Every cat sheds to some degree, but if you have found yourself wondering “Why is my Maine Coon cat losing hair?” then this article will look in depth at some of the potential reasons for hair loss.
Maine Coon cats have long fur, and can shed either seasonally or throughout the entire year. Some amount of shedding is completely normal for any cat. However, if you notice that your cat appears to be losing an abnormal amount of fur at a rapid pace, it is time to take your cat to the vet, as this can be caused by an underlying health condition.
If you are worried or confused by your Maine Coon’s hair loss, don’t worry! We will take an in depth look at the reasons for hair loss, as well as cover which kinds of hair loss are normal versus which kinds are not.
Why Your Maine Coon Is Losing Hair
Are you finding more fur around your house than usual? Or have you maybe noticed that grooming your cat results in far more clumps of hair in the brush than you are used to? If so, there are a few different possible explanations.
Some Maine Coons shed year round, but others may only shed seasonally, depending on their environmental conditions. If you notice that your Maine coon appears to be losing more hair than usual, it could simply be that your cat is going through a seasonal shed, and it should be over in a few weeks. Extra brushing will help remove the dead fur and speed up the shedding process.
Infestations on your cat’s skin may be an underlying cause for excess shedding, as well. Insects such as lice, ticks, fleas, and mites can all contribute to irritated skin and result in hair loss. You should carefully examine your cat’s fur for any unwelcome hitchhikers appearing as small bumps or crusty patches on the skin. If you happen to find any insects, you should either take your cat to the vet or purchase parasite treatments from your local pet store.
Humans aren’t the only ones to suffer from allergic reactions. If you notice that your cat appears to be sneezing, and also has watery eyes, your Maine Coon may be allergic to something in its environment. These allergies can result in itchiness, causing your Maine Coon to scratch and lose clumps of fur.
4. Infection Or Injury
Fungal infections, burns, and open wounds can all result in sores and scratches, which ultimately end up with loss of hair. If you notice hair loss only in certain areas on your cat’s body, this could be the underlying cause.
A lot of humans joke that stress can cause their hair to fall out, but this is actually a very real issue. If your Maine Coon is living in a stressful environment, or has recently had to deal with any major changes, your poor kitty could be losing hair as a result of that stress.
6. Underlying Medical Conditions
This is a less common reason for hair loss, but it is an important one to take into consideration. Dangerous conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other diseases can result in hair loss. If you suspect your cat’s loss of fur is caused by something more sinister than the above reasons, you should bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Maine Coon Cat Hair Loss Treatment
Depending on the reason for your cat’s hair loss, there a wide variety of possible treatment methods available, including:
1. More Frequent Brushing
If your cat is shedding, increasing the frequency in grooming can help to speed up the shedding process. You may want to brush your cat once a day to remove the excess fur until your cat’s new coat grows in and the shedding finally stops.
2. Environmental Change
If your cat is losing hair as a result of allergies or stress, you should change your environment to better suit your cat. Dusting more frequently, reducing time spent near pollen, or eliminating certain foods from your cat’s diet can help to get rid of any allergic reactions. Cats thrive on routine, so disruption in that schedule can result in stress and overgrooming. If your cat is stressed, you should try and provide a calm, structured environment where your Maine Coon feels safe and loved.
3. Medical Attention
If your cat is suffering from open wounds or sores, or if you simply cannot find an explanation for your cat’s hair loss, it’s time to go to a veterinarian. They can help treat any wounds or infections your cat might be suffering from. If your cat’s loss of fur is caused by a more serious underlying issue, they can also help you discuss further treatment options.
If you try to solve this issue of your cat’s hair loss on your own, but you notice that it is not going away, you should seek out medical attention. While hair loss may not seem like a big issue at first, if it persists, it is crucial to make your cat’s health a priority.
Maine Coon Shedding Season
As long haired cats, Maine Coons shed quite a bit. They can shed either year round or seasonally, depending on their environmental conditions. Typically, Maine Coons shed their fur when it is warm. As a result, if you live in a warmer climate, your Maine Coon can be expected to shed throughout the year.
If you live in a more temperate zone, however, your Maine Coon will likely only shed during the summer, or when it is warmer. Winter shedding is uncommon, as this is the time of year when your Maine Coon will need its long, thick pelt to keep it nice and cozy in cold weather. In fact, a Maine Coon’s coat actually thickens in the winter. They grow a fluffy undercoat to help keep their body insulated and warm. In the spring, they shed their undercoat so that they don’t get too hot in the warm weather, resulting in a thinner, less fluffy coat.
To help your cat through a shed, it never hurts to give your cat a good brushing. While Maine Coons should be brushed once a week on average, a shedding spell might encourage you to brush more frequently, up to once or twice a day. This will help to speed up the shedding process, as well as prevent your cat from getting hair all over your furniture and carpet.
Maine Coon Rapid Hair Loss
Shedding results in even hair loss over a longer period of time. If you notice rapid hair loss, however, it may be a cause for greater concern. As mentioned previously, reasons outside of shedding can include parasitic infections, injuries, stress, allergies, or underlying health conditions. Some of these can be fixed by simple environmental changes, but others warrant a quick trip to the vet to sort it out completely. If you notice that your Maine Coon is losing hair rapidly, it’s time to figure out the exact reason why as soon as possible, in order to avoid any health complications in the near future.
Maine Coon Tail Thinning Reasons
If you notice your Maine Coon losing hair on its tail, this is very unlikely to be due to shedding. Some of the potential causes of tail thinning include:
This icky parasite usually starts on the base of a cat’s tail before moving to other parts of the body. Treatment for this is relatively easy, but you should make sure you get your cat the vet as soon as possible.
2. Other Parasites
Specific areas that are losing hair can often be the result of other parasites, such as fleas. If the parasite is only in one location to start with, your cat will begin grooming excessively in that area in order to get rid of the itchy insect, resulting in hair loss.
Stress can also cause your cat to groom itself more often than usual, and a target area for this grooming can sometimes occur on the tail and lower spine.
4. Underlying Conditions
I know we’ve covered this point earlier in the article, but it is very important to bring up again. While underlying conditions aren’t especially common, you should never rule them out entirely. If you have already tried changing your cat’s environment but you have noticed no change in hair loss, you have to take your cat in for an examination. Even if you can’t possibly imagine your seemingly healthy cat suffering from any sort of condition, it’s always better to play it safe.
All of these reasons warrant a trip to the veterinarian in order to get a treatment sorted out as quickly as possible. While the underlying reasons are rarely dangerous, it’s good to take care of any issues as soon as you can.
We all want our cats to be happy and healthy, and noticing changes in our cat’s health and behavior can result in a lot of worry. Thankfully, if you find yourself wondering “Why is my Maine Coon cat losing hair?” there are plenty of treatment options available. It may take a little while to determine the exact reason for your cat’s hair loss, but it’s nothing some careful investigation, experimentation, and vet visits can’t eventually clear up.