Why is my rat losing hair?

Hair loss in rats can occur for a variety of causes. They may be infected with parasites, which can cause itching skin and hair. They could be allergic to something that causes contact dermatitis. They could be on the improper diet, as too much protein can cause hair loss, or they could be ‘barbering,’ or over-grooming oneself.

Why is my rat losing hair?

Hair loss occurs in pet rats who do not receive all of the nutrients or eat a well-balanced diet. Pellet rat food, sometimes known as lab block since it is the same food supplied to laboratory mice and rats, should make up the majority of your rat’s diet. Rodent mixes containing seeds, nuts, cracked corn, and other non-pellet products are unsuitable for rats since they often contain high-calorie elements that lack nutritional value. It leads to overeating and malnutrition.

Hair loss can also be aided by too much protein in your rat’s diet. Also, avoid giving your rats non-nutritive salty snacks on a regular basis, and never serve them before rat pellets. Supplement their diet with appropriate pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis to increase their intake of critical vitamins and minerals.


Hair loss occurs in rats when they are stressed, whether due to anxious barbering or a systemic ailment. The food will become unbalanced and hair loss will begin if the rat goes off the food due to a loss of cage mate, a move, the introduction of more rats into the group, bullying, or any other reason. When a rat’s immune system is impaired, it is more likely to develop opportunistic skin infections, which can lead to hair loss.

Parasitic infestation:

If your rat scratches incessantly or has itchy skin, parasites such as mites and lice may be present. Hair does not fall out as a result of these parasites, but frequent scratching destroys the hair, causing it to break, fall off, and fail to regrow. For lice and mites, there are a variety of washes and treatments available, and in severe instances, the vet may prescribe ivermectin. It’s only accessible with a prescription, and it’s not cheap, but it’s the best therapy for parasite infestations.

Hair loss is a side effect of some fungal diseases. Especially the “ringworm” look, in which the hair falls in a circle. Despite its name, dandruff is free of worms, and antifungal shampoo may typically clean the coat without causing permanent damage.

Fighting with cage mates:

Fights and conflict with cage mates can result in splotchy hair loss. Cage bullying might happen to a rat who has a lot of hair loss. It’s more likely that the rat isn’t getting along with the other cage mate if hair loss is accompanied by repeated screaming and shouting.

If rats were just introduced and are still getting acquainted to one other, hair loss should halt once the rats have formed a bond. It may take a few days (or possibly a week or two) for the rats to cease bullying one another. Typically, this phase will come to an end, and the rats will become great buddies. Before any connection may take place, dominance must be established.

Rats lose hair when they get older:

Rats, like most animals, lose their coat condition and density as they grow older. If your old rat does not fit into any of the aforementioned categories, it is most likely getting old. As the rats grow older, grooming becomes more difficult, and they slow down. The coat will begin to exhibit indications of wear after a period of neglect.

The coat will begin to thin out and seem patchy. The hair should not be knotted, but it should appear as if it is losing density. If you see an unusual amount of sudden hair loss in an elderly rat, you should take them to a veterinarian to determine the cause.


One of the most common causes of hair loss in rats is barbering. When a dominating rat chews the hair of subservient rats, it is known as rat chewing. This grooming habit is normally harmless, as the dominant rat chops the hair down but does not come into touch with the skin; but, on rare occasions, the behavior is violent and a barbered rat’s skin is broken. It frequently results in bald patches on the head, neck, and shoulders.

Rats self-barber by chewing their own hair on occasion. Hairless patches on the abdomen and front legs are common. Barbering and self-barbering are common causes of boredom in pet rats, so provide more toys, tubes, a work wheel, and more time outside the playpen or cage. Giving submissive rats greater area to hide can assist, and you may need to segregate dominating animals from other rats for a while. Dressings or topical antibiotics may be used to treat injured rats, according on your veterinarian’s advice.


Rats are more prone to allergic reactions, according to veterinarians, and the causes might range from room deodorizers to the rubbish you buy. It’s also possible that something in their diet is to blame. Now, you can use the allergy elimination procedure to figure out what the allergy is (including an elimination diet if necessary), but if your rats are in distress and you don’t know what’s causing the hair loss, you might want to wash them. In rare cases, mild allergenic shampoos (and conditioners). You might also add a little amount of fish oil to their diet, which acts as a natural antihistamine for rats.

Other diseases:

Alopecia and severe hair loss can be caused by a variety of diseases that rats might contract throughout their lives. You’ll notice if your pet’s coat isn’t smooth if you play with him for a few minutes every day. You will be able to take necessary action to remedy this problem by studying the symptoms of the sickness in rats.


In this sense, rats are similar to humans, however a healthy rat would never be fully bald. However, just because old rats lose their hair doesn’t necessarily mean your rat is getting old. There are a variety of other reasons why rats lose their hair, and it’s critical to figure out what’s causing it. Most rats can be simply treated, which means your rat will stop barbering and return to his regular happy, healthy coat.

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