Many factors contribute to cat shedding. Among these are the cat’s medical condition, its diet, and the changing seasons. It is not possible to stop your cat from shedding. However, you can manage the amount of shedding through grooming and diet. Diet changes can enhance the condition of the coat and skin of your cat. Another concerning thing is cat dander, which acts as an allergen for some people.
What is Dander?
Dander are minute pieces of dead skin that animals with feathers or fur shed into their surroundings. Since the defining characteristics of dander are that it is lightweight and tiny, it remains suspended in the air for an extended period.
The reason the cat dander is an allergen is because of Fel d 1. It is a protein found in the saliva, urine, and skin of cats. As compared to male cats, female cats produce more of this protein.
How to Get Rid of It?
Following are a few steps you can follow to get rid of cat dander:
1. Look for Alarming Signs
Take care of the health of your cat and look for alarming signs. If you notice your cat is producing more dander than it should, it is time to see the vet. He will do a skin test to find out the cause of excess dander production.
2. Grooming of Your Cat
Another crucial thing is the grooming of your cat, and bathing is the first step. If you suffer from allergies, then bathing your cat once a month at the minimum will be enough. It is an ideal way to remove dander from your home. However, do not bathe your cat more than once a week or two. Excessive bathing can irritate the skin of your cat and may worsen the condition.
3. Keep Your Home Clean
Cleaning your home well is important. Clean all the softer surfaces like couches, curtains, bedding, drapes, and rugs as they all are the hot spots for cat dander. Eliminate as much cat dander as you can from every surface in your sight.
The best way to tackle this is with a towel and natural all-purpose cleanser or a soapy rug.
Moreover, to keep your home as dander-free as possible, vacuuming once a week is essential. Also, clean the litter box of your cat as it can be a goldmine for allergens. If possible, keep the litter box in the garage or basement.
4. Consider Buying a Pet Bed
Keep your cat or the source of the allergens out of your bedroom. And if you sleep with your cat, consider buying a pet bed to keep your allergies under control.
5. Replace Air Filters Regularly
Last but not least, make sure to regularly replace air filters. It is a simple and essential step since dander is commonly airborne. Buy a high-quality air filter that can trap all these allergy-causing small particles.
Ways to Reduce Cat Shedding
The following are some proven and top methods that help to reduce the amount of shedding:
1. Brush Your Cat Daily
You will see a massive difference in the amount of hair shedding by simply brushing your cat regularly. It can also help lessen hairballs. Brushing your cat is more than just practical; you can also use it as a way of giving attention to your cat. Although most cats enjoy it, be careful because you would not want your cat to get overstimulated.
Schedule short brushing sessions every day to decrease shedding, prevent mats, and not overwhelm your cat. For some cats, petting with a brush can be pretty intense; see how your cat reacts to it.
2. Keep Your Kitty Hydrated
You can see improvement in coat quality and overall health by keeping your kitty well-hydrated. But, it is not as easy as it may sound. Introducing wet food into the diet of your cat is the easiest way to keep it hydrated.
PreventiveVet.com explained how important eating wet food is for cats. The cats might get between 3.85-4.4 ounces of water from an average 5.5-ounce can, and this is half their daily water requirement. The other options that you can go for typically revolve around the water bowl.
Wondering where to place the water fountain or bowl of your cat? This goes different for every cat; just make sure to choose the place where your cat feels safe and secure while drinking water from the bowl.
3. Create a Fur-Friendly Location
The main problem with cat shedding is that we do not want the things we love to get covered in hair. One of the best ways to deal with this condition is by giving your cat their personal space. You can add a blanket to the preferred sleeping location of your cat. You can regularly lint roll or wash the blanket to clean up the hair. Any towel or blanket will do the job, especially if it is a spot that gets good sunlight.
4. Upgrade Your Cat’s Diet
Poor diet is one of the possible causes of excessive shedding. When cats do not get the nutrition they need, it can lead to a brittle, dry coat with weak hair that is likely to break off and fall out. Add more omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids into the diet of your cat. It is the easiest change that you can make to get great results.
Purina explained on their website that Omega-3s enhance the overall hair follicle’s health and lead to a decrease amount of shedding. That means there will be less hair on your favorite sweater and fewer hairballs for your kitty.
Do not ignore the main meals of your cats. Supplementation and a proper diet work together. As per the recommendations of Dr. Coates, the food of your cat is 25% to 35% fat and 45% protein. Add foods that are rich in protein and fats.
5. Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the major causes of increased shedding. Substantial changes like adding a new furry family member or new human or moving into a new house can stress a cat and increase shedding. You may not control and adjust vital changes, but you can support your cat through these changes.
Do the things that help your cat stay calm, and you will notice that these things will also help reduce shedding. For example, brushing your cat can reduce anxiety and makes it calm, and at the same time, get rid of the dead hair.
When to Call the Vet?
If your cat is shedding a lot and showing other illness signs, such as:
- Drinking more water than normal
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Lack of self-grooming
- Patches of missing fur
- Lack of appetite
- Scratching more than usual
- Unkempt, dull coat
It is best to have your cat examined if the shedding becomes noticeably worse. It is to rule out any other illness. Particular health problems can cause excessive shedding as well, especially in older cats. So, if you notice any significant symptoms, immediately take your cat to the vet.
Shedding is not unusual; it is a part of living with a cat or any furry animal. You can follow various steps to reduce shedding, like ensuring your cat has a healthy diet and is well-hydrated. Another best way is shaving your cat; you can take it to a professional for this purpose.