We may still be in the throes of winter, but spring is just around the corner. For many of us, “spring” and “allergy season” are practically synonymous; for anyone with an allergy to cats, those allergies are even more prevalent.
Spring is in the air (and so is your cat’s hair, by the looks of it). If the lint roller quickly becomes your best friend in the spring, you may have a seasonal shedder on your hands. Read on to learn more about cat shedding, along with some tips for keeping seasonal cat shedding under control.
How Often Do Cats Shed?
If you have furry friends in your life, then you’re well aware of the fact that shedding is completely normal and natural for dogs and cats alike.
In fact, if your kitty isn’t shedding enough, it could be a sign of a health issue (unless she’s a hairless breed, of course). The same can apply if your cat is shedding too much, so it’s important to be aware of your cat’s regular, healthy shedding cycles so you can take note when things don’t seem quite right.
Many pets shed on a seasonal basis, as they get rid of their heavy winter coat to prepare for warmer weather. However, contrary to what you may think, cat shedding season is actually based more on sunlight exposure than on temperature.
This means that indoor cats who are constantly exposed to artificial light may be more likely to shed on a steady basis all year long, while cats who spend more time outside are more prone to a seasonal spring shed. Don’t worry—both are normal, as long as your cat’s shedding cycles align with her lifestyle.
If you have any concerns about the amount your cat is shedding, it never hurts to talk to your vet to rule out any health concerns.
Why Is Your Cat Shedding So Much?
As mentioned above, some cats shed on a steady basis year-round, while other cat coats take a more seasonal approach. If your cat’s fur and hairballs seem to be taking over your home, though, you may have an issue that needs to be addressed.
Common reasons for excessive shedding include:
Change of Seasons
When the days start to get longer and the weather starts to get warmer, many cats will begin shedding their thick winter coats in exchange for something lighter.
You are what you eat, and a healthy diet means a healthy coat. If your cat isn’t getting sufficient nutrients through her food, you may need to make some changes to her diet.
Physical health conditions can show up in a variety of ways; skin and coat issues are common indicators that your cat may be sick.
Hair loss can also be a sign of mental health issues—anxiety, allergies, stress, or boredom can often lead to over-grooming as a coping mechanism.
An elderly kitty won’t be able to groom herself the way she used to, resulting in increased shedding (not to mention matted fur).
Age often comes with health issues, so talk to your vet to make sure your senior kitty’s hair loss isn’t related to something other than difficulties with mobility.
Hormonal changes can lead to excessive shedding. If you’ve got a pregnant or nursing kitty, it’s a good idea to keep a lint roller and vacuum handy!
Simply put, some breeds tend to shed more than others. Long-haired cats are prone to more shedding, but short-haired breeds can also shed a lot. Some cats may just have a thicker coat than others in their litter!
Unless your vet says otherwise, shedding generally isn’t a cause for concern. However, you may want to get your kitty checked out if you notice any of the following along with excessive shedding:
- Bald patches
- Noticeably thinner coat than usual
- Skin issues (abnormal lumps and bumps, redness)
- More hairballs than usual
- Changes in behavior such as increased scratching, irritability, or lethargy
You know your cat best. If you notice any changes in appearance or behavior, it never hurts to visit your vet.
How to Keep Cat Shedding Under Control
While you can’t stop your cat from shedding altogether, there are several steps you can take to keep that cat hair under control.
Brush your cat regularly, using a brush that’s right for her coat. Brushing helps to remove excess hair before it turns into a tumbleweed or hairball. Plus, it prevents matting and disperses natural oils to boost skin and coat health.
If your cat has a favorite napping spot, cover it with a washable blanket or cover to make for easy cleaning after her fur accumulates.
Vacuum and sweep regularly. It’s also a good idea to keep a lint roller by the door so you’re not covered in cat hair when you leave the house!
Boost your cat’s mental and physical health with a healthy diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and an overall low-stress lifestyle.
- Give your cat vet-approved supplements to boost her skin and coat health.
PetHonesty’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Cats contains EPA, DHA, and Omega-3’s to boost your kitty’s joint, heart, skin, coat, brain, and overall health. Just pump directly into your cat’s food and mix!