Showing posts with label hair loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair loss. Show all posts

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Brenda Edwards’ Ragdoll cats lost their hair from stress after her son's death

Brenda Claudina Susan Edwards is an English singer, actress, television personality and presenter.


It seems that Jamal was very close to their two cats, and one in particular. Brenda says that they lost their hair immediately after his death. That's a very general statement which implies that all their hair fell out which is impossible. 

It is more likely that she is referring to bald patches appearing on the cats who began to over-groom themselves to alleviate the stress of losing Jamal. Grooming is a pleasurable experience for a domestic cat.

They stayed outside Jamal's bedroom door for ten days after his death waiting for him to appear as the door was kept closed for the entire time.

Tiny and Tempa
Tiny and Tempa. They have to be siblings. Image: Instagram. They are Ragdoll cats.

With respect to Brenda, I think it was a bad idea to keep Jamal's door closed. Left open the cats Tiny and Tempa could have entered and snoozed on the bedclothes which would have provided them with some comfort.

She added:
‘Tiny’s getting better, but Tempa – who was the main cat that he used to love and stroke – she’s still missing hair.’
She took them to the vet who recognised that something had changed. He diagnosed stress. You can alleviate stress by increasing interactions and play. You can add some artificial pheromones to the environment which may reduce stress.

It seems that she did not do these things. She didn't know, I guess. But the story does remind us that cats grieve on the death of a close companion (or do they?). Although this is probably anxiety more than pure grief. It is one of the more sophisticated emotions.

It reminds us that cats are sentient.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Classic case of what looks like cat hair loss above the eyes but is not

He is a domestic cat of the 'Nanshu Shrine' and he is named 'Nyanshu-chan'. Sometimes he is his charming self at a coffee shop. This is a cute, black cat in Japan in a shop window. I like to see this sort of thing because the cat decorates the shop and makes it more interesting. This encourages customers to come in. 

But this is not the point of this short post. The point is that this black cat looks as if he has hair loss in between the right ear and right eye. Some people ask me what causes hair loss in this position. And the answer is that it is not hair loss. 

Classic case of what looks like cat hair loss above the eyes but is not
 Classic case of what looks like cat hair loss above the eyes but is not. Photo: Twitter.

There are 3 reasons why it looks as if it is and they are (1) the light, in this case the sun, is hitting that part of the head at 90° which helps to expose the skin below and (2) the skin below is visible because the hair is naturally thinner in this position on all domestic cats and (3) the hair strands at position on the head are at 90 degrees to skin i.e. perpendicular. This allows the light to penetrate to the skin.

It varies between individuals but it is thinner. It is simply an anatomical feature of the domestic cat. It is nothing to worry about. It is completely normal.

Finally, this thinner coverage of hair in this position is highlighted in this instance because there is a higher contrast between the black hair strands and the light-coloured skin at the base of the hair strands. The higher contrast highlights the thin covering of hair.


Friday 12 December 2014

Cat hair loss health tip

I think you will find that the most common reason why cats lose hair is because of over grooming. The question that follows is, "why is the cat over grooming?".

Perhaps the most common reason why cats over groom is because of stress. Stress can be caused by a number of situations and events and it would be impossible to list them all here but perhaps the most typical would be stress caused by other cats in a multi-cat household. Another cause of stress would be the owner being away too much causing separation anxiety. It is up to the owner to figure out what is causing the stress. This will take a certain amount of observation of the behaviour of the cat or cats in their home and should become quite apparent very quickly what is going on.

After stress, the obvious reason why cats over groom is because their skin feels itchy. This leads to another secondary question namely why does the skin feel itchy? The most common reason for this is probably the flea bite allergy. Secondary to that would be irritation caused by other external parasites. After that I would suggest that either airborne or ingested allergens are the cause of the cat's skin feeling itchy.

In conclusion, therefore, if a cat is losing hair in a symmetrical way in easy accessible places then it is due to over grooming due to stress. If there are areas that are missing hair and the skin can be seen to have inflamed areas in it then this could quite likely be the flea bite allergy.

The cat flea is probably the most common cause of cat health problems and it is very important that cat owners ensure that the cat is free of fleas which obviously means for a high level of vigilance especially if the cat goes outside a lot.

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