Ragdoll Cat Losing Hair On Back – Reader Question
Floppycats reader, Evie, wrote in concerned about her Ragdoll Gracie. She wrote:
“I’ve written you before about my Kitten Gracie. Well actually she turned a year old in March. I purchased the scaredy-cut scissors and the untangler, both which are great products and it was a little over than a month ago that I clipped some hair off her and I’ve noticed it hasn’t grown back. It also looks thinner on her back right down the middle. Maybe I took more off than I thought, but I’ve been worried. The fur on her other part of her body is fine and thick like normal. Gracie’s very healthy and happy, but I read that stress can cause hair loss. The only problem we have is this feral Calico cat. She started coming around some time in April and spraying and bothering Gracie through the sliding glass door. At first Gracie seemed to like her and would roll around all happy on the rug, ( I promised Gracie I’d get her a kitty friend) but Gracie soon realized that Calico cat doesn’t want to be friends, so now I have to keep my sliding glass window shut; eventhough it is summer and I like having the door open with the screen door locked, but I’ve heard that diseases can be passed through cats that are hissing at each other. There is this constant fighting going on through the closed glass door. The first time it happened, I was shocked because I never heard Gracie growl before, but this Calico cat hisses and pounds on the door and Gracie always fights back. Recently My roommate said they were fighting through his screen door in his bedroom, which really scared me, because I don’t know what diseases this Calico cat carries. Can FELV and FIV be transmitted by the saliva through hissing? and can this be the reason why Gracie’s fur is kind of thin on her back, it’s a bit thinner down the spine area? I can’t ask Gracie’s breeder, because she never responds to me and took so long to send me Gracie’s blue slip. My roommate thinks I’m being paranoid about the fur on her back, so I figured I’d take her to the Vet if it doesn’t grow back in another month. I don’t know how to get rid of the Calico cat. when she see’s me, she runs away. Now she’s jumping on top of my shed which is directly under my bedroom window that has a long cat perch ( more like a bench) where Gracie usually hangs out. Can you recommend some vitamins or supplements that are good for cats hair and skin and how I should deal with Calico cat. I live in Southern CA. So I like to keep my windows open in my bedroom.
Thanks Jenny for all your help.:) have you ever been in this situation?”
I replied, “I do not know the answers to many of your questions – other than, YES diseases in cats can be spread through hissing because of saliva being sprayed and then licked off.” Asking permission
I got my Ragdoll Gracie last June 12, 2013 when she was 12 weeks old, and she turned a year old in March, but the contract I have with her breeder says not to have her vaccinated for FELV, FIV, or Rabies, so I didn’t. Anyway my Gracie is an in-door only cat, but I live in CA. so I like having my windows open, and my sliding door open with the screen door locked, but since this Calico cat has been coming over here since April and picking fights with my Gracie through the glass door, I now keep it closed, but my roommate has a screen door that he keeps locked, but has the door opened for fresh air, and he told me that Calico cat and My Gracie were hissing and growing at each other through the screen door one morning. So I’m worried about whether Gracie can catch FELV or FIV through exchanges of saliva. I’ve heard that HIV is transferred through a bite. Gracie never goes outside and this stray Calico cat ( that’s what I named her), never comes inside our house, but now Gracie is losing her hair on her back and I don’t know if it’s stress due to all the fighting ( even through the closed glass sliding door) with this stray cat or something else. Like I mentioned in my last letter was that I also purchased the Untangler Cat comb with the rotating metal rods last month before Gracie started losing her hair, so I wonder if that could have caused an allergy. Either way, I’m taking Gracie to see her Vet in a few days, but I wonder if any of your readers have had any reactions with the untangler comb. Thanks Jenny for all your help. Gracie and I appreciate it and we love your videos. Here’s a photo of Gracie Last month before she lost her hair and her hair now. Please feel free to post the photos as well. Maybe some one else has had this problem with their Ragdoll.”
Where do I find your email sorry x
It’s on our contact page.
I have a ragdoll kitten that seems to be losing hair directly on the top of her head there is no redness no irritation or anything like that but I’m pretty sure it’s every time I leave her on her own for a little while, I know by reading about these cats that they are very much like dogs where they like to follow you and be with you an she always likes to meow every time I come back into the room to her too. So I took her the vets but they just gave me this cream drops to put on her and her hair is growing back but then little bits in the same spots are coming out I noticed. Id just like to know if anyone has any information about this as I have scoured the internet for what it might be and it’s just telling me the basic usual things which is not what it is because of the symptoms are not the same and I don’t really have the money at this time for her to have several skin scrapes. Any information would be great Thankyou 🙂
If you can send me a photo through email showing what’s happening – that would be great. Also include what she eats – dry, wet, etc and products you use in your home that have chemicals or perfumes. Thanks.
