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C2007-52

Dear Christopher Cat

Cali, our 7-year-old cat, is losing the hair on her belly and one leg. Nothing has changed in her life, and our other cat is fine. How can we make Cali’s hair grow back?

Christopher Responds

To determine the answer, we’ll need to figure out what’s causing Cali’s hair loss.

We cats lose hair when our hair follicles are irritated, for instance, by a ringworm infection. Ringworm isn’t really a worm, but a microscopic fungal infection.

Another cause of hair loss is excessive grooming with our sandpaper-like tongues. This can happen when fleas, mites or allergies make us itchy.

My sister Woody licked the hair off her lower abdomen when she had bladder pain from a urinary tract infection.

She licked her belly for the same reason you humans might rub a sore elbow or achy back.

As you can see, we cats lose hair for many reasons.

Your veterinarian can examine Cali and do tests to determine the cause of her hair loss. Once the cause is known, the appropriate treatment can begin.

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