A Bald Belly In Your Cat – What Can You Do About This Yourself?

What causes your cat to have a bald belly?​

In almost all cases, a bald belly is caused by excessive licking or washing. Especially if the rest of his body has no skin lesions or bald spots, there rarely is a parasitic, fungal or bacterial infection. Because a cat licks and washes itself excessively on its belly, the hairs eventually break off at the base, resulting in a bald belly. In most cases you can see that very small stumps of hair are still visible. With very serious cases, it may even be that the skin on his belly has been licked and it looks scraggly.

Cat has licked his belly bald

What is the cause of this excessive washing behavior?

In general, there are two main reasons for this. With a third that is also a possibility but less common. The first possibility is abdominal pain, usually due to pain or irritation in his bladder. The second possible cause is stress. And the third is an allergic reaction. But in the vast majority of cases you will also see other skin complaints in case of an allergy. Very occasionally, the symptoms of itching are so mild that your cat washes itself on its belly a little more than it normally would. With a bald belly in your cat as a result and no other symptoms what so ever.

Urinary crystals

Many cats develop bladder crystals in their urine as a result of substances in their diet. These crystals are microscopic, but have the appearance of a sugar grain. They scratch the inside of their bladder over and over again. They also clump together into bladder stones, which cause a blockage of the penis in male cats. Fortunately, it’s not that bad with your cat. It is possible that there is only a mild bladder infection due to those crystals in the urine that keep scratching the bladder wall. Compare this with putting some sugar on your hand. A little sugar is no problem, but if you keep rubbing those sugar grains over your hand for half an hour, your skin will break. The same goes for the bladder wall.

But how do you know if your cat has those urinary crystals? You can collect some of your cat’s urine and take it to your vet and ask if they want to check for bladder stones. And also have them check for a bladder infection just to be sure. Collecting urine from a cat is often quite difficult. You will have to place your cat in a room without other cats and empty its litter box properly and clean it with water. Then you put hydrophobic cat litter in it.

These are granules that do not absorb fluids, but your cat does think he is urinating on cat litter. The hydrophobic cat litter also includes a pipette to suck up the urine between the granules and a tube to put the urine in. Then you have to bring it to your vet within 4 hours. After 4 hours, bladder stones can form in the urine if it has left your cat’s body. So then the results can be false positive.


Cats generally suffer from stress relatively quickly. In the worse cases, an owner is aware of this, but in mild cases of stress, they often overlook the signals. If a cat suffers from stress, they will wash themselves more often, among other things. This mechanism helps them to relax so that their body can recover from the stress. If something happens briefly that causes your cat stress, there is usually no problem. Before your cat has a bald belly, the cause of the stress has been resolved. But with prolonged stress, he will continue to wash himself, especially on his belly. Your cat will then have a bald belly.

Allergic reactions

Among the allergic reactions that can cause a bald belly in your cat, we have three options in this case. The food allergy, the atopy and the contact allergy. And all of them can result in a cat with a bald belly because it experiences very mild itching.

The food allergy arises as a result of an allergic reaction to a substance in your cat’s food (or treats). In that case, it usually concerns a protein source from a certain animal species or a certain type of grain. But preservatives are also possible. This causes skin inflammation and itching on your cat’s belly. And this in its turn a bald belly. Or on other body parts of course.

An atopy is an allergic reaction to a substance in the air that your cat breathes. For example, tree pollen, grass pollen, house dust mites, etc. These substances cause an excessive immune response, which causes your cat to develop skin infections and itching on his belly or other body parts. This causes him to wash his belly excessively in particular and a bald belly is created.

A contact allergy is an excessive reaction to something the skin comes into contact with. The abdomen is particularly sensitive to this because the fur on the abdomen is less compact and therefore acts less as a barrier. These kinds of reactions are mainly related to cleaning products, to their pillow or basket or to detergents with which you wash their blankets or pillows. As a result of this allergic reaction, your cat will wash itself excessively, resulting in a bald belly.

