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The main reasons for molting
Normally, molting occurs in cats twice a year. The process lasts 15-20 days and does not affect the health of pets. If the hair loss has dragged on, then the body has failed. The maximum molting period within the normal range is 2 months.
If the cat sheds too much, you should pay attention to it already
The main reasons why a cat or cat sheds:
- hormonal changes
- changes in air temperature
- daylight saving
- diseases in the acute and chronic stage.
Why molt in summer
Animals that walk on the street, most often molt in spring and autumn - this is due to changes in weather conditions and thermoregulation.
Attention! The biological rhythms of cats that do not leave the apartment are almost independent of the changing seasons - they can molt at any time of the year. This is not a deviation.
Why molt all year
In most cases, the cause of permanent hair loss is a lack of vitamins. Most often, vitamin deficiency appears due to an unbalanced diet. Less often - due to circulatory disorders and poor nutrition of tissues.
In regions with long, cold winters, seals can molt all year round. The reason lies in sudden changes in temperature (ventilation, heating, room heaters) and a short daylight. Like humans, cats need vitamin D, whose synthesis is reduced due to a lack of sunlight.
In this case, it is difficult to influence the molt. The only thing the owner can do is to maintain the health of the pet with dietary supplements selected by the doctor and ensure a healthy diet.
Important! Permanent molting should not be plentiful. If the wool began to climb in shreds and grows for a long time, it is worth showing the animal to the doctor.
What to do if a cat sheds much
The cat molt strongly - what to do to the owner? The main thing is complex work. The animal needs special care. Will have to invest in nutrition and vitamins, as well as provide comfortable living conditions for the pet.
If the cat sheds much, what should the owner do:
- Remember when was the last episode of molting. If more than six months have passed, you need to wait 2-3 weeks.
- If the last molt was recently, it is necessary to note all changes in the pet's lifestyle over the past 1-2 months. For example, introducing a new feed, taking medications / vitamins, changing shampoo, moving, traveling together with your pet. All these factors provoke temporary hair loss.
- Observe the health of the pet. If there is unusual apathy and lethargy, lack of appetite, indigestion, vomiting, impaired coordination, discharge from the eyes / nose, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
In other cases, the cause is an imbalance of vitamins and minerals, or birth defects.
Eating cheap food or human food is bad for your pet's health. Low-quality dry and wet food is made from bone meal, cartilage, skin and other meat wastes - it has minimal nutritional value. Homemade food from the table may be too greasy / salty / sweet for the pet.
Attention! Cats are predators and need a lot of pure animal protein.
The pet can eat vitamin supplements, or eat good food. You should choose premium, super-premium or holistic food - they are not sold in supermarkets, they can be found in pet stores and veterinary pharmacies.
Useful foods that you can include in your diet:
- meat (chicken, turkey, veal, lamb, ground beef),
- offal: heart, tongue, liver, stomachs (give once a week),
- boiled boneless sea fish,
- cereals (buckwheat, oat, wheat), cook on meat broth,
- vegetables and greens,
- dairy products (fermented baked milk, kefir, cottage cheese),
- half a boiled egg - once a week.
Cats are forbidden to give milk and sweets (fruits, dried fruits). It is also not recommended to feed the pet with nuts.
Hair Care Changes
Proper care of the cover will keep the apartment clean and make life easier for the pet. Cats lick several times a day, cleaning their fur coat. The fallen wool enters the stomach and gets lumped there - normally animals get rid of them 1-3 times a month. However, excess hair is harmful to the digestive tract.
Also, excess wool is knocked into tangles. In especially advanced cases, they have to be cut together with healthy coat. It is necessary to remove dead hairs daily using a special comb brush.
Many owners cut their hair if the cat sheds, which is not recommended. Shedding will not decrease from this, but the undercoat and the back of the hair, which becomes more fragile, can suffer.
When cats molt, one should take care of the balance of vitamins, micro and macro elements in the body. For a healthy coat, cats need B vitamins, Biotin, Omega 3 and 6 acids, and sulfur. They can be taken solo, or as part of a complex.
The most suitable vitamins will be selected by the veterinarian based on the results of the examination. Supplements and vitamins are produced in the following formats:
In most cases, they are hidden in food so as not to scare away the animal. The minimum course of admission is 1 month.
Change in temperature
Choosing the right temperature can be the key to solving the problem. Domestic cats are thermophilic creatures and try to be closer to heat sources in autumn / winter. However, dry air and increased operation of heaters can cause molting.
If wool is climbing, it is important to ensure a normal level of humidity and regularly ventilate the room. The first will be handled by household humidifiers, or open containers of water, placed around the room.
