They say that “bald is beautiful”. Some cats are born bald or hairless just like the Sphynx which is due to a genetic disorder.
But seeing your cat starting to lose hair in the corner of its eye can leave you worried and searching for answers.
Could this be a serious problem for your cat?
There are many reasons that can lead to hair loss in the corner of your cat’s eye. The underlying causes can be due to a fungal infection, allergies, fleas, stress or even genetics. Veterinary attention is required if the hair doesn’t start to grow back after a while.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various reasons behind this hair loss and the most effective treatment options to restore your cat’s well-being.
Why Is My Cat Losing Hair In The Corner Of Its Eye?
Hair loss in cats is a lot more common than we think.
As a cat owner myself, I have experienced times when my cat started having bald patches on his body for no reason.
Although it can be worrying to see your furkid look less hirsute, it is important for us to get to the root of the problem ASAP.
Here are some common causes for the hairless around your cat’s eyes.
Just like us, your cat could be having an allergic reaction to something that you are not aware of.
There are many factors that your cat can be allergic to but we can categorize them into two types, environmental and food allergies.
Environmental allergic reactions can be due to pollen, dust, certain materials, mold or anything in your cat’s environment.
A food allergy is more straight forward. It is something in your cat’s diet that is triggering its allergic response.
Symptoms of an allergy are:
- Inflamed and itchy skin
- Hair loss
Itchy skin is usually the common symptom for most cats, especially around the facial area.
Your cat could be experiencing a lot of itch on its face and has been scratching the area non-strop.
That can lead to hair loss around or in the corner of the eye.
Treatment Options For Allergies
Unfortunately for most cat owners, an allergy can be a tricky one to diagnose due to the numerous possible allergens.
If you have recently introduced something new in your cat’s diet or at home, that could be the cause.
Try removing it and see if it helps with your cat’s symptoms.
If your cat is allergic to something in the environment like dust or pollen, that can be harder to prevent.
Your best option is a trip to the vet for some antihistamines and medicated shampoo to manage the symptoms.
Ringworm is an itchy fungal infection that can affect many cats. Despite its name, Ringworm isn’t exactly caused by a worm but by a fungus called dermatophytes.
This fungus is found in soil but is very hardy and can survive anywhere.
Once it gets on your cat’s skin, it will start feeding on keratin which is the protein structure of skin, nails and hair.
Ringworm got its name from the way it looks on your cat’s skin which is a circular area of itchy rash.
This ringed-shaped rash can also look dry, red and scaly.
Your cat can get ringworm from other pets at home or from the environment if it is allowed to venture outside.
Symptoms of ringworm include:
- Circular patches of hair loss
- Scaly irritated skin
- Crusty darkened skin
- Broken hairs
Treatment Options For Ringworm
If you suspect that your cat has ringworm, you need to get it to the vet immediately. Ringworm is very contagious and can spread to your other pets at home.
It is also a zoonotic disease which means that you can get ringworm from your cat.
The vet will examine your cat’s skin and prescribe medication such as antifungal shampoos, creams, or ointments that help soothe the skin and destroy the fungus.
Ringworm is hard to get rid of and can take 6-9 weeks for your cat to be completely cured.
Fleas are parasites that live on your cat’s body and feed off its blood.
Your cat can get infected by fleas from another cat or when it is out roaming.
There are a few ways that you can identify fleas on your cat.
Start by looking at the base of its tail. Fleas tend to set up camp in that area and you’ll be able to see very small black moving spots.
Another way is to use a flea comb on your cat.
As you comb your cat, look out for small specs of brown crust which is flea poo.
This is what the flea will excrete after feasting on your cat.
Symptoms of a flea infestation include:
- Excessive scratching
- Random spots of hair loss
- Skin irritation
- Excessive grooming
Many cats are allergic to flea bites which can cause lesions. The cat will start to overgrow itself and start licking, pulling and scratching off its fur.
Treatment For Flea Infestation
Anti-flea medications such as Revolution, Advantage and Frontline work best to get rid of fleas.
Apply it on your cat and the solution will get rid of the fleas when they feed on your cat.
If your cat has kidney issues, use an anti-flea medication that isn’t absorbed into its bloodstream which can tax its kidneys.
