One of the things people like least about cats is the fact that they shed. While there are some hairless breeds of cats, for most people owning one of those is not a possibility. Similarly the exotic breeds marketed as non-shedding are very costly and hard to find, and to be fair, even they shed. So what can a cat owner do to reduce shedding in their cat?
Believe it or not diet has a major impact on how much a cat sheds. Most pet owners are kept in the dark about the quality of their pet food. They think that if it meets the standards and is on the shelves it must be alright. In truth many cat foods contain unnecessary filler, particularly corn. Cats are carnivores. If your cats food contains corn in the top three positions your cat is eating something that is not offering a benefit and may be reducing their skins quality, and thus making them shed more.
Other problem ingredients to look out for are by-products, these are lower grade forms of meat and if a food contains them it is generally not a good food. Also be aware of unidentified meat sources such as meat meal, which could be any dead animal, and will be different from bag to bag, thus creating skin problems as an inconsistent food, possibly triggering allergies.
Of course regular grooming will help reduce hairs before they fall out on their own. The problem is that most owners do not consider regular grooming of their cat to be important. Think of how often we brush our own hair in the day, and how often we brush our pets hair. Knowing that cats shed, you would think we would brush them more often. So many times it is left for one big grooming session, which most cats hate. It is a good idea to get into the habit of brushing a cat a few strokes only every day, or every two days.
There are many different types of brushes on the market, the soft brushes like what may be used on a baby are almost useless on a cat. Rather look for something that is actually going to remove loose hair. A slicker brush works great, and for shorter haired cats rubber brushes which can be used in a circular motion and have static to pick up the loose hairs work well. There are more products available depending where you live, speak to somebody knowledgeable in your local pet supply store.
One of the authors cats, see how smug he looks, he knows that even if he sheds, I will still love him.
Bathing and Grooming
Cats hate baths and usually do not need them. Clipping a cats fur (as is sometimes done on longer haired cats) does not reduce shedding so much as it reduces the length of hairs being shed. Nonetheless owners may select to bath their cat in the spring to remove any loose hairs as the result of seasonal shedding. Or they may take a long haired cat to a groomer to shave (although I generally do not support this). Spring is a good time of year to be sure to brush the cat more regularly.
Exercise and Health
Running and playing is when most of the loose hairs fall out. Owners may feel they should discourage this activity, but running and playing also helps keep the cat healthy and a healthy cat has a better skin tone, and less shedding. If the cat is an indoor only cat an owner might select to build a small outdoor play area where the cat can run and play, and get some hair off outdoors!
Cats who are in their prime, and are healthy, being fed well (but not too much) will shed less than a cat whose health is stressed.
Stress, is in fact, a major contributor to shedding in cats. Cats who are living in fear of being chased by kids or dogs, and cats whose homes are disruptive and chaotic, will shed more than a cat whose home is peaceful. Other than food, stress is probably the main contributor to shedding problems.
Reaching an Understanding
It is important owners accept the cat for what it is. You can reduced shedding but you cannot eliminate it. Shedding is a natural part of being a cat. They must shed old hairs so new hairs can grow in. If shedding is something that is completely unacceptable, do not own a cat. Otherwise invest in good vacuum or broom.
If you have opinions, ideas, or knowledge, and would like to get Paid for sharing them by writing for sites like this, Click Here.
Published in: Pets