Hello sorry what is your email ?
It’s on our contact page.
My Logan has had what looks very similar to this for over 4 years now. His is almost perfectly square and covers 1/2 his back. Somedays, i swear I see skin…like a balding old man. My vet and his vet daughter have both looked at it and have no idea. Did you ever find answers?
Hi, Evie, it’s Dementia Boy but under another name. And it’s probably appropriate that I’m using Jolie’s name because she’s been on daily oral medications for at least 18 years.
Because I’ve been pilling Jolie for so long, I can do it in one fluid motion. But it may take you a while before you’re comfortable with it. This is how I do it:
(1) Coat pill with wet food or butter, slippery enough so that it will slide down her throat.
(2) Fill 3 cc syringe (no needle) with 2 ccs of water. (You may want to skip this step for a week or so until you’re comfortable with the rest of the pilling procedure. But don’t skip it for too long. Cats who take daily oral medications are prone to esophageal ulcers if they don’t get water chasers with their pills.)
(3) Find a place where Gracie will be comfortable – in between legs, on kitchen counter – facing you. Put pill, syringe and cat there.
(4) With left hand, hold Gracie’s head back (you may have to scruff her) while opening her mouth with your thumb as wide as you can. With right hand, toss pill as far back down the middle of her mouth as you can, aiming for the throat. Immediately squirt syringe down between teeth and gum. (NOT middle of mouth).
(5) Blow in Gracie’s mouth and immediately close it tightly, stroking her larynx until you can feel her swallow.
(6) Kiss her on the head and let her run off to hide under the bed. Repeat for three months or the rest of her life, whichever is necessary. Believe me, it gets easy with time. Do it as quickly as you can, because she who hesitates is lost when it comes to cats.
I can understand why Gracie is lethargic. She had a lot done to her today. Do you know if the vet gave her benadryl or prednisone as an anti-itch shot? The benadryl will make her tired; the prednisone will suppress her immune system. If the vet gave her prednisone (or another corticosteroid), I’m surprised that he also vaccinated her. If he gave her a modified live vaccine, that will make her a lot more tired than a killed vaccine. Fort Dodge really seems to make cats lethargic.
Is Frontline an insecticide? We don’t have fleas where I live, so I don’t know what goes into flea products these days. Given the anti-itch shot and the three-in-one vaccination, I’d hold off on the Frontline for a while until Gracie’s immune system has had a chance to bounce back, especially since there’s no evidence of fleas. Others might disagree, though.
Hi Dementia Boy,
Thank so much for your help. I do appreciate it. I can tell that You are definitely a pro at this. Do you think you can come over to my house and pill Gracie after your finished with Jolie, lol. So has Jolie been taking Buspar for 18 years and is that the only medication and how old is she? Well, it sounds like you got a really good system going on with her and she’s probably comfortable with it. I didn’t get online since Friday and because I just read your message now instead of sooner, I’ve lost 3 of the 30 Amitriptyline that the Vet gave me. Although, I did get probably about 1/2 of one in her system while it was dissolving in her food, and when she wouldn’t finish the wet food, I took some treats and sopped up the gravy that contained some of the crushed pill. I did buy those pill pocket treats, but Gracie doesn’t like moist treats, prefers dry food and treats, and will only eat wet food if it has gravy in it, but I another idea popped into my head about pilling her. See when I my late Persian Cat, Capri was alive she had to take this iron supplement. It came in a tube and had this maple sticky syrup to it. The Vet said to smear some on her mouth every day and she will have no choice, but to lick it off, so I did, but lucky for me Capri actually liked it, so everyday I just squeezed the tube 1/2 ” and she’d gobble it up. So I went to Petco today, and bought some multivitamins that comes as a paste in a tube, and I figured I’d crush up her pill, add it to the paste and put it on her mouth so she could lick it up. She’s over grooming so much and her hair is getting thinner and thinner. She’s always been a nervous cat, but this stray cat is really stressing her. I’d be afraid to try to put the pill down her throat right at this point, even if that’s the best way, because I get shaky when I’m nervous and I’d be afraid to send it down her trachea instead. Is that possible? We sprayed the critter Ridder, but stray calico cat has been still coming back every night. I have to get a trap and take her to the Humane society. So last Friday when we went to the Vets office they suggested getting Feliway diffuser and spray and I bought both today. The Doctor Gave Gracie Depomedrol 40mg anti-itch shot, and they applied