Maine Coons are famous for their long, fluffy coats, so if you notice your Maine Coon tail thinning, you may need to visit the vet.
While tail thinning does not always indicate a medical problem, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
If a Maine Coon’s tail starts thinning, it can indicate several medical problems including parasites, infection, dry skin, allergies, and more. However, a Maine Coon’s tail can become thin due to natural reasons such as shedding. If your Maine Coon’s thin tail is accompanied by itching or excessive grooming, it is time to visit the vet.
If you are worried about your Maine Coon’s thin tail or coat, do not fret!
While thin tails often indicate an underlying health problem like parasites or infection, it is usually easy to treat or may not even be a health concern at all!
Read on to find out why your Maine Coon’s tail is looking a little thin, and what you can do to fix it.
Causes of Maine Coon Tail Thinning
The Maine Coon is a giant cat breed with many unique features that have helped them adapt to the cold, snowy climate of Maine.
Perhaps the most notable physical trait of a Maine Coon is its luxurious, triple-coat of long fur.
Maine Coons also have incredibly thick, fluffy tails and they are known for their amazing Maine Coon tail length, which usually reaches 12 to 18 inches in length!
But do all Maine Coons have long tails? Read this guide to find out!
Healthy Maine Coons have thick, shiny coats that are semi-water-repellant.
If you are wondering why is my cat’s tail thinning, though, then it could indicate that your cat is dealing with some health issues.
One of the most common reasons for a cat to lose fur on its tail is parasites, especially fleas.
These parasites cause itchiness, which can lead to overgrooming.
This, in turn, can cause dry, scaly, red, or irritated skin, which can lead to fur loss.
Parasites often infest the base of a cat’s tail because it is the trickiest spot to reach.
These symptoms can be exacerbated if your cat has an allergy to the parasite infesting it.
If you are unsure how to apply flea treatment to your cat, use our step-by-step guide to help you.
Fungal or bacterial infections can also cause fur loss.
Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection that cats and humans alike are prone to catching.
Injuries, particularly cat bites, are prone to infection, as well.
If your cat has an infected wound, you need to visit the vet as soon as possible, as they can easily become deadly.
An injury such as a bite, scratch, or abrasion can cause your cat to lose fur at the site of the injury.
You may notice less hair than usual even after an injury has healed.
As scar tissue forms, your cat’s fur might not grow back, leading to permanent hair loss or thinning wherever the injury occurred.
If your cat is suffering from any aches or pains, it could begin to overgroom the affected area.
If your cat becomes aggressive or hisses whenever you touch the area with thinning fur, it is likely experiencing pain.
It is a good idea to visit your vet to rule out any serious problems.
Remember, though, that it is pretty common for senior cats to develop arthritis or random aches as they age.
If you notice a cat tail thinning quickly, it could be due to allergies.
Certain foods, plants, pollens, bugs, or even dust or mold can trigger allergic reactions in some cats.
Cat allergies tend to cause a lot of itching and dryness, which in turn leads to overgrooming as the cat tries to get rid of the discomfort.
Overgrooming, of course, will only make the affected area more dry, itchy, and painful, and can even lead to sores or lesions.
Your vet may want to test your cat for specific allergies, or you will simply have to use trial and error to find out which allergen is causing your cat so much discomfort.
Learn more about the specific Maine Coon allergies to be aware of, in this article.
In addition to this guide, it would also be worth owners being aware of the various Maine Coon food allergies that exist.
7. Stud Tail
As its name implies, stud tail is a condition that primarily affects unneutered male cats as they reach sexual maturity, although any cat can be affected by this condition.
Stud tail is a skin condition that results in increased oils and dandruff at the base of the tail.
The excess oil from the cat’s sebaceous glands clogs the cat’s pores, and the fur becomes quite greasy.
The affected area becomes red, sore, and inflamed, leading to a lot of discomfort and overgrooming, which can cause hair loss on the tail and base of the tail.
Discover when the best age to neuter a Maine Coon.
Do All Maine Coons Have Fluffy Tails?
If you notice a Maine Coon thin tail, you might be wondering if this is normal.
However, unless the Maine Coon is dealing with a medical condition or scarring, its tail should not be thin.
Maine Coons originated naturally in the snow state of Maine, which is known for its long, harsh winters.
These cats adapted to the freezing climate with wide paws to help them walk on snow, as well as thick fur.
While most cats have just two layers of fur, Maine Coons have three.
They have one outer guard layer, which is semi-water-repellent, and two thick underlayers to keep them insulated.
This triple coat occurs even on the Maine Coon’s tail, so a healthy Maine Coon’s tail should be very thick and fluffy.
However, the Maine Coon’s coat may become a bit thinner during the shedding season, which occurs in the spring and fall.
Furthermore, Maine Coon kittens have much thinner tails than adults. This is because their coats are still thin and underdeveloped for several months.
Why Is My Maine Coon Losing Hair?
Many conditions can lead to hair loss on a Maine Coon’s tail, but if you notice your cat losing fur throughout its whole body, there may be something else going on.
