Cat Allergy Causing Hair Loss?

by Ann
(Baltimore, MD)

Reader Question: What Is Causing My Cat To Lose Hair?

My cat is an indoor, female, eight year old domestic short hair. I switched (from clay litter) to a popularly advertised clumping litter this past summer. I noticed gradually more hair loss (on steps, bedding, etc.) than usual at first, then complete hair loss on her upper inner thighs. The skin looked pink and healthy. She also had problems for the first time with hair balls causing her to throw up.

The two aforementioned problems got some better after I switched to a competing brand of odor control, clumping litter but not completely. Could she be allergic to something in both brands? Have any other cat owners had this problem. I'm still looking for a clumping litter.


Vet Responds To Reader Question About Cat Feline Allergy

Hi Ann,

The symptoms you describe could certainly be caused by an allergic reaction to an ingredient that both clumping cat litters have in common. I think the easiest way to determine if the litter is responsible is to go back to your old non-clumping variety for a month or so, and see if your cat’s skin returns to normal. If it doesn’t, something else is going on (perhaps another type of environmental allergy or a food allergy) and a visit to your veterinarian is called for.

If the litter is to blame, and you really want to use the type that clumps, try one of the products made from wheat or corn rather than clay, and stick with the unscented varieties.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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