If you have a cat that is losing large amounts of fur, it can be quite worrying. Here are some reasons that cats lose fur.
As summer approaches, cats naturally shed fur to help them deal with the increasing heat. The amount of fur each cat sheds depends on its natural coat, but for long haired cats especially, it can appear to be a large volume of fur being lost. If your cat is moulting,the fur loss should be relatively consistent and short term and not lead to bald patches. This issue will naturally resolve once the cat has shed their winter coat.
Another common cause of baldness in cats is fleas. While flea bites are small and don't cause hair loss directly, for some cats, the flea bite can lead to an allergic reaction called "Flea Allergic Dermatitis" or FAD. If this is happening for your cat, there will be excessive grooming in specific locations of the body, leading to bald patches and scabbing. This problem can be resolved by using flea treatments. If you find that the over the counter flea treatments you have been using are not working, you can also head to a vet for a stronger flea treatment. Unfortunately, with the rising resistance of fleas to common insecticides, you may need to try several brands before you find one that works.
If your pet has developed bald patches since a new cat or other pet has been introduced to the family, or other changes such as a new baby, this can lead to anxious over-grooming. If this is affecting your cat, you'll see them grooming more often than usual as well as potentially acting more skittish or attention-seeking. If this is the case, you may need to make changes to the cat's environment to resolve the stressor or potentially place your cat on anti-depressants or sedatives.
Poor nutrition can also lead to fur loss. Cats need a diet with high levels of easy-to-digest proteins, mimicking their natural diet of birds and small mammals. If you suspect your cat has a poor diet, you can get advice from a vet on how to improve your cat's diet with high quality cat foods and supplements if required.
If you are worried about your cat's hair loss, you should take them into a vet. They can assess them for any of these issues, as well as less common causes of cat fur loss.