More Cat Care Information:

There are many reasons why cats can experience problems with hair loss. A relatively rare reason for this to occur is because of feline endocrine alopecia. Vets don't exactly know why this rare skin condition occurs.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Whenever it does develop though, your cat's hair will start thinning. Various areas of the body will be affected by hair loss. You may notice that these areas appear to be the same on both sides of the body. Two areas that are most often affected include the rear legs and abdominal region.

Certain other medical conditions can mimic the signs caused by feline endocrine alopecia. To see if your cat is really suffering from this condition, the vet will have to rule out other possible causes of the hair loss first. Parasites and conditions like ringworm can cause similar signs.

In order to make a diagnosis of endocrine alopecia in cats, vets typically look at a sample of hairs under a microscope. Doing so can help determine at what stage of their growth the hair were broken. Skin scrapings around the affected area can also help determine what's causing hair loss in your cat. Fungal infections like ringworm can easily cause signs.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

A blood sample may also be in order if your vet suspects feline endocrine alopecia to be the problem. The sample won't be tested in the office though. A laboratory will need to inspect it to see how the endocrine system is functioning as far as hormones go.

As mentioned earlier, vets don't know why cat endocrine alopecia develops. Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, or thyroid hormone are some of the leading suspects though. Cats with the condition may need to start a regimen of hormone therapy to deal with it.

Cats that are eating foods that they're allergic to may experience spontaneous hair loss. Therefore, you may need to start your cat on a food trial to see if it helps relieve the signs. You may need to start feeding your cat a different type of food.

Sometimes, feline endocrine alopecia is treated with medications that are designed to grow the hair back. This isn't always the preferred method of treatment in cats though. These medications can lead to serious side effects in some felines. They can be toxic to the liver over time and also cause cardiac problems.

Cats may even develop other conditions like diabetes mellitus after taking these medications. Some even experience changes in their behavior.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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