Excessive prolonged molting can be a sign of a serious illness in acute or chronic form. Loss of hair is rarely the only symptom. Most often, it is accompanied by changes in well-being, problems with the stomach and intestines, and secretions.
Shedding in adult cats
Most often, this symptom manifests itself in diseases of the thyroid gland or adrenal gland, renal failure, colitis, and viral infections. Another case is allergy, skin diseases. They can be determined by a change in the skin: the skin begins to smell, crusts, sores, peeling, redness appear. Also, the animal is constantly itching, trying to overcome itching.
Strong molting may indicate an internal disease
Other causes of excessive molting:
- digestive tract disorders
- intoxication with poisons or drugs,
- stress, severe fright.
In these cases, you should definitely show the animal to the doctor. He will evaluate his condition, if necessary, take blood and feces for analysis, and then he will tell you how to treat the pet.
Females who have recently acquired offspring also often suffer from hair loss. Pregnancy and childbirth are a burden for the body. Most of its resources go to the development of the fetus, and later to its feeding. Due to hormonal changes, the hair may fall out intensely.
Also, after giving birth, the cat experiences severe stress and anxiety, which affects the quality of the coat. After 2-4 months, the animal should return to normal. If this does not happen, you should visit a veterinarian and have a blood test done.
Shedding in kittens
For the first time, molting in a kitten begins at the age of 5-8 months.
During this period, soft wool begins to be replaced by a stiffer adult. Normally, the transition phase lasts 2 weeks. If the process dragged on, and the coat did not become denser, then the loss is associated with a disease or lack of vitamins.
Examples of cats that do not fade
By the abundance of molting, veterinarians divide cats into four groups:
- shedding profusely
- moderately shedding,
- not shedding.
In fact, absolutely no shedding cats do not exist - a seasonal change of coat occurs in all breeds.
The only difference is the amount of hair falling out. Even those recognized as hairless have the thinnest, invisible to the human eye layer of fluff on the skin.
Cats that do not fade:
- Sphinxes (Canadian, St. Petersburg, Don) - almost naked skin with a small hair in some places.
- Devon and Cornish Rex are short, tough, curly hairs.
- Siamese-Oriental: Balinese, Siamese, Burmese, Mekong Bobtail.
- Other shorthair breeds: Kurilian Bobtail, Russian Blue, Exot.
But such popular domestic cats, like the Scottish Fold and British, molt quite strongly. This is due to the structure of their wool - they have a dense plush undercoat. Cats of these breeds need to be combed out even in the period without shedding.
In most cases, molting is not a cause for great concern. It is associated with changes in the body, which are easily adjusted by proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. If molting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting or a change in temperature, a veterinarian should be examined.
Naked cats include the Sphinxes - Canadian, Donskoy, St. Petersburg, as well as breeding breeds bred when they were crossed with them - Bambino, Elf, Delf, Ukrainian Levka.
The benefits of these cats are obvious. They have virtually no coat, only individual hairs that completely or partially cover the body and have a length of no more than two millimeters.
But this does not mean that they do not need to be looked after. More often this causes additional difficulties.
Brown sweat appears on the hot bare skin, which must be cleaned daily by wiping the pet with wet wipes. And once a week, a bathing procedure is required.
In addition, you must carefully monitor the diet of these animals. With the slightest eating disorder, sweating increases, acne may appear on the skin.
The lack of fur makes it necessary to purchase special clothes for hairless cats, as they are very thermophilic and easily catch a cold. Sphinxes have a weak specific smell, which some people do not notice at all, while others react negatively to it.
By nature, all sphinxes are calm and cheerful pets, deeply attached to their owners.
This group of cats, characterized by short and wavy hair, tightly fitting to the body, having no undercoat and almost no shedding.
Rexes are known today:
Rex hardly smells, they have a wonderful character, are mobile and playful, they love children very much.
These pets are clean, do not need constant washing and combing. But their nutrition also needs to be carefully monitored. In case of dietary disorders, dark discharge may appear on the back and sides.
Siam Oriental Group
It contains breeds that do not have undercoat. All these animals come from the east and warm countries. Historically, their ancestors lived in hot countries and with the change of season there was no need to "change the outfit."
The coat of these animals is short, shiny, and tight to the body. If every day to spend on the cat’s body at least once with wet hands, then the natural change of the remaining hair will imperceptibly occur.
This group includes:
All these animals, with the exception of the Siamese cat, have a wonderful character. They are cheerful, very active, inquisitive and loyal to the owner.
Siamese also does not suffer from passivity, but due to anatomical features (defects in the tail and, consequently, the spine itself), it is irritable and vengeful.
If the pet suddenly begins to intensively strew hair, this can be the cause of stress, a hormonal storm, or an onset of illness. It is necessary to consult a veterinarian and follow his recommendations.