Cat with excessive stress, causing him to lick himself a bald belly.

What should you do if your cat has a bald spot on its belly?

Resolve urinary crystals

In the first place, it is always necessary to rule out urinary crystals in your cat. So make sure you collect some urine of him with the help of the katkor and have it examined by your vet. If there happens to be urinary crystals, your cat must be given a special diet that prevents urinary crystals from forming. There are several brands available for this. For example, Purina One Urinary tract formula. You can also give this food without knowing for sure whether your cat has urinary crystals. But then you don’t know yet whether urinary crystals are the cause of his bald belly. So it is wiser to check it.

Lower stress levels

If you know the cause of the stress then it is of course quite simple. Remove the source of the stress. But unfortunately that is not always easy when the stress is caused by the presence of another cat. Also if you have no idea why your cat is a stress-sensitive type, you can try whether Zylkène helps him to relax and wash himself less. The bald belly should then disappear.

Zylkene is a dietary supplement commonly used to reduce stress and anxiety in cats. The active ingredient in Zylkène is a milk protein called Alpha-casozepine, which is extracted from casein, a milk protein that occurs naturally in breast milk. It is important to understand that Zylkène is not a drug, but rather a dietary supplement that can help to combat feelings of stress.

How Zylkene works to reduce stress in cats is not fully understood. But it is believed that it has to do with the effect of Alpha-casozepine on certain receptors in the brain. Alpha-casozepine has a calming effect and can help your cat relax without becoming drowsy. You should see after a week or two or three he behaves a bit more relaxed and hopefully also washes himself less on his belly. However, it takes a little longer before the bald belly is fully recovered.

Preventing an allergy as the cause of your cat's bald belly

Preventing contact allergies

With a contact allergy, only the source of the allergic reaction needs to be removed. It is therefore wise to thoroughly clean the surface where your cat prefers to sleep with only water. You can wash his bed or blanket on which he is lying in the washing machine with only water at a slightly higher temperature. That way you remove any chemical agents that may be incorporated in it.

If the complaints have arisen after you have bought a new basket, it is wise to (temporarily) remove it. Do his complaints disappear within a week, you know that was the cause. If you really need to treat something with a cleaning agent, it is best to use green soap. There are little known cases of allergic reactions to green soap. Your cat washes itself less on its belly after a few days, if this was the cause. In this case too, it will take a while for his bald belly to recover.

Cat is licking his belly bald
Do a food allergy test

You can do a food allergy test yourself. But you do need some patience. To determine this, your cat may only receive a special food for 8 weeks that does not contain any substances to which it can react allergically. The best food for a food allergy is Royal Canin Ultamino. During the 8 weeks that your cat receives this, he should absolutely not eat anything else. No candies, no things from your fridge, nothing. Only this new cat food.

You probably won’t see any changes for the first 4 weeks. But in the last 4 weeks you should start to see your cat washing his belly less often, if he really has a food allergy. If it is clear that he has an allergy, you can try whether the less strong, and therefore cheaper, anti-allergy foods also work sufficiently for your cat. But first you need to know for sure if it’s a food allergy. If it is indeed a food allergy, you should no longer see a bald belly after about 3 months after starting the diet.

Treating an atopy

The only allergy that you cannot solve yourself is the atopy. This is an allergic reaction based on environmental substances in the air. So tree pollen, grass pollen, house dust mites, etc. Do you feel that this is the cause of excessive washing on your cat’s belly? Then it is wise to go to a vet. He can examine it further. For example, he or she performs a blood test. But he or she can also choose to prescribe medication that suppresses the complaints. On the other hand, your cat with these mild complaints should probably not be given any medication. The cure will be worse than the disease. In other words: the remedy is less healthy for your cat than having these mild itching complaints that the bald belly causes him.

Good luck!

We hope this article gives you a solution to a regrown hairy belly of your furry friend. Good luck for the both of your.