Revolution for fleas and tics and worms, but the Doctor said she didn’t have any, but that it would be good to have her on it year round. Normally I would disagree, but my roommate works for a Hotel that allows pets and he has at times brought home fleas, and Capri had caught them and so did I. They will eat me alive. There was one occasion where they got me, but didn’t jump on Capri and she wasn’t on anything at that time. I just got bit a few days ago, so I think it’s probably a good idea. I plugged the feliway diffuser, but I read that it takes time to work. I know you mentioned that Jolie was on Buspar. Is that more of an Anti-anxiety medication than Amitriptyline. I wonder why my Vet didn’t give Gracie Buspar instead of an antidepressant. I guess this means Gracie will have to be on it for the rest of her life and she’s only 1 year and 3 months. It’s really funny because my Doctor wanted to prescribe me Amitriptyline for my Chronic Migraines and I refused it, but if I got it the cost would be $1.20 for a 3 month supply, because of my insurance as opposed to Gracie’s Amitriptyline 10mg #30 for $33. Ofcourse I’m sure a Human dose would be much higher than 10mgs, and I’d have to crush it and divide it, and that may be harder than it sounds. Are these medications the same as the one’s we take, I mean atleast when it comes to the Antidepressants? Can I ask are you a Doctor or do you work in the medical field, because you are very knowledgeable. Have you used Feliway? Is Jolie your only cat or do you have more? I know that I’m asking a lot of questions, but I really think you can help my Gracie. I got Gracie from a Breeder last June 12, 2013. She was 12 weeks old and has always been nervous. I felt sad that I took her away from her siblings. She was very close to her brother. She bonded with me right away and like most Ragdolls followed me around wherever I went. At first, she was so nervous that she’d wake up out of a deep sleep to chase after me if I left the room just to go to the kitchen. She cries when I have to go out, but I’m home with her most of the time. Since the stray cat came to town, Gracie spends her time sitting by the glass sliding door waiting for her. I really thought the Critter Ridder was going to work, because my friend convinced me, but it hasn’t, so I have to trap this cat and hope she doesn’t have an owner who lives on our block, because then we will be in the same situation. I’d been planning on adopting another cat, because I’d like to get out more and Gracie hates to be alone, but right now, I have to concentrate on getting Gracie well.
Thank you so much for all your help.
No, I’m not a doctor, vet or vet tech, although I was a certified euthanasia technician for a while in my spare time. I’m a medically retired psychologist who has devoted her life to learning cat physiology, anatomy and blood chemistry. I have a mini-lab and my best friend is a microbiologist.
Jolie is the perfect cat for learning everything that can go wrong with a feline. She turned 19 April 1. She was born an immunological wreck; her feral mother (purebred father) left her and her siblings beneath my deck when they were about a week old. Only Jolie and her sister, Zen-Zin, made it. Zen never had anything wrong with her until the end; she died of CRF-related non-regenerative anemia October 4.
Amitryptyline – I can never spell it, so I call it Elavil – was the first medication Jolie was on. (Electra was the cat on Buspar.) Elavil is a great anti-inflammatory. Because Gracie is under a lot of stress, which is a major cause of inflammation, Elavil seems like the best choice of meds, at least initially. If it doesn’t work, you can always go to Buspar or Prozac. And, yes, human meds are the same as pet meds, so if you’ve got a prescription for Elavil, fill it!! I share many of my meds with my cats — I only have two cats now, but I’ve had as many as eight “regulars” and multiple fosters — being very careful with the pill cutter. (So turn me in to Medicare for Part “D” fraud, lol.)
Gracie may not have to take Elavil forever. If you can break her of her over-grooming habit, you might be able to stop then. But it sounds like she suffers separation anxiety when you’re gone. Now that she has the Elavil, start going out more often. Another cat *might* help, provided it’s Gracie’s cat and not yours. In other words, continue giving attention to Gracie, and allow Gracie to give attention to new kitty.
One thing that really, really concerns me about Gracie: She likes dry food. Jolie had two bouts of cystitis before she was four months old; her functioning bladder is the size of a pea. If you look at her bladder on ultrasound, there are layers and layers of inflammatory tissue, sort of like the rings on a redwood tree. The UC Davis vets distended Jolie’s bladder via cystoscopy multiple times – it must have been torture. You don’t want that happening to Gracie. Elavil and wet food will help. Does she drink water from a fountain, a bowl, the tap?