Your vet will also give you an anti-flea shampoo to shower your cat with.
My cat had some fleas when I brought him back from the shelter.
After getting rid of the fleas on him, I also made sure to vacuum my home religiously for weeks.
Fleas are very hardy and can leave on your carpet or surfaces for a very long time.
Do you keep plants indoors or in your garden? If yes, do you know if those plants are toxic to your cat?
Many of us keep plants and flowers at home to liven up the mood which is great.
But knowing if these plants are safe for your cat to eat is also very important.
Cats are very curious creatures and love to investigate anything and everything.
You might have a toxic plant at home that your cat ingested or come into contact with its eye.
That can cause your cat to develop an adverse reaction and cause some feline hair loss.
Symptoms of toxicity include:
- Red and inflamed skin
- Hair loss
Treatment For Toxic Plants
If you suspect that your cat’s hair loss has been caused by a toxic plant, it needs medical attention immediately.
There are some plants such as the sago palm which are highly toxic to cats.
The vet will administer therapy to your cat or induce vomiting if it has eaten parts of the plants.
It is normal for your cat to start losing hair or fur as it gets older. Humans experience the same thing too.
Hair loss in older cats can be caused by:
- Lack of grooming
- Hormonal changes
- Skin conditions (seborrhea)
If you notice that your older cat’s head or eye area has been starting to lose hair, bring it to the vet for a check.
The vet will have to do a complete physical examination and tests to see if there’s an underlying cause.
Stress is something of a double-edged sword for many of us. It can spur you on to greater heights or it can make you cry in the corner.
When it comes to our cats, there isn’t such a thing as ‘good stress’ for them.
If a cat is feeling stressed out, it can start to exhibit many weird behaviors and symptoms.
Your cat produces a hormone called cortisol when it is stressed.
Cortisol can affect the normal growth cycle of your cat’s hair. It is common for cats to shed and regrow back their hair.
But when a cat is really feeling stressed, the regrowth cycle doesn’t happen which can make your cat look as if it losing hair in the corner of the eye.
Stress can also lead to overgrooming in cats which is a coping mechanism for them.
Causes of stress can be related to:
- Change in home
- Addition of a new pet or family member
- Separation anxiety
Treatment For Stress In Cats
The most effective way of treating stress in your cat is to identify the trigger.
If you have recently adopted a new cat, that is probably the cause of it. Making sure that both your cats are well-socialized can help lower stress levels.
For more severe cases, your cat can prescribe anti-anxiety medication or refer you to a pet behavioral therapist.
Alopecia Areata is a rare hair loss disorder in cats that is caused by the immune system.
The immune system regards the cat’s hair as an intruder and starts destroying the cat’s hair shafts.
The exact cause of alopecia aerate in cats is still unknown but it could be due to a medical condition or genetic hair loss.
Symptoms of this hair loss disorder in cats include small and round patches of hair loss. This usually happens on the cat’s face or ears.
The skin of the affected areas appears healthy without any signs of redness or inflammation.
Treatment For Alopecia Areata
Given that this condition is still a mystery for many vets, there isn’t an exact treatment for it.
For most cats, the condition seems to mysteriously resolve itself after some time.
Otherwise, the vet will prescribe some supportive anti-inflammatory meds to try and improve your cat’s condition.
Can I Prevent My Cat From Losing Hair?
There’s no way of telling when your cat can have a hair loss problem in the future. But there are some ways of lowering the risk.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no need for your cat to be outdoors at all.
Every time your cat is allowed outside, you are subjecting your cat to many unforeseen dangers.
Your cat can get infected by parasites or other pathogens that can cause hair loss.
Keep your cat indoors and your cat will be in better shape.
Feed A Good Diet
By feeding your cat a good and balanced diet, your cat is able to have a strong immune system to fight off many health issues.
Stop feeding your cat dry food or kibbles as it is bad for them.
Start your cat on wet food or a raw meat diet.
Give Your Cat A Healthy Coat
Ensuring that your cat has a healthy coat can help prevent skin issues that can cause hair loss.
Make sure to groom your cat regularly or feed it more omega-3 fatty acids which is good for skin and fur health.