Why do cats have bald spots above their eyes?
While some cats go bald out of genetics other cats lose hair because of infection or stress.
Here is everything you need to know about feline balding and how you can treat it.
Feline alopecia is when a cat’s fur starts to thin out around the face. It is normal for cats to lose facial hair as they grow older. In other faces, feline alopecia is a result of infection, psychological issues, or a parasite infestation. Aging cats are more likely to have bald spots around the eyes.
You are petting your cat’s head and notice hairless patches around the eyes?
Those were not there before?
You think to yourself and immediately go only to search for “Why do cats have bald spots above their eyes?”
If that is you, then we are going to tell you why cats lose hair around the eyes and whether you should be concerned about it.
Reasons why cat’s loose hair around the eyes
Cats are the least bothered about hair loss compared to humans.
As long as hair loss does not come with itching or painful sores, they are happy with life.
But in some cases, balding is a result of infection and your cat will want you to do something about it.
A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution
Cat hair loss around their eyes and other parts of their bodies for several reasons.
It could be;
- Facial alopecia
- Skin conditions
- Psychological issues
- Changes in diet
Facial alopecia in cats affects the area between the eyes and ears.
In cats, facial alopecia is a normal part of growing old.
They are least bothered whether the hair loss occurs above the eyes or between the ears.
Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function
When you notice your cat’s facial hair is thinning out and he shows no other sign of discomfort, then there is no cause for alarm.
Kittens are born with full hair all over the body which starts thinning as they grow older.
It is normal in the feline world.
VIDEO: Alopecia in Cats
Cat hair loss due to parasites is what you need to worry about.
Parasites that can cause hair loss in cats include;
- Ear mites
Ringworms are fungi that feed on dead skin cells.
The fungus latches itself onto hair follicles and feeds on the dead cells around the hair shaft.
Doing so weakens the shaft causing hair to break.
As the fungus grows, it forms round itchy patches on your cat’s head.
If your tabby constantly scratches the hairless regions of her face, chances are she has ringworms.
Common causes of ringworms in cats include;
- Poor body and environmental hygiene
- Stress caused by environmental changes — e.g. moving homes or changing pet owners
- Cat to cat or human to cat transmission
Ear mites are equally frustrating for a cat.
Not only do they cause hair loss around the eyes, but they also make their host to severely itch.
Ear mites transmit faster from cat to cat and they can get out of control if not eradicated early.
Ear mite symptoms include;
- Excessive itching
- Pawing the head
- Redness around the eyes and ears
- Shaking the ears
- Rapid hair loss around ears and head
- Brownish wax buildup around the ears
- Bad odor in ears
Fleas affect the entire body as opposed to one specific area alone.
They don’t come out in the open like other parasites.
They prefer hiding in thick fur around the back, belly, or the paws.
But if your cat’s coat is heavily infested with ticks, some will crop up in visible areas like the ears and eyes.
As they feed on the host, fleas produce a chemical in their saliva that makes the host’s skin extremely itchy.
Excessive scratching of the head is what leads to hair loss.
Symptoms of fleas in cats
- Black spots on the skin. This is flea excrement
- Moving dots in a cat’s coat. Fleas are very tiny and have large legs to hop around
- Reddish spots — flea dirt
Fleas can migrate from pets to humans.
If you suspect your cat has fleas, you have to get rid of them immediately.
Mange is a mite infestation that causes extreme itchiness on the skin.
This mite affects both cats and dogs.
In cats, mange affects the face, ears, and neck.
A cat will lose hair around the eyes, head, and neck due to excessive scratching.
A grey-yellow crust usually forms around the patches left.
If not treated, mange can cause hair loss to the entire body.
Common skin conditions that cause hair loss in cats include;
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Solar dermatitis
Sebaceous adenitis is a skin condition that destroys the sebaceous glands.
The sebaceous glands secrete sebum which lubricates the skin.
When these glands are destroyed, a cat’s skin will dry up, and hair will start falling.
Feline atopy stems from environmental allergens like pollen, mold, or dust.
Cats also get atopy from allergic reactions to food.
This causes excessive itching in the entire body.
A cat would repeatedly scratch itself to find relief.
In the process, he loses a lot of hair.
Solar dermatitis, as the name hints, is dermatitis caused by sunburns.
Extreme sunburn causes the skin to dry up, flake, and loses hair.
Solar dermatitis affects the nose and ears as well.
Stress is a major cause of hair loss in cats. Older cats are more prone to stress-related hair loss compared to kittens.
Feline stress may stem from;
- A sudden change of environment like moving homes
- Bringing a new pet at home especially a dominant cat
- Adopting a dog that ends up bullying the cat
- Stress causing sickness
As human beings bald out of stress, it is the same in the feline world.
A cat may excessively groom itself to reduce stress.
This eventually leads to hairless patches in the over-groomed areas.
Changes in diet
Some cats will lose hair around the eyes, ears, and head from a sudden change in diet.
Hair loss in these areas is accompanied by sores that are itchy and ooze out.
This is a sign that your cat is allergic to the new food.
If you have always wondered “Why do cats have bald spots above their eyes?”, it could be due to genetics.
Allergies, skin conditions, and diseases may also cause balding in cats.
If you notice your cat is balding abnormally, schedule a vet checkup to find out the cause of hair loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Keeping your home clean and maintaining high hygiene in your cat can help prevent hair loss from ringworms and other parasites. You should also ensure your cat is well taken care of physically and emotionally to prevent extreme stress.
All cat breeds go through genetic hair loss as they age. But some cat breeds are more predisposed to hair loss than others. The Siamese, Birman, Burmese, and Devon Rex are likely to suffer hair loss than other feline breeds.
Hair Loss from fungal infections usually takes 4 weeks to clear after treatment. In the case of parasites., such as mange or mites, treatment may take 6 to 8 weeks. Once the skin heals, the hair will grow back.
It is common for feline hair to thin out as the cat grows older. If balding is caused by a skin condition like ringworms, hair usually grows back after treatment. Hair Loss caused by recurring sickness may fail to grow back.