Yes, I have Feliway dispensers all throughout the house, or at least the parts Jolie hangs out in. I give Jolie Bach’s Rescue Remedy before stressful events – vet trips, Friday night fireworks.
IMO, Depo-Medrol is the best of the corticosteroids. I take the pill form of it when I have inflammatory exacerbations.
You really don’t have to worry about Gracie choking on a pill. It’s the water you have to worry about–that’s why you want liquid sliding down the side of her mouth.
Not sure if I answered all your questions, but write back if I didn’t!!
Hi Dr. Cozette, That is great that you are a Psychologist and you know alot about Cat Physiology, anatomy and Chemistry. You’re more knowledgeable than Gracie’s Vet. Do you mind me calling you Dr. Cozette or do you prefer Dementia Boy? Either way it’s a cute name, and I go by Anacapri on here which was the name of my first cat, who was a white Persian, actually named Capri, but loved to call her AnaCapri, because she was so little and I loved The Island Of Capri, and the top is referred to Anacapri,I’m sure you probably know that. You are extremely knowledgeable and very intelligent.
I used to work in the Medical field, and have my certificate as a Medical Assistant, and my License as a Esthetician, but don’t work now, but I know a little bit about some antidepressants. I’ve always had Migraines, and in the mid 90’s when I was young, was prescribed Cafergot and Ibuprofen and after awhile they just became worse and worse, so I saw many Doctors for help and was put on so many different Antidepressants, I think I may have taken Elavil too. Anyway, None of the Doctors could help me, so i did some research and discovered I was having rebound headaches, and one doesn’t need to take heroin to become physically addicted to any drug, which at that time I had already quit taking the cafergot and was taking about 15 Advils a day, when I discovered I was having rebound headaches, so I quit it altogether but I still get Chronic Migraines and I know what it’s like to be addicted, so I worry about Gracie getting addicted to Elavil and either having to be on it the rest of her life or if she gets better after a few months then taking her off the Elavil can cause her to go through withdrawal symptoms and suffer from intense Anxiety.I take Klonopin and have detoxed from that before and the withdrawals are wicked. When my sister slowly came off of effexor, she suffered a lot of anxiety. I take Prozac myself, and it has helped me, so I plan on staying on it, but I know from experience with other drugs that it’s never good to be dependent on anything, but sometimes one needs to take Psychiatric drugs. Btw, I think it’s great that you share your medication with Jolie. I have extra Prozac, Latuda and Topamax that was given to me for Migraines, but doesn’t work, so maybe since I get them for $1.20, I should switch Gracie to one of them. I know Elavil is an older antidepressant, so it seems like $33 for 30 pills is a lot of money, especially for me.
I’m so sorry that Jolie has suffered from Cystitis and has had to have her bladder distended via cystoscopy many times. Poor baby. Does she have interstitial cystitis? I’m sure I misspelled that, but I’ve had two Cystoscopy’s, once at the Doctors office with no pain medication and it hurts like hell, and the second time it was in a Hospital where they put me under, but still one wakes up to a lot of pain. The way you described her bladder was similar to how my bladder was at that time, except for the size of a pea. So I know how painful having that is. Is she being treated for it now, or did the ulcerations go away? I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine gracie having to go through that. Gracie drinks water from a running fountain, but she’s usually in my room with me, and her food is in the dining room area, and she likes to lick the water out of my bathroom faucet when I was my hands, so I give her a bowl of water to drink in there. I guess it would be wise to move her large fountain to my room, but I’m having guests soon, and I bought a large fountain, because I expected to adopt another cat, but it’s taken longer. I’m torn between getting an exotic shorthair or another ragdoll like Gracie. I’m wondering if Getting another ragdoll would be best for Gracie what do you think? I was also told that sometimes having two girls can cause conflict with them, so a boy would be better for Gracie. You know a lot about cats. Is that true? Well you have two girls, Jolie and Electra, right. Is Electra also a ragdoll and can I ask what her age is? That is so great that Jolie is 19 years and doing well. I know you mentioned that Jolie started on Elavil and Electra used to take Buspar. What do they take now?
I think it is really great that you’ve been able to foster so many cats. I live in a house with my roommate, Mickey and he owns this house, so I’m allowed only two cats, because we live in a modular home park and that’s there law.
