Help! My Cat Is Losing Hair On Their Ears! [12 Causes & Solutions]

Have you noticed that your cat has some bald spots on the ears?

Taking care of your cat requires paying attention to the tiniest details. This will help you take the right action as soon as possible before a problem manifests and becomes more difficult to handle.

Unlike humans and other animals, cats don’t usually lose hair at a particular point in their lives or during a season. This is why you should act promptly whenever you see that your cat is starting to lose hair.

Help! My Cat Is Losing Hair On Their Ears

First, we’ll explain the different types of hair loss in cats. Then, we’ll discuss what might be causing your cat to lose hair and how to act in every situation.

Here are the reasons why your cat might be losing hair on ears.

  • Allergies
  • Ear Mites.
  • Fleas
  • Stress
  • Hormonal Imbalance.
  • Sunburn
  • Sebaceous Adenitis.
  • Food Allergies.
  • Ringworm
  • Atopy
  • Mange
  • Cancer

Can Cats Go Completely Bald?

Unless you have a sphynx breed, a cat that is losing hair is usually suffering from a serious health issue. Hair loss in cats is called alopecia which can be complete or partial hair loss triggered by skin allergies.

There are several types of alopecia that your feline friend might be dealing with.

Hereditary Alopecia

This is not considered to be a medical issue as some breeds, like the sphinx, don’t grow any hair. They’re not sick and they have healthy skin which requires special attention and grooming to make sure that it stays healthy and hydrated.

Some breeds will start to experience bald spots as the cat grows older. This is perfectly normal and there’s nothing you can do about it because it is related to the genes of the cat. Some breeds like the Siamese and Burmese will experience this hair thinning problem at some point in their lives.

Preauricular Alopecia

This is quite normal in any cat as the hair between the eyes and on the ears starts to thin out. There’s no medical condition behind this symptom, although you should keep an eye on the skin to make sure that it doesn’t have any crust, scales or show any signs of redness or itchiness.

Acquired Alopecia

If there are no genetic reasons behind hair loss, then your feline is suffering from acquired alopecia. Most of the time the thin skin around the area will appear bumpy, red or have some scabs.

Acquired alopecia is also called pinnal alopecia when it develops around the ears. The pattern might be symmetrical or not.

How Does the Cat Lose Hair?

When the cat is suffering from pain or discomfort, he will start to scratch the skin using the paws. He might also use his tongue to lick the infected area.

Rubbing the head and ears against rough rugs and furniture pieces is also common. Due to excessive rubbing and scratching the hair follicles are going to get weak.

As a result, you’ll start to see bald spots on the cat’s body. Hair loss is common on the ears because the hair follicles are weak and the hair is rather short.

Why Is My Cat Losing Hair on Ears?

As a pet parent, you know that there are some issues that you can manage on your own. However, with some problems, you must head to the vet’s office as soon as possible.

Here are some reasons why the cat might start losing hair on the ears.

1. Allergies

If your cat is suffering from an allergy that you’ve ignored for so long, he will keep on scratching his skin to the extent that he might accidentally hurt it. As the infection grows more serious, the cat might start to experience hair loss on different parts of the body.

Skin allergies can be the result of using a harsh chemical compound that you have deliberately or accidentally exposed your cat to. Using the wrong shampoo, for example, can cause an allergic reaction that affects the hair and the skin.

Brown Tabby Cat Scratching Head

If your cat messes around with fertilizers or insecticides in the garden, he might get himself exposed to a harsh compound that affects his skin and hair. If you notice any bumpy or red skin, then it’s time to take your cat to the vet.

The vet can assess the problem and identify the real cause of the skin infection. He will then prescribe the right medication.

In most cases, the damage won’t be permanent as the cat will be able to grow hair one more time. If your cat, however, has been exposed to a chemical burn, chances are that he won’t be able to grow new hair at this particular spot.

2. Ear Mites

Ear mites are easily transferred from one cat to another. They can even be transferred to humans, although they’re not very fond of the human host.

These mites cause a lot of discomfort and can trigger hair loss on the ears and head. Here are some symptoms that your cat is suffering from ear mites.

  • The cat keeps on shaking his head all the time. He’s trying to get rid of the mites.
  • He is trying to rub his head or ears.
  • There’s a bad odor coming out of the cat’s ears.
  • There’s brown wax buildup in the ears.
  • Ear mites can be easily diagnosed by the vet. He should recommend a medication that is directly applied into the ear canal.

Gentle cleaning and grooming are also recommended to make sure that the cat’s ears are absolutely clean. You’ll have to repeat the treatment for 7 to 10 days to make sure that all the mites are gone.

3. Fleas

Fleas love to live in the cat’s hair and they’re quite easy to detect. If you see the fleas or find some of their pepper-like droppings then it’s time to act.

Every time the flea bites your cat, there will be some of its saliva left on the skin. This saliva causes an allergic reaction that tempts the cat to scratch.

