Cat hair on the furniture, on the clothes and even on the food is a fact that must be accepted by all cat owners and cat lovers. All haired cats shed! Similar to human’s hair fall and hair growth periods; cats’ shedding is a natural process that allows these animals to remove old hair that will be replenished with new healthier growth to keep the coat in good condition.
Cats generally shed their hair twice a year. In the spring, the cat would shed to lose the heavy winter coat in order to adapt to the hotter summer weather. Again, the cat will undergo another shedding period in the fall to grow a thicker coat that is more suited to the cold winter months. The shedding pattern depends on the breed, on the grooming routine and on the number of hours the cat is exposed to sunlight. Some breeds are heavy shedders…others are known to shed minimal amounts of hair. Owners of Cornish Rex and Devon Rex may not notice the pets shedding because the thin coat has very short curly hair. This breed would appear not to shed hair at all but they do. Indoor cats would shed all year long but in lesser amounts as compared to outdoor cats. Shedding is influenced by photoperiod which is the number of hours the pet is exposed to sunlight. This is why outdoor cats would shed more as compared to indoor cats. Indoor cats would shed less because of the artificial light and the controlled temperature inside the house.
Cat owners love to run the fingers through the soft coat of the cat. People would love to own Persian cats because of their gorgeous hair. However, it cannot be denied that the cat’s shedding is one of the less pleasant events associated with cat ownership. Shedding though is a natural process. Pet parents should be glad that cat is shedding because this coat renewal process is a sign of good health. Sick cats don’t shed! Shedding though is not only a concern of good housekeeping. The hair shed by the cat has dander. People hypersensitive to this allergen will suffer from allergy symptoms. Shedding and the associated effects it can have on people is one of the reasons why cat lovers are prevented from taking a cat for a pet.
Shedding cannot be eliminated. People that cannot live with this concern should opt to get a hairless breed of cat as even thin coated breeds are known to shed. The Sphynx is a non-shedding breed. Although not totally hairless, a Sphynx cat’s fine fuzz gives the skin a suede-like appearance. Shedding of cats though can be controlled. Since what is shed is loose hair, a regular grooming routine will significantly reduce the amount of hair that will be shed by the pet. Aside from removing loose dead hair, daily brushing will maintain the health of the skin and the fur. Cats are fastidious groomers. These animals would tirelessly groom for hours. However, grooming the pet would still be advisable as it would also prevent the pet from ingesting loose hair. Regular brushing prevents the formation of hairballs. The grooming routine will also be a wonderful chance for the cat owner to interact with the pet.
Shedding can also be minimized by providing the pet with a high quality diet that will promote the health of the skin and the coat. Vitamins and supplements that will strengthen the coat are available from pet supply stores. Some products like sprays can be used to minimize the shedding of the pet.