I would love to be able to pill Gracie the way you do Jolie and Electra, but I don’t think that would work. I know how nervous she is and she will run away. She won’t even allow me to bathe her without going crazy and running out. I wonder why she is so nervous. Her brother was so mellow and just melt in your arms, but Gracie doesn’t like to be held, or groomed. She will allow me to brush her hair to a point, but when I try to clip some mats, she’ll bite me, but it’s not hard. The thing is, I got her at 12 wks and she was like this, and when I told someone about her anxiety, they said it sounds like she was abused. Now I don’t believe in hitting or yelling or even spraying a cat with a water spray bottle. I tried the clicker & treat method with her, so she knows she will get treats after a hair brushing, but will not put up with a bath or a trim, so I don’t know how I could ever get a pill down her mouth manually. Gracie does like wet food in gravy, and surprisingly she ate some of my Roommate’s Salmon this morning without any gravy.
So I need to call the Humane Society or ASPCA to see if they will lend me a cat trap, but my phone is not working very well right now, but I have a google number, so I should call from my computer. The great thing is, ” Calico Cat” hasn’t come over for the last two nights. I got super made Sunday Morning at 4 am when I heard stray calico cat pounding on my sliding glass door, so I went outside and chased her away. Gracie has been in my room all last night, instead of sitting by the sliding glass door watching out for Calico cat. So maybe that means the Critter Ridder is finally working or I scared Calico cat to the point where now she doesn’t want to come back. I could dream, lol.
I was thinking of getting multiple Feliway diffusers. A customer told me yesterday in Petsmart that it really does work. So has it really helped Jolie and Electra, and how long did it take b4 you noticed changes in Both of your cats? I saw some other calming sprays and there was a calming liquid that I saw at Petsmart that one can add to their cats water. Do you recommend any?
Omg, I practically wrote you a novel. I should have cut back. I just really appreciate your help and you are so knowledgeable plus I like making new friends and writing to them. If you want to exchange emails, that would be great. Mine is email@example.com. This Pic profile is of Capri my late Persian who passed away in February 2013, she was 2 months shy of her 16th birthday. She was a big personality in a little package. She weighed 6 lbs, but thought she was a tiger and wasn’t the nervous type. I miss her so much.
Anyway, Thank you so much. I enjoy reading your messages and appreciate your help. If you rather just email me instead of here, plz feel free. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m on Facebook too. Are you on Facebook? I think my URL is evgregory1 @ facebook.com.
Just call me DB, short for Dementia Boy. Dementia Boy was a term of endearment for my flame point Ragdoll, William, pictured here when he was 22. He had severe cognitive dysfunction – it seems like all of my cats have had psych problems – and I euthanized him last October when he was 24.
The only cats I have now are Jolie, 19, and Isabella (or Izzy), 17. Jolie does not appear nervous, just angry, but as we both know, anxiety takes many forms. Izzy is a very nervous cat but has no psych or physical problems. They ignore each other. William was Jolie’s best friend. Zen, Jolie’s sister, was Izzy’s best friend. They’re both kind of lost without their pals. Izzy needs someone to take care of, and Jolie needs someone to harass.
I’ve only had to medicate Izzy after dentals and a surgery last year. She is very difficult to pill. I have to scruff her tightly and she still squirms and twists her head around, and her heart beats rapidly. Then she runs and hides under the bed for hours. She acts as though she’s been abused, but until she was 18-1/2, she had never been injured in any way. I could tell from the time she was a week old that I wouldn’t be able to adopt her out – she was just born with a nervous temperament.
You may have to be tough with Gracie, as much as it breaks your heart. Scruff her and pill her quickly. Do it at the same time each day. Then give her a reward for being such a good cat. I’ve had the Feliway for so long that I don’t recall how long it took to take effect. Except for Bach essences, I’ve never put calming liquids in the cats’ fountains; depending on what the stuff is, it’s probably not a bad idea. I’ve used the Feliway spray on cloths which I’ve rubbed on the cats and in their carriers. I’ve never used any spray directly on the cats as it scares them.
After the Elavil takes effect and the calico is gone, then consider another cat. Maybe some other folks can chime in as to what to look for in a playmate for Gracie. My gut instinct says a calm, sissy-la-la male that won’t try to dominate Gracie is your best bet, someone she can mother and protect and maybe boss around a little. Gracie is so accustomed to being the only cat that bringing in a new cat will require some adjusting–Jenny’s “Bringing Home Your Ragdoll Kitten” will help you there, even if the cat is not a Ragdoll. But other people may think differently. Sometimes I’ve been very surprised at which cats make friends with other cats. Teresa, for example, has three females; Jenny, of course, has two males.
