cat hair shedding solutions
Questions About Cats

How to Reduce Shedding in Long-Haired Cats

Owning a cat with long hair means being surrounded by fur, seemingly constantly. This can be a nuisance as the fur shedded by long-haired cats clings to clothing and fabrics. Dander can also cause cat allergies.

Reduce shedding in long-haired cats by brushing your cat regularly. This will proactively remove fur that would have fallen to the ground. Keep your cat’s skin from getting overly dry as this causes hair loss. Feed your cat a high-quality diet and encourage regular hydration. Make sure that your home is free from environmental stressors.

Hair loss in cats can be a nuisance. By taking appropriate care of a long-haired cat, you can minimize shedding. Groom it regularly and keep the cat healthy. You will soon be able to stop cat hair falling out as much.

Why Do Cats Shed Their Fur?

Cats shed fur to moderate their body temperature. A cat’s body is covered by fur all year round. So, cats will shed or grow fur based on the season.

When winter approaches, cats grow a thicker coat of fur. When spring arrives, this will become uncomfortable. As a result, the cat sheds its fur, often to excess. Long-haired cats leave a sizable trail of fur in their wake.

A cat’s body judges the seasons by temperature and light cycle. As the days get shorter, with less natural light, a cat’s fur grows. When the opposite happens, the cat sheds its fur.

Indoor cats shed all year round. This is due to a lack of natural light. Artificial light can confuse a cat’s body, so it will erratically grow and shed fur throughout the year.

The Journal of Small Animal Practice links excessive shedding to feline calicivirus and gingivostomatitis. These are respiratory infections and dental diseases.

If you’re concerned, get your cat checked over by a vet. Usually, a cat shedding its fur is natural. It is not always convenient, but it is essential.

Do Long-Haired Cats Shed More Than Short-Haired Cats?

All cats shed fur at the same ratio. They grow and lose fur according to what they need to remain comfortable.

These cats shed at the same rate as a short-haired equivalent. They just have more fur to lose. This can make it seem like a long-haired cat sheds more than other felines. Breeds of cat that shed the most include:

  • American Bobtail
  • American Curl
  • Cymric
  • Maine Coon
  • Nebelung
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Siberian

If you have an allergy to cat dander, these breeds are inadvisable. You will spend a significant period of time cleaning up fur.

Ways to Reduce Shedding in Cats

There are several methods for keeping shedding in your cat to a minimum:

  • Assist with grooming
  • Bathe your cat regularly
  • Feed a high-quality diet
  • Encourage hydration
  • Protect against parasites
  • Avoid allergens
  • Minimize stress and anxiety
  • Let your cat roam outdoors
  • Spay your female cat

No cat will ever stop shedding completely. You can control the problem using these techniques, though.

cat shedding more than usual

Grooming

Assisted grooming is the most effective way to minimize cat shedding. This is especially important in older, long-haired breeds. Such cats have a lot of fur, and limited mobility and energy in which to groom it.

Long-haired cats require specialist grooming tools. Do not just use a human comb. Invest in the following:

  • A wire brush
  • An undercoat brush
  • Two cat combs with different levels of narrowness between teeth
  • A mat splitter

Methodically groom your cat every day. You will find that the fur comes away in clumps. This is nothing to worry about. It’s all fur that would have shed anyway. This way, you can capture the fur in a towel and dispose of it.

Long-haired cats often experience mats in their fur. This will become increasingly common when the cat is unable to groom itself. Don’t tug too hard. Use the mat splitter to break them up and work the kinks out.

If you are gentle, your cat will start to enjoy grooming. This will make the process easier and enhance your bond. If you groom twice a day, you will experience minimal organic shedding.

Bathing

Bathing a cat is never easy. If your is afraid of water, it may border on impossible. It is a great way to remove loose fur, though. If you can shampoo your cat, you’ll remove fur in a contained space.

Make a judgment call on how often you should bathe your cat. The average long-haired cat should be shampooed at least twice a year. You can increase this to once a month if your cat sheds heavily.

Always use a cat-specific shampoo for this task. Cats have a unique skin pH. Once you’re done, dry your cat thoroughly before cleaning up any fur.

