Shedding is a normal part of a cat’s existence as a way of replenishing fur. Cats shed fur every day with one or two major sheds annually. The amount of fur being shed may be due to a variety of factors such as the cat’s breed, the seasons, diet and overall health. While all cats shed, there is normal shedding as well as excessive or abnormal shedding. Read on for a detailed discussion on shedding among cats and how to avert it.
How to prevent cat shedding?
You can prevent a cat shedding with the following tips:
1. Always brush your cat regularly.
Regular brushing of your cat’s fur minimizes hairballs and also removes dirt, dead hair and grease from your cat’s fur. It removes skin flakes and stimulates the circulation of blood resulting in the improvement of the skin’s condition. You should brush your cat thoroughly at least twice each week along with short brushing sessions daily to keep the healthy glow of her coat, to avoid getting matted hair and to decrease shedding. You may also check out our earlier article on how to brush a cat that hates it for more helpful information.
2. Provide areas in your home that are fur-friendly.
Another way to prevent cat shedding in various areas of your home is to create fur-friendly locations. Install a cat tree or a cat perch where your cat can comfortably settle at certain times of the day and place a blanket on her preferred sleeping spots. This will prevent the spread of shed fur everywhere and makes it easier to clean and remove the fur.
3. Make sure that your cat is well-hydrated.
Dehydration results in poor coat quality and condition, thus, make sure that your cat is well-hydrated. Aside from having healthy fur, your cat will have improved overall health. However, this may be challenging since most cats are known to be picky water drinkers. One way to hurdle this is to feed her with wet cat food since your cat can get at least four ounces of water in a can or an equivalent of their needed daily water intake.
Also, opt for a water drinking fountain that piques your cat’s interest so she will be encouraged to drink more often. Let your cat feel safe and secure while drinking water by placing her water bowl in an elevated area.
4. Bathe your cat at least every four to six weeks.
Most cats are not big fans of taking a bath so it may take a while before your cat may agree to a complete bath. Running water helps in removing loose, dead or dying fur as well as dander in your cat’s coat. Be sure to use a feline-friendly shampoo that nourishes your cat’s skin and never use human shampoo on her. If you have a cat that runs amuck when given a bath, try to schedule her baths around spring and fall since these are the seasons when cats shed the most.
5. Feed your cat with well-balanced meals.
One reason why cats shed excessively is due to their poor diet and nutrition. Their skin becomes dry and fur becomes brittle and falls out. To prevent this, you should feed your cat with nutritious meals rich in Omega three and six fatty acids since it improves the health of your cat’s hair follicles. Cat experts note that cats should eat food that contains at least 45% protein and around 35% fat as well as vitamins and carbohydrates. You can also give your cat omega 3 supplements as they improve the condition of her fur.
6. Consider shaving your cat.
One surefire way to reduce shedding is to shave your cat since it gets rid of fur along especially the dead and loose hair. If you are confident to shave your cat yourself, make sure to use clippers with a guard to avoid harming your cat’s skin. However, if you do not have previous experience with shaving cats, hire a professional groomer to do the task.
Aside from reduced shedding, shaving your cat has the following advantages:
- it may get rid of pests and parasites
- it keeps your cat clean
- it is easier to apply medication on your cat’s skin
You may also check out our earlier article on how to shave a long-haired cat for details.
7. See to it that your cat is stress-free.
Cats shed more when stressed since their muscles become tense and some hair follicles called telogen hairs are released. This type of hair is what comes out when cats rub themselves against a wall, surface or humans. Shedding takes place when tiny arrector pili muscles that are attached to hair follicles become activated when a cat is stressed and when they contract, it causes hair to stand on end and the telogen hairs are released.
Thus, it is vital to keep your cat stress-free and avoid any abrupt changes in her routine. Keep your cat calm and avoid any triggers that may stress her out. Common causes of stress among cats include home remodeling or relocation, loud noises, unfamiliar cats, a new family member or pet and competition for resources in a multi-cat household.
Nevertheless, you can reduce the presence of shed fur in your home by regularly vacuuming your home. Wash pillows and blankets that came in contact with your cat and use lint rollers to remove stuck fur on clothes.
Reasons why cats shed
These are the common reasons why cats shed:
Changing of the seasons
Cats shed because of the changing seasons and they are hardwired to track weather changes. When the days become colder and daylight is shorter, felines start to grow secondary hair that gives additional warmth. When daylight becomes longer, cats shed their fur to keep themselves cool during the warm nights.
Excessive shedding among cats that occur during other seasons aside from winter or spring may be due to allergies such as ragweed and pollen. However, cats may also be prone to foodborne allergies that may cause itchiness, bald spots and rashes.
Ringworm affects cats of any age although the symptoms may be subtle. This fungal infection may result in brittle and broken fur that falls out quickly. Common symptoms may include red ears, paws and crusty skin. Bring your cat to the vet at once if you suspect that she has ringworm since it is contagious.
An overactive or underactive thyroid gland in cats may occur when they are around 10 years old or more. Some of the common signs may include hair and weight loss and increased heart rate.
Aside from those mentioned above, your cat may also be shedding due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, due to old age or because she has an inadequate diet.
Cat shedding is a normal occurrence mainly due to the changing seasons as well as due to other factors such as health issues like allergies and thyroid disease. You can effectively prevent shedding by providing your cat with good nutrition, keeping her hydrated and brushing her coat regularly. You should also consider shaving her and bathing her at least every few weeks.
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