The drugs you mentioned are all from different classes:
–Elavil, a tricyclic antidepressant. Minimal withdrawal symptoms, even after years of use.
–Prozac, a SSRI. Minimal to moderate withdrawal symptoms; should not discontinue abruptly.
–Effexor, a SNRI. We called it Side-Effexor. Moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms, including rebound problems and seizures if discontinued abruptly. Must be tapered off gradually.
–Klonopin, a benzodiazepine. All benzodiazepines have severe withdrawal symptoms unless tapered off VERY gradually. Missing one dose can cause withdrawal.
My email is email@example.com. I just opened a Facebook account under Wilma Blake (named after William) for cat-related stuff. I have no idea how to use Facebook!!
I want to first of All thank Jenny Dean for posting the issue with Gracie and for your responses and suggestions, ChristyB, Dementia Boy and Debi. I wanted to follow up with all of you. You were right and I kind of had a feeling it was stress, because the problem started when stray calico cat came around in April. Gracie went to see her Vet,and I did tell him this problem started a few weeks after the stray cat started coming over. She’s recently been scratching the area next to her ears until they bleed and scab up and I showed her Doctor this. He said, she’s over grooming herself and couldn’t find fleas or ear mites, but put her on revolution. She also got an Anti-itch shot. I agreed that she is constantly grooming herself and has scratched off the hair right by her ears, so thats why it’s so easy to see them bleed. He prescribed some Amitriptyline 10mg to calm her nerves. Gracie has always been a nervous kitten ever since I got her at 12 weeks. While she was at the Vets office she got her booster FVRCP and microchipped. She’s only been to the Vet once before after I got her from the breeder and she hates being in the car. So she cried all the way up there and back, but it was worst than before. When we got home, she started grooming her paws and arms for hours. I did spray Feliway in her cat carrier. UNlike most cats including my late Persian cat, Gracie enjoys going inside her carrier and so we keep it out for her to go in freely. I crushed her medicine which is a small pill and put it in some wet food. She prefers the dry food, but will usually eat her wet food when we give it to her before the night is over, but it’s already 3:30 am Pacific time and she hasn’t touched it. So I don’t know how I’m going to get this medication into her system. I know they have those treats where one can place a pill inside, but Gracie will only eat dry cat food treats only. A few days ago my roommate sprayed critter Ritter all over the porch so stray calico won’t come over, but she still did. By the time Gracie and I got hme from the Vets office, we were both so stressed out and who do I see walking around on my drive way as I pull my car in, Calico cat walking around like she owns this place. I love My Gracie. She’s not docile like her twin brother or her parents who are show cats, she’s nervous, doesn’t like to be held or petted too much, but she’s happy and loves to play and be chased, and is very loving toward my roommate and myself only. Since we got home, she seems so lethargic and out of it and I think it’s because all the stress going to the vet. I’ve never seen her like this. I don’t know if’s she’s had a nervous breakdown, but she won’t eat or drink water. She’s been to the Vet once before at 12 weeks, and was nervous, cried up there and back, but was able to spring back into her own self when we got home, but not at all today. I hope, she goes back to normal, and find a new place for her stressor/bully stay cat. I still need to find a good way to giet her medicine in her system. I know Dementia Boy said he gave his cat Buspar and that helped. Can I ask, how were you able to get it inside your cat? And does andyone else have ideas about that?
If you’re able to get a trap from a local shelter/rescue, make sure they show you how to use it and get you to use it before you leave with it. Put the stinkiest food possible as far back in the cage as you can and put it in a secluded area. Don’t put it out the night before if you have nowhere to take it in the morning.
Regarding the untangler comb specifically: I’ve been using this for decades and have never had a problem with it. I can’t think of anything in the rods or handle that would cause an allergic reaction. Could you have dipped or dropped it in something?