Here are some of the reasons why your Maine Coon is losing hair (source 1):
If you want to know why is my Mane Coon shedding so much, take a breath as you probably do not have anything to worry about. Especially if it is the Maine Coon shedding season.
Maine Coons will typically shed during the changing of the seasons, at the end of spring and fall.
The Maine Coon summer vs winter coat looks very different, so you should not expect your cat to look as fluffy when it is warm.
Although this breed is known for its lion-like mane around its neck and shoulders, this mane often disappears during the summer.
Maine Coons tend to shed much of their fluffy coats during pregnancy.
If you have a breeding queen who has suddenly lost her mane, do not worry!
Fluctuations in your cat’s hormones will affect every part of its body, including its fur.
Even getting a cat neutered or spayed can cause it to shed a lot.
Here are 4 Maine Coon hormone disorders that are potential issues for your cat though, so make sure you read this article to learn the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Even health conditions that do not affect the skin and fur can have an impact on your cat’s shedding.
For example, if your cat contracts food poisoning or an illness that results in diarrhea and vomiting, it might still shed copiously because its entire body is dysregulated from the illness.
These are the Maine Coon health problems to watch out for.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where a cat’s thyroid produces too much of the hormones T3 and T4.
Cats with hyperthyroidism typically eat and drink a lot more, but maintain or lose weight.
Other symptoms include:
A cat with hyperthyroidism is more likely to have dull, greasy fur, and their fur may start to thin or shed, as well.
For our complete guide to Maine Coon hyperthyroidism, click here.
Sadly, certain types of cancers can also cause fur loss.
If your cat has suddenly begun to shed excessively, keep an eye out for any other concerning symptoms such as:
It is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible so you can rule out cancer or any other serious medical condition.
Some cats tend to shed more or lose fur due to genetic conditions.
While Maine Coon cats are not known to be prone to genetic conditions that cause fur loss, if your cat is shedding chronically the root cause could very well be genetic.
Typically, genetic conditions that cause hair loss can result in some dryness or discomfort but are usually not dangerous or deadly.
Believe it or not, stress is an incredibly common reason for a cat to start losing its fur.
Cats are deeply affected by major changes to their living space and routine.
Bringing home a brand new baby, pet, or partner can all cause serious disruption to your cat’s mental health.
Something as drastic as moving to a new house or something as tiny as changing the scent of your laundry detergent can cause your cat to experience anxiety.
Stressed cats often overgroom themselves as a way to self-soothe through anxiety, but it can have disastrous consequences for their fur and skin.
If you suspect that your cat’s fur problems are due to stress, try to provide a stable routine for your cat, and make sure your cat has its own private space to retreat if it is feeling overwhelmed.
Maine Coons are known to shed a lot, and they should be brushed at least twice a week.
However, brushing too frequently, too rough, or for too long at a time can cause more harm than good.
Overbrushing can lead to dry and irritated skin, and it can cause your cat’s fur to become thin.
Make sure you only brush your cat for five to ten minutes at a time and do not brush too hard.
Similarly to overbrushing, bathing your cat too often can also lead to skin and fur problems.
Even though Maine Coons often like water, and even developed semi-water-repellent fur, they should not be bathed more than once a month.
While bathing can be necessary for dirty or matted fur, you should not bathe your cat more than you need to.
Furthermore, you should never use any shampoo, conditioner, or other bath products that are not specifically made for cats.
Human shampoo and soap are much too harsh for cats and can lead to serious skin problems.
A lack of humidity can cause serious problems for your cat’s fur.
Indoor cats are more likely to suffer from health problems associated with dry air, particularly during the winter when indoor heating removes most of the water from the air.
If your cat has dry, scaly, red, or itchy skin, its fur may become thinner, less moisturized, and more likely to fall out.
If you suspect your cat’s fur problems are the result of dry air, consider getting a humidifier.
If your cat has been spending a lot of time outside directly under the sun, it could be suffering from sunburn.
Sunburn also tends to lead to:
While Maine Coons are playful cats that can gain a lot of enrichment from going outdoors, it is important to keep your cat out of the sun on especially warm days.
You should also always provide plenty of water and shade.
Maine Coon tail hair loss can be concerning for any owner, but it does not always indicate a serious health problem.
Some Maine Coons have naturally thinner tails during shedding season.
However, if you notice sudden Maine Coon tail hair loss it could be due to problems like parasites, infections, allergies, or underlying medical conditions.
If you notice your cat has dry, scaly, or irritated skin, you should take it to the vet so you can treat your cat’s discomfort as soon as possible.
Do Maine Coons Have Long Tails?
Maine Coons are known for having incredibly long tails, which are usually between 12 and 18 inches long.
Maine Coon Tail Rings
Many Maine Coons have distinctive dark rings around the base of their tail, particularly if they are tabbies.
Maine Coon Bald Patches
If your Maine Coon has bald patches, you should visit the vet as soon as possible. Bald patches can indicate allergies, parasites, or skin problems.
Why Do Maine Coons Wag Their Tails?
If a cat lashes its tail quickly from side to side, it usually means it is frightened. If a cat flicks its tail more slowly from side to side, it is usually interested in something.