As the cat rubs its face and head against rugs and furniture to find some relief, he becomes more prone to hair loss especially around the ears, on the face, and head. Getting rid of fleas as soon as possible will prevent the nasty side effects and control the spread of fleas in your house.

You should give your cats a flea bath as soon as possible. Make sure that you’re using a gentle yet potent formula and repeat the treatment as needed.

4. Stress

Stress can be the reason why your cat is losing hair around the ears. Cats are extremely sensitive and there are lots of reasons that affect your furry baby’s emotional well-being.

Your cat will try to comfort itself by grooming and licking its body. Excessive grooming due to stress and anxiety can be the reason why your cat is losing hair.

The hair is usually short around the ears and the head so it’s more prone to loss due to licking and grooming. To help your cat, you should understand and eliminate the stress triggers.

Your feline friend might be stressed because you’re not giving him enough attention. This could be the result of introducing a new pet in the family or even having a new baby.

Stress can also be the result of physical pain. It’s better to take your cat to the vet for a full checkup to make sure that he’s not suffering from any serious health problems.

Veterinarian with stethoscope holding little sick cat. Young blond woman in white uniform working at Veterinary clinic.

5. Hormonal Imbalance

If your cat is suffering from sudden hair loss, especially around the ears and on the head, then he might be suffering from hormonal imbalance.

You need to have a vet look at your cat and determine why the hormones are out of balance. Some tumors can cause this condition and it’s best to tackle the problem as soon as possible.

6. Sunburn

If you’re not careful, your cat might get a sunburn after spending a long time in the sun. The hair on the ears is usually sparse, which leaves the skin a little exposed.

Serious sun damage can cause blisters that also cause the hair to fall. You should use an antibiotic to prevent the infection of any sores or blisters.

There are several gentle ointments and creams that help with healing. During the healing period, you must use mild products to clean the cat’s skin as needed.

7. Sebaceous Adenitis

When the sebaceous glands get inflamed, there will be usually lesions growing around the hair follicles. This is a rare inflammatory disease but when it happens, the cat is likely to lose hair, especially on the ears.

To treat this condition, you should make sure that you’re using a suitable anti-inflammatory medication. Regular shampooing is also recommended to make sure that the hair follicles are free from all the crusty scales.

8. Food Allergies

Have you introduced a new food to your cat’s diet? A new food might trigger a food allergy that causes discomfort and makes the cat lose its hair, especially on the ears.

cat eat, closeup image of domestic cat eat food

In order to determine the reason, you should review all your cat’s food and try to eliminate one component at a time to help identify the problematic ingredient. When you take your cat to the vet, he’ll probably run a few tests to determine what your cat is allergic to.

Certain allergy medications will help your cat feel better. Your cat should also follow a restricted diet until the allergy resolves.

9. Ringworm

This is an itchy fungal infection that affects your cat’s skin and causes hair loss. The fungus lives in the hair follicles and causes the hair shaft to break, thus leaving bald spots on the cat’s body.

If your cat suffers from ringworm infection, then you need to act promptly before the infection spreads to other pets in the family. There are several treatments available to help you put the infection under control.

  • Shaving the cat’s body leaves no room for the fungal infection to grow.
  • Using lime sulfur dips helps resolve the infection.
  • Some topical ointments are needed to get rid of the infection.
  • Bathing your cat using an antifungal shampoo is recommended. Several treatments might be needed.

10. Mange

This is another type of mite infestation that causes terrible itching and hair loss. The cat’s skin will grow a scaly yellow-gray crust that resembles the look of eczema.

It’s difficult to diagnose feline mange without the vet’s help. Skin scraping is done by the vet to determine the type of mange and lime sulfur is applied to help to treat the infection.

Several treatments might be needed and the vet will do more skin scraping to make sure that the mange is gone. Once the condition is treated, your cat will start to grow hair one more time.

11. Atopy

Atopy is related to inhaling environmental irritants. As a result, the cat might start losing hair on the ears, head, and face.

As the cat inhales mold spores or pollen, he is usually going to develop an allergic reaction that results in excessive itching. The cat is going to scratch his face and around the ears which can cause a massive hair loss.

Just like humans, giving your feline baby antihistamines might be the only way to fix the problem. You should also limit your cat’s exposure to these irritants.

12. Cancer

Some types of cancer can cause massive hair loss. Having your cat checked regularly is the only way to detect several types of cancer and tumors as soon as they develop.

Taking your cat to the vet for regular checkups opens doors for more treatment options. You should also keep an eye on the cat’s body to detect the slightest changes.

Conclusion

It’s common for cats to suffer from hair loss, especially on the ears where the hair is shortest. Losing a small amount of hair can be a symptom of something more serious going on with your feline baby.

Scheduling regular checkups with your vet will help detect any problems before it manifests. You should also give check your cat’s body regularly so you can notice any sudden change.

Losing hair doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something bad going on with your cat. However, ignoring the problem can cause serious side effects.

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