Cat hair falls out naturally throughout the day, much like human hair. It is why our clothes and furniture get covered in our cat’s hair when we interact with them.
However, there are situations where your cat may lose larger amounts of hair than is normal or will need to have their hair removed through shaving.
In these instances, it can be natural to worry about whether your cat’s hair will grow back afterward. In this article, we will look at whether your cat’s hair is likely to grow back after various illnesses or treatments.
How Fast Does Cat Hair Grow Back?
One of the main concerns of pet owners whose animal has had to have some or all of their hair removed is how quickly their hair will grow back. On average, a healthy cat’s hair will grow back from nothing in around 12 weeks.
However, it is perfectly normal for it to take a little longer or grow back sooner. Things that affect the speed of regrowth include the overall health of your cat, how healthy their coat was before, and how long their fur is.
For example, a short-haired cat that had an area shaved for surgery will be back to normal in 12 weeks or less. Whereas, a long-haired cat that was shaved because of matted and neglected hair may take a little longer than 12 weeks to grow back.
Will Cat Hair Grow Back After Ear Mites?
Ear mites can cause your cat to scratch at their ears incessantly, which can lead to hair loss in that area. Once you have successfully treated your cat for ear mites and the itchiness has calmed down or has gone completely, the hair on your cat's ears can begin to recover.
The hair should regrow fairly quickly as the follicles should not be too badly damaged if you have treated the mites in a timely manner.
The mites only attack the inside of the ear, the hair loss on the outside is a direct result of your cat scratching themselves. The hair is short so should be back in less than 12 weeks.
Will Cat Hair Grow Back After Fleas?
As with ear mites, your cat’s hair should easily grow back after they have had fleas.
Again, the speed of the regrowth is likely to depend on how quickly the fleas were dealt with and how badly your cat has been scratching. It really only takes one flea bite to cause your cat to scratch their skin until their fur falls out.
However, once the fleas have been treated and the itchiness has decreased, your cat’s hair can begin to recover.
The only thing that will prevent your cat’s hair from growing back the same as it was before the fleas are if they have scratched to the point that they have damaged the hair follicles or have caused scar tissue on their skin.
This is only likely to happen if the fleas are not dealt with properly and quickly and are left to become an infestation.
Is Hair Loss From Ringworm Permanent?
The hair loss that occurs with a ringworm infection is a little different from that caused by mites and fleas. With mites and fleas, hair loss is a result of your cat scratching themselves rather than the bugs themselves.
With ringworm, however, hair loss is the result of the lesions that are caused by the infection. If the infection is identified quickly, which can be helped by the bald patches that develop, and is treated properly, cat hair can grow back fully.
However, if the infection is not identified or treated in good time with an aggressive enough treatment, the damage to the skin can become more severe and your cat’s hair might not grow back as it was before.
To avoid risking permanent hair loss in your cat, it is important to identify infections such as ringworm quickly. One of the best ways to do this is to check your cat’s skin for round lesions regularly, especially if they spend a lot of their time outside and out of your sight,
Will Cat Hair Grow Back Over Scars?
If your cat has a scar from either a fight with another cat or from surgery, their fur will never grow back in the location of the scar.
If the scar is small enough it may be covered adequately by the surrounding fur and will only be noticeable occasionally. However, if the scar is large or not linear, it is more likely to be visible at all times.
Cat hair will not grow back over a scar because scar tissue does not have any hair follicles in it. This means that the scar will remain hair free for the rest of your cat’s life.
Will Cat Hair Grow Back After A Full Shaving?
If your cat has to be shaved for any reason, whether medical or to fix matting issues, its hair will grow back fully.
In short-haired cats who have been shaved down to the skin, it will take on average, three months for their hair to grow back to its full length.
If you have a long-haired cat, full regrowth could take as long as four to six months due to the extra length.
It is important to note that fully shaving your cat should be avoided wherever possible. Cat hair plays many roles such as temperature regulation and the removal of this can cause discomfort and anxiety for your pet.
If your cat has matted hair, a professional groomer should be employed to fix it.
In general, cats’ hair should grow back in a relatively short amount of time. There are some instances where their hair will not grow back but these are avoidable and rare instances.
Fully shaving your cat should be avoided where possible as it is not pleasant for your animal.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.