition for a short period of time every day. Make sure there is nothing in your cat’s surroundings that can be causing it stress. A happy cat equals a fluffy cat!

2. Adequate Diet

Your cat needs sufficient amounts of protein in its diet, so there are better ideas than budgeting in that area. Low-quality kibble contains very low protein and has mostly carbohydrate fillers. Your cat needs all essential macro and micronutrients to maintain a healthy and luxurious coat, so opt for high-quality cat food. Also, if your cat is allergic to a specific brand or type of food, keep your feline away from it, as food allergies also lead to hair loss.

3. Regular Flea Treatment

Flea infestations are the most common reason for hair loss in felines, especially the on the back near the tail. Applying topical anti-fleas cream on your cat’s skin monthly can prevent fleas from inhabiting your cat’s coat altogether. Stay away from flea collars, though as they contain dangerous insecticides which are harmful to cats.

4. Keep Allergens at bay

Keeping your cat away from allergens can prevent the inflammatory reaction that causes itching, irritation and, eventually, hair loss. If your cat is allergic to dust, you can think about investing in an air purifier. Keep your cat inside if it is allergic to pollen. 

Frequently Asked Question Cat Losing Hair On Back Near Tail

Hair loss can happen because of auto-immune conditions, parasitic infections, allergies, fungal infections and poor nutrition. Visit your vet if your cat is losing hair to figure out and treat the underlying cause.

The Bottom Line on Cat Losing Hair On Back Near Tail

There are several health conditions that cause felines to lose hair on the back near their tail, including fleas, allergies, urinary tract infections or fungal infections. Your cat can also be overgrooming out of stress, causing hair loss. If you notice bald patches on your cat, you should take it to the vet. The vet will diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe a treatment, so your cat will be healthy and perfect in no time!

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LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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