What is feline endocrine alopecia?

Feline endocrine alopecia is a name for a skin problem cats get that results in a lot of hair loss. It is basically baldness in cats. The cat goes bald for the same reason people do - because hormonal problems mean that new hair follicles do not replace the old hairs when they fall out. The cat's body needs certain hormones to keep growing hair, and when they are not in balance, it will start to lose it in spots.

   

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What are the symptoms?

Hair loss - but it occurs in a very specific way. It will usually happen on the cat's body, thighs, and tail, and it will look very orderly and symmetrical. Think of male baldness in humans - it happens gradually and it looks like the hair is receding. The reason this is important is because cats will often lose hair for other reasons. If there are patches of hair gone in random places, it is more likely that the cat is pulling out fur. This can happen because of skin conditions or because of psychological problems. Feline baldness is a whole different thing.

Your vet will have to do some tests to make sure (usually skin scrapings) because ringworm can cause hair loss in cats can cause hair loss that looks very similar.

Is there a treatment?

It may not be a good idea to treat it. It's not a condition that is harmful to the cat in anyway, so if you are comfortable with it then you're fine. There are some hormonal treatments you can try that can cause hair regrowth, you just have to watch for side effects.

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