Shedding is a natural process for cats. It occurs at different times of the year so that your cat can modify its body temperature and cool down or keep warm accordingly. Indoor cats and dogs typically shed all throughout the year to allow new hair growth. If we lived outside, we would not notice our cat shedding. But indoors, excess shedding can be a huge problem. There is not much one can do to stop shedding but there are certain deshedding tools, dietary factors and grooming techniques that can help bring things under control.
1. Accept the slight inconvenience
As a cat owner, shedding is a part and parcel of your life. The sooner you accept and get used to it, easier it will be for you. Teach your cat to go outdoors when he starts shedding heavily. This can keep things in control. Do keep an eye on him while he is outside – make sure he does not use the neighbors garden for its litter box. If needed, keep its litter box in your yard. Vacuum your home thoroughly twice a week to get rid of hair from carpets and rugs. Do invest in a good lint roller for getting rid of cat hair from clothes.
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2. Get your cat accustomed to regular grooming
Take your pet to a professional groomer from time to time. However, it also works best if you can set up a regular home grooming routine. First, touch your cat only where he likes it. Use your hands gently to remove loose hair. Next, use a gentle cat grooming brush to detangle the hair and also get rid of parasites and stray hairs. . Repeat these steps every day, preferably at the same time. Make sure you place your cat on a table or a surface covered with an old cloth or newspapers to collect loose hairs and ticks or fleas. This will get him used to being groomed at the professional’s.
3. Keep parasites in check
If your cat has any parasites (ticks, fleas, lice, mites or mange) treat it with vet approved medication. Excess scratching, biting or chewing on account of these infestations can also cause shedding.
4. Use gentle grooming tools
Many gentle deshedding tools (combs and brushes) can help your cat by stimulating natural oil production which helps maintain its skin’s health and also in removing excess hair. Every night, groom your kitty with special bristled brushes made for cats. Avoid using harsh combs or brushes made for human hair as these can damage your pet’s coat.
5. Ensure that your cat is not stressed or anxious
Stress can cause excess shedding in cats. Have there been any changes in your cat’s routine off late? Find out if something is eating him, particularly if the shedding seems abnormal.
6. Treat underlying health issues
Certain medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies or allergy dermatitis can all cause excess hair fall in cats. Talk to your vet if you suspect these.
7. Feed him a good diet
A natural, high quality diet can easily control excess shedding in long haired cats. Ideally the diet should be rich in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids as well as B vitamins. Stay away from cat foods filled with chemicals and preservatives.
8. Avoid over-bathing
Cats do not need to be bathed too frequently as they are natural self-groomers. If you bathe your cat once a month, use a good moisturizing shampoo that maintains its skin’s moisture. Keep the bath water temperature warm and avoid hot water which may cause dandruff and excess shedding.
9. Use fish oil supplements
Fish oils supplements can give your cat a nice shiny coat and when administered regularly can prevent excess shedding. They also maintain the health of the hair follicles and strengthen the skin which can then hold the hair. Your vet can guide you further.
Many commercial products claim to stop shedding in cats. Most of these contain essential fatty acids and usually work well to prevent hair loss. However, always talk to your vet before administering any of these. We hope these easy ways to keep your cat from shedding too much help you.