Cats pulling chunks of their fur out - common issue?

United States
March 22, 2009 1:43pm CST
I have two cats (both 1yr 3 months old) that are sisters. They've never had any health issues and I've never been concerned that they were sick or unhealthy. After a year of giving them kitten food, I gradually changed their food to "Purina Cat Chow Healthful Life Cat". I checked the ingredients and compared this food to other brands and really liked what it had to offer. In a matter of days, my larger cat started to clean herself vigorously. The next thing I know she has a bald patch on her rear where she completely removed all the hair. I thought her fur was dry so I started washing her more frequently. Then my second cat pulled out her hair in the same spot! I started washing them BOTH. They continued to do this for about a month. My boyfriend didn't like the cat food (he said it made their poop smell worse) so he bought "IamsĀ® Adult Formula Cat Food". Both of their hair started to grow back. I began to look this up online and found that cats typically do this when they are stressed, abused, or have allergies. Not convinced my cats had food allergies, after the Iams food ran out I again bought the Healthful cat food. The hair loss started again. Lesson learned - my cats have food allergies. Have you or know of anyone else who had cats pulling their hair out?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@ElicBxn (60674)
• United States
22 Mar 09
I have a few cats with these issues. Yes, some are stress related (like my cats) and other are allergy related, like it seems your cats are. One of my cats used to groom until he had sores, but as he's aged, the issue has lessened. Two of my foster cats also have grooming issues. One arrived with the grooming issue, the other as it to a lesser degree. Now, these two cats were "bought" from a flea market where they were kept in a small cage, the one with the worse problem is a few months older, and I suspect spent more time in that cage - leading to her grooming issues. I have had, in the past, cats pull fur out because of fleas, but this doesn't sound like your problem (and I know its not mine.)
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 09
My larger cat would clean her stomach until small areas got very pink and minor blood was present. And although I since changed her food, she continues to clean her stomach almost like she enjoys it not having hair. I'm wondering if she developed OCD or if maybe she's just so bored, I have a fairly small apartment. That's a good call on the fleas problem. I never thought that because my cats are strictly indoor. So far, I haven't noticed any fleas, but I guess I shouldn't rule that out. The previous owner here had pets. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
1 Apr 09
This is kind of strange, but both my female Siamese will pull out the hair between their hind legs on the abdominal side. The only time they do this is in the late spring and through the hottest time of the summer. (I refer to it as their pulling their under ware out!) when it cools off again, they let the hair grow back in. The boys don't do this (yet), only the girls.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60674)
• United States
2 Apr 09
"under ware"
• United States
22 Mar 09
We had the same thing happen to our cats. I always bought a healthy cat food made in Canada for not just them but our cat we had previously. They were always healthy. Then, one day the cat food bag changed (picture and colors used) even though it was still the same name. Now the cats were loosing fur and getting sick. I called the company finally and found that the cat food company had been taken over by a larger company. They changed the formula and added a bunch of food additives that were not in the original formula. Your cats are probably getting sick from the items in the food that are not food. I switched to Newman's Own because that was all I could find that was organic. It is pricey but it sure beats large vet bills. Now I have three of the happiest cats around. Their fur is not only staying in but it is shiny and beautiful. I think we as consumers need to rise up and tell the Corporations that we don't like the poison in our foods and also in our animal's foods. Anybody, got a picket sign?
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 09
No kidding, we ought to protest for the health of our furry loved ones. Some things are just getting out of hand and ridiculous. It's the same for our medication. I worked in a Pharmacy and it's a horrible look on how things are run "behind the curtain" so to speak. It's cruel how companies just want to make a dollar that they don't care how it affects their consumers. I support local grown food and organic products. I will look into Newman's Own because you're right, making my pets happy and healthy is worth every penny and every penny saved out of clinics.
• United States
23 Mar 09
I forgot to let you know about the other thing I use along with the Newman's Own. This supplement helps a cat ward off fleas and other infestations and is very good for their immune system, etc. You can find out more about this supplement at www.petguard.com/cat-products/supplements/yeast-and-garlic I use the powder form and mix it with the dry or wet Newman's Own cat food. It sort of coats the dry cat food and the cats seem to love it. Fleas hate nutritional yeast. Pet Guard also puts out food and treats. I have not checked their food line to see if they use additives. I do not know if their food is organic. We have a 16.5 year old female that has never had to have her teeth cleaned because we feed the dry cat food and sometimes the canned. The 3 year old and 5 year old cats' teeth also look very healthy. I do not have to restrict food. They are all a good weight and eat just what they need. They all play together and the older cat really runs the place. I am also careful about table scraps. I do not give them meats that they would not be able to kill in the wild like pork or beef or lamb. I usually stick to fish, chicken, or turkey. Since we usually eat meats that do not have hormones, etc. I know that even the table scraps are healthy. I Definitely do not feed them processed meats.
1 person likes this
@darsa123 (36)
• United States
23 Mar 09
i have had many cats in my life, none of them have done that. i would check to see if they have a tick or a cut that is bothering them. has your cat been in a fight lately that you know of?
• United States
24 Mar 09
Both my cats are strictly indoor. They sometimes play rough but they never seriously attack one another. I'm pretty sure they were pulling their own hair out. The same day I noticed my second cat had a bald spot, I had seen her cleaning that same spot earlier. I wish I was there when it happened so I can try and understand why they do it.
@teka44 (3425)
• Brazil
22 Mar 09
Hi talithe. I didn't had the same problem but when I had my cat (she passed away because she get old) I bought Cat Chow and she started to piddle with blood. And I noticed that she made effort to piddle. I stoped this food and all comes right again. You are the 5th person saying that Cat Chow makes their cats sick. I think they must change their formula.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 09
I'm sorry to hear about your cat passing away, but I'm glad she had a long, full life. I can't believe cat food can be so harmful that a cat has blood in their urine. It sounds like a UTI and that sure is painful. Thanks for sharing this - I'm definitely going to do more research the next time I need to change my cats' food.