A long-haired cat getting brushed.

If you are one of the 40 million cat owners in the U.S., you probably have cat hair on you right this very minute (cue the lint roller!). It’s not their fault that they shed their coats a couple of times a year. In fact, it’s something we can celebrate. Cat shedding is a normal, natural process that directly impacts how lustrous and healthy a cat’s coat appears. Cat owners typically love the furry nature of cats, but not the clean-up! Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s shedding may help you to combat (and embrace) it. 

The Good and the “Bad”

In addition to obsessive self-grooming, cat shedding is one of the ways fur is kept in good condition. If your cat is losing a bunch of it right now, it’s actually a sign they are healthy. Sick cats may not shed or self-groom. In other words, it’s a good thing.

Connected to Light

Cat shedding is related to the seasons. Cats need to shed loose or dead hairs to reduce skin irritation. However, shedding is directly connected to a cat’s exposure to daylight. 

A photoperiod is characterized by how much sunlight a cat receives in order to prompt shedding. Strictly-indoor cats may not follow the same patterns if they aren’t exposed to sunlight on a regular basis. Perhaps not surprisingly, the temperature inside the home influences shedding patterns as well.

Different Strokes

Your cat’s breed may also have something to do with when they shed, and how much they lose. Long-haired breeds like Persians or Maine Coons may experience more shedding throughout the year, not exclusively during the spring and fall. 

Coat Structure

Cat shedding happens in the spring to release the insulating winter undercoat. As a result, they are prepared for hotter summer temperatures. Cat shedding occurs again in the fall to make room for winter’s warm coat. 

Cat shedding can happen year-round for some cats who live with artificial air systems. They are never really cold or too warm thanks to air conditioners and home heating.

The Right Tools

Cat owners can reduce how much cat hair ends up in their homes by adding routine brushing to the schedule. Invest in a good cat brush to help release the thick undercoat in the spring. Make it a fun experience for your cat and offer lots of praise and rewards. 

This bonding activity not only reduces how much your cat sheds, but will reduce the amount of possible hairballs. Brushing and combing them can also remove untidy knots and mats, and gives you the chance to closely observe their skin, ears, and eyes for potential problems before they become serious. The skin’s natural oils will coat their hairs when you brush them out, enhancing their appearance.

Cat Shedding For Days

A complete and balanced diet can help reduce cat shedding. A healthy coat can be made even healthier with the addition of certain omega-3 fatty acids and nutritional supplements. We’d be happy to discuss which products would be best for your cat.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s level of shedding, we recommend scheduling an appointment for them. We’re always here to help at Mobile Vet M.D.

Please note: Before any visit, it is always a good idea to confine your pet to a small area such as a bathroom so we can be sure to promptly provide care, as lots of pets can go running for cover as soon as they hear someone at the door!