Thank you all for your responses, yes this stray calico cat does constantly spray around here. She started coming over here in April. I assume it’s a she due to her being calico colored, but could be wrong. Everytime she see’s me or my roommate, she takes off running, so I don’t think she’s anyone’s cat, but could be wrong. Somehow she seems to think this is her territory and wants to fight with my Gracie. Yes, Gracie does seem to groom herself a lot, so it could be stress related. She does get plenty of fresh air from the windows, because my roommate put up a long carpeted bench affixed to the wall right below the window for her viewing pleasure, and she spends most her time by my window. That’s why I’ve been keeping the sliding glass door shut, because that’s where the stray cat usually goes over to spray and fight with Gracie. Gracie is a Ragdoll, so she stays indoors, but I was terrified when I heard that FELV can be transmitted through a screen door or window from a contagious cat hissing. Gracie isn’t afraid or doesn’t act nervous when the stray cat comes over. Gracie’s usually with me in my room, so when the stray cat goes over to our sliding glass door that’s in the family room, Gracie rushes over there and usually they’ll hiss, growl, and pound on the glass and I’ll go over there and when the stray cat see’s me, she runs away. So I’d have to get a trap to catch her. Gracie isn’t spraying or having any litter box issues. It’s just the hair on her back that is falling off.I don’t think it’s the untangler any more, because I used it all over her coat and it’s only the hair on the back that is falling out. Other than that, Gracie seems very happy and loves to run and play like usual. I’m taking Gracie to see her Vet next friday, so I’ll ask about the Wen shampoo and let you know what happens. Thanks for all your help.
@Evie, before Prossimo became a permanent resident here – via catnapping – he was a roaming cat that ran when anyone tried to go near him. A couple of times people were successful of getting near him but they were bit and/or scratched by him. He did in fact belong to someone but at the time, almost certainly because of his circumstances, he behaved as if he hated all people.
And response to the ragdoll cat Gracie, my suggestion would be to try the win cleansing conditioner. It’s like a shampoo. I am not an endorser just a follower of Gracie, and the shampoo is great for animals as well as humans
Sorry for the miss spelling, the product name is WEN not win. This is in reference to my comment above.
A couple of things:
Is Gracie showing any other signs of stress, e.g., spraying or inappropriate elimination? Is she scratching or rubbing on things that she normally doesn’t touch? If so, then the slow hair growth may be stress-related. But it doesn’t look stress-related to me. Electra would yank her hair from the roots; it became a habit even after the cause of the stress was removed (Jolie and Zen’s silver spoon dad) so I put her on Buspar for a while and it did the trick.
Does the calico spray? This could cause stress. Do you have any idea who the calico belongs to? Can you approach and pet the calico at all? If so, I’d put a collar around her neck and staple a note to it,, saying something like, “Hi!! You’re probably not aware of this, but your calico spends a lot of time at my house, which really stresses my inside cat. Could you call me to discuss this? 415-012-2345. Thanks.” If there’s no response, I’d go the trapping route as Christy suggested.
Spit bothers me. Although FIV generally is transmitted through bites, a whole bunch of stuff can be transmitted through saliva, the scariest being FeLV. It’s not right that Gracie suffers exposure to illness or unnecessary vaccinations because of an intruder. And, as Christy noted, the lack of a view and fresh air can be very stressful.
Stress causes inflammation causes immunosuppression causes illness. Stress can cause a cat’s entire blood chemistry to change. You don’t want Gracie to associate her beloved door with stress.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Hi Evie, I’m sure some experts will chime in but in the meantime I’ll make a couple of observations and a suggestion.
Prossimo has been shaved three times since I’ve had him this past 1.5 years. Once when he first arrived for massive matting and twice since then because it gets super hot in my house (90+) and I don’t have A/C. When he’s not shaved during the heat he is miserable to the point of me not wanting to leave him even for a few minutes. Shaving provides him great and immediate relief.
In my experience from those shavings is that the hair takes a very long time to grow back and become thick & full again. I would speculate that’s what you are seeing. In addition, it would seem more alarming because you have the long full hair surrounding the area you clipped to remind you constantly of the difference!
With regard to the stray Calico, I would consider trapping it and either bringing it to a shelter or working with a rescue so that they commit to taking it once you trap it. You could put a trap right at the door I would think.
Personally I wouldn’t be worried about the saliva and such – but I’m pretty laid back and don’t worry about much – but I would be concerned that the Calico is interfering with Gracie losing a beloved activity. Our pets spend a lot of time indoors and having access to the outdoors, even if strictly in the form of view and fresh air, is something that I believe is important for well-being; emotional, mental and otherwise.
On another note, if your vet states that Gracie is in fact stressed or ill and there are risks from the Calico, even if I felt vaccination were appropriate, I would not let vaccination occur until my cat were in good health as per the pharmaceutical standard but is often ignored. Something of note that I read the other day, but have not researched so I don’t know if it’s true, is once a cat is vaccinated for FIV they will then test positive for FIV for the rest of their lives even though they don’t actually have the disease. This could cause some issues in unexpected situations.
