Why does my cat get bald patches?

It can be an incredibly distressing sight seeing bald patches suddenly start to appear on your cat’s body.

Our beautiful bundles of fur are supposed to be just that – bundles of fur.

So, when you start noticing clumps of hair around the house, and small bald patches forming on their coat, of course you’re instantly going to hit the panic button. 

There’s nothing wrong with over-reacting when it’s our cat’s health at stake – but in this case, the alarm bells may not be necessary. 

The most common cause of bald patches on cats is actually parasites, like fleas and mites.

A nuisance, yes; but, thankfully, not a medical emergency. 

That being said, they aren’t the only reason. And this blog will offer a little more insight into why your feline might be shedding more than usual. 

How common are bald patches in cats (and are they likely to grow back)?

Bald patches on cats may be a worrying sight, but it’s not an uncommon one. 

It is an early warning sign that something’s not quite right with them though. 

And until that problem is rectified, the likelihood is their hair won’t grow back. 

However, once the correct course of action is taken, your feline will be sporting a full body of fur in no time at all. 


What are the causes of bald patches in cats?


  1. Parasites. Flea infestations in cats are far more common than people think. Nobody will be surprised to learn though they’re incredibly infuriating – and potentially very painful. Scratching that itch will inevitably lead to increased hair loss for your cat. Even worse, left untreated, it could lead to further, more serious health complications. Treatment can be carried out at home, and is generally quick, easy and painless.  


  1. Stress. We all know what it’s like to feel stressed from time to time. And how it can affect our behaviour. It’s the exact same for our felines who have a tendency to start obsessively licking themselves when things get a little too much. An over-the-top grooming regime may seem like a good thing in terms of health and hygiene; however, it can actually result in excessive hair loss, bald patches, and irritable skin.
  2. Allergies. Have you recently changed your cat’s diet? Have they been spending more time outside where dust, dirt and pollen exist? Food or environmental allergens, like with fleas, have the ability to get under your cat’s skin, sending them into grooming overdrive. These pesky irritants can also directly cause hair to fall out. If you think this might be the case, you need to try to identify what has recently come into their environment or diet, and ensure it’s removed.
  3. Hormonal imbalance. If you’ve never heard of hyperthyroidism, it’s a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much of a hormone called thyroxine. One of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid in cats is the development of bald patches. To treat hyperthyroidism, you will need medication from a vet. Pregnancy is another condition that can result in hormonal changes, which again can lead to your feline “blowing their coat” i.e. excessive hair loss.
  4. Ringworm. A fungal infection that is as unpleasant as it sounds, ringworm can be directly responsible for hair loss in our felines. If you suspect your cat is suffering the effects of ringworm – keep an eye out for inflamed areas of skin, excessive grooming and scratching, crusty skin – it is vital you take care of it immediately as it’s extremely contagious to other cats and humans. 

A bald patch has appeared on my cat overnight – Should I be worried?


Your cat has just strolled into the living room following one of their 20-hour sleep marathons, and you notice a bald patch on their side you’re sure wasn’t there the night before. 

Before you start to panic, it’s important to understand that bald patches can develop incredibly fast. 

Carefully check them over for any other symptoms. If you believe it’s linked to parasites, stress, allergies, or ringworm, then you should be able to remedy the problem at home. 


At what point is veterinary assistance required?


It can take several months for your feline’s hair to grow back fully.

However, once you’ve successfully diagnosed and treated the issue, you should start to see the bald patch disappear within a matter of days.

If that’s not the case then you will need to contact your vet who will advise you on the next best steps to take. 


Healthy diet, healthy cat


While poor nutrition may not always be a contributing factor in cat hair loss, it can lead to a range of health problems. 

A cat’s diet should be complete, well-balanced, and packed full of essential nutrients.  

At Encore, our recipes are made with natural ingredients and packed with protein-rich meat to ensure your felines stay strong, fit, and happy. 

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