Summertime Cat Shedding Tips
You are not alone if you are beginning to see more cat hair around your house these days. While shedding can be a nuisance to you, your cats don't exactly enjoy it either because excess shedding contributes to hairballs.
Spring and Fall are the peak shedding times for our furry, 4-legged family members so we often need to spend extra time cleaning at those times (and so do they!). The good news is that we can DO something about that extra hair everywhere! While we cannot eliminate shedding, we can reduce it by almost 50% by providing our feline family members a little extra fat in their diet. Cats have a higher need for fat than our canine friends.
For years, I have been an advocate for cats eating a very clean, nutritious, species-specific diet. I call it the "Catkins" Diet - high protein, high fat and low carb. Most people know that cats are carnivores but few know that they are obligated carnivores, which means they have a biological need for their amino acids to come from MEAT. NO plant-based diets for them! They are serious meat eaters and without sufficient meat and fat, they stay hungry and often shed more than they should. Cats that are eating mostly dry food (even premium brands) tend to become overweight (especially when they are free-fed) and often have a drier, flaky coat which mats very easily.
When cats eat mostly healthy wet food, their coats are usually in much better condition. Yep, the best way to control shedding is through their diet! And, I highly recommend staying away from most hairball remedies as many of them are petroleum based and NO cats (or dogs) should be eating products that contain petroleum of any kind because it interferes with the absorption of the nutrients in their food.
If you are one of the many cat parents who have a picky eater when it comes to wet food, don't give up! There are more choices now! Just make sure you are trying your cat's preferred texture (diced, sliced, minced, shreds, chunks and gravy, loaf or paté) and their preferred protein (chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, rabbit, pheasant, duck, etc.). Generally, most cats prefer a VERY moist paté. To make sure the can of paté is very moist, pick up the can and shake it hard and if you hear moisture, buy it. If not, put it back on the shelf—it is too dry. Remember; NEVER feed your cats food with by-products, corn, wheat or soy. Also avoid foods that contain a lot of carbohydrate. Cats require meat to stay healthy and happy!
Combs are better for removing excess hair than a brush.
There are various types of cat brushes and combs and many of them are not very effective. There are combs made for short-haired cats and for long-haired cats. The short-haired combs have much shorter teeth so they can reach the cat's skin effectively. Long-haired combs have longer teeth for the same reason.
Ask for help in selecting the right kind of comb for your cat's type of coat. Do not just guess.
Using the Kong's Zoom Groom for cats (shown above) is an excellent way to massage your cat and is good for short and long-haired cats. Always give your cat a healthy treat after any kind of combing or brushing.
If your cat becomes matted, it is important to have your groomed by a cat grooming specialist. Matts are uncomfortable, even painful sometimes, to your cat and need to be removed by someone who knows how to remove them properly—and gently!
This was originally posted in September of 2019 titled "Holy Hairballs - It's Almost Fall."