Hi ChristyB, thank you for your response. I also had Gracie get a short hair cut( Lions Cut) in January, because she had this huge matted knot on her chest, and her hair grew back and was fine. When I got the Untangler comb and the Scaredy-cut scissors it was 5-1-14, and Gracie’s hair was already thick in the back, and I just cut a real small amount on two sections of her back, but the small amount of hair was cut before the first photo you can see of Gracie above that was taken on 5/7/14, so 6 days after, and her hair looks really good there. Now her hair has gotten thinner in the back as you can see from these last two recent photos of Gracie. So It cold be due to the stress of the stray calico cat, or maybe a disease from the Calico cat’s hissing. I was hoping she would just go away, but I’m going to have to set up a trap. Do you know where I can get one?
I would first contact local cat rescues, feral cat groups and your local shelter to find out what your options are – you don’t want to trap a cat and then not have any place you can take it!
If you are able to work with someone, they may be able to lend you a trap but there are some on Amazon:
Thank you ChristyB for the information. I”ll definitely contact some places before I try to trap Calico cat. Maybe she does belong to someone. She only comes around her at night or very early in the morning. I saw her this morning at 3:00 am. Whenever Gracie runs to the Glass door in the Family room, I know it’s because Calico cat is here. She was pounding on the window again. So I took my flash light and shined it on her and surprisingly she didn’t run away. Finally I had to shoo her away. She is really pretty and has big green eyes. She’s seems so small, but that’s probably because I’m used to looking at Gracie who’s a big girl.
I have a Ragdoll, Molly. Her personality is stand-offish as well. She too has lost a lot of hair. I thought it was stress from a move, which included a week in a hotel. She seems calm and happy. Anyway, I took her to the vet. He did a hair follicle test–no problems there. Only thing we can think of is the stress, even though she didn’t seem particularly stressed at the time or now. Anyway, there are black patches where she lost hair. Anybody else ever have this happen? The vet said it is growing in black (undercoat) but the overcoat appears to be light (white-beige). I hope he is right as Molly is so beautiful just as she is and does not need to change at all! She does nothing but look beautiful and enjoys being pampered but pretty much left alone. She does cuddle by me on the bed during the night, which I appreciate. Better than nothing. The black areas may be spreading but it does appear that new hair is growing. This could be a natural thing with Ragdolls? Anybody know about this? I’ve never had a Ragdoll before and she is my vet’s only Ragdoll patient so he is learning, too. Molly is four years old.
I have posted your question on our Facebook page, which gets more engagement – https://www.facebook.com/floppycats/posts/10154652245253038 – there are some responses there.
Cats can lose fur due to stress, but it could also be an allergy. My British Blue ended up with lots of bald spots around her face and neck with flea allergies. Have your vet do some bloodwork to see if there is any inflammation, and go from there. The white blood cell count should confirm if there is any immune system response that needs to be dealt along with topical treatment.
I’ve never seen black fur in the coat of a ragdoll – I part mine to view skin (as one has very dry skin) and have always noticed very pale strands close to the body. I do see a lot of black acne on my girl though.
Have you tried any of the Jackson Galaxy calming essences at all?
How is Molly? I noticed recently that my almost 6yr old ragdoll Maddie has an impressive bald spot just over her scapula area, and like Molly, her’s also looks much darker where the hair is missing than the other areas.
She lOVES to groom; herself and anyone else nearby (me included lol). Her eleven year old daddy Jaspurr (my other ragdoll) suffered a surgical site infection after having a mast cell tumor removed from his scalp. He ended up having surgery twice in a four day period, the second time complete with a Penrose drain; and the poor guy was feeling pretty crappy for a few days. He nearly an entire month wearing an oversized e-collar, bumping into everything in site, and freaking the both of them out until they got used to it.
I wasn’t paying as much attention her as him, but noticed that her back was getting pretty matted, and that there was really bad static electricity coming from both of them when I patted them. not sure if it was because they couldn’t groom each other–well Jaspurr couldn’t, Maddie was afraid of the cone and avoided him.
So I thought her hair loss may have been the dry flyaways and stressful situation but the collar’s been off now for a few weeks and her bald spot is still there with some fine wisps coming in.
I don’t want to take her to the vet because that REALLY stresses her, and if she’s otherwise fine….anyway any info is appreciated. thanks!!