One of the biggest signs that someone is a cat owner is the cat hair plastered all over their clothes! From head to toe, to almost every spot in their houses, you’ll probably be able to spot cat hair.
The occasionally overwhelming amount of hair that cats shed can be a pain for any cat owner, so instead of having to pluck out cat hair out of coffee mugs every morning, here are some facts that might help you understand why cats shed.
It’s Normal for Cats to Shed
The most important thing to remember is that all cats shed and it’s completely ordinary for them to do so! Simply put, cats shed to get rid of dead and unnecessary hair, though there is more to it than that!
From an evolutionary standpoint, cats were actually designed to shed and regenerate their coats to regulate temperature. In fact, there are different types of cat fur that serve different purposes:
Awn hair- Usually forms the visible coat of a cat and is typically coarser, which helps cats keep warm and provides insulation for them
Down hair - These dense, short hairs are close to the skin, forming a thick undercoat which also helps regulate heat and protect the skin from abrasions
Guard hair - These hairs are the longest and form a cat’s outer coat. Aside from protecting cats from rain or snow, guard hairs also serve as a way to keep cats dry by retarding water
Vibrissae - These are a cat’s whiskers, though they can grow not only on a cat’s muzzle but also above their eyes, on their cheeks and even outer sides of their legs. They help cats orient themselves when travelling in the dark.
Cats can shed everywhere, and shed all types of hairs, but how do you manage this? Well, here are some tips to combat the fuzz!
Brush, Brush, Brush!
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest - grooming your cat is one of the most highly effective ways to manage cat hair.
Typically, you’d need two types of brushes for the job.
Slicker brushes are often used on your cat’s soft, fine belly hair. They can also be used to untangle matted hair. Petz Route’s Rectangle Slicker Brush is a must-have for every cat parent. This particular brush allows for fine brushing, is gentle on your cat’s skin, and is a tried-and-true brush that helps remove dead or fallen off hair and fur.
A fine, flea comb on the other hand is used for awn hair, especially for breeds like Persians. In addition, they can assist in assessing whether your cat has fleas. Petz Route’s Fine & Coarse Flea Comb is another amazing comb that helps remove undercoat hairs and brush out any flea dirt that may be present.
Alternatively, bringing your pet cat to a groomer every so often to get them cleaned and groomed professionally can help to reduce the amount of fur your cat sheds. And remember, if you can’t comb out the mat, please seek help from a vet or groomer to remove them! Cutting them off without training can be very dangerous since cats’ skin can be elastic and sensitive.
A Healthy Cat Diet
Part of maintaining a shiny and healthy coat is ensuring your kitty is getting a healthy fix of water and food regularly.
If your cat has a duller coat, or is experiencing excessive hair loss, dandruff and an excessively oily coat, you may want to consider seeking a veterinarian’s help in adjusting their diet. These are signs of malnourishment and dehydration and it affects your cat’s health.
The recommended diet for cats is something with a high-protein, low-carbohydrate content. However, look out for signs of food allergy when you change your cat’s diet. Most times, these signs often show up as skin or coat problems.
Supplements like Labivet’s Skin and Gut Probiotics Supplements are another great way to boost your cat’s skin and gut health, improving their immune system. All you need to do is sprinkle a sachet’s worth on your cat’s favourite food or snack!
Another solution you may want to consider is trying out Kit Cat’s Purr Puree Plus+ Chicken & Fish Oil Cat Treat. Created by nutritionists, and made with carefully selected natural ingredients, this irresistible treat will help rejuvenate your cat’s skin and coat. This treat also contains prebiotic, vitamin E and taurine.
After tackling the fur issue directly by grooming your little ones and improving their diets, it’s time to get to work on removing your furry cat’s hair from, well, everywhere!
The two most essential tools for the job are a handy lint roller to get rid of the cat hair on your clothes and furniture, and a vacuum to scour every inch of your floor and remove as much cat hair as you can.
However, lint rollers can be impractical and environmentally unfriendly, so an alternative you may want to consider is a brush with silicone hair that helps get hair off of furniture. These brushes can often be used multiple times and don’t damage your furniture.
Heavy-duty pet wipes like Woosh's Pet Wipes are also the perfect solution to quickly clean up a pet and deodorise after a grooming session.
Other helpful tools include a bottle of fabric softener, to make loosening up stubborn pet hair easy. Using a carpet rake or even some rubber gloves to remove fur is also an option.
To use a pair of rubber gloves to remove hair, all you need to do is to put on the glove, dip your hands in water, then rub your carpet or rug in one direction. The static energy created will help lift the cat hairs, and rinsing the gloves in a basin of hot water will cause those hairs to float away!
Too Much of Anything is Bad
Cats shed. That’s normal! But, like everything, too much might just be a bad sign. A cat’s skin and gut health are closely related, and abnormal amounts of shedding may be a sign of an underlying issue or disease.
Excessive shedding can also be a sign of stress, parasites and a poor diet. Diseases like hyperthyroidism and kidney failure can also be why your cat may be shedding more than normal.
In addition to too much shedding, other coat concerns you should be aware of is itchiness, excessive grooming and hair loss. Your cat may also be struggling with grooming if they deal with arthritis or obesity.
If you notice that your cat is shedding in excessive amounts, or is displaying any of these symptoms, please seek veterinary care immediately.
You’ve groomed your cat, fed them some healthy treats and removed all the cat hair, it’s time to relax on your fur-free couch. Well, as long as you live with your furry little friend, you’ll still be spotting cat fur almost anywhere you look.
The best solution is to make it a weekly habit to clean your house so that fur doesn’t accumulate, but remember to take breaks and prevent burnout. I promise your cat will be grateful - even if they get mad from the grooming once in a while!
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.