Cat hair tends to stick around no matter how much you sweep, vacuum, or dust. The good news is that shedding is a normal behavior in cats. Excessive shedding, however, can alert you to potential medical issues. Our Pico Rivera vets will explain what you should look out for.
Why do cats shed?
Shedding occurs to remove dead hair and to release natural oils into the skin. Shedding will eliminate dead hair that has not been removed by grooming or brushing.
Indoor cats in particular face air conditioning in the summer and heaters in the winter, as well as artificial lighting, This might confuse their system, resulting in almost constant shedding. Another factor that influences shedding is whether your cat is a long-haired or short-haired breed.
There are a few more typical causes of shedding that you should be aware of:
Food: Cats who are not fed a balanced diet may have increased shedding. Healthy skin and coat require high-quality, nutritionally full meals.
Stress: Stress can cause cats to over-groom or under-groom, both of which contribute to increased shedding. Your cat may lose his appetite, begin sleeping more or less, and become anti-social, withdrawing to quiet places of your home. You may assist lessen your cat's stress by providing him with a safe and comfortable space in your home.
Age: Cats tend to groom themselves less frequently as they get older. This can result in either increased shedding or matted fur.
Pregnancy: Hormonal changes can cause your pregnant female cat to lose more hair. The good news is that this is only temporary, and the excess shedding should stop once your cat gives birth and her body returns to normal.
Why is my cat shedding a lot more than usual?
If you're worried about your cat's hair loss or irritation/redness on their skin, it's time to see your veterinarian. The pattern and distribution of hair loss will be assessed, as well as whether the hair is shed or broken off. The skin will be examined for signs of infection or parasites. They may also be required to perform lab tests such as skin scrapings, hair examinations, blood work, and urinalysis.
Some reasons your cat could be shedding more than usual include:
Parasites: Mites and fleas (especially if your cat is allergic to them) can drive your cat to gnaw and scratch, resulting in increased hair loss. Even though you cannot see these bugs moving around on your cat, their presence can be problematic.
Allergies: Allergies may be at blame if your cat sheds a lot. Cats, like humans, can suffer from changing allergies. This can be difficult to detect because your cat will naturally shed at these times of the year. The key to resolving the problem is understanding what your cat is allergic to. Your cat could also potentially be allergic to something else in the environment, such as dust, scent, or even cleaning agents. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the source of the allergy and providing a treatment to make your cat more comfortable.
Skin Infection: Bacterial and fungal infections can impact your cat's coat and cause them to shed excessively.
Diseases: Some diseases can cause your cat to shed more than it should. These can include kidney, liver, thyroid, or adrenal gland diseases and some types of cancer.
Behaviorial Disorders: Some behavioral disorders (such as stress listed above) can cause excessive licking and chewing, which can lead to hair loss even if there is no shedding on the cat's part.
If your veterinarian believes that the shedding is caused by a medical problem, they will recommend a treatment plan to address the underlying problem. It is critical to closely follow their recommendations. When the underlying medical condition is resolved, your cat's shedding should return to normal.
Why should I go to the vet for excessive shedding?
As mentioned, excessive shedding in cats can be caused by a variety of medical issues. Ringworm, thyroid disorders, fleas, and other problems might cause your cat's hair to fall out. If you observe any changes in your cat's health, it's usually a good idea to take them to the vet.
Most of the time, increased shedding is not a big deal, and you may be able to lessen it after you figure out what's causing it. Diet and nutrition can both play a role, so it's critical to evaluate all of the variables.
In the meantime, a powerful vacuum built for pet-friendly houses can be useful, as can a few lint rollers. Cleaning up cat hair regularly might help limit the amount of it that ends up on your clothes.