Shedding in Cats: When Should I Be Concerned?

Cats are animals that shed a significant amount of fur during the major seasonal changes. However, in some cases, fur shedding can be related to other causes that may require veterinary intervention to resolve the underlying issue.

In this article, we will show you some reasons for fur shedding in cats and in which situations you should be concerned.

Causes of Fur Shedding in Cats

There is a wide variety of factors that influence fur shedding in these small felines, such as:

Cat Fur Shedding

Fur shedding is a natural process for cats. In the case of domestic cats exposed to fewer temperature variations, shedding is usually lighter. While cats that live outdoors or have thick fur experience a more significant shedding process.

Shedding typically occurs in spring and fall. During spring, cats shed a substantial amount of fur to maintain a lower body temperature during the warmer months of the year. In the fall, they shed their summer fur to develop a thicker coat that better withstands winter temperatures.

Stress-Related Fur Shedding in Cats

About 1 in 10 cats experiences fur shedding due to a condition known as psychogenic alopecia. In 2 out of 10 cases, both psychological and clinical causes coexist. Cats are very sensitive animals to changes in their environment and prone to stress.

Among these causes, the arrival of another animal in the household or moving to a new location can be significant stress factors. Also, environments with few or no stimuli can cause stress if the cat is alone for extended periods.

In such situations, cats tend to engage in compulsive grooming behavior, which ultimately results in fur loss.

Feline Allergies

Allergies are another common cause of fur shedding in cats. They can be related to the food they consume or external allergens like pollen in the environment.

Inadequate Diet

Fur is mostly composed of proteins. If a cat’s diet is not properly balanced, its fur can become dull and brittle. Therefore, it’s essential that their diet is rich in high-quality proteins, as this contributes to stronger and shinier fur.

Parasites

Parasites such as fleas can lead to a condition known as pruritus, which is characterized by cats scratching or licking their skin persistently.

Another common infection is dermatophytosis. Within this condition, fungi like Microsporum canis can cause fur loss in cats, primarily on the face, ears, and paws.

Various Diseases

There are other conditions that can result in fur loss in cats, such as circulatory problems affecting the hair follicle’s blood flow and hormonal issues.

Another disease related to fur shedding includes kidney failure, chronic anemia, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, some medications like steroids or topical flea treatments can lead to fur loss.

How to Care for Your Cat’s Fur

Fortunately, you can follow some tips to care for your cat’s fur and prevent excessive shedding:

General Hygiene

Establishing a brushing routine is crucial to keep your feline’s coat in excellent condition, especially during shedding periods.

Nutrition

Special diets with high-quality cat food are essential to prevent most common health problems that cats often experience. These problems include allergies, intolerances, diabetes, and obesity.

Healthcare

Cats should receive appropriate vaccinations and regular deworming treatments. Also, veterinarians should check them periodically to prevent most causes of fur shedding. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep them away from sick cats or those that haven’t been dewormed.

Reduce Stress

Aside from taking care of their physical health, you should consider their mental well-being and meet their emotional needs. This way, they’ll be healthy and balanced. To achieve this, try to eliminate or reduce any external stimuli that might cause stress and provide them with a safe environment with just the right amount of stimulation for proper development.

Conclusions

Fur shedding in cats is often caused by natural cycles related to seasonal changes. However, if you notice excessive shedding, you should consult a veterinarian immediately to prevent more serious issues in the future.

Arsenio Coto
Arsenio Coto
Growth specialist, feline rookie. I write to learn and provide answers to the hundreds of questions I've had since Noa 🐱 became a part of my life.

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