Shedding is a normal event in every cat’s life and cat owners should accept this fact. Through shedding cats replenish their fur and maintain it in a good condition.
Wild cats shed their fur twice a year – in the spring to remove the winter undercoat, and in the autumn to prepare their new coat for the coming winter. Domesticated cats, however, are subjected to artificial winter heating and summer air-conditioning. As a result, their bodies are confused and they shed constantly.
When cats shed they remove dead hair from their bodies. Dead hair should be removed because it may cause skin irritation.
Shedding indicated that the cat is healthy; sick cats do not shed. Shedding depends on the time the cat spends outdoors. It is significantly affected by daylight and can be triggered by a number of hours spent on sunlight. Shedding also depends on the bathing, grooming of the cat and the activities she is involved in.
Cats that live indoors shed at any time of the year. The amount of the shed hair is less than the amount shed by outdoor cats because of the artificial light and the temperature in the house.
Outdoor cats shed two times in the year – in the spring and in the autumn. They usually don’t shed at all or shed just limited amounts of hair in the winter because they keep their fur for the cold weather.
Breeds that don’t shed or shed a little
There are two cat breeds that shed minimal amounts of hair. One of them is the Cornish Rex that has short curly hair, and the other one is the Devon Rex that has similar coat. Their shedding is usually not noticed, but it doesn’t mean they don’t shed.
The only cat breed that doesn’t shed is the Sphynx. However, these cats are not absolutely hairless. Some people describe the skin of the Sphynx as suede or chamois. This cat breed is very rare and requires special care but is a perfect choice for people with allergies.
Dealing with your cat’s shedding
You can control the shedding of your cat with regular brushing and combing. Daily brushing removes loose and dead hair and maintains the cat’s hair healthy.
Start brushing your cat slowly and don’t continue the sessions too long; stop brushing the cat before she protests. You can use treat to make the brushing sessions more pleasant. As the cat learns to like the brushing you can make these procedures for longer period of times. They will remove dead hair from the cat’s body and the cat is less likely to shed in the house.
When combing the cat, do it carefully in the hair growth direction, so that you smooth the coat and remove any knows or tangles in the fur. Longhaired cats should first be brushed with a wide tooth comb and then with a fine tooth comb.
The length of the cat’s hair is very important for the good brushing. Short-haired cats, such as Siamese, Burmese and Cornish rex cats, need little brushing. Shorthaired with dense coats like American shorthairs, British shorthairs and Scottish folds need a brushing once a month. Cats with long and flowing coats like Persian cat have to be combed very often and should be bathed once in the week or once in two weeks.
The advantages of combing and brushing are innumerable:
• frequent brush of your cat removes dead and lose hair from the cat’s body and she will not shed that much:
• brushing and combing will reduce the presence of hairballs, particularly in the breeds with long coats;
• brushing and combing keep the fur smooth and don’t allow mats;
• both activities are a good form of interaction for you and the cat, and are perfect for bonding process;
• They give the opportunity to examine the cat’s hair for any potential problems, including parasites and skin conditions.
You can also reduce the cat’s shedding by feeding her with healthy food of good quality. The cat food should be balances and should contain all nutrients required by the cat for a healthy skin and fur. In addition, you may use some products that are applied on the cat’s hair and can reduce the shedding. They are available is specialized pet stores. Some vitamins produced from fish oils can also be helpful as they provide the cat with omega-3 fatty acids that make the fur stronger. There are some topical sprays that are used by cat owners to change and reduce the shedding.
If shedding continues throughout the year and is significant, the cat may have food or dust allergy. In some cases then the cat becomes sick from excessive hair ball, vets recommend that the cat is shaves three or four times a year. However, you should consult your veterinarian before you do something, because he will tell you what the problem is and how to solve it.