People who wish to own cats should be ready to handle the responsibility of their maintenance needs. A cat’s maintenance does not only affect its own personal needs, but it also has effects on the house of its owner. The shedding of a cat’s hair is one of the most important things to consider when owning one. There are some people who may be allergic to a cat’s hair. Interested pet owners should know more about the shedding of a cat’s hair.
Why Does A Cat’s Hair Shed?
It is natural for all cats to shed their hair. Shedding is due to the hair growth cycle of cats, just like humans. When cats live indoors, they shed their hair more often due to the heating and air conditioning systems inside their owners’ houses. Temperature and light are some of the causes that would make cats shed their hair.
As the temperature starts to get warmer, cats are known to blow their old coats of hair to make room for thinner hair to grow. In relation to the frequency of shedding with the length of a cat’s hair, there are chances that short-haired cats shed more frequently because their hair growth cycles are more reactive to temperature changes. Since owners have control over the temperature in their houses, whenever they opt to change the temperature to fit their preferences, this has effects on the shedding of their cats. This is one of the reasons why cats with short hair that are living indoors would tend to shed more due to the constant temperature changes inside the house.
However, it is more noticeable to see shedding for cats with longer hair because the hair is more visible. Another factor people must consider when buying cats is the number of undercoats the cats may have. Cats with double or triple undercoats shed more volume of hair, which makes it even more visible. If you have someone in your family that may have allergic reactions to a cat’s hair, it is advisable to get one with short hair or that has at most one undercoat.
Allergies are caused by dander and not exactly the hair of the cat. Dander is formed when a cat’s skin gets dry and flakes off. These dried flakes of skin may stick to the hair of the cat and are usually the cause for people’s allergies to start acting up as the cat sheds its hair. Cats with shorter hair will provide the hairless area for the dander to stick to, which lessens the risk of allergies.
Abnormal Shedding of A Cat’s Hair
As you get to know your cat, you will be able to identify if there are changes in the amount of hair it is shedding. This is important for cat owners to know because abnormal shedding can mean that your cat may not be feeling well. One of the signs that your cat is shedding abnormally is when its coat has suddenly turned very thin.
In most cases, you will also see that the skin under the hair has become inflamed. These are the cases that would tell you that your cat needs to visit a veterinary clinic. Your cat may be having allergies that would make it scratch itself more often than usual. The cat may have been allergic to the food it has previously eaten. The environment also makes it possible for a cat to catch an allergy. The veterinarian will be the one to diagnose this. Some other causes of abnormal shedding can be attributed to the infestation of fleas, diseases related to metabolism, or your cat may simply be stressed out. Any of these problems should be handled at the soonest possible time.
Maintenance To Protect Your Cat’s Hair
As it has been discussed, shedding is a natural thing for cats. However, it is also important that you make sure that the coating of your cat’s hair is well-maintained. A cat’s coating protects it from any harmful elements. It also helps your pet with temperature regulation. It is highly advised that you include fat in your cat’s diet. Linoleic acid is important in keeping a cat’s skin cells together.
You should also give your cat more protein as it is one of the animals that have high protein requirements. Adequate protein means that your cat will be able to maintain a good rate of hair regeneration. The hair follicles need protein so that they will keep on doing their functions. In relation to bathing, you should ensure that you use cat shampoo. Using human shampoo on your cat has the tendency to dry out its skin.
Lastly, you should not forget to brush the hair of your cat to remove dirt and debris that may get stuck on its hair. Cats with long hair need to have frequent brushing sessions to prevent their hair from getting tangled and also to remove any dead hair.