This wonderful ancient domestic breed of natural origin, although it has a dense undercoat, is distinguished by the fact that it is not prone to shedding, is very beautiful in appearance because of its unusual color, and has virtually no smell. The character of the pet is wonderful, he is unconditionally devoted to the owner, loves children and treats them paternally. No wonder this breed is in the top ten most sought after in the world.
In addition, this cat is very clean, she constantly looks after her wonderful fur coat.
Cat hair is considered hypoallergenic. The structure of the hair is such that they are little susceptible to destruction, so bacteria do not settle on them. Reduced fragility of hair leads to the fact that Russian blue sheds discreetly throughout the year, with almost no loss of undercoat.
This cat is not worth combing, washing and using chemicals for grooming, so as not to damage the unique structure of the hair.
This is a rare breed that practically does not occur in Russia in all its parameters very reminiscent of Russian Blue. The only difference is that her coat is not short, but half-long.
The structure of the hair under a microscope allows you to see that it is no different from blue. Therefore, there is no seasonal molting and hypoallergenicity of the cat is present.
This amazing breed is the world's first successful hybrid of domestic and wild cats. Ancestor of Bengal - Asian leopard cat.
This breed is different in that it absolutely does not need to be looked after. It is absolutely not necessary to comb out and wash the pet.
One week after birth, kittens have phasing. This is a process common to all wild cats. It lies in the fact that the bright color of the baby hides behind a thick undercoat, which suddenly grows and becomes longer than the outer hair.
In nature, the kitten becomes almost invisible, merges with the environment. In Bengal, this is manifested in the fact that the baby loses its brightness and attractiveness.
The pet grows, weans from the mother, begins to eat solid food, learns the world. His muscles become strong, and his body becomes swift and light.
And at one point, the entire undercoat climbs out. By the age of 4–9 months, the ugly duckling turns into a handsome, glittering, shiny like a glove. The undercoat never grows in Bengal's life anymore, which means there are no seasonal and apartment links.
Phasing is "invented" by nature to protect babies with bright colors from predatory enemies. While the baby is weak and cannot stand up for himself, he must be invisible, his mother is responsible for his life and health.
Also read a great article on bengals.
When a growing cat enters into force, its color appears in all its glory, it is already ready for independent life. Therefore, Bengal also refers to hypoallergenic rocks that are not susceptible to molting and practically odorless.
By nature, these are energetic and cheerful animals, sincerely attached to the owner and household. They don’t tolerate loneliness, so it’s better to buy them in a nursery as a couple.
A bit about molting
All cats with fur have a natural process of dying off the "old" hair and their loss. This process is much more intense in long-haired breeds and in animals with voluminous undercoat.
Since the fluff in the lower layer has a finer structure, changing these hairs causes the owners more inconvenience - weightless pieces of fur fly around the house, settling on clothes and furniture, crawling into the eyes and into the respiratory tract.
It is not so difficult to survive seasonal molting, it occurs twice a year - in the beginning of spring and autumn, when the undercoat changes.
But domestic cats that do not walk on the street often have the effect of “apartment” molting. The cat is constantly warm and dropping undercoat occurs almost constantly.
In an age of active environmental pollution, more and more people suffer from allergies. There are many irritants, and in order to understand what the body reacts to, it is necessary to pass tests for special markers. Not only wool can be an allergen, more often it is animal saliva. Therefore, we recommend reading an article on hypoallergenic cats.
When kittens begin to molt
Cats begin to molt early. Around the age of six months, not only the structure, but also the color of the coat begins to change little by little in kittens. The period of the first molt lasts differently. Sometimes at least 6 months. During this time, the kitten throws off the baby fluff, building up dense outer hairs. Point and color-coded markings appear brighter. Appearance acquires completeness.
You need to deal with molt comprehensively. To begin with, support kittens with vitamins and enhanced nutrition. In addition, this is a good opportunity to accustom the pet to hygiene procedures: combing and bathing. And just to smooth the coat with a wet hand will be not only pleasant, but also useful.
Do not miss the moment: the appearance of an adult cat in the future will depend on how well you care for the kitten.
Why and how do cats fade?
Subsequently, molting will become regular. For cats, this is the natural process of preparing for the changing season. Ideally, a cat sheds twice a year:
- before the cold. Reducing daylight hours, a significant decrease in temperatures include protective mechanisms that involve changing the wardrobe. Cats are rapidly growing new coat that can protect against frost. For example, the British have a powerful dense undercoat that is much thicker than summer,
- before the onset of heat. An increase in temperature makes it necessary to prepare for the summer heat. The “winter” fur, as having served its service, is no longer needed. Therefore, a lighter version is growing.
