As the temperatures start to fall, you might notice some additional cat fur covering your furniture, clothes, and floors. To prepare for the thicker, warmer winter coat, your cat is losing their thinner summer coat.
While we all love our cats, being covered in kitty glitter isn’t ideal. Luckily, there are a few handy ways that you can better manage your cat’s shedding to keep you both clean and happy.
Is Your Cat’s Shedding Normal?
Before you worry about managing your cat’s shedding, you need to figure out if your cat is shedding a normal or excessive amount.
All cat’s shed, but the amount that your cat sheds will depend on their breed and whether they are an indoor-only cat. It’s important to understand what’s normal for your furry friend and monitor their health in case there’s a bigger issue going on.
Excessive shedding could be a sign of:
- Hormonal changes
When To Take Your Cat to the Vet
If you’re worried about the amount of hair that your cat is shedding, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional.
A vet appointment may be in store if you notice any of these other symptoms:
- Additional licking or scratching at their skin
- Loss of appetite
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Dull or patchy fur
7 Tips for Managing Your Cat’s Shedding
Once you’ve determined that your cat’s shedding is just a normal, seasonal change, there are a few ways you can better manage it. Here are 6 tips to keep excessive shedding at bay.
1. Brush Your Cat Regularly
The more you brush your cat, the more you will capture all of the loose fur lingering on your cat’s coat before it ends up all over your house. A good schedule would be 3 times per week.
You can use a wide-tooth comb, wire brush, or soft bristle brush, depending on the breed of your cat and the length of their fur.
Brushing your cat is also a great way to remove dirt and dander from their fur, and it’s a fantastic bonding opportunity between you and your feline friend.
2. Keep Your Cat Hydrated
Hydration is important for all aspects of your cat’s health, but it’s also a great way to reduce extra shedding. The more hydrated that your cat is, the healthier their coat will be.
A great way to increase your cat’s water intake is to switch the style of water bowl that you have.
In the wild, cats tend to consume running water from streams or rivers, so still water inside a water bowl isn’t as enticing for them. A water fountain that constantly cycles and moves the water appeals to their instincts and encourages them to drink more.
Cats have a natural low-thirst drive, however, so the best way to keep them hydrated is to increase the moisture in their food. You can do this by increasing the amount of canned food that they get or adding toppers to their kibble like broth.
3. Improve Your Cat’s Diet
If your cat isn’t getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need, their coat becomes dull and they shed more as a result. Some cats can also develop skin irritations as an allergic reaction to certain ingredients in their food.
Consult with a pet nutritionist and your vet to determine what the best diet is for your kitty’s breed, age, and weight.
In general, a diet that provides plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and oils will encourage a healthy, shiny fur coat.
4. Master the Art of Lint Rolling
Unfortunately, no matter how healthy and hydrated your cat is, some level of shedding is still normal. In those cases, one of the best ways to manage the fur is with a trusty lint roller.
This is best for surfaces like furniture and carpet. While vacuuming can help, vacuums often miss the stubborn hair that sticks to the surface. Lint rollers provide extra support to keep your furniture clean. A damp glove can also work well in a pinch.
5. Use Vinegar with Your Laundry
While lint rollers are great for furniture, they don’t always remove all the stubborn hair from clothes and fabric. For these items, regular white vinegar will be your new best friend.
Toss your next load of laundry into the dryer for a quick toss first with no heat. This helps the lint trap capture a lot of the loose hair and helps keep your washing machine from being clogged.
Then, add about ½ cup of white vinegar with your laundry in the washing machine. Not only does this help remove the rest of the fur from your clothes, but it also works as a natural fabric softener and odor eliminator.
6. Consider Bath Time
If you’re brave, a bath is a great way to remove excess hair from your cat’s coat and help soothe and moisturize their skin, if there are any irritants or allergies that are bothering them.
The steady stream of water removes hair, dirt, and dander from your cat’s coat, similar to when you shower. However, make sure you use the correct soap that’s designed for your cat’s fur and not your regular shampoo.
Cats are natural groomers, so don’t bathe them too often. Once a month should be a great place to start.
7. Reduce Stress in Your Cat’s Environment
Excessive shedding can be a stress response in cats, so make sure they have a calm, relaxing environment to unwind.
If you have other animals, like a dog, in your home that might be causing your cat anxiety, create a cat-only zone in your home where they can be alone. This could be a spare bedroom or a basement that you can block off access to with a baby gate or child latch.
If you live in a small space, take advantage of any vertical space that you can add with shelves or cat trees. This gives your cat a new way to explore the room without feeling trapped by the other animals in the house.
Find a Cat Sitter That Doesn’t Mind a Little Extra Shedding
Before you make plans for your next holiday getaway, consider hiring a cat sitter that truly cares for your pet, no matter how much kitty glitter might be covering their clothes.
To find the perfect cat sitter for you and your furry family, contact us. We’d love to hear all about your feline friend and their needs.