My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 4, 2016
My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment

Rats are very intelligent and sociable small rodents. While they have a bad reputations, nowadays many people enjoy the company of pet rats; it was time we realized that rats are actually very sweet and loving animals.

Even when pet rats enjoy good health overall, sometimes they may suffer from hair loss. This can happen for various reasons.

If you don't know how to tell whether it is a normal process or you should go to the vet, you might find it very worrying. Is your rat's hair falling out? Keep reading this AnimalWised article to find out the most common causes of this problem as well as how to treat it.

You may also be interested in: How to Stop a Dog Shedding Hair

Poor hygiene

Poor hygiene is a common cause of hair loss in rats. All small animals tend to fit into hard-to-reach places and nooks, which is why they are difficult to keep clean. In these places, a rat will get dirty or get fungi in its fur, which will breed colonies in the rodent's dermis. This can cause a rat to lose its hair.

This is why you should brush your rat's fur daily for at least one minute. When you do this you will be able to detect any disorder in your rat's skin and fur and find a suitable solution. Consult your veterinarian about the possible presence of parasites in your rat's coat.

My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment - Poor hygiene

Nutritional deficiency

Your pet rat's hair may also fall out because of a lack of vitamins or trace elements essential for your rat. This does not necessarily mean that your rat does not eat enough. It indicates that your rat's diet is not balanced for its breed, size or age.

You should visit the vet and get specific advice. It is always advisable to combine rodent food with vegetables and fresh seasonal fruit. The veterinarian will recommend the healthiest ones for your rodent.

My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment - Nutritional deficiency


Stress is a factor which can also cause your rat to lose hair. If the cage is too close to the TV or another audio source, it can disrupt your rat's mood or prevent it from resting. Your rat's home should be in a quiet place. You should keep an eye on it to identify causes that provoke stress. Rats are actually very sensitive!

Another big and unfriendly pet can also cause your rodent to panic. Children are also a cause of stress. Being shaken, squeezed, held by the tail and hearing very loud voices just inches away from its delicate ears will of course be a frightening experience for a rat new to a home.

The solution is to prevent your rat from having a hard time because of another pet or a naughty child. Look for a quiet place to encourage your rodent to relax.

My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment - Stress


Rats are social beings who like to live in a community. This is why it is advisable for them to live in pairs - two neutered males, two females or a neutered male and a female. If rats feel lonely, they can fall into depression and this can affect their fur.

Sometimes, living with humans provides them with enough company to fulfill the need for companionship. But if you're absent for work, studies, or weekends away it can be very sad for your pet rat, who will feel abandoned. Therefore, living with a partner is the most sensible and healthy option.

My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment - Loneliness


Sometimes rats get sick for multiple reasons, like any other pet:

  • Infections
  • Insect bites
  • Cold
  • Humidity

The various diseases that a rat can suffer throughout its life can cause alopecia and excessive hair loss. If you play with your pet for a while every day, you will immediately notice if its coat is not smooth, and you will be able to take appropriate action to remedy the problem.

Pet rats are strong, but not indestructible, and they need the minimum care and attention that you must provide. Affection is a great remedy when your rat's hair is falling out!

My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment - Diseases

If you want to read similar articles to My Rat's Hair is Falling Out - Causes and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Fur care category.

  • Make sure you cover all your rat's requirements.
  • Give it quality food.
  • Visit your veterinarian to rule out any diseases.
  • You should have at least two rats living together.
  • Avoid stress, noise and aggression.
  • Play with your rat and stimulate its mind.

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