Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Pawfessionals Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters: Do Cats Shed Like Dogs Do? by Kassira McKee

Well, folks, summer is upon us, which is the season for animals to shed some fur for the summer. Dogs shed their undercoat to prepare for the heat, but do cats do this as well?


According to Pets.webmd.com, outdoor cats lose more hair in spring and fall and retain more fur in the winter. So, seasonal shedding is naturally common.


However, there are several issues such as medical, dietary and stress that may cause your cat to lose more hair than is normal. If you see excessive shedding or bald patches on your cat, take it to the veterinarian ASAP. Here are some things that could be occurring:


1) Allergies – could be environmental or dietary.

2) Ringworm – circular, patchy areas caused by a fungus that infects the skin, hair and nails and can be passed on to humans and other animals.

3) Fleas – also passed on to humans, other animals and the general environment.

4) Bacterial Diseases – Salmonella and other bacterial diseases caused by consuming raw or contaminated foods, licking manure off of their feet and coats and oral contact with surfaces contaminated by other infected cats.

5) Hypothyroidism – a common glandular disorder caused by an excessively, circulating thyroxine-a thyroid hormone (T4) in the bloodstream.

6) Poor diet – your cat is not eating anything you serve it, which means something is wrong.

7) Stress – caused by many different factors such as other animals in the household, a chaotic, unsettling environment, relocation or being left alone for an unusually long time.

8) Medications – caused by allergies to medications.

9) Pregnancy/Lactation – caused by morning sickness, like vomiting and lack of appetite, fatigue due to hormonal and uterus changes, and post birth when your cat stops eating 24 hours before giving birth, her temperature drops to 100 F and she is fatigued during the nursing period.

10) Sunburn – caused by being left outside too long.


Symptoms of abnormal shedding to look for are obsessive licking, biting or scratching, loss of patches of hair and loss of appetite. Take your cat to the Veterinarian immediately.


If your veterinarian determines there is no medical cause, here are a few things you can do to cut down on hair loss: 

  • Feed your cat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Groom your cat regularly
  • Check your cat’s skin and coat during grooming sessions for hair loss, redness, bumps, cuts, fleas, ticks and parasites.
  • Keep your home vacuumed to better monitor your cat’s shedding 

If a feline’s excessive shedding that is a medical issue goes unattended, its health will worsen. If a long-haired feline goes ungroomed for too long, matting occurs, which is not only painful, but can also lead to a bacterial or fungal infection.


We at The Pawfessionals Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters love our feline clients and are here to help you keep your kitties healthy.

- Kassira McKee


For more detailed information on feline shedding, click here.

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