Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Alopecia: overview

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella, Ian Mason, David Scarff


  • Cause: self-trauma due to pruritus or less commonly, non-pruritic acquired or congenital dermatoses.
  • Signs: absence or decrease in hair from areas of the body where a normal hair coat is expected.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Hair loss (alopecia) Hair loss (alopecia) to give to your client.



  • Alopecia may be congenital Congenital hypotrichosis  Hypotrichosis (failure of hair production) or acquired (loss of existing hair) Feline alopecia universalis.
  • Acquired alopecia may be self-induced due to pruritus  Psychogenic alopecia or spontaneous (rare) due to follicle or shaft damage.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barrs V R, Martin P, France M et al (1999) What is your diagnosis? Feline paraneoplastic alopecia associated with pancreatic and bile duct carcinomas. JSAP 40 (12), 559-6 PubMed.
  • Swayer L S, Moon-Fanelli A A, Dodman M H (1999) Psychogenic alopecia in cats - 11 cases (1993-1996). JAVMA 214 (1), 71-74 PubMed.
  • Tasker S, Griffon D J, Nuttall T J et al (1999) Resolution of paraneoplastic alopecia following surgical removal of a pancreatic carcinoma in a cat. JSAP 40 (1), 16-19 PubMed.
  • Godfrey D R (1998) A case of feline paraneoplastic alopecia with secondary Malassezia-associated dermatitis. JSAP 39 (8), 394-396 PubMed.
  • Swanepoel N, Lee E, Stein D J (1998) Psychogenic alopecia in a cat - response to clomipramine. J S Afr Vet Assoc 69 (1), 22 PubMed.
  • O'Dair H A, Foster A P (1995) Focal and generalized alopecia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 25 (4), 851-870 PubMed.
  • Halliwell R E (1990) Skin diseases of old dogs and cats. Vet Rec 126 (16), 389-394 PubMed.
  • Rhodes K H (1990) Cutaneous manifestations of canine and feline endocrinopathies. Probl Vet Med (4), 617-626 PubMed.
  • Schmeitzel L P (1990) Sex hormone-related and growth hormone-related alopecias. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 20 (6), 1579-1601 PubMed.