Why Is My Cat Shedding So Much?

Its almost summertime in the northern hemisphere, and my three cats have been shedding up a storm. Im sweeping up tumbleweeds of fur every day. But is warm weather the only explanation for why my cats are shedding so much right now?

Skin, food, or environmental allergies may cause cats to itch and scratch a lot, leading to hair loss. According to Kathryn Primm, DVM, writing for IHeartCats , when a cat scratches and grooms a lot, they can lose hair and even develop a secondary skin infection.

If youve had fleas, you know: theyre a huge pain, causing crusty red bumps, intense itching, and hair loss. As explained by Dr. Primm at IHeartCats, metabolic disorders such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss in cats. Veterinarians call hair loss resulting from stress psychogenic alopecia . When cats are extra-stressed, they may obsessively groom themselves, leading to bald patches and/or skin irritation.

How do I get my cat to stop shedding so much?

Brush your cat regularly. This is the most effective way to reduce your cat shedding hair, as it helps to collect the fur before it falls out. ….Bath your cat once a month. We hear you – no cat is going to enjoy that. ….Change their diet. ….Keep them hydrated. ….Give them a place to call home.

Should I be concerned if my cat is shedding a lot?

No matter how much you sweep, vacuum, and dust, it seems that cat hair never goes away. The good news is that shedding is a normal characteristic of cats. Excessive shedding, or an increase in shedding, can help clue you in to potential medical problems, so it’s important to know what to keep an eye out for.

We love our feline friends but we love their moulting a lot less, and with warm weather being one of the main causes for shedding its only going to get worse over the next few months!

It may be no surprise to see your cat happily grooming themselves. In fact, cats and kittens of all breeds enjoy this activity. While you may not think twice about your cat self-grooming, you may start to notice more cat fur in your home. Your pet may shed, but at what point should it be a concern? You may even find yourself asking, Why is my cat shedding so much? For this reason, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about cat shedding and grooming tips to help your furry friend in the future.

Although seasons and temperature changes may play a role, it may mean something more is going on with your furry friend. If you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian and they can determine the next best step for your best friend.

Naturally, your cats breed may determine what type of fur they have like long-hair, medium-hair, short-hair, and hairless. Also, a hairless cat breed like a Sphynx will probably have less shedding. While your cat may have long fur , that doesnt necessarily mean theyll have a shedding problem.

If you notice your cat exhibiting any of these signs, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian. They can determine if additional medical tests are needed for your best friend. But if your cat overly grooms, they may start to develop hairballs.

Nold further explains the connection between cat shedding and hairballs. Shedding can also be a concern if your cat ingests large amounts of hair while self-grooming, as it can lead to the formation of hairballs. These hairballs can be large enough that they can block the GI tract and have to be surgically removed.

If your cat has a tendency to form hairballs, talk to your veterinarian.

How Much Shedding is Normal?

Let’s start with the basics: cats shed. It’s a normal, natural part of their bodily functions. In an article for VCA Animal Hospitals, veterinarians Tammy Hunter, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM explain that indoor cats shed in low levels throughout the year, while outdoor cats may undergo heavy shedding cycles in late spring and late fall.While all cats shed, some breeds shed more than others. As explained by PetMD, Persians, Russian Blues, and Maine Coons are known for shedding extra. And American shorthaired cats are among the biggest shedders of all.

Some Causes for Increased Shedding

Most of the time, excess shedding in cats isn’t serious. There are five major causes of hair loss in cats, all treatable with veterinary attention:

1. Allergies

Skin, food, or environmental allergies may cause cats to itch and scratch a lot, leading to hair loss. According to Kathryn Primm, DVM, writing for IHeartCats, when a cat scratches and grooms a lot, they can lose hair and even develop a secondary skin infection. Although allergies aren’t 100% curable, they can be managed with medication and diet.

2. Fleas

WebMD cites fleas, mites, lice, and ticks as parasites that may lead to bald spots and sores. If you’ve had fleas, you know: they’re a huge pain, causing crusty red bumps, intense itching, and hair loss. If you suspect your cat has fleas, talk to your vet about safe and effective treatment. Here are tips to get rid of fleas in the house.

3. Ringworm

Ringworm is not an actual worm, but a fungal infection that causes a scaly ring of missing hair. It’s painless but very contagious between cats, dogs, and humans alike. Your veterinarian can prescribe special shampoos and creams to treat ringworm.

4. Metabolic disease

As explained by Dr. Primm at IHeartCats, metabolic disorders such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss in cats. These disorders are not curable, but when caught early, can be treatable for some time.

5. Stress or boredom

Veterinarians call hair loss resulting from stress “psychogenic alopecia.” When cats are extra-stressed, they may obsessively groom themselves, leading to bald patches and/or skin irritation. Treatment for psychogenic alopecia focuses on stress reduction and enrichment.

Brush your cat regularly.

This is the most effective way to reduce your cat shedding hair, as it helps to collect the fur before it falls out. If your cat has medium to long hair, a Slicker brush is best, and if they have short hair, we’d recommend a Dual-Sided brush.

Bath your cat once a month.

We hear you – no cat is going to enjoy that. But, it will help to remove excess and undercoat hair, and in the long run, give you cleaner furniture.

Change their diet.

For a healthy coat, your pet needs a balanced and omega-rich diet. Our Purr cat food contains a balanced ratio of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids to help promote a healthy coat and prevent shedding.

Keep them hydrated.

Cats that don’t drink enough water, more often than not, have dry skin and coats, resulting in the moulting of their hair. So make sure you keep their bowl full to the brim with clean, fresh, cool water to drink.

Why is my cat shedding so much?

Dogs and cats shed. But, you may not always think of your cat as the reason for the pet hair found around the house.Also, “the most common cause of shedding is normal seasonal shedding, which usually occurs in the spring and fall with changes in temperature,” says Nold.Although seasons and temperature changes may play a role, it may mean something more is going on with your furry friend.If you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian and they can determine the next best step for your best friend.

Are certain breeds more prone to shedding?

If you’ve recently brought home a cat, you may wonder about your cat’s fur and skin. Naturally, your cat’s breed may determine what type of fur they have like long-hair, medium-hair, short-hair, and hairless. Nold points out what else to consider when it comes to your cat’s fur.“No certain cat breed is more prone to shedding, but shedding may be more noticeable in a medium or long-haired cat. Also, a hairless cat breed like a Sphynx will probably have less shedding.”While your cat may have long fur, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have a shedding problem. Every cat is different and they react differently to changes in season, temperature, environment, or even allergies.To learn more about your cat’s fur and skin, check out this cat grooming guide from VCA Animal Hospital.

Cat grooming

Your cat may shed based on a seasonal change, but when does it become something more? For example, “shedding can become a concern if you notice areas of hair thinning or hair loss, like Alopecia,” inserts Nold.Also, your pet may not always let you know something is bothering them. In fact, there may be an underlying medical condition for hair loss.Nold breaks down what to look for when it comes to your furry family member.
If you notice your cat exhibiting any of these signs, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian. They can determine if additional medical tests are needed for your best friend.