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Why are my young cats losing hair near their tails?

Closeup on the face of a young white-and-gold short-haired cat.

(Photo: Flickr/Joel Olives)

Why are my young cats losing hair near their tails?

March 20, 2013

Q: I have two female short-haired cats, 6 months old, and they are both losing hair on their back ends (from mid-back, around the tail, down the legs). I don't see any fleas, scabbing, or scaling. What can I do to help them?

A: This is the typical area for flea allergy dermatitis. That would be my main concern. Not all cats will have this allergic reaction to flea saliva, so not all cats will show these signs. I know you're not seeing fleas on them, but we don't often see the fleas. More often than not, we just see the skin lesions/hair loss as it only takes a couple of bites to cause these issues in allergic cats.

I would make sure you're using a topical monthly flea preventative. You can use something like Frontline on them. Flea baths are pretty worthless, so I wouldn't worry with those.

If the Frontline isn't helping, then I would try to get skin scraping and ringworm tests done to rule out mites and fungal infection.

-- Answer from Dr. Gary Ryder, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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