The most responsive to changing seasons are cats with free-range. Their body is exposed to natural weather conditions and is sensitive to changing seasons.
Cats living in the apartment, without walking, despite the lack of seasonality in the home climate, also molt. Only the time of this process does not have a strict binding to the environment. Depending on the breed, molting occurs in cats 1-2 times a year.
It should be borne in mind that in sexually mature uncastrated cats, molting can begin at any moment as a reaction to certain changes in physiology. This is how the body reacts to hormonal changes during estrus or after weaning kittens from mother’s milk. This is not a reason to panic, you just need to provide the cat with improved nutrition and vitamins.
How long does seasonal molt last?
If you were frightened by a prolonged first molt in a kitten, do not worry. This is due to complex physiological maturation processes. Shedding in cats, which can be called adults, goes into normal mode. On average, it lasts a couple of months a year. Once in the spring, and one more at the end of autumn. According to the schedule, there may be slight time offsets.
Usually short-haired pets fit into the schedule and terms of molting. With more fluffy harder. Persians or Maine-coons after dropping the outer hair for a long time get rid of the undercoat. Without your help, they certainly will not do. If you do not help them with the struggle, the consequences can be serious. From local warlocks to totally fallen fur.
Sometimes molting in cats occurs unplanned or does not stop for a long time.
Reasons for intensive year-round molting
Given that molting in cats is a natural physiological process, it is important to understand when it goes beyond the normal. If the fur falls intensively for more than a month, and even not in season, and without objective prerequisites - this is an occasion to think about the causes of what is happening.
Usually a cat sheds heavily:
- During illness. It does not matter whether an internal disease or the cause is on the surface of the body; molting in cats is an indicator of health. In normal condition, the fluff does not fly in different directions. And you can suspect anything: from banal vitamin deficiency or allergies to serious diseases of internal organs. Competent diagnostics will be carried out only by specialists. Do not self-medicate, so you only exacerbate the problems.
- Not suitable care products. If health is not suspicious: the tests are normal, the behavior is active, and the molting does not stop, this is the reason to change the shampoo, at least. Ideally, change all makeup for the cat. You may be using the wrong brush. Pay attention to what accessories are recommended by breeders and veterinarians for each particular breed separately for everyday care and for the period of molting.
- Errors in feeding. Often the reasons for year-round molting are in the stern. Naturalness should be made according to special recipes that provide for the perfect balance of nutrients. Be sure to accompany supplements of vitamins a couple of times a year. Ready-made feeds, even the most expensive and high-quality ones, are also not a guarantee of peace. One ingredient that is unacceptable for your cat individually and molt is provided all year round. Pick carefully. Preferably, with control through analyzes.
- Stress. Among cats there are phlegm that almost do not respond to changes in the external environment. But there are cats for which even your daily trips to work become a real end of the world. Jealousy, lack of attention, loud noises, unfamiliar smells - this world is fraught with danger for cats and possible causes for stress. If diseases are excluded, feeding and accessories are verified to the smallest detail, go to the veterinarian for a sedative.
Sometimes a cat sheds heavily in the winter, especially constantly living in four walls. Among the reasons: dry air and too high temperature. How to fight? Humidifiers. Open containers with water that evaporate moisture help a lot. For example, an aquarium. Again - entertainment for the cat.
Methods for reducing the amount of wool during molting
When a cat molts, a whole arsenal of tools will be needed to fight:
- Full-nutrition balanced diet.
- Supplements and vitamins. Particular emphasis on amino acids. Together with veterinary supplements, you can give an egg yolk and be sure to leave the germinated grass. For longhair it makes sense to buy a paste for removing lumps from the digestive system.
- Arrange a cat bath. With water and subsequent combing, the lion's part of dead hairs is eliminated.
- Combing out. Cats with short fur without copious undercoat will cost a normal comb a couple of times a week. For furry or cats with a thick undercoat, you may have to resort to a furminator.
Are there no shedding breeds of cats
The desire to have a cat with a flowing fur coat is feasible without an exhausting fight against molting, if it is possible to have a Burma, an American Curl, Somali or a Turkish Angora.
Short-haired Siamese, Abyssinians, Burmese, Bengal, Singapore, Egyptian Mau or Bombay cats will cause a minimum of problems.
There is a completely exotic solution to the problem of molting: rex and sphinx. These cats do not fade in the traditional sense of the word.
Choose a cat with the prospect of spending at least 10 years side by side with it, and with a good combination of circumstances, as many as 20. The molting of Persians, British, Siberians or Maine Coons made them not the most popular among lovers of order and cleanliness in the house. No care and improved nutrition prevents their footprints in the most inappropriate places.