How to Handle a Cat Whose Hind Legs Are Losing Hair

Causes of hair loss on the hind legs in cats

It's alarming when a cat starts losing hair on its rear legs. Although a cat may naturally shed, abrupt hair loss or thinning on the back legs is abnormal. Alopecia, or hair loss in cats, can be brought on by a number of conditions, including stress, fleas, allergies, bacterial infections, and allergies. Each of these conditions requires treatment. To react effectively, understand the difference between regular shedding and abnormal hair loss.

Why Do Cats Lose Hair on Their Hind Legs?

Numerous reasons, such as poor nutrition, autoimmune disorders, fungal infections, allergies, and parasites, can result in hair loss. The patterns of cat hair loss can vary or be symmetrical, and it can be partial or total. The skin around the hair loss region may be normal-looking or exhibit redness, pimples, and scabs. In order to treat hair loss, which is a symptom, the underlying cause must be identified. If a cat has hair loss and is persistently scratching the region, the itching issue has to be looked into first. The four most typical reasons for hair loss on a cat's rear legs are listed below.

Fleas and Other Parasites

One of the most frequent causes of hair loss on cats' back legs is fleas. Any cat hates fleas, and they may make your cat very uncomfortable. Additionally, many cats get allergic to flea bites. Cats frequently develop flea allergic dermatitis (FAD), or flea bite hypersensitivity (allergy). In these cats, a single flea bite can result in intense, protracted itching that frequently results in hair loss and can develop open sores or scabs on the skin, which can then get infected with bacteria. When they have fleas or FAD, many cats may aggressively eat or lick the fur off their legs. Along with the little crusty scabs, which are known as miliary lesions because they resemble millet seeds, there may also be hair loss around the neck, legs, and base of the tail.

The response is brought on by flea saliva, hence avoiding fleabites is the most crucial flea allergy therapy. In order to avoid fleas, it is advised to maintain your cat on a veterinarian-approved flea preventive every month. Fleas may infest both indoor and outdoor cats.

Intense scratching, licking, or chewing can also be caused by other parasites including mites and ringworm, although fleas are the most prevalent to result in hair loss on the rear legs.

Pain

When they are in discomfort, cats may overgroom the sore spots. Two prevalent conditions that cause pain and discomfort in cats are feline lower urinary tract illness and arthritis. They may overgroom in response to this pain, resulting in hair loss on their lower abdomen, the inside of their hind legs, and the area surrounding their genitalia.

 can be difficult to assess in cats and it is important to be aware of signs of pain in cats and to contact your veterinarian. 

Always consult your veterinarian for an appropriate pain therapy plan. Their plan can include pain medications, laser therapy, acupuncture, and supplements.

Allergies

As previously noted, allergies to food, the environment, and fleas may all contribute to your cat's hair loss on its rear legs. Finding and removing the allergen's source is the first step in treating allergies. Most cats that have food allergies are truly allergic to a protein and not other dietary components. A meal that has been hydrolyzed means that the protein has been disassembled into its constituent amino acid components. This stops your cat from experiencing an allergic flare-up and stops your cat's immune system from detecting the food as containing an allergen. Itching, scratching, and excessive grooming might be brought on by other allergens, such as mold in the surroundings.

Stress and Anxiety

Cats are conscientiously hygienic and thorough groomers. Cats often groom themselves for between 30 and 50 percent of the day. However, if your cat is grooming themselves to the extent of causing skin lesions or hair loss, they may be dealing with a psychological problem or the underlying physical condition mentioned above.

Cats typically groom themselves to feel better in stressful conditions or when they are feeling worried. If the grooming action is practiced repeatedly and out of context, interfering with daily activities, it might develop into a compulsive behavior. Cats frequently overgroom their lower back, inner thighs, and tummy when they are under stress. When the carers are not there, cats may brush themselves excessively, making it hard to detect. The majority of caretakers will notice spots where the hair is sparse or nonexistent. Some cats will only lick in one place, while others may overgroom in several places.

Psychogenic alopecia, another name for compulsive grooming, is typically brought on by a change in the cat's daily routine or surroundings, such as relocating to a new home or welcoming a new family member or pet. Other reasons of stress include be disagreements among cats, excessive rivalry for resources, and boredom.

It's crucial to have your veterinarian rule out any potential medical problems. Although extreme overgrooming can cause secondary infections and irritation, cats with psychogenic alopecia frequently experience hair loss without skin inflammation. Under a microscope, your cat's hair will seem completely pulled out or broken off close to the skin's surface.

With the help of your veterinarian, determine the underlying reason, identify any stresses and, if feasible, remove them. Then, give mental and physical enrichment, maintain regular routines, and create a less stressful environment. By providing your cat with hiding spots and vertical surfaces, playing with them more, and using products that mimic a chemical that cats release through the glands on their faces when they are feeling relaxed and want to let other cats in the area know that they are, you can reduce stress in the environment.

How to Prevent Hair Loss

Not all of the causes of hair loss in cats are preventable. However, you can take steps to keep your cat as healthy and happy as possible.

  • Ensure that your cat's personal stressors—whether it's a change in its environment or another animal—are kept to a minimum so it does not resort to over grooming out of frustration.
  • Provide a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and regular veterinary checkups to bypass serious health issues.
  • Keep your cat on effective flea prevention monthly to prevent infestations of parasites that can cause hair loss.
  • Keeping your cat inside can reduce its exposure to many mites as well.

There are several reasons why cats could lose the hair on their rear legs. Finding the root of the hair loss is the first step in therapy. Take your cat to the doctor for an examination if you observe that it is losing hair. The sooner the underlying problem is identified, the faster the cat can recover its health and regrow its coat.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

CITATION

"Hair Loss (Alopecia) In CatsMerck Veterinary Manual.", "Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Cats. Merck Veterinary Manual.", "Miliary Dermatitis In Cats. VCA Hospitals." ;

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