If your cat is shedding a lot, there are some situations in which this might be a cause for concern. But how can you know when shedding is a problem and when it’s something normal? When it comes to cat health, it’s important to take the time to try to figure this out.
In the article below, we’ll show you some of the most common reasons why your cat might be shedding a lot. Read through this information and use it to figure out what you want to ask your vet at your cat’s next scheduled appointment. Call Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County at (772) 337-8570.
Almost all cats shed when the weather turns warm. This is part of their natural instinct to try to cool down during the hotter months of the year. If your cat is shedding at the start of summer or during the warmest weather in your area, then this is nothing to worry about.
Shedding related to hot weather may vary in cats who are kept indoors all the time. This is because these cats are kept in air conditioning or other temperature-controlled environments that can cause them to shed less in some instances.
Cats who have long hair are more likely to shed than those who do not. Long haired cats simply have more hair to get rid of, so their natural shedding may seem like quite a lot more than short haired cats in the same environment. If you have a long haired cat, be prepared for this possibility.
Remember, too, that the length of a cat’s coat makes a difference in the other direction as well. If you are looking for a cat who won’t shed as much, a short haired cat is a good option. Or you could go for a hairless cat and avoid the shedding problem altogether!
If your cat is allergic to their food, this may cause them to shed more. Food allergies in cats usually present through symptoms such as poor skin health and poor coat condition, both of which can cause shedding and thinning of the hair.
Cats with food allergies may also have dandruff or dry skin, may have a dull or thin coat, and may have frequent stomach upset. These symptoms can help you narrow down the possibilities and figure out when your cat’s problem might be caused by food allergies. Try a different food flavor or brand to resolve this issue.
Many types of parasites can cause shedding and hair loss in cats. The most common of these is, of course, fleas. Flea infestations may cause your cat to scratch almost nonstop, which will quickly lead to patchy hair loss in areas where your cat focuses their scratching most of the time.
Other types of parasites can affect your cat’s health, which may also lead to hair loss and shedding. Internal parasites usually have digestive symptoms more often than coat and skin symptoms, but they can still sometimes lead to heavy shedding.
Cats who have thyroid problems may lose their hair as well. Thyroid problems are very serious conditions that can cause a cat’s health to slowly decline and can lead to death if left untreated or unmanaged for a long time. Your vet will need to diagnose your cat with a thyroid condition and help you figure out a good management solution as well.
If your cat is suffering from a thyroid issue, they may have a voracious appetite but may also lose weight rapidly. As a result of malnutrition, they may lose their hair in patches and may shed throughout the year, regardless of the weather.
Stress can sometimes cause cats to lose their fur, especially if the cause of the stress is sustained over a long period of time. For example, if you have just brought home a new kitten or puppy and your cat doesn’t like the new pet, this stress may cause increased shedding. The same is true of bringing home a new baby in some instances!
If your cat is very anxious or has a lot of stress, you might need to speak with your vet about a treatment option for their anxiety. They may need to go on an anti-anxiety medication.
With the help of this information, it should be easier to talk to your vet about potential issues in your cat’s health. Although some causes of shedding are nothing to be concerned about, others require attention and may need to be treated or managed with the help of professional veterinary care.
Your vet may recommend having blood work done to determine the underlying cause of the shedding in your cat. Be sure to follow the vet’s advice and ask as many questions as necessary to determine how to manage or treat the condition moving forward. Call us today at (772) 337-8570.