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MysteryMama 11-23-2009 06:02 PM

I have two indoor cats. About a month ago I noticed one had a small bald streak on his back near his tail. Then I noticed the other cat is bald around the base of the tail and inside of her rear legs and rear abdomen. It doesn't seem to be bothersome to them and the exposed skin is soft and smooth. It obviously seems contagious between cats as they are both experiencing it. I don't think it's communicable to humans because neither me, dh, or the kids have gotten anything. These cats NEVER go outdoors and I have checked thoroughly and they have no fleas. Please don't tell me to take them to the vet because I obviously know that would be the best thing to do, but we are VERY broke right now... like an eviction notice comes every couple months we pay our rent so late. It's all we can do to feed them and buy litter, which we do. These cats are loved by the family and part of the family. But like every other member of the family, they dont' get medical attention unless death is feared.

Questions: Does anyone know what this might be? And is there anything I can buy over the counter or do naturally to help? Is this something that in time there immune systems can fight on there own? I know as a child I had a parasite that wasn't treated and after 6 months of suffering my body DID rid itself of the parasite, despite those who say you need medication. I'm just hoping for the best. And I'm worried about the cats.

outlier 11-23-2009 11:45 PM

Is it possible one or both of them are licking/chewing off their own hair? I have one indoor cat and have been dealing with this issue for a while now. It's something called "psychogenic alopecia," (basically excessive licking due to stress, allergies, who knows) which usually starts around the abdomen and then spreads to the inside of the legs. If this is what's going on, it's not necessarily harmful other than causing more hairballs. As long as the skin continues to look healthy and they don't seem bothered, I probably wouldn't worry too much about it.

Bea 11-24-2009 03:13 AM

If your sure you have no fleas, I'm going to bet your cats are nuts, in the nicest possible way

Compulsive grooming to the point of bald patches, and the areas you describe are very common, can be an expression of stress/anxiety in cats.

Maybe someone with experince of natural remedies can suggest something to help them chill out?

Possibly try distraction with some new toys (scrunched up paper tied to a string dangled from a door way, cardboard boxes to hide and play in, ping pong balls to chase, an old bit of carpet backing side out to scratch etc. Cheap and cheerful stuff) might help alleviate their cat-worry.

My sister had a looney () cat whose compulsion to lick cause a lick granuloma on his foreleg that was cured by a vet biopsy to rule out other issues and the bandage on it for a week broke the cycle. My own cat (indoor/outdoor) used to lick his inner left leg bald whenever something was bothering him. It was how I knew he was bothered by something.

MysteryMama 11-25-2009 04:03 PM

Thanks for the replies. I really don't know what is going on. I have considered stress/anxiety, but it doesn't make sense that they both just happened to get a stress disorder at the same time. Especially when NOTHING in their lives has changed. Same food, same litter, nothing different. Hopefully it'll be ok and their hair will grow back. Or maybe it'll ALL fall out and I can sell them for a lot of cash as one of those hairless cats.... kidding!

midnightmommy 11-25-2009 04:27 PM

Check for fleas again. When we have hair loss on our cats it is due to flea allergies. Dig around on their bellies, neck, an base of their tail.

Dabble 11-25-2009 04:37 PM

I'm not a vet but I have a lot of experience with cats, and it sounds like feline symmetrical alopecia. It is a little odd to see it in your two cats (are they related?) at the same time, but not unheard of. There really isn't any treatment for it - you can try Googling that term to see pictures, and see if that looks like your cats. It's basically harmless, but can signal a potential underlying problem in the diet.

If you are using a grocery store pet food (Meow Mix, 9 Lives, etc), I would try a switch to a higher quality food if it's at all within your budget. High quality food now can save you a lot of money on vet bills in the future.

outlier 11-27-2009 01:25 AM

My cat's licking behavior was not precipitated by any changes either. Could it be that only one of your cats is doing all the licking, perhaps the female since she's more bald? That seems more likely than both developing this at the same time.

I've switched mine to a mostly raw chicken diet, and she does seem to have more hair on her bald spots than she used to. Still too soon to tell for sure though.

MCatLvrMom2A&X 11-27-2009 01:29 AM

The vet told my brother that it was hormonal when his cat did that. My cat does it when she gets fleas she is very allergic to them. Even one flea can cause her to go nearly bald.

CarpetShark 03-05-2014 05:45 PM

Do your cats sleep in or spend time in kitchen or bathroom cabinets?  Have you noticed any little skin bumps or anything visible in the areas of hair loss?  My cat was perfectly fine before he got the bright idea to start exploring (and sleeping in) the bathroom cabinets.  When he started spending a lot of time in the cabinets, I noticed he started scratching and losing hair on his top lower back near his tail, down the insides of his legs, and some on his lower belly.  I also noticed little red skin bumps in these areas.  When I consulted my vet, he thought the problem might be caused by house mites and suggested that I prevent the cat from entering any cabinets made of wood for a while to see if the symptoms start to clear up.  Sure enough, after making sure he could not climb into any cabinets in the house, during the next month he had stopped scratching, the little red bumps had started clearing up and his hair started regrowing in the bald patches.  I have maintained the restricted cabinet access and have had no other problems.  He is back to looking as beautiful as ever!

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