Feline Hair Loss

Stress or anxiety may cause a cat to overgroom, but other medical conditions should be ruled out first.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM

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Once a diagnosis of FPA is made, then treatment consists of a program of counter-conditioning and desensitization for behavior modification. Because pets with compulsive disorders are likely to have alterations in neurotransmitters or their receptors, drug therapy may be an important therapeutic consideration in addition to behavioral modification. Most owners would simply like us, as veterinarians, to give a pill to their pet that will simply make the behavior go away. Unfortunately there is no magic medication for such issues. I suggest contacting a veterinarian that is board certified in behavioral problems to guide you through a behavioral modification program unless your veterinarian finds another cause for your cat's behavior.

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

8/5/2010 4:24:27 AM

good article thanks

Dorothy    Rocky Mount, NC

6/24/2007 9:29:55 AM

I think this is a very good article.

One of my cats (Phoebe) has lost hair on her legs as well as her tummy. Our vet has given her a steroid shot which didn't help and also a series of pills which did not help. I am going to let him do a biopsy of her skin. This has been going on for a while.

A neighbor who knew we take care of our animals, dropped off a kitten a few months ago in our yard (we live in the country far from our main road) and while we adore her, she does not like Phoebe and isn't very nice to her. I thought stress from this new cat might be a cause of Phoebe's hair loss. Our vet said the only way we can be sure is to keep Phoebe by herself for a while.

We have started feeding canned food which has fish in it to all seven of our cats. They also eat dry food. I have noticed that Phoebe's hair is now coming back. I am only guessing that the fish, maybe fish oil, in the food has helped. I still intend to have a biopsy done anyway.

This is a great website.

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