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A lustrous hair is the goal of any cat sitter, as it is a guarantee of the well-being and health of our feline. A coat in excellent condition protects our cat and is the reflection of good health.
But, sometimes, this coat can have a bad appearance, generalized lack of hair or in certain areas or a slow growth. In this AnimalWised article we are going to deal with this last situation, when the hair does not grow, to explain the reasons for this deficiency. In addition, we will provide information on cHow to grow my cat's hair.You may also be interested in: Recommendations for brushing my cat's hair Index
- The importance of an optimal coat
- The hair cycle
- Hair growth
- The basics for a hair 10
The importance of an optimal coat
Although the hair may seem like a minor issue in and for the health of our cat, the truth is that the coat fulfills a series of important functions, so it is essential to keep it in good condition. These functions are as follows:
- Thermal insulation: the fur protects our cat from high and low temperatures, as well as from the sun's rays that could cause burns.
- Mechanical insulator: hair is a first barrier to prevent damage such as wounds, scratches, stings or bites.
- Communication: cat hair is part of their body language. For example, a cat about to attack will bristle the hairs on its back to appear larger and thus impress its enemy..
- Sense of touch: hair is also involved in this sense, being for the cat a very valuable source of information about the environment.
As we can see, the importance of hair is indisputable, hence the need for good care and the concern that the coat is damaged or does not grow. In the following sections we will see how to grow a cat's hair.
The hair cycle
The hair goes through several phases during their growth, Which are the following:
- Anagen phase: it is the phase in which the hair grows rapidly.
- Catagen phase: it is a transition phase in which the hair stops growing.
- Telogen phase: it is a phase in which the hair falls (change). When the new hair pushes the old, the cycle begins again.
Cats usually experience a couple of hair loss a year, which we know as "change ", although living indoors they may not be as intense or that we only identify it once a year. Spring and autumn are usually the critical moments for hair. Its renewal occurs in mosaic, that is, gradually, so that there are no hairless areas.
Sometimes, in cats subjected to high stress (whatever the cause) there is what is called "telogen effluvium ", which is a disorder in which the anagen phase does not start, leaving the hair cycle interrupted in the telogen phase. When the cause of stress disappears, new hair forms again and all that was in the telogen phase. The result is a generalized alopecia that does not require treatment, just wait for the hair to grow back.
¿How long does it take for a cat to grow hair??
The answer is not exact, since different factors are involved in growth, but it can be expected that the mantle will return to its usual length in several weeks and even months. Sometimes the absence of hair is caused by shaving to practice veterinary interventions such as surgery, the placement of a line in a vein or a blood extraction. We will see in the next section how to grow a cat's hair.
The information that we are going to share below is not a magic formula for growth, but they are recommendations to promote this growth and, in addition, that the hair looks healthy. If, even so, the hair still does not grow, we must consult with our vet, since we could be facing a systemic disease. The basis for growing our cat's hair will be in the cat's diet, so we will have to pay special attention to the following nutrients:
- Protein: they participate in the growth and structure of the hair. Very slow growth can be explained by insufficient protein intake. For this reason, the quantity that we offer to our cat is very important but, much more, its quality, since its bioavailability will depend on it, that is, the ease with which the organism can take advantage of them. In addition, the proteins we supply must contain essential amino acids for hair growth, such as lysine..
- Minerals: highlights zinc, which is involved in hair growth and its deficiency, among other symptoms, causes a delay in this growth and even its loss in some areas.
In addition, other nutrients are necessary to avoid hair and skin problems, such as:
- Vitamins: there are many necessary for a good appearance of both the skin and the hair and its deficiency is the cause of alopecia, bald spots, infections, etc..
- Essential fatty acids: Omega 3 and Omega 6 stand out, which the cat will not be able to synthesize by itself.
A deficiency of these nutrients can be produced by a diet that is not adequate to the needs of the cat or, with a correct diet, by a problem in the use of these nutrients.
The basics for a hair 10
To recap, how to grow a cat's hair and keep it in optimal condition is based on the following aspects, which will serve as prevention:
- Stress management, which can prevent telogen effluvium as well as other dermatological problems. Stress affects the immune system, lowers defenses and this can cause diseases.
- Brushing the cat helps remove dead hair, facilitating its renewal, especially during shedding..
- A food that is adequate to the needs of the cat and of quality, to guarantee correct nutrition of the skin and coat.
- Deworming is essential, since the attack of parasites can cause injuries and alopecia that can be prevented using the best deworming products..
- Must go to the vet before any suspicious sign concerning the skin or hair. Regular veterinary check-ups will help detect diseases in the early stages, making it easier to tackle them and thus avoid, as much as possible, the loss of large hair extensions.