No matter if you have a long or short haired feline, finding ways to reduce cat shedding is usually at the top of every cat parent’s list. The last thing you want is to wear a light layer of cat fur on your clothing, or have cat fur on your furniture or floating through the air.
We’re going to tell you when cats shed most often, common causes of cat shedding, and several ways you can go about reducing it. Although it may not be possible to completely stop it, you can make strides to reduce it with a little patience and a little luck.
Why Cats Shed
You cat’s coat comes in thicker in the winter months to help your cat withstand the colder temperatures, and it thins out again in the spring months in preparation of the warmer weather. Spring and summer are the two heaviest shedding times each year for outdoor cats, and indoor cats tend to shed more in the spring and autumn months due to a larger exposure to artificial light.
Shedding doesn’t come from heat, it actually comes from the amount of light available, and this is why many indoor cats shed year-round instead of once or twice. They have more exposure to artificial light than actual daylight.
Both long and short haired cats shed, and some breeds shed much more than other breeds like the Maine Coon, Egyptian Mau, Ragdoll, American Shorthair, Chantilly, and the Persian. You should notice this shedding pattern begin when your cat is between six months and a year old through adulthood.
Is Your Cat’s Shedding Normal?
Although you may notice cat hair floating around in the air, how much is too much? When does cat shedding switch from normal to excessive? There are several things you want to watch for to help reassure you that your cat’s coat is in good health, and they include:
- Clean coat
- Shiny and soft to the touch
- No matting
- No bald spots or irritated skin
- Has a smooth look
Ways to Reduce Cat Shedding
When it comes to your cat shedding, there are a few options available to help curb the shedding while keeping your cat’s coat healthy. You may have to try a few until you find the solution that works best for your cat, but it’s worth it.
Schedule a Veterinarian Appointment
Health problems or issues with anxiety can cause a cat to shed, and the most common ones people see with their cats are allergies, stress, anxiety, parasites, or skin conditions. A visit to the veterinarian can allow your vet to perform a thorough exam to ensure that they don’t have anything going on that may cause them to shed on an excessive level, and they can also give you ways to treat whatever may be wrong.
Check Your Cat’s Diet
Your cat’s skin and coat health has direct ties to their diet, and not having enough nutrients or being allergic to some of the ingredients can both cause excessive shedding. You want to find a balanced cat food that provides plenty of nutrients, and you may consider checking into a limited ingredient diet if you believe allergies are the cause of the shedding.
Brush You Cat Every Few Days
Depending on your cat’s coat length, you may want to start brushing your cat for a few minutes each day or every other day. This can help remove some of the loose, dead, or dying hair from your cat’s coat, and this will gradually help to reduce the amount of hair your cat sheds all year round. It’ll also help to prevent matting, and it’ll help you keep an eye on your cat’s skin health at the same time.
Treat Any Skin Conditions
Cats can develop skin conditions like rashes, hot spots, parasites, and flaky or greasy skin that can have a negative impact on your cat’s coat and the amount they shed. You may have to take a trip to your veterinarian to get the correct treatment plan, but your cat should start to shed less once you treat the underlying condition and bring their skin back to a healthy state.
Hydrate Your Cat
Your cat should drink between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces of water for every five pounds of body weight per day to stay hydrated and prevent their skin and coat from drying out. It’s essential that your cat has constant access to cool and clean drinking water, and you may want to consider adding some wet cat food into their diet since it has between 68 and 78% moisture or water content.
Bathe Your Cat
A bath is a great way to help get rid of any excess hair and reduce your cat’s shedding, even if they’re not extremely enthused about it. If it’s possible, you want to start giving your cat a bath every six weeks or so when they’re young because they’re more willing to accept water. You don’t want to give them baths more often because it’ll dry out their coats and skin.
Keep Your Cat at a Healthy Weight
Overweight cats can have problems reaching all of the areas they need to groom to stay healthy, and this can result in loose hair, mats, skin problems, and more than increased their shedding. You can stop free feeding, get your cat on a weight control formula, and give them strict portion control until they slim down to a healthy weight.
Add Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are the ingredients in your cat’s food that helps to improve and maintain their skin and coat health. If they’re not getting enough from their food, you can look for food that has flax seed or salmon oil, give them supplements, or ask your vet what they recommend.
How to Reduce Cat Fur Around Your Home
Along with helping your cat shed less, there are a few simple things that you can do to help reduce the amount of cat hair around your home. You may have to repeat these steps until you get your cat’s shedding under control, and they include:
If you don’t want to drag out a full-sized vacuum for quick cat hair cleanups, you could buy a stick or handheld vacuum that’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and does a good job at getting into the small crevices and cracks. You should vacuum every two or three days to help keep your cat hair problem under control, and you want to make sure to vacuum any area rugs, furniture, or stairs.
Cover Your Furniture
If you can’t keep up with the cat hair, a furniture or couch cover is one way to help contain the cat hair and keep it on the cover and off of your furniture. You can purchase them in several different sizes, colors, and styles that make it easy to find one that matches your decor.
Get Your Cat a Bed
A comfortable cat bed can lure your cat to it, so they sleep in the bed instead of all over your furniture. You can find dozens of different sizes and styles, and this can help to contain the majority of your cat’s excess hair to the bed. You can then clean the bed every week to keep the hair to a minimum.
Lint Roll Your Furniture
A lint roller is an excellent way to quickly remove cat hair from your clothing, furniture, pillows, and other small items that you can’t quickly or easily vacuum. Put a lint roller in easy reach when you’re going out and give your clothing a once-over to remove most of the stray cat hair.
Cat shedding is unavoidable, but you can take steps to reduce the amount of hair you find around your home. We’ve outlined several ways you can use to reduce your cat’s shedding, and you can apply them to your own life to have a happy household and a happy cat.