14 year old male cat's fur starting to clump

by Kristen
(Las Vegas, NV USA)

My 14 year old short haired male cat's fur is suddenly starting to clump on his back towards his hind legs.

It started with 1 spot spot and now up to 4. Each spot is smaller than a dime. Brushing doesn't help and seems to hurt and they reappear anyways.

He regularly cleans himself. Nothing else seems to be different... eating, drinking and behaviorally.

Editor's note: I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having problems, Kristen. At age 14, he's up there in years. I would call the vet and make an appointment.

Several thoughts come to mind...

Ringworm can appear in dime sized areas.

Clumping fur has been reported by cat owners with cats with thyroid issues.

Unkempt fur and matted coats can be linked to dehydration, diabetes, kidney disease and a number of other ailments. Kidney disease (CRF) is very common in older cats.

Older cats don't groom as well sometimes due to limited mobility. The back area tends to be harder to reach.

I did some digging, and here's a veterinarian's answer to a question on dime sized matted fur.

The vet said it was probably a grooming issue, but I would not be thrilled with that answer from someone who did not actually examine my cat.

Here's a story that turned out, after veterinary examination and blood work, to apparently be just a winter coat transition issue.

Thyroid problems...

It's common for older cats to develop hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a (usually) benign growth in the thyroid gland, which causes overproduction of the thyroid hormone.

This can result in weight loss despite a good appetite, but more mild cases may not.

Unfortunately, a number of other diseases, including diabetes can include increased appetite with weight loss. At his age, he's prone to these and other problems that we see in elderly cats.

Has he had blood work done recently? Some cats make it to age 14 without ever having blood work, but at his age, it's long past time for that.

Has he experienced any weight loss? If he's in the beginning stages, you may not have noticed.

What I would do is get a digital scale and weigh him every 3 to 4 days. If he won't stay still on the scale long enough, you can weigh yourself first, then pick him up and weigh both of you to get his weight.

I hope that helps. Please let us know how it goes with him.

P.S. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

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