Your cat will hate being wet. In addition, its health will be at risk if its temperature drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

cat shedding fur in clumps

Appropriate Diet

To maintain healthy skin and fur, your cat needs to eat appropriately. This is especially important in a cat’s senior years.

If a cat lacks dietary nutrition, it will develop skin conditions. These, in turn, will cause a cat to shed to excess. The hair follicles that connect to the skin will become damaged.

According to The Journal of Nutrition, fatty acids are essential for cats.

If your senior cat is currently eating a dry diet, steadily transition it onto wet food. Older cats need fatty acids and protein to retain healthy skin and fur. These are found in animal fats.

Always feed an older cat specialist food designed for senior felines. This will contain everything the cat needs to thrive.

This means more fat and protein and less carbohydrate. In addition, senior cat foods are softer and easier to chew and swallow.

Drink More Regularly

Dehydration will lead to a cat shedding. This is because dehydration dries out a cat’s skin. This, in turn, damages hair follicles.

Unfortunately, many cats do not drink as much water as they should. Domesticated cats are descended from desert-dwelling wild felines. This means that your cat will only drink when it feels it must.

Never leave a cat’s water close to a food bowl or litter tray. These smells will cross-contaminate the water and the cat will steer clear.

A cat’s sense of smell will detect chlorine in tap water. This will put the cat off. If your cat refuses to drink tap water, get a water purifier or bottled water. This may or may not help. It depends on how distrustful your cat is.

Most cats dislike drinking from a still water source. This, again, is due to instinct. Wild cats drink from rivers that have a constant stream of moving water. Cats are more likely to drink from a running tap, or even the toilet bowl.

To avoid this, get a water fountain. This constant stream of fresh water will enthrall a cat and encourage it to drink. This will keep the cat hydrated without placing its health at risk.

Parasite Management

Parasitic infestations, such as fleas and mites, cause a cat to shed fur. When parasites cluster, they bite and irritate a cat’s skin. This encourages your cat to scratch. In doing so, the cat will remove large clumps of loose fur.

It’s simple to avoid allowing parasites to feed on your cat. Maintain a regular preventative treatment, even if your cat lives indoors. A topical drop once a month will usually prevent an outbreak of fleas.

Mites can be more problematic. Your cat may attract ear mites when developing an ear infection. This can lead to mange, which is a common source of hair loss. This will be especially prominent in older cats.

Most flea treatments will also kill mites. To be on the safe side, regularly clean your cat’s ears. Mites feed on the natural wax in a cat’s ears. By removing this wax, you are depriving the mites of sustenance.

excessive shedding and dandruff in cats

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety often provoke shedding in cats. This is partly natural, and partly because an anxious cat will groom to excess. Grooming is a form of self-soothing for cats.

Keep your cat calm and stress-free. The first step to this is not reacting to shedding. It can be frustrating to find clumps of fur everywhere your cat has been. The cat cannot help this, though.

If you often come home to a house filled with shed fur, your cat may have separation anxiety, according to The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Some cats are more nervous by nature. If your cat is scared of everything, it will shed near-constantly. Soothe your cat’s nerves by getting it into a reliable routine. A cat that knows what to expect will always be happier.

Other than routine, you can calm your cat’s nerves with scent and sound. Lavender, frankincense, helichrysum, and copaiba are feline-friendly scents that keep a cat calm.

In addition, play cat-specific music. You can find this on most streaming sites. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery has found that music calms cats in a veterinary setting.

Removing stress from your cat’s life will reduce shedding. In addition, it’s advisable for your cat’s health and wellbeing.

Outdoor Roaming

If your cat’s year-round shedding is getting you down, consider letting it spend more time outdoors.

If a cat spends more time in natural light, its body will react. It will fall into a more seasonal shedding pattern that reacts to the changing seasons.

Letting a cat outdoors is not without risk. Your cat will encounter other felines and wild animals that may be carrying parasites.

Spaying

A pregnant cat heavily sheds fur around the belly. This is to allow feeding kittens easier access to the nipples.

The cat will experience many hormonal changes due to pregnancy at this time.  Your cat’s hormones will return to normal after a couple of weeks. She will have experienced a range of side effects, including shedding.

Long-haired cats will always shed fur, but you can proactively reduce the level of shedding. By taking appropriate care of your cat, you can make life better for your cat and easier for yourself.