If you’re noticing that your cat is shedding more than usual, it’s important to pay attention. While some shedding is normal, excessive shedding can be a sign of a medical problem. Here are 8 potential reasons why your cat may be shedding more than normal.
Why is my cat shedding more than usual?
1. Seasonal Changes
Cats shed more during spring and fall as they adjust to the changing seasons and temperature. Seasonal changes can lead to excessive cat shedding for a variety of reasons. For example, the shorter days and colder temperatures of winter can cause cats to shed more because they are trying to conserve body heat. The longer days and warmer temperatures of summer can also cause increased shedding as the cat’s coat becomes less dense in order to stay cool. If your cat is shedding excessively, it is important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the problem.
Shedding can be a sign of stress in cats, whether it’s from a move, a new pet in the house, or something else that’s upsetting them. When a cat experiences stress, it may start to shed its fur excessively. This is because the stress hormone cortisol can cause the hair follicles to go into a resting phase. As a result, the hair that would normally be shed gradually over time is shed all at once. This can leave the cat’s coat looking patchy and thin.
3. Poor Nutrition
A poor diet can lead to unhealthy skin and fur, which can cause excessive shedding. Cats are not getting the proper nutrition, their bodies are not able to produce healthy skin and fur. Second, without the proper nutrients, the hair follicles can become weak and break easily. This leads to patchy fur and bald spots. Finally, inadequate nutrition can also lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can further damage the skin and fur. All of these factors can contribute to excessive cat shedding.
Skin allergies are a common cause of increased shedding in cats. One possible reason why allergies can lead to excessive cat shedding is that the allergens can cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. This can lead to the cats shedding their fur more frequently in order to get rid of the irritants on their skin. Allergens can also cause the production of histamines, which can further aggravate the skin and cause the cats to shed even more. In some cases, the allergies can also lead to hair loss.
5. Hormonal Changes
Changes in hormones can cause cats to shed more, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation. When cats experience a change in hormone levels, their bodies go into what is known as a “rest and repair” mode. In this mode, the body breaks down and replaces old tissues and cells at an accelerated rate. This process can cause the hair follicles to produce weaker, thinner hairs that are more prone to breaking and falling out. Additionally, hormonal changes can also cause the sebaceous glands to produce less oil, which can lead to drier skin and hair. When the skin and hair are dry, they are more likely to shed. Finally, certain medical conditions, such as thyroid problems and Cushing’s disease, can also cause hormonal changes that lead to excessive shedding. If you think your cat’s shedding is due to a hormonal imbalance, it is important to take them to the vet for an examination and proper diagnosis. Treatment options will vary depending on the underlying cause of the problem.
Many diseases and conditions can cause increased shedding, including infections, parasites, skin disorders, and thyroid problems. First, when a cat is ill, their body is working overtime to try to heal itself. This can cause them to shed more because their body is trying to get rid of any extra hair that it doesn’t need. Additionally, some illnesses can cause a change in hormone levels, which can also lead to excessive shedding. Finally, some illnesses can cause a loss of appetite, which can lead to malnutrition and further hair loss.
7. Old Age
As cats age, they often shed more due to changes in hormones and nutrition. Their metabolism slows down and they don’t digest food as efficiently. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can cause shedding. Additionally, as cats age, their hair follicles may become damaged or weakened, causing the hair to fall out more easily. Finally, many older cats suffer from medical conditions that can cause excessive shedding, such as hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, and kidney disease. If your senior cat is shedding excessively, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems. Additionally, you may want to consider switching them to a senior-specific diet that is designed to meet their changing nutritional needs.
8. Genetic Predisposition
Some cats simply shed more than others due to their genes and cannot help it. Certain genes may predispose a cat to having a higher level of the hormone testosterone. This hormone is responsible for stimulating the growth and development of male sexual characteristics, such as increased muscle mass and facial hair. In addition, testosterone also plays a role in the production of sebum, which is an oily substance that helps keep the skin and coat healthy. However, too much testosterone can lead to an increase in sebum production, which can then cause the hair follicles to become blocked and the shedding process to be accelerated.
How can you tell if your cat is shedding too much?
One of the easiest ways to tell if your cat is shedding too much is by examining their fur. If you notice that there are large patches of fur missing, or that the fur is thinning out in spots, then this could be a sign that your cat is shedding excessively. Another way to tell if your cat is shedding too much is by looking at their skin. If you notice that their skin is red, irritated, or inflamed, then this could also be a sign of excessive shedding. If you think that your cat may be shedding too much, it is important to take them to the vet so that they can be properly diagnosed and treated.
How can you make your home more comfortable for a cat that sheds a lot?
If your cat sheds a lot, there are a few things you can do to make your home more comfortable for them. First, try to brush them outside as often as possible to help reduce the amount of hair they shed indoors. Secondly, keep their sleeping area clean and free of hair by regularly vacuuming or using an air purifier. Finally, make sure they have plenty of toys and playtime to help keep their minds occupied and reduce stress.
What are some economical ways to help reduce cat shedding?
1. One way to help reduce cat shedding is to feed them a high quality diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This will help keep their coat healthy and promote less shedding.
2. Another way to help reduce cat shedding is to brush them regularly. This will help remove loose hair and debris from their coat and help to keep it healthy.
3. You can also try using a deshedding tool on your cat to help remove loose hair. This can be especially helpful during shedding season.
4. Finally, make sure to provide your cat with plenty of fresh water to drink. This will help keep their coat hydrated and less likely to shed.
By following these tips, you can help reduce the amount of shedding from your cat and keep their coat healthy and looking its best.
If your cat is shedding excessively, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems. Additionally, you may want to consider switching them to a senior-specific diet that is designed to meet their changing nutritional needs. If your cat sheds a lot, there are a few things you can do to make your home more comfortable for them. First, try to brush them outside as often as possible to help reduce the amount of hair they shed indoors. Secondly, keep their sleeping area clean and free of hair by regularly vacuuming or using an air purifier. Finally, make sure they have plenty of toys and playtime to help keep their minds occupied and reduce stress. By following these tips, you can help reduce the amount of shedding from your cat and keep their coat healthy and looking its best.
Dr Alex Benjamin, DVM, is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience in Emergency Medicine. He has worked in both large and small emergency and specialty veterinary practices treating a variety of species. Dr Alex Benjamin is part of the review board. As Editor-in-Chief of vegasweims.com, Christian is delighted to be a part of the pro-cat movement.