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How do I prevent shedding?

Furminating angusSave for perhaps the owners of Sphynx cats, virtually every pet parent has found their clothes and household fabrics covered in fur. So, what causes shedding?

Natural causes

Outdoor cats grow and shed coats according the seasons. This is usually triggered by changes temperature and the hours of light in a day. For indoor cats, artificial lighting and air conditioning can interfere with these natural signifiers. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see shedding year-round.

Medical conditions

However, shedding in excess can be caused by allergies, infections, and pests. Stress can also lead to excessive shedding. If you notice that your cat is over grooming one area, biting, scratching, or losing fur in large patches, you should consult your vet.

Once your cat has a clean bill of health, try one of the following to help alleviate the plague of fur around your house.

Add brushing to your routine

In addition to removing dead fur that can cause tangles, studies have shown that spending time brushing or petting your cat can have health benefits for you as well. Some cats enjoy a slicker brush, or Kong’s Zoom Groom may be a good alternative. Deshedding tools like the Furminator are actually blades that can help to remove the dead undercoat before it becomes a larger problem.

Try wipes and washes

Sometimes, older cats in particular need a little help from their pet parents for grooming. You don’t need to douse your kitty with water, though. There are a variety of dry shampoos and gentle wipes available at the pet store that can help you keep your cat’s coat clean and shining.

Feed a balanced diet

You may be surprised the difference a high quality food can make. Look for foods that are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and are easier for your kitty to digest. Finding a food that’s both healthy and appetizing for your individual cat can take some trial and error, but here is a comprehensive list to set you on the right track.

Think outside the box

Last, but not least — if piles of fur have become a nuisance in your home, you can try adding attractive throws that can be easily washed to your furniture. In the same vein, adding a pet bed may give your kitty a more preferred comfy surface where you don’t mind so much fur.

Shedding is a fact of life for kitties, which is why some of our pet sitters keep a lint roller handy. Just in case.


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Furminating Angus” by Paul Joseph is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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