Shedding of Hair in Cats
Whoever has a cat as a pet knows what it is like to find hair from it even in the most unexpected places. Shedding in cats is a natural process that occurs throughout the year. However, there are times when this is more accentuated. For that reason, we want you to have all the accurate information about this change so that you understand it correctly.
What is shedding in cats?
The shedding of hair in cats (or in any other animal) is the renewal of the mantle that covers the skin. Its main purpose is to change the fur to make way for a new layer that grows little by little.
This process is healthy, natural and necessary, since if it does not occur, it would become a problem for the animal.
Yes, except for those that do not have hair, such as the sphnyx cat.
Of course, the process is much more evident in those cats that spend most of their time outdoors. The reason is that when exposed to light, it prepares the skin so that it is more adapted to the seasons of the year.
In the case of cats that live indoors, their shedding is much more balanced throughout the year.
When does the first shedding happen in cats?
Surely you have noticed that the fur of kittens is soft, fluffy and very fine, compared to when they are adults.
That hair of the baby cats is kept approximately until they are 8 months old. After this time, the process of change begins in which adult hair will be acquired.
Depending on the breed of the feline, the shedding of hair will be different. The new fur can be much thicker, shinier, or longer. As for the color, it can darken a little, but it does not usually change.
In that first moult it is quite common for many hairs to fall out and you find them scattered around the house. For this reason it is essential to start brushing the cat’s hair from that moment.
At what times of the year do cats shed?
As we have mentioned, the shedding of hair in cats is a process that, in domestic felines, usually occurs naturally throughout the year. However, there are periods during the same in which this may be more evident.
These times are the spring and autumn months. At that time, the shedding of hair in cats reaches a high peak, as the body prepares itself physiologically to resist changes in temperature.
That is the key to this process: the molt is based on an adaptation to the climate.
During spring, this hair transposition is much more intense, since the cat will need a finer coat to better withstand high temperatures. In autumn, the opposite happens: it goes to thicker hair to better protect itself from the cold.
Cat hair care
Treating your pet’s fur with care is one of the most important care you should provide.
Brushing the cat’s hair will have to start when it is a puppy so that the animal gets used to it. In addition, in this way, you will strengthen emotional ties.
The frequency will depend on the type of hair that the cat has. For example, in a Persian cat it should be done daily due to the thickness of its hair.
Additionally, you should know that brushing the cat’s coat not only helps the shedding to develop better by avoiding knots and removing dead hair. It also allows to reinforce that renewed layer.
Hair loss in cats: is it always due to shedding?
It must be remembered that shedding in cats is a natural process, but hair loss in the animal is not always caused by shedding.
There are cases in which hair loss has other origins and these must be treated. For example:
Stress and anxiety.
Compulsive licking: the hair will fall from the area that licks.
Diseases such as ringworm.
If you detect very abundant hair loss or hair loss in areas other than autumn or spring, in addition to any other disease symptoms, you should go to a veterinary center to establish the cause and the necessary treatment.