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Cat caregivers know that their hairs will accompany us wherever we go, both at home and outside, we can find the odd hair on our clothes. For a cat to lose hair is absolutely normal and healthy. As in people, cats shed their hair throughout the year, although especially in the spring and summer months, where climate changes are more pronounced, this is when we observe a greater fall..
If you have just adopted a cat and are still not sure how this move works, keep reading this AnimalWised article to learn all the details about the shedding of hair in cats, when it first occurs, if it can lead to problems and how we can help our feline during this process.You may also be interested in: How is the shedding of hair in rabbits? Index
- What is shedding in cats?
- Time of shedding in cats
- First shedding of hair in cats
- Risks of shedding in cats
- What to do when a cat sheds its hair?
What is shedding in cats?
Molting is the renewal of the coating that surrounds an animal's skin. In cats, the molt consists of the renewal of its coat to make way for the new one that is growing internally.
This is a normal and necessary process. If they did not do it, it would be a problem, and if they do it excessively and even areas devoid of hair appear, it could indicate that the cat has a dermatological, behavioral or feeding problem that requires veterinary attention.
Time of shedding in cats
Cats lose hair throughout the year, but it is true that there are certain times when this renewal is accentuated. These moments are the spring and fall months, as your body prepares for changes in temperature and daylight hours that occur during these months. Thus, when faced with the doubt "why do cats shed their hair ", we see that the answer lies in adaptation to the climate. In this way, the shedding of hair in cats in these times is carried out in the following ways:
- In spring the molt is much more intense, reaching up to half the change they make during the year. This is because they shed a large part of their hair to change it for a finer one, in order to better withstand the heat..
- In autumn the opposite happens, the molt is done by shedding those fine hairs and changing them for thicker hairs to prepare to withstand the coldest months of the year.
The molting process is much more noticeable during these months in outdoor cats or those that go out from time to time than in those that always live at home, since at home the temperature does not usually change so abruptly due to the heating and to the air conditioning. In these indoor cats, the shedding process is usually more constant throughout the year..
First shedding of hair in cats
Baby cats have softer, thinner, fluffier, or wavy, shorter hair than when they are adults. That first hair will accompany you during your first 5-8 months old. From that moment it is when a baby cat begins to change its hair and does so until it reaches its maximum growth and development. In this way, depending on the breed, the kitten will complete its first change to longer, thicker, stronger and shinier hair. Usually, only the appearance of the hair changes, but not its color, although in some cats the hair can darken a bit when they are adults.
In this first molt we can see the little feline's hairs throughout the house and it is important to start with the hygiene habits of the coat, getting used to brushing and even bathing. But do not despair if you see a lot of feline hairs, it is totally healthy and normal, your kitten is growing. Find out in this other article when a cat is an adult.
Risks of shedding in cats
Feline caregivers are sometimes alarmed by the great loss of hair their cat is having. At first, a natural and healthy molt should not cause problems. The problem that can give a high change of hair in a cat is from its grooming.
We all see how more than once a day our cat is preening, during this process its tongue takes loose hairs that are being changed, along with others that it pulls due to the characteristics of the papillae of its tongue. It is then when, after several grooming, he can swallow a lot of hair that will end up in his digestive system. After passing through the stomach, it will reach the intestine where it can accumulate and form hairballs (trichobezoars). This problem is much more frequent even if the cat has long or semi-long hair because the hair fibers occupy more space and with less quantity the intestine can become obstructed..
These hairballs can reach partially or totally obstruct intestinal transit, which will cause clinical signs of a foreign body in the feline, such as vomiting and loss of appetite or anorexia. The solution in many cases is to go through the operating room to remove them. In this video we talk about this problem:
What to do when a cat sheds its hair?
Due to the problem of hairballs, it is important that we maintain frequent care of the hair of our cats. During the molting season, this care must be carried out even more frequently and will consist of the following:
- Brushed: During the year they should be brushed with a special brush for cats frequently, a minimum of about twice a week in short-haired cats and twice a week in long-haired cats. In the molting season, it should be done at least every two days for short-haired ones and every day for long-haired ones. This, in addition to promoting blood circulation that will make hair grow stronger and healthier and strengthen the connection with your cat, drag the dead hairs and prevent the cat from ingesting them. For this purpose, the most widely used brush is the well-known furminator for cats, which is a type of scarp brush, but there are many more brands that we can find.
- Bathed: many dead hairs will be dragged very effectively during the cat washing, which will later be removed by brushing. The ideal is to accustom a kitten from a young age so that it is not a very stressful or traumatic moment. If your cat becomes hysterical when he sees the water, better not bathe him and work with him to ensure that he ends up associating this moment with a positive experience. For this, we recommend this article: "¿How to bathe a cat at home? ".
- malt: giving this product at least once or twice a day during this time can help prevent the formation of hairballs. To favor its ingestion if they do not like it very much, you can put a little on one of their front paws or on their nose, since this will make them lick the area to clean themselves and ingest it..
- Catnip: There are cats who find this herb very attractive and ingest it to purge themselves. If this is the case of your cat, you can try to put it on during this time and improve its intestinal transit by regurgitating accumulated hairs that can form a hairball.
In addition, as during the rest of the year, it should be accompanied by a good diet with a complete food that guarantees all the nutrients in their correct proportions so that the feline maintains good health and hair condition. Now, if after knowing all the details of the shedding of hair in cats, you consider that the shedding of yours is not normal, it is best to go to the vet to examine it, since there are several causes that cause a cat is losing a lot of hair.