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Alopecia in young male cat.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have a 12 month old American Wirehaired male cat, neutered at 5 mos. I've known him since birth (the breeder is my neighbor) and he always had a very thick, wiry coat. However, since getting him we've noticed a gradual loss of hair--first around his genitals and now includes both sides and his belly. The hair is so thin that skin can be seen through it.

I mentioned it to my vet at our last visit (for persistent eye infections, which are now resolved.) He wasn't concerned as the skin is not rashy or itchy and he thought perhaps it was psychogenic in nature, but I disagreed as this cat is the most laidback, easygoing, happy cat EVER. He sleeps with me and I've not noticed excessive grooming during the night nor have I ever witnessed him pulling out hair. The alopecia is also so symmetrical, I doubt a cat could do such a precise job of hair pulling.

When I brought it up to my neighbor, she laughed and said that American Wirehair cats "molt" and he'll soon have his coat back. I do remember seeing loss of hair on both his parents at one time or another (I'm her catsitter), but this has been going on for 6 months now with no regrowth noted.

Any ideas or suggestions???

Thank you,

post #2 of 3
Not sure I would use the term "molt," but these guys have "evergrowing" coats that don't shed...but even that kind of hair goes through a cycle of growing, stability, and death, and are ultimately replaced by new hairs.

However, the amount, symmetry, and location--and the failure of the coat to re-grow--does make me wonder about endocrines disorder, since that is a very common pattern with those. His age argues against it, but it might not be such a bad idea to draw blood for thyroid levels, etc.

Diet could also be a big factor, because the coat is a sort of "low priority" item and the body would first use available nutrients for more vital functions. What's he eating? I'd aim for most or all wet food and increase essential fatty acids, though there's something tickling my brain about minerals, too. Let me mull that over for a bit!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. Yes, the breeder said I had too much imagination when I mentioned the acquired feline alopecia.

Ziggy eats Chicken Soup--dry. I also give him a full dose of NuCat vitamins every day. I can easily increase his fatty acids--fish oil. I can also switch to wet if you feel it will really make a difference. I've always fed my pets a good quality dry and have never had health issues with any of them--but there's always a first time.

Some other background. Ziggy was born via c-section as his mother had a lot of complications with both of her litters (he was her second and last litter.) The other kit was born unthrifty and died a few days later and he was born with a birth sack filled with pus and infection. I also have his sister from the queen's first litter (she was born smooth) and she has a nice full coat (and was also born in an infected uterus.)


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