Most of us are used to living with cat hair. Shedding is a normal process for healthy cats, in which old fur is replaced with new. All cats shed, regardless of the length of their coats. You may think that longhaired cats shed more, but that’s only because the fur they shed is so much more visible. You can’t stop your cat from shedding, nor should you – after all, it’s a natural process. However, there are ways to reduce shedding and deal with cat hair in your home.
Regular brushing not only helps eliminate loose hair, it’s also a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your cat. If your cat is not immediately receptive to brushing, start slow, and gradually increase the time you spend grooming. Reward your cat with treats after each brushing session until they’ve come to associate brushing with something pleasurable.
Brushing also has health benefits for your cat: grooming increases circulation – it’s like a mini-massage with some of the same health benefits as a massage. Additionally, a grooming session is an ideal time for you to run your hands and eyes over every inch of your cat’s body. This may help with early detection of lumps and bumps, skin issues, or parasites.
Should you give your cat a bath?
Cats are fastidious groomers, and can usually take care of keeping themselves clean without needing to be bathed. However, if you’re dealing with excessive shedding, and if your cat will tolerate it, bathing her once a month may be helpful. Be sure to use only shampoos developed for cats. Human products are too harsh for a cat’s delicate skin. You could also use a waterless shampoo made for cats, or wipe her down with grooming wipes especially designed for cats.
Cats who are fed a species-appropriate, grain-free canned or raw diet don’t shed as much as cats who are fed inferior quality diets. The difference is particularly dramatic in cats on raw fed diets: they barely shed at all.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Fatty acids, either in food or as a supplement, promote healthy skin and coat, and help reduce shedding.
Veterinary check ups
Make sure your cat gets regular veterinary exams, which should include a skin and coat evaluation. If you notice excessive hair loss, don’t wait for your cat’s next regular scheduled check up. Take her to your vet as soon as possible to rule out any potential illness.