When is Your Cat’s Shedding Excessive?
29 April, 2014
The loss of our beautiful cat’s hair is a normal process of losing dead hair (as we humans do daily when we brush our hair). Outdoor cats lose more hair in the spring and fall and retain more fur in the winter, while indoor cats can shed all year round. Regularly grooming and brushing your cat minimize shedding. However, if you see bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice more hair loss than usual, you should take your kitty to the vet to see if there is an underlying medical condition.
When is your cats’ shedding a concern?
If your cat obsessively licks, bites or scratches, or if your kitty patches of hair or stops to scratch or bite the same few spots persistently, then it’s important you take him in for a veterinary exam. There may be a medical, dietary or stress-related issue that needs immediate attention.
Reasons why a cat might shed excessively
There are a variety of medical, dietary and stress-related issues that can cause your cat to lose more hair than is normal. If you notice your kitty is losing an excessive amount of hair or has bald patches, make sure to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your cat may be suffering from one of the following health issues: allergies, ringworm, a bacterial infection, fleas, hyperthyroidism, poor diet, stress, certain medication, and/ or stress.
If your cat sheds a lot and your veterinarian has determined that there is no underlying medical cause, there are a few things you can do to minimize his hair loss:
Groom your cat
Groom your cat at least twice a week. You can start with a soft-bristled brush to collect any loose hair from the coat and follow up with a steel-tooth comb to loosen tangles or matting. The more often you groom, the less hair will collect around the house. And, your cat will love it as it is a great way to bond and more fun than clipping their nails. Additionally, cats who are not groomed appropriately can become matted—this is especially true for long-haired cats. Matted hair can be painful and lead to underlying skin problems.
Set up an area just for your cat
Make up a comfortable location specifically for your cat. Place his or her bed near the couch while you watch television, or bunch up several soft blankets and lay them at the foot of your bed. This will encourage him to relax in a predetermined area and limit the amount of hair on your couch and bed. You can then vacuum the blanket and bed as often as need be.
Add a Vitamin Supplement
Try adding a vitamin supplement to your cat’s diet. Supplements help to compensate for any weak points in your cat’s nutrition. A number of commercially available supplements high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be found at your local veterinarian’s office or pet supply store. Get a recommendation from your veterinarian as each cat is different and some might take better than others to a supplement.
Feed your kitty a diet rich in oils and fatty acids.
Feed your cat a diet rich in vitamins, oils and fatty acids. These nutrients help nourish your cat’s skin and coat, effectively reducing the amount of hair that is lost during shedding. Again, consult your veterinarian if you think there could be any side effects from the food.
If your groom your cat daily and keep up with a ritual of brushing, your cat’s shedding should be minimized. And, of course, all keep a lint brush handy!