With the exception of hairless cats, all cats will shed to a degree. For some owners, shedding can be a genuine struggle in the house. Shedding can be highly annoying to humans, from furniture covered in cat fur to finding fur in your food or drinks.
There have even been owners who have given up their pet cats due to frustration over shedding. Giving up a pet is a very drastic decision, and through a bit of education on this topic, you can get back control over your cat’s shedding, so it will never come to such a hard decision.
How and Why Do Cat’s Shed Their Fur?
Shedding dead hair is a natural thing for cats. The dead hair can’t stay in the coat and must be removed one way or another. How cats shed is simply that the useless dead fur will fall out of the coat if not groomed.
Most cats shed their fur for several different reasons. Seasonal shedding is very common in cats which means they lose their heavy winter coat in spring for the warmer weather, and they will shed their summer coat in winter for their winter coat to grow in more fully. This is the time when the most shedding occurs. Also, cats that live indoors may shed more continuously than cats that go outside due to air-conditioned and heated environments.
Is Your Cat Shedding Too Much?
Some cats may shed more hair than others. This can be a completely common occurrence, but when extreme can indicate an underlying medical condition or compulsive grooming. Some medical conditions that may cause overgrooming are stress, allergies, or parasites that live on the cat’s skin, such as fleas or mites. The most common cause of too much shedding of fur is compulsive grooming.
Compulsive grooming may include a cat pulling out its own healthy fur instead of just removing the dead hair. Cats that overgroom themselves may have patches of skin with no fur or skin irritation. Some cats may even cause themselves to bleed or have open wounds or sores where they’ve pulled out fur. In this instance, it may be necessary to bring your cat to the veterinarian for a further diagnosis of the issue.
What if Your Cat isn’t Grooming Itself Properly?
Cats that don’t groom themselves correctly or enough may not shed their dead fur. Improper or lack of self-grooming may come from several sources. When kittens are taken from their mothers too early, they might never learn how to groom themselves. Other reasons could include a cat that is aging and may be experiencing joint pain or even a cat that is too overweight. Cats who have an illness may also stop grooming themselves. Lack of self-grooming can cause significant issues. Some fur will fall out on its own, but dead hair may get stuck in the coat without proper grooming and even cause mats in the fur.
Mats can lead to several problems for your cat, so this is certainly something to watch out for. Mats are a large, tangled area of fur. These can become tighter and more uncomfortable over time and can even lead to an infection. This could cause severe problems for your pet cat and may even require shaving in extreme cases.
Cat Grooming Will Minimize Shedding
The issue of too much shedding or even a cat that isn’t grooming themselves is solved by a proactive owner that helps with the grooming process. Even healthy, well-adjusted cats may need your assistance in their grooming routine. It’s very important to take steps to help your cat with grooming.
Of course, the best part of this advice is that it is the best way to minimize your cat’s shedding. They can only do so much themselves. It is up to you to take it a step further and take control over the constant mess your cat makes from shedding. With only a tiny bit of effort, your cat, your house, and your family will be in a much better state with less fur flying all over the place.
What are the Best Practices for Grooming Your Cat?
You don’t have to take your cat to a professional groomer to have a great result. With today’s ever-advancing pet product industry, it really doesn’t take much effort from you as the owner to groom your cat successfully yourself in the comfort of your home.
Choose the Right Brush
The best idea is to have a specific area to groom your cat as this can be a hairy and messy process sometimes, but it is well worth it in the end. Your best tool for grooming will be a good brush. Long-haired cats require a slicker type of brush, while short-haired cats benefit from a soft bristle brush.
Create a Schedule
It’s suggested that you start grooming your cat at a young age, but even older cats will adapt to a regular grooming schedule. A good tip is to bathe your cat at least once a month. This is not anyone’s idea of fun, but it is a great help when it comes to maintaining your cat’s coat and its shedding.
Use a Flea Comb
Running a flea comb through your cat’s fur occasionally is also a good practice. Even indoor cats or cats with flea protection may pick up the odd bug sometimes. Being aware of what’s in your cat’s coat is an important step in taking care of their overall health.
Cats will pretty much always shed, and this is something to be aware of as a cat owner. Keeping track of how your cat grooms itself is necessary to understand why they’re shedding so much. Taking control as a cat owner is as simple as developing a regular grooming routine to help your cat get rid of their dead fur and have a healthy coat. Your home will have much less loose hair lying around, and you’ll be glad to take back control of your excessive fur problem.
If you have questions about your cat’s shedding, call your Northern Pike Veterinary Hospital team at 412-373-8580!