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7 Explanations For Cat Hair Loss On Ears

7 Explanations For Cat Hair Loss On Ears

You noticed bald patches on your cat’s ears? This probably surprised you, and even scared you.

Well, the truth is that there are several medical causes for this skin change in felines. 

Luckily, there are treatments! Also, don’t ever panic when you notice a certain change in your cat’s skin, coat, or behavior. Always remember that your vet is just one call away!

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons for a cat to lose hair on ears.

1. Genetics

Ringworm on a cat's ears.

Genetics is crucial in determining your cat’s physical features, such as her size and coat color. But, genetics are also a very important part of your cat’s overall health.

A cat losing hair on her ears might have inherited this trait from her parents. According to petMD, breeds prone to hereditary hair loss are Devon Rex, Siamese, Burmese, and Birman cats.

If this is the deal with your cat, you have nothing to worry about. She is not experiencing any pain or discomfort; she simply inherited the hair loss trait from her parents. So, there is not much you can do about it.

2. Flea Bites

Fleas not only bite and draw the cat’s blood out; their saliva can also cause allergic inflammation of a cat’s skin. According to Amaury Briand and his associates [1], flea bite is considered to be the main cause of allergic dermatitis in cats. 

Cats suffering from allergic reactions to flea bites will become restless and will deal with itching. A cat will start to scratch herself intensively, leading to hair loss on her ears. Some cats might also show skin redness.

This kind of skin problem in felines can be treated with various means against fleas, such as collars, sprays, powders, or drops. Of course, you first need to consult your vet on the best kind of medication for your kitten.

3. Food Allergies

bald spots at ears.

Felines might also deal with food allergies, causing them to scratch their skin and groom it excessively, leading to hair loss on certain parts of the body, such as the ears.

Besides hair loss, some cats might also have symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes, and even diarrhea and vomiting.

Your vet will recommend stopping the food your cat is usually eating and for her to go on a diet for at least 12 weeks. 

If this period shows your cat was indeed allergic to a certain ingredient from her standard diet, the vet will prescribe a special diet for her, and will explain to you the best way to introduce new food to your kitten.

4. Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites located in the cat’s ear canal. Most cat parents will have a hard time noticing these parasites, but some symptoms might show you your cat is dealing with them.

A cat will scratch her ears intensively, causing hair loss on them. Also, you could notice your cat twitching her ears, having problems with balance, and even some dried blood in her ear canals.

Since ear mites are highly contagious, if you notice these symptoms in your kitten, you should isolate her immediately, especially if you’re living in a multi-pet household.

And, of course, you need to call the veterinarian as soon as possible!

See Also: Solving The Cat Ear Mites Vs Wax Dilemma

5. Fungal Infections

siberian cat with green eyes by the window

Cat hair loss on ears can also be caused by fungal infection; a ringworm, to be more precise.

When this fungal infection infects the cat’s hair shaft, her hair becomes weak and falls off. Such lesions are mostly found on the skin on the cat’s head, like on her ears, and the chest and spine as well.

Cats can get ringworm by having direct contact with an infected animal, or through a contaminated surface.

Kittens and older cats are at a higher risk for ringworm infection, as well as outdoor cats. If you suspect this fungal infection in your cat, you need to consult a veterinarian.

The treatment involves oral medication, and applying medication to your cat’s skin.

6. Mange

Oh yes, a cat with bald patches on her ears might also be dealing with mange.

Mange in cats is a type of parasitic infection of the skin, caused by tiny parasites – mites. If the cat has weakened immunity, she becomes susceptible to diseases; thus, mites multiply faster in her skin and fur.

Symptoms of mange are the cat’s frequent scratching and licking of the skin, hair loss, and the appearance of sores and scabs on the skin. Of course, you should never remove the scabs from a cat yourself!

If it is treated in time, mange will not leave lasting effects on your cat. Therefore, you must react as soon as possible, of course, as with any other health problem!

This skin issue in felines is treated by locally applying a topical treatment to the affected area. If there is a secondary bacterial infection, the vet will also prescribe antibiotics.

7. Solar Dermatitis

Woman cleaning cat's ears at home with wool

Solar dermatitis is another health problem that could cause your cat to lose ear hair.

Cats love to sunbathe, as we all know, however, cats with light fur have sensitive skin and the sun’s rays can cause an allergic reaction in them.

This allergic reaction is usually immediately noticeable on the tips of the cat’s ears and on the skin of the nose. Symptoms of solar dermatitis are red skin, hair loss, and scabs on the skin.

As Pucheu-Haston [2] suggests, the most important thing in the treatment of solar dermatitis in felines is the limitation of additional sun exposure.

So, a cat should be kept indoors during the treatment; she should even be away from open windows or doors.

Your vet will prescribe the medications and will explain to you how to take care of the wound. Some cats will even need an Elizabethan collar – to prevent them from scratching the wound.

What Should You Do?

Your cat might be losing hair on its ears due to genetics or some kind of health issue. 

No matter what caused this disorder in her, the only thing you need to do is to consult a veterinarian.

The sooner you do this – the better it will be for your kitten! You’re the person that knows her the best, and the one that will immediately notice this kind of change in her.

And, don’t worry, since your veterinarian will know exactly what to do to make your cat well again!


[1] Briand, A et al. Open field study on the efficacy of fluralaner topical solution for long-term control of flea bite allergy dermatitis in client owned cats in Ile-de-France region. BMC Vet Res 15, 337 (2019). DOI, Retrieved April 24, 2023.

[2] Pucheu-Haston, CM. Solar Dermatitis. World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2017. DOI, Retrieved April 25, 2023.

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