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A:Cat who is losing part of her Coat PetPlanet Talk Adminstrator PPAdmin email@example.com
At one time, alopecia of the body in cats was usually called a hormone deficiency and treated with a hormone supplement, causing obesity, diabetes and liver problems as side effects. It is now known the this is in fact the most unlikely diagnosis of all and allergy is the most likely cause. Much of
the hairloss is in fact self-inflicted by the cat chewing at itchy areas or trying to reach itchy areas. This is often not witnessed, but the hairs being broken gives the clue. The symmetrical pattern produced caused the previous misdiagnosis. Fleas are top of the list and are usually eliminated from the animal and surroundings first.
Next to be tried is food allergy, by feeding a limited diet, avoiding a previously eaten protein if possible, for 4 to 8 weeks. Commercial cat foods contain so many different proteins, that this is not easy and often the most likely culprits only can be avoided. If the protein chosen is the allergen then obviously the food trial won't help. Next is Atopy, the allergic response to inhaled allergens such as house dust