By Eloise Hands
Last Updated February 16, 2021

Shedding is something most mammals do constantly, even humans – but especially cats. Unless you’ve got yourself a hypoallergenic cat, or hairless breed, you’ll want to know how to best prevent cat shedding, and fast. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five simple techniques to help reduce your cat’s shedding. If you follow these tips, then your feline friend’s coat is less likely to end up all over the house! Not only is it helpful to figure out how to de-shed a cat, but cat shedding techniques will also improve your cat’s health and general comfort. Convinced? Here are our five simple ways to reduce cat shedding.

Why Does My Cat Shed So Much?

There are several reasons why cats shed in excess. Besides the fact that shedding is a natural, unavoidable process, your kitty could be dropping more hair than usual.

  • Fleas or Ticks: Parasitic insects that irritate your cat’s skin and cause them to scratch more frequently. These nasty and unwelcome inhabitants can cause more hair to drop from your kitty. Cats can lose clumps of fur and develop bald patches through scratching and biting, so watch out for signs of a flea infestation, so that you can treat it early on.
  • Allergies: Much like with fleas, allergies can cause major skin irritations for your feline friend. Allergies often cause cats stress and discomfort. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain allergies, so it’s worth having them tested with your veterinarian to avoid problems in the future.
  • Scabies: Scabies are a more severe version of fleas. They are caused by mites embedding themselves into your cat’s skin and causing massive irritation. Scabies can result in a large amount of hair loss, or noticeable bald patches, both of which result in excessive shedding.
  • Anxiety or Stress: Anxiety and stress are often causes of excessive shedding. Much like when humans loss hair randomly due to anxiety, a cat’s appearance can be affected by stressful external circumstances. Not only will your cat’s behavior and appetite for food and water be affected, but they can begin to lose their fur, too.

If any of the problems listed above seem to be the cause of your cat’s hair loss, don’t be afraid to approach your veterinarian for advice to discuss possible treatment options. The sooner you can get your cat back to feeling happy, the better!

What is the Benefit of Reducing Cat Hair Shedding?

Now that we know the more severe reasons why a cat’s shedding can get out of hand, let’s look at the benefits of reducing your kitten’s unfortunate hair loss, and ways of keeping their coat healthy.

  • Improving circulation: Brushing your cat can act as a gentle massage and encourages blood to flow more easily around your cat’s body. It can distribute their natural oils throughout their coat, extracting loose, dead hair and creating a healthier coat.
  • Reduces matting:  A cat’s fur can mat during their shedding period, particularly for longhaired breeds. They’ll want to groom themselves to prevent it from happening, so why don’t you help them out by taking them for a professional groom?
  • Helps you to spot a problem: If your cat is suffering from fleas or ticks, you will likely see this on closer inspection, like during a grooming session.
  • Socializing: Having someone else handle them is something a lot of cats will try to avoid. A professional grooming session will encourage trust and comfort, and also help develop your owner/pet bond.
  • Prevent hairballs: By removing the loose, dead hair yourself, you are removing the ingestion risk, and helping to prevent the possibility of hairballs. Yuck!

You May Also Like: Hairball Remedies for Cats and Cat Food for Hairballs

When do Cats Shed the Most?

Believe it or not, there is actually a cat shedding season that occurs during the spring/summer seasons. It is essentially a cat’s way of hanging up their winter coat and preparing for the hot weather. The hotter the weather, the more they will shed. You will undoubtedly find yourself brushing and vacuuming cat hair out of your carpet, furniture, and clothes all summer long. To avoid this, be on top of grooming your cat until the hotter months have passed. You wouldn’t want their coat to mat!

How to Prevent Excessive Shedding

A cat’s shedding process is something they will want to deal with by themselves. However, you can save yourself and your feline pal a lot of mess, energy, and potential health concerns by finding out how to help reduce the amount of hair they drop. Here are a few tips that have proven handy to cat owners over the years.

Keep Your Cat Hydrated

Much like humans, cats need hydration to take care of their skin. If their skin is suffering, then their coat will likely suffer, too. Make sure your feline pet is getting enough water to keep them hydrated and refreshed. This is especially important during the warmer months, when they are losing their excess fur at a faster rate.

Bathe Your Kitty Once a Month

When a cat sheds, they can retain loose hairs in their coat. This is nothing that a good bath can’t fix! In fact, you can purchase de-shedding shampoos and conditioners for any cat coat, even the particularly stubborn ones. The added water will also boost their hydration.

Brush Your Cat Regularly

The best way to deal with shedding is to purchase a good brush. Cat hair brushes are specifically designed as a de-shedding tool, as the brush can reach into the underlayers of your cat’s hair and remove any loose hair. Brushing can go a long way in helping you to control cat hair loss and remove any stragglers before they become a problem.

Change Their Diet

On top of keeping a brush nearby and giving them plenty of water, maintaining a healthy diet can better control your cat’s hair loss. A diet rich in omega fatty acids will go a long way in helping your cat control their shedding. Fatty acids have a fantastic effect on the health of your cat’s fur and the production of their natural oils. Healthy hair is less likely to break. Good, nutritious food is best to keep it that way and tackle the problem at the source.

Have a Spot Just for Them

When all else fails, sometimes the easier solution is to just let it happen. If you find your cat shedding constantly and the preventative measures aren’t exactly working, it’s best to just admit defeat and give them a spot of their own that they can get good and furry. Things like a good cat bed, a cat house, or a piece of furniture that no one ever sits in. You can still have the brush handy – we don’t want knots!

A man combs a black and white cat with a comb for animals

Hairball Remedy Treats and Supplements

Now that we’ve covered all possible shedding solutions, you’re probably thinking there’s nothing else to do, right? Wait just a moment! Here’s another tip worth considering. Hairball remedies are good to keep in mind, especially for cats with longhair. When the spring rolls around and your cat starts to drop hair at a faster rate, it may be worth keeping hairball remedy treats or supplements handy. You won’t need the hairball treatments right away, just to keep in mind when the personal grooming starts. After all, your cat is likely licking up a lot of that loose hair!

Is it Worth it?

Even if you don’t mind having cat hair everywhere, it is always worth making the effort to minimize your kitty’s shedding. Your best reason is simply to protect their health and wellbeing. By monitoring your cat’s skin condition, coat, and grooming habits, you can help prevent problems in the future. That way, you can avoid causing your furry friend any unnecessary stress. So yes, it is definitely worth it!

Sources:

  1. Cat Grooming Tips – ASPCA
  2. Dr.Alison Diesel, A Thin Line: Normal Shedding vs. Feline Alopecia – Texas A&M University
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

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