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Why Do Cats Pull Their Hair Out in Chunks

Cat Licking her Paw

Is your cat pulling out their hair in chunks?

Don’t be surprised when we tell you that it could be one of the signs of depression in cats.

Cats are one of the most loved furry animals and people love hanging out with them. But the unusual behavior of pulling their hair out becomes stressful for parents. Pulling the hair out looks different than natural shedding.

Fur shedding or hair grooming is normal in cats unless it happens more than two times a year. They usually shed dead fur two times a year, one before autumn and the second after winter.

If your cat is licking and pulling its hair aggressively or shedding large chunks of fur, there must be an underlying health issue that you must address.

Why do Cats Pull their Hair? 

There are countless reasons for cats pulling their hair out, including allergies, mental stress, psychogenic alopecia, diabetes, environmental changes, hyperthyroidism, and even cancer. Let us tell you about these conditions and their solutions in detail.

Psychogenic Alopecia 

Psychogenic alopecia is a kind of mental stress in cats that may occur for many reasons. Environmental changes like bringing a new pet, shifting to a new place, or even replacing their litter pan or water and food bowls might contribute to Psychogenic alopecia,. Other factors include a change in diet and boredom.

If your cat is going through some mental stress, it might start licking fur. The excessive licking eventually leads to hair loss. Consulting a veterinarian is the best you can do in this condition. You may also observe the symptoms such as licking, and get rid of matted cat fur to avoid worsening of the condition. To prevent your pet from Psychogenic Alopecia, you need to do whatever your cats love and feed them with what they like the most.


Cat biting her leg

Like many of us, cats may also have allergies. They are usually allergic to external parasites like skin mites, fleas, spiders, ticks, bees, and lice. These parasites especially ticks, mites, lice, and fleas cause skin itches, resulting in scratching, licking, and pulling out hair. The external parasites might spread from one pet to another. Bacteria and infections inside the body also cause itchy skin to these babies and get rid of the itch. You can save your pet from allergies leading to hair loss by killing fleas, ticks, and mites on the fur.

Sometimes cats are allergic to food ingredients in their diet. To overcome any of these allergies, consult a vet as he will treat the allergies with the best suitable medications. Make sure to prevent food with allergy-causing ingredients to keep your fur baby in good health.

Hyperthyroidism and Arthritis

Another condition is hyperthyroidism which is most likely to occur in older cats. In this condition, the increase of thyroid hormone in cats leads to hair loss. Cats love to groom themselves and shed dead hair. However, in this condition, cats quickly start shedding excess fur chunks. This condition can be diagnosed through blood tests after consulting a veterinarian. Older cats also start pulling their hair from the areas where they feel arthritis pain, resulting in severe hair shedding in clumps.

Other Diseases

Lack of nutrition, cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases can also explain your cat shedding hair in large chunks. These diseases make cats and their fur unhealthy and thin. Cats are normally habitual to grooming their fur at night, and in these conditions, hair grooming can cause severe damage to the cat’s fur. They pull out excess amounts of hair while grooming because of the less hair strength.

Excessive shedding also leads to cat hair all over the house and you might struggle to remove cat hair from clothes, carpets, and furniture.

Why do Cats Lose Hair in Chunks?

Following are some reasons for cats losing their hair in chunks.

  • Cat breeds having long hair can get their fur tangled if not combed regularly. These tangled or clumped hair, when shed, look like nothing but a fur ball. The hair clumps can be avoided by combing the hair regularly, and using the best shampoo for cats.
  • Cats do not shed hair from the topcoat but from the inner coat. These hairs then mix and form clumps with the topcoat. Over time, these hairs are shed in chunks. This process is completely normal and can occur even after the shedding seasons.
  • Losing hair chunks is normal and cat hair grows back soon. But, if the cat pulls their hair out in chunks during the entire year, you must closely monitor the cat. It might be because of one of the above-mentioned health issues. Consider taking a vet’s appointment for your beloved furry friends because their losing hair will cause you to stress as well.

The Bottom Line

Cats lose hair and it is common for pet parents to find cat dander all over the house. Many cat owners use air purifiers for cat allergies, dander, and hair. Yet, if your cat is pulling her hair in chunks, you must not take it lightly.

A veterinarian is an expert, and he knows your cat even better than you. Ask the vet before suddenly changing the diet or environment of your cat, as it might cause them mental trauma leading to pulling hair.

Read: How to make cat hair grow faster

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