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Shedding is a natural phenomenon in CATS where dead hair makes way for fresh fur. It is a sign of a healthy cat with a rejuvenated coat (a cat that is unwell will show no shedding). Therefore all the cat lovers must accept this process as being a normal and inescapable natural occurrence.

brushed out another catImage: BoredPanda

Indoor cat Vs Outdoor cat

If you tend to an outdoor cat then you will notice, it sheds hair during two specific seasons for two very specific reasons.

Spring season is linked to shedding of the layer of undercoat that supplied the cat with necessary warmth during the winter months. The redundant layer falls-off during spring.

Autumn season is the second time the cat will undergo the shedding process to replenish the undercoat for the approaching winter months.

Indoor cats shed much less than the outdoor cats. The indoor cats are exposed to artificial heating in cold months and air conditioning during hot weather as a result their shedding cycle is not able to adhere to a definite scheme and occurs all year round.

Understanding the link between shedding of hair and photoperiod

Photoperiod can be simply defined as the length of time in the 24 hour period during which the animal is exposed to sunlight. The cat’s shedding is directly linked to the photoperiod.

Outdoor cats spend a large number of hours daily in daylight. Seasons such as spring and autumn are characterized by longer and brighter days, therefore cats experience shedding during these times of the year. Colder days are periods of no hair loss or perhaps even if it occurs it is very-very little. The excess fur will help the cat to retain its body heat to combat the chill.

The domesticated pet cat spends most of its time inside the house and instead of direct sunlight is exposed to an artificial source of illumination. Hence its shedding is erratic and also much less compared to its outdoorsy counterpart.


Things you can do to deal with your cat’s shedding

  1. Groom your cat frequently with the help of a de-shedding/de-matting comb as dead hair is also responsible for irritating the cat’s skin. An everyday combing routine for the cat will help in doing away with the loose undercoat, thereby preventing too much shedding. You can always distract your cat with a treat or catnip toy while you carry out the brushing routine. Allow your cat to gradually get accustomed and enjoy these sessions. Combing will also detangle the hair, but always remember to comb along in the direction in which the hair have grown. Matted cat hair is formed when the loose fur sticks and entangles with the rest of the hair. This often occurs in the absence of regular brushing. In an extreme case matting can cause severe uneasiness to the pet and a veterinarian needs to be brought-in in such a situation.

Cats such as the Persian require daily brushing owing to their long locks. Pet wipes can be used to clean its face and mane. Short haired cats with a light/thin coat such as the Burmese or Siamese do not require frequent brushing.

Combing also aids in hair ball control in felines.

  1. Offer Wholesome Cat Food to the pet so that its diet consists of all the essential nutrients. A fit cat with a healthy skin will not shed hugely.

Fish oils are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that can be given to the feline to fortify the health of its skin and coat. Foods laden with Omega-6 will also help in reducing the shedding by softening and strengthening the coat.

A superior quality food that can be easily digested by the pet becomes a necessary condition for achieving optimal wellbeing for the cat.

  1. Baths can help wash away loose fur and dander. You can also consult a vet regarding the frequency of baths, who in turn will advise you depending upon your cat’s breed.

A cat can be bathed once in every six weeks. However some breeds may require weekly baths.

  1. Also check your cat’s coat for parasite infestation. Provide the required treatment if the presence of fleas/ticks is noticed.

Extreme cases of shedding that require medical intervention

In some cases shedding may lead the cat to compulsively bite and lick certain areas on its body. Also shedding may take an extreme form of losing hair patches. Losing a lot of hair year round needs to be brought before a veterinarian.

The causes could be a dust or food allergy. Sometimes shedding is induced due to stress. The vet will thoroughly examine the pet to determine a suitable diagnosis and treatment procedure.
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With over 15 years of experience in dealing with pets, the PetsWorld Team is now a constant guide for thousands of pet owners in India. Their passion for improving the lives of pets can be seen in their featured blog posts dedicated to pet care.

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