Why Does Cat Have Hair Loss Around Eyes?


Hair loss on cats above eyes may be caused by different reasons from a harmless shedding till serious skin diseases like ringworm. In any case, all concomitant symptoms should be taken into account to make a precise diagnosis. They often involve red skin on bald spots or around them, flakiness, hives, ulcers or intense itching. After the examination a veterinarian should use a cytology test and microscopic analysis of flakes and liquids taken from the site of lesion.

Description of potential causes

Typically, pet owners notice hair loss around cat’s eyes only after they begin to pay closer attention to eye area. When the problem is ignored, in a best-case scenario, it may lead to development of big sores around eyes. In the worst case, the symptom may transform into conjunctival injuries, which affect vision. That is why hair loss in eyebrows area should be considered as a symptom of the following diseases:

  1. Flea Allergy Dermatitis. It does not necessarily mean that cat has fleas. Sometimes one insect bite is enough to trigger an allergic response. The illness is characterized by red and flaky skin, bald spots and hives. These symptoms are usually accompanied by itching but it is not intense. The reaction commonly takes place on eyebrow area, nose and ears. Seldom it appears on limbs and body. Flea Allergy Dermatitis occur mostly in Maine Coon, Sphynx, Exotic Shorthair and other fancy breeds. A choice of treatment depends on the degree of symptoms severity. Generally, short-term therapy with antihistamine drugs is enough to recover.
  2. Ringworm. It is a quite unpleasant disease which can affect any part of the body. The illness has a fungal character. It is considered to be dangerous, because it can be passed to other animals and even humans. In the early stages of the disease, it may be easily taken for an allergic response. At first, hair loss around cat’s eyes seems to be harmless but they may turn out to be signs of ringworm. Other distinctive symptoms include red ring around the bald spot and formation of itchy pustules in it. The disease occurs mostly in kittens under the age of one year. It is rare for an adult cat to contract it. The most frequent source of infection is a close contact with sick animals. Sometimes ringworm is transmitted through personal items like carrier, comb, cat bed, toys, etc. Some veterinarians may diagnose a pet after a visual examination but the right way to do it is to use laboratory tests. To define the cause of illness doctor should do microscopic hair analysis and a deep skin scrape for cytology. All cells should be taken from damaged areas. In the most difficult cases culture test is done. A treatment is assigned on an individual basis according to number of symptoms and degree of their severity. An intense itching is usually cured with antihistamine drugs combined with antifungal medicines (tablets, ointments and shampoos). On average, the treatment lasts from 7 till 20 days. A cat is fully recovered when there are no fungi in its hair. Veterinarians advice paying a great deal of attention to disinfection of pet’s beds and other places where fungal spores can stay (couches, carpets, bedclothes, pillows, soft toys, etc.). Floor and furniture should be sanitized with chlorine-based cleaners.
  3. Insect bites. Hair loss under a cat’s eye may be the result of mosquito, botfly, fly, ant, flea or tick bites. They greatly occur in stray cats, which walk in long grass and overgrown shrubs full of mosquitos and midges. These bites are usually itchy so the pet tries to scratch itself forming sores. Stinging insect (wasp, bee, bumblebee) bites are especially painful as they trigger red and swollen skin. Special medicines like Stronghold and Frontline can protect a pet from most of the insects. They are applied on cat’s hair in spring and summer time. Generally, all sings of mosquito, fly and botfly bites heal without any treatment in a few days. If there are neither itching nor swelling, medicines are unnecessary. 

Cat Has Hair Loss: Photos

If hair loss appears after using drugs or eating unusual food, it may be allergy or atopic dermatitis, which occurs in most of high-class breeds. In some cases, even a harmless plastic toy may trigger an allergic response. That is why the owner should be careful not only with pet food but also with objects